Hands down, the best dessert spots in every state

Written by:
May 16, 2018
Kira // Foursquare

Hands down, the best dessert spots in every state

Life is always sweeter when dessert is involved. Whether you’re partial to cake, doughnuts, ice cream, or anything else on the sugar spectrum, finding a great dessert spot near you is pretty much essential to living a happy life. You don’t want to waste time with inferior treats, though, so Stacker compiled a list of the best sweet spots in every state to aid you in your quest for dessert dominance. Keep this list handy and reference it often to guarantee that you’re heading for the absolute best dessert in your state.

To identify the #1 sugar-slingers, we turned to Foursquare. Its search algorithm looks at the number of check-ins at each establishment, rating signals from customers, and a lot of other pertinent information to determine the top-ranked dessert spot for every state. The results include a surprising number of winners coming from just two main dessert categories, so dig in to find out what they are, then visit the best dessert spot near you.

1 / 51
Maureen // Foursquare


Wyoming: Moo's Gourmet Ice Cream

Address: 155 Center St. Jackson Hole, WY 83001

Foursquare Rating: 8.2

This high-end ski town isn’t covered in snow all-year round, so this scoop shop in the historic downtown area is the perfect draw for summertime. All of their flavors are handmade, using only organic and natural ingredients with wild huckleberry shining as the real standout.

2 / 51
Alex N. // Foursquare


Wisconsin: Kopp's Frozen Custard

Address: 7631 W. Layton Ave. Greenfield, WI 53220

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

Frozen custard is a serious Midwest tradition, which is why it appears several times on this list. Thicker than standard ice cream, Kopp’s Frozen Custard has been keeping Wisconsinites cool and happy since 1950.


3 / 51
Meg // Foursquare

West Virginia

West Virginia: Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream

Address: 225 Capitol St. Charleston, WV 25301

Foursquare Rating: 8.4

Ellen Beal could have pursued a career as a flautist, but decided to make ice cream instead. She opened Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream in 1997 and she’s been scooping flavors such as black raspberry and mocha almond ever since.


4 / 51
Panchita L. // Foursquare


Washington: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream

Address: 917 E. Pine St. Seattle, WA 98122

Foursquare Rating: 9.2

With eight locations in the Seattle area, it’s safe to say that Molly Moon is the queen of Washington ice cream. Ninety percent of the ingredients used here come from local Pacific Northwest farmers, and the shop has a serious philanthropic side, raising more than $135,000 for their “Milk Fund,” which donates fresh milk to families in need.


5 / 51
Kira // Foursquare


Virginia: Sugar Shack Donuts

Address: 1001 N. Lombardy St. Richmond, VA 23220

Foursquare Rating: 9.3

Opened just five years ago in Richmond, Sugar Shack has grown so popular that they now have 10 locations with four more on the way. Named one of the country’s best doughnut shops, Sugar Shack hand rolls and cuts their doughnuts in small batches so they’re fresh all day long.


6 / 51
Eat With Dan // Foursquare


Vermont: Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Address: 3600 Waterbury-Stowe Rd. Waterbury Center, VT 05677

Foursquare Rating: 8.9

Cider is still a big attraction at Cold Hollow, but the reason it became Vermont’s #1 dessert spot is for cider’s best friend: doughnuts. Traditional cider doughnuts are made fresh on-site at Cold Hollow and served warm, making them the perfect pairing for cold Vermont days — and warm ones, too!


7 / 51
Brian Y. // Foursquare


Utah: Banbury Cross

Address: 705 S. 700 E. Salt Lake City, UT 84102

Foursquare Rating: 8.8

Banbury Cross has been serving fresh doughnuts in Salt Lake City since 1986. Cinnamon crumb is the big favorite here, but blueberry cake and the bear claw get honorable mention as well.


