March 11th, 2013
01:00 PM ET
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In a cozy bakery in Boston’s South End, where sticky buns drip with caramel pecans and donuts are sold out by noon, a cheeky sign above the register proclaims: “Make life sweeter - eat dessert first.”

There’s no arguing with pastry chef Joanne Chang, whose Flour bakