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A plate of tiramisu.
The tiramisu at Willmott’s Ghost
Sea Creatures

Seattle Desserts You Have to Say Yes To

Restaurants where the last course is the main event

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The tiramisu at Willmott’s Ghost
| Sea Creatures

Dessert doesn’t get its proper due. How many times have we been asked if we’ve “saved room for” dessert, as if dessert is on the standby passengers list, only getting a seat in or stomachs if the appetizers and mains haven’t filled it to capacity? We suspect many diners don’t really think about dessert when they’re choosing a restaurant — you go for the entrees, and if at the end of the night something on the dessert menu (always smaller than the other menu) catches your eye you might deign to split it with somebody else.

Here’s a list for people who think about the last course of the night first, who proudly say they want their own dessert instead of this “splitting” nonsense, who are on a first-name basis with multiple pastry chefs. The restaurants we’re noting here all have great savory food — but you don’t want to leave any of them without seeing what their sweeter sides have to offer.

As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically. Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies at Delancey

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The beauty of Delancey is its simplicity — ridiculously good pizza, a couple of fresh salads, and an out-of-this-world cookie. The chocolate chip cookie with grey sea salt is available fresh from the oven or in its raw dough form for you to take home and do what you like with it (i.e. eat with a spoon immediately).

A spread of chocolate chip cookies. Delancey/FB

So if you snagged a reservation at Canlis you’re getting dessert, since that’s part of the tasting menu experience. But the dessert is going to be an experience all its own. Last time we were there the cheesecake included American- and Japanese-style cheesecakes topped with thin slices of plum. Like the rest of head chef Aisha Ibrahim’s menu, it merges the old-world flavors Canlis is known for with a more contemporary mixture of cuisines and cultures.

A slice of cheesecake topped with plums.
Cheesecake at Canlis
Harry Cheadle

Soft Serve at Spice Waala

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Spice Waala is probably already your go-to destination for the shockingly affordable kathi wraps and fries, but do yourself a favor and get the soft serve next time you’re there. The flavor changes every month but it often reflects the restaurant’s Indian roots — right now it’s pistachio cardamom.

Tiramisu at Willmott's Ghost

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Located inside the Spheres, Willmott’s Ghost doesn’t quite have the profile of some of Renee Erickson’s other restaurants. That would change if more people had the velvety, smooth, not too wet tiramisu, which has more than a hint of coffee. It’s rare that a dessert is both rich and refreshing, but this tiramisu can be all things to all people.

A plate of tiramisu. Sea Creatures

The Triple Coconut Cream Pie at Dahlia Lounge

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The Triple Coconut Cream Pie is truly a Seattle institution — Tom Douglas has been making it for more than 25 years, and it has Barack Obama's seal of approval. With coconut in its crust, in its smooth custard filling, and resting atop its whipped cream as toasted flakes, this pie is a must-try at the end of a meal at any Douglas restaurant, even if it's not listed on the menu (the restaurateur keeps a back-up in every kitchen).

A baker pipes cream onto a cake. Suzi Pratt/Eater

Ba Bar

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Ba Bar’s pho and other Vietnamese specialties are enough to get lines of people in the door. However, the best thing about Ba Bar might just be its pastry shelf. Macaroons, madeleines, the pandan chiffon cake only available on Saturdays and Mondays — everything you can get here is a home run.

Malasadas at Marination Ma Kai

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Like everything else at Marination, these Portuguese-Hawaiian-style fried doughnuts are a fast-casual miracle. They are sugar-dusted and crispy on the outside, warm and comforting on the inside, and unfortunately gone in a few bites. You don’t need to get fruit filling in the middle, but you’re already eating a doughnut, why not add some coconut or passionfruit to that experience?

A hand holding a fried doughnut dusted with sugar. Harry Cheadle

Soft Serve at Homer

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Is the waiting list at this Beacon Hill hotspot too long? Here’s the secret — you don’t need to get a table to eat at Homer. It has a window doling out its exquisite soft serve in seasonal flavors like salted peach and fig leaf. (The flavors rotate, but there is always a vegan option.) You can always come back to dine in on Homer’s freshly baked pitas and other delights on an quieter night.

A silver cup full of purple-tinted soft serve.
Rhubarb-ginger and vanilla-marigold soft serve at Homer.
Meg Van Huygen

Chocolate Chip Cookies at Delancey

The beauty of Delancey is its simplicity — ridiculously good pizza, a couple of fresh salads, and an out-of-this-world cookie. The chocolate chip cookie with grey sea salt is available fresh from the oven or in its raw dough form for you to take home and do what you like with it (i.e. eat with a spoon immediately).

A spread of chocolate chip cookies. Delancey/FB

Canlis

So if you snagged a reservation at Canlis you’re getting dessert, since that’s part of the tasting menu experience. But the dessert is going to be an experience all its own. Last time we were there the cheesecake included American- and Japanese-style cheesecakes topped with thin slices of plum. Like the rest of head chef Aisha Ibrahim’s menu, it merges the old-world flavors Canlis is known for with a more contemporary mixture of cuisines and cultures.

A slice of cheesecake topped with plums.
Cheesecake at Canlis
Harry Cheadle

Soft Serve at Spice Waala

Spice Waala is probably already your go-to destination for the shockingly affordable kathi wraps and fries, but do yourself a favor and get the soft serve next time you’re there. The flavor changes every month but it often reflects the restaurant’s Indian roots — right now it’s pistachio cardamom.

Tiramisu at Willmott's Ghost

Located inside the Spheres, Willmott’s Ghost doesn’t quite have the profile of some of Renee Erickson’s other restaurants. That would change if more people had the velvety, smooth, not too wet tiramisu, which has more than a hint of coffee. It’s rare that a dessert is both rich and refreshing, but this tiramisu can be all things to all people.

A plate of tiramisu. Sea Creatures

The Triple Coconut Cream Pie at Dahlia Lounge

The Triple Coconut Cream Pie is truly a Seattle institution — Tom Douglas has been making it for more than 25 years, and it has Barack Obama's seal of approval. With coconut in its crust, in its smooth custard filling, and resting atop its whipped cream as toasted flakes, this pie is a must-try at the end of a meal at any Douglas restaurant, even if it's not listed on the menu (the restaurateur keeps a back-up in every kitchen).

A baker pipes cream onto a cake. Suzi Pratt/Eater

Ba Bar

Ba Bar’s pho and other Vietnamese specialties are enough to get lines of people in the door. However, the best thing about Ba Bar might just be its pastry shelf. Macaroons, madeleines, the pandan chiffon cake only available on Saturdays and Mondays — everything you can get here is a home run.

Malasadas at Marination Ma Kai

Like everything else at Marination, these Portuguese-Hawaiian-style fried doughnuts are a fast-casual miracle. They are sugar-dusted and crispy on the outside, warm and comforting on the inside, and unfortunately gone in a few bites. You don’t need to get fruit filling in the middle, but you’re already eating a doughnut, why not add some coconut or passionfruit to that experience?

A hand holding a fried doughnut dusted with sugar. Harry Cheadle

Soft Serve at Homer

Is the waiting list at this Beacon Hill hotspot too long? Here’s the secret — you don’t need to get a table to eat at Homer. It has a window doling out its exquisite soft serve in seasonal flavors like salted peach and fig leaf. (The flavors rotate, but there is always a vegan option.) You can always come back to dine in on Homer’s freshly baked pitas and other delights on an quieter night.

A silver cup full of purple-tinted soft serve.
Rhubarb-ginger and vanilla-marigold soft serve at Homer.
Meg Van Huygen

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