8 / 51
Kyle C. // Foursquare


Texas: Round Rock Donuts

Address: 106 W. Liberty St. Round Rock, TX 78664

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

They say that everything’s bigger in Texas, and that certainly applies to Round Rock where the “Texas-Sized Donut” is a 2-pound, 14-inch dessert mutant. In addition to doughnuts, this Austin-area bakery also serves kolaches, the central European stuffed pastries that have gradually become superstars in Texas sugar circles.


9 / 51
Christine D. // Foursquare


Tennessee: Gibson's Donuts

Address: 760 Mount Moriah Rd. Memphis, TN 38117

Foursquare Rating: 9.2

Open 24 hours every day of the year — other than Christmas  Gibson’s has been bringing in doughnut-lovers since 1967. Food Network star Alton Brown lists the shop as a must-stop, and many consider Gibson’s their favorite doughnut in all of Tennessee.


10 / 51
Brenda S. // Foursquare

South Dakota

South Dakota: CH Patisserie

Address: 309 S. Phillips Ave. Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Foursquare Rating: 9.1

South Dakota may not be the first place people think of it when it comes to French pastries, but Sioux Falls sugar-lovers can thank “Top Chef: Just Desserts” contestant and world champion pastry chef Chris Hanmer for opening CH Patisserie. The master pastry chef bakes macarons, petit gateau, and other classic French favorites daily.


11 / 51
Starla C. // Foursquare

South Carolina

South Carolina: Kaminsky's

Address: 78 N. Market St. Charleston, SC 29401

Foursquare Rating: 8.8

It’s not one dessert that brings people into Kaminsky’s dessert cafe — it’s all of them. The Toll House pie, mixed berry crumble, and cookie sundaes have people lining up at both Kaminsky’s locations to get a taste of whatever the bakers have in store for the day.


12 / 51
Kat3ynah H. // Foursquare

Rhode Island

Rhode Island: Pastiche Fine Desserts & Café

Address: 92 Spruce St. Providence, RI 02903

Foursquare Rating: 9.3

This cute European-style cafe opened its doors in 1983, offering all manner of cakes, tarts, and cookies. The fruit tart is the highlight of the menu, but you’ll be more than happy with any of their delectable treats.


13 / 51
Brett B. // Foursquare


Pennsylvania: The Franklin Fountain

Address: 116 Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19106

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

While it only opened back in 2004, The Franklin Fountain has some pretty historical roots. It’s modeled after an old-time soda fountain, and the Old City Philly building in which it resides dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Ice cream sodas, egg creams, and handmade ice creams anchor the menu, and the throwback design takes customers back to a simpler time in American history.


14 / 51
Daryush A. // Foursquare


Oregon: Blue Star Donuts

Address: 1237 SW Washington St. Portland, OR 97205

Foursquare Rating: 9.2

Blue Star leads the charge when it comes to the fancy artisanal doughnut genre, with flavors like passionfruit cocoa nibs, blueberry bourbon basil, and raspberry rosemary buttermilk. They’ve expanded from one store in Portland to nine shops across Oregon and Southern California, so it’s not far-fetched to think they may spread to more states soon.


15 / 51
Michael C. // Foursquare


Oklahoma: The Cheesecake Factory

Address: 8711 E. 71st St. Tulsa, OK 74133

Foursquare Rating: 8.8

The Cheesecake Factory takes the top dessert spot in Oklahoma. While it’s not technically a factory that makes these signature sweets, The Cheesecake Factory did invent carrot cake cheesecake.


16 / 51
Gregg P. // Foursquare


Ohio: Bill's Donut Shop

Address: 268 N. Main St. Centerville, OH 45459

Foursquare Rating: 9.5

This Dayton-area doughnut favorite has been serving old-fashioned doughnuts in an old-fashioned shop since 1960. Open 24 hours a day, Bill’s customers indulge in standards such as blueberry cake and devil’s food, or more extravagant creations like Bill’s signature hand-twisted pretzel doughnuts.


17 / 51
Derek D. // Foursquare

North Dakota

North Dakota: Sandy's Donuts & Coffee Shop

Address: 301 Main Ave. W. West Fargo, ND 58078

Foursquare Rating: 8.3

A doughnut shop that delivers? Yep. Sandy’s will deliver a dozen or more to anyone within a 10-mile radius of their two stores. Order a dozen raspberry bismarks or chocolate old-fashioneds, and you won’t even need to get out of your pajamas to enjoy them.


18 / 51
Randy T. // Foursquare

North Carolina

North Carolina: Britt's Donut Shop

Address: 11 Carolina Beach Ave. North Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Foursquare Rating: 9.1

Located right on the boardwalk of Carolina Beach, Britt’s has been around since 1939. Don’t try to go in the winter, because this beachside shop is only open during tourist season, from late March until October.


19 / 51
Samuel C. // Foursquare

New York

New York: Levain Bakery

Address: 167 W. 74th St. New York, NY 10023

Foursquare Rating: 9.6

If you do something well, people will come from all over to try it, and at Levain Bakery that something is unbelievably tasty chocolate chip cookies. The line gets so long that Levain encourages customers to check the “line cam” on their website to estimate how long the wait is.


20 / 51
Gregg P. // Foursquare

New Mexico

New Mexico: Rebel Donut

Address: 2435 Wyoming Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87112

Foursquare Rating: 9.1

Rebel is a doughnut-lover’s dream, with a menu that spans from the traditional — triple chocolate or toasted coconut, to the adventurous — French toast or red chile chocolate bacon, to the insane — pad Thai or chocolate potato chip. Stop in for fun events, like doughnut-eating contests, and tastings centered around doughnut and beer pairings. Rebel also lands on Stacker's list of the "Best donut shop in every state."


21 / 51
Russell S. // Foursquare

New Jersey

New Jersey: Torico's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor

Address: 20 Erie St. Jersey City, NJ 07302

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

This Puerto Rican-owned ice cream shop does its best to serve its multicultural neighborhood, so don’t be surprised to find customers ordering globally influenced flavors like lychee, papaya, and black sesame. Open since 1968, Torico’s name comes from the Spanish phrase “todo rico,” which translates to “it’s all good.”


22 / 51
Jungmin C. // Foursquare

New Hampshire

New Hampshire: Morano Gelato Hanover

Address: 57 S. Main St. #101 Hanover, NH 03755

Foursquare Rating: 8.8

Each day Morano makes 1216 flavors of delicious gelato from a deep roster of more than 200 options. What started as a farmers market stand has now grown to three locations throughout New England.



23 / 51
Naif // Foursquare


Nevada: Jean Philippe Patisserie

Address: Aria Resort & Casino 3730 Las Vegas Blvd S. Las Vegas, NV 89158

Foursquare Rating: 9.2

Vegas has attracted some of the world’s best pastry chefs over the years, but French icon Jean-Philippe Maury took the highest honors with his patisserie known for its extravagant chocolate fountains. Maury recently left the pastry shop, and it’s now been rebranded as Aria Patisserie, but the same high-level desserts remain.


24 / 51
Vinay N. // Foursquare


Nebraska: Ted & Wally's

Address: 1120 Jackson St. Omaha, NE 68102

Foursquare Rating: 9.2

Omaha ice cream lovers have relied on Ted & Wally’s since 1984 to provide ultra-premium ice cream made the old-school way with rock salt, ice, and antique freezers. For an extra local touch, try the Meristem Farms aronia berry sundae, made with a sour berry grown just outside of Omaha.


25 / 51
Manuel W. // Foursquare


Montana: Big Dipper

Address: 631 S. Higgins Ave. Missoula, MT 59801

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

With three locations and a truck, Big Dipper has secured its spot as Montana’s favorite ice cream company. They’ve gotten some impressive national attention, too, with a long list of honors from media outlets like Food & Wine and USA Today.


26 / 51
Dan S. // Foursquare


Missouri: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Address: 6726 Chippewa St. St. Louis, MO 63109

Foursquare Rating: 9.5

Ted Drewes is basically a religion in St. Louis, serving a thicker, richer version of ice cream. The creamy frozen custard stand has been around for more than 80 years and became famous for their “concretes.” The frozen custard shakes are so thick you can turn the cup over and the custard won’t move.


27 / 51
D B. // Foursquare


Mississippi: The TatoNut Shop

Address: 1114 Government St. Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Foursquare Rating: 9.3

A secret family recipe has people waiting in long lines to get their hands on a TatoNut doughnut. The “tato” refers to the potato flour in the doughnut batter, and the chocolate icing is made on-site as well. Try the Persian doughnut, which tastes like an extra flavorful glazed cinnamon bun. TatoNut also made the cut in Stacker's "Best donut shop in every state" list.


28 / 51
Mr. K. // Foursquare


Minnesota: Glam Doll Donuts

Address: 2605 Nicollet Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55408

Foursquare Rating: 8.5

Glam Doll started at the most appropriate location possible: Eat Street. That’s the section of Nicollet Street renowned for its wide variety of culinary delights. The shop has earned its devotees through a rockabilly sensibility, and fun girl-power doughnut names like "Flirty Frenchie" and "Bombshell."


29 / 51
Darshan R. // Foursquare


Michigan: Washtenaw Dairy

Address: 602 S. Ashley St. Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Foursquare Rating: 9.2

Every college town needs a great ice cream shop, and students at the University of Michigan are lucky to have Washtenaw Dairy, which has the honorable distinction on this list for serving stellar ice cream and handmade doughnuts. When the Wolverines win, Michigan fans can order custom maize and blue doughnuts from Washtenaw to celebrate.


30 / 51
Kirsten P. // Foursquare


Massachusetts: Mike's Pastry

Address: 300 Hanover St. Boston, MA 02113

Foursquare Rating: 8.7

Boston’s North End offers every type of Italian food you can imagine, but Mike’s Pastry is the winner of the cannoli wars (sorry, Modern). Walk around Boston, and you’re bound to see people carrying Mike’s signature white box with blue and white string filled with cannoli and as many cookies as they could cram into the box.


31 / 51
Heather N. // Foursquare


Maryland: Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop

Address: 222 Albemarle St. Baltimore, MD 21202

Foursquare Rating: 9.0

Since its humble beginnings in Baltimore’s Little Italy in 1956, Vaccaro’s Pastry Shop has been Maryland’s home for incomparable Sicilian pastries like cannoli, biscotti, and sfogliatelle. Vaccaro’s now operates four different locations, and the die-hards keep coming back for more cannoli.


32 / 51
Jill S. // Foursquare


Maine: The Holy Donut

Address: 7 Exchange St. Portland, ME 04101

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

Doughnuts at The Holy Donut have a not-so-secret ingredient: mashed potatoes. The spuds impart a moist texture that Mainers have eaten up to the tune of 2 million doughnuts a year.


33 / 51
Jeremiah H. // Foursquare


Louisiana: DISTRICT. Donuts. Sliders. Brew.

Address: 2209 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70130

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

On super-chic Magazine Street, DISTRICT slings seven varieties of doughnuts each day. There are a whopping 100-plus flavors rotating in and out of the lineup, and everything at the shop is homemade — right down to the sprinkles. They’ve now expanded to five shops all around Louisiana, so their yeast-raised doughnuts can earn even more fans.


34 / 51
Rocky C. // Foursquare


Kentucky: North Lime Coffee & Donuts

Address: 575 N. Limestone Lexington, KY 40508

Foursquare Rating: 8.8

A hipster doughnut shop in Kentucky? No. A mini-empire of hipster doughnut shops in Kentucky. There are now three North Lime shops and counting, and they all serve stellar coffee and amazing doughnuts made from scratch. Don’t miss the ultra-popular chocolate chip pancake doughnut.


35 / 51
<3 // Foursquare


Kansas: The Donut Whole

Address: 1720 E. Douglas Ave. Wichita, KS 67214

Foursquare Rating: 9.0

The Donut Whole makes a point of supporting Kansas farmers with the ingredients they use in their freshly made old-fashioned cake doughnuts. They bring in buttermilk daily from Hildebrand Dairy Farms, and source their flour from the local Stafford County Mill. With 50 varieties of doughnuts to choose from on any given day, you really can’t go wrong.


36 / 51
Jackie S. // Foursquare


Iowa: Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor

Address: 115 Central Ave. NW Le Mars, IA 51031

Foursquare Rating: 8.7

This old-fashioned ice cream parlor is ground zero for aficionados of Blue Bunny ice cream, now found in stores nationwide. There’s a giant sundae statue outside for family photos, and the shop offers exclusive flavors that you can’t find in any store, so a trip to Le Mars, Iowa is definitely worth it.


37 / 51
felicity l. // Foursquare


Indiana: Long's Bakery

Address: 1453 N. Tremont St. Indianapolis, IN 46222

Foursquare Rating: 9.3

The line usually stretches out the door at this cash-only Indy favorite, but locals say the doughnuts and fritters are totally worth it. Thrillist certainly agrees — they put Long’s on their list of "Best Donut Shops in America."


38 / 51
Emily B. // Foursquare


Illinois: Firecakes Donuts

Address: 68 W. Hubbard St. Chicago, IL 60654

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

Make no mistake, these aren’t your standard strip-mall doughnuts. Firecakes bills their popular wares as small-batch artisan doughnuts and flavors like pistachio "Old Fashioned" and wildflower honey-glazed back that up. If doughnuts aren’t your thing, try their unique take on ice cream sandwiches, using doughnuts in place of cookies.


39 / 51
JK G. // Foursquare


Idaho: Reed's Dairy Inc.

Address: 2660 W. Broadway St. Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Foursquare Rating: 8.9

Idaho ice cream lovers can get a peek at the entire crafting process at Reed’s Dairy, where 260 cows contribute milk to help produce more than 40 flavors. All are made primarily from Grandma Reed’s recipe of cream, milk, and sugar. With three locations and a mail-order business, it’ll be easy to track down Reed’s no matter where you live.


40 / 51
Jocelyn O. // Foursquare


Hawaii: Leonard's Bakery

Address: 933 Kapahulu Ave. Honolulu, HI 96816

Foursquare Rating: 9.3

Leonard’s is a legend in Hawaii. The Portuguese bakery has been cranking out malasadas — Portuguese doughnuts  since 1953, along with other Portuguese specialities like pao doce and a full lineup of pastries, cakes, cookies, and pies. Pro tip: locals love the malasadas with haupia, a Hawaiian coconut pudding.



41 / 51
Laura // Foursquare


Georgia: Leopold's Ice Cream

Address: 212 E. Broughton St. Savannah, GA 31401

Foursquare Rating: 9.3

Savannah residents have been heading to Leopold’s since it opened way back in 1919. The recipes have remained the same over the years, and the quaint shop with its black marble soda fountain is still serving top-sellers like tutti frutti and rum bisque, a rum-infused ice cream studded with candied fruit and fresh roasted Georgia pecans.


42 / 51
Kerry G. // Foursquare


Florida: Donut King

Address: 208 S. Highway 27 Minneola, FL 34715

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

Family-owned since 2007, Donut King serves classic doughnuts and beignets — New Orleans’ signature pastry. No need to go in the store, as Donut King is one of the few doughnut shops to offer a drive-thru option.


43 / 51
Colleen L. // Foursquare

District of Columbia

District of Columbia: Pitango Gelato

Address: 413 7th St. NW Washington, D.C. 20004

Foursquare Rating: 8.9

Consider Pitango a lesson in international ice cream diplomacy for the D.C. political set. In six locations across the nation’s capital, Pitango serves creamy gelato out of authentic Italian bancone a pozzetti, authentic Italian containers that prevent freezer burn and keep the gelato at the perfect temperature.


44 / 51
Paula P. // Foursquare


Delaware: Hopkins Farm Creamery

Address: 18186 Dairy Farm Rd. Lewes, DE 19958

Foursquare Rating: 8.8

Inside the largest dairy farm in Delaware, you’ll find this ice cream shop making flavors from the milk of their 1,000-head herd. Hopkins serves a robust roster of flavors, like banana and pretzel salad, year round. They also roll out limited edition offerings, like Delaware fruit and maple walnut, using peak-season ingredients.


45 / 51
Robert G. // Foursquare


Connecticut: UConn Dairy Bar

Address: 3636 Horsebarn Hill Rd. Ext. Storrs, CT 06269

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

Opened in 1953 as part of the University of Connecticut’s Animal Science program, the Dairy Bar makes fresh ice cream every day from the cows in the university’s herd. Students from UConn and members of the surrounding community flock to the Dairy Bar for ice cream, sundaes, ice cream cakes, and more.


46 / 51
Stephanie A. // Foursquare


Colorado: Little Man Ice Cream

Address: 2620 16th St. Denver, CO 80211

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

It’s easy to find Little Man Ice Cream: just look for the 14,000-pound, 28-foot-tall cream can. Little Man is more than just its eye-catching building; they offer a full roster of flavors, including eight vegan options. They give back to the community with their Scoop for Scoop charity.


47 / 51
Tiff V. // Foursquare


California: Bi-Rite Creamery

Address: 3692 18th St. San Francisco, CA 94110

Foursquare Rating: 9.5

Bi-Rite Market has existed since 1940, but its renowned creamery didn’t open until 2006. Creative flavors like Earl Grey ginger and honey lavender have elevated Bi-Rite to San Francisco’s favorite ice cream, and the company’s emphasis on sustainability and local products have earned them the designations of Certified B Corporation and Certified San Francisco Green Business. 


48 / 51
Jair A. // Foursquare


Arkansas: Krispy Kreme

Address: 1502 SE Walton Blvd. Bentonville, AR 72712

Foursquare Rating: 9.1

People across the nation love Krispy Kreme’s freshly glazed doughnuts, but Bentonville — a.k.a. the home of Walmart  has a special place in its heart for this chain. The “Hot Now” light may not mean what it used to, but the doughnuts are still beloved by Krispy Kreme fans in Arkansas and beyond.

49 / 51
Jochim K. // Foursquare


Arizona: Churn

Address: 5223 N Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85012

Foursquare Rating: 9.4

Churn specializes in all-natural ice cream made on-site, which pairs perfectly with the blazing hot sunshine of Phoenix. Classic flavors like Madagascar vanilla and butter pecan are always available, but they also go outside the box with new favorites like sparkling elderflower sorbet and candy corn.


50 / 51
Maricris S. // Foursquare


Alaska: The Moose Is Loose

Address: 44278 Sterling Hwy. Soldotna, AK 99669

Foursquare Rating: 8.9

The tiny town of Soldotna, population 4,445, is home to an extraordinary bakery that specializes in adorable cookies decorated like fish, as well as doughnuts and other fried pastries. The apple fritters, in particular, get plenty of love from the locals.


51 / 51
ErikaChocolate // Foursquare


Alabama: The Cheesecake Factory

Address: 236 Summit Blvd. Vestavia, AL 35243

Foursquare Rating: 8.8

The nation’s favorite purveyor of cheesecakes has stolen the hearts of Alabamians with more than 30 varieties available for dessert-lovers at this Birmingham-area location. While its namesake treat has helped to propel The Cheesecake Factory to nearly 200 locations, the original cheesecake recipe the company used was actually borrowed from a newspaper


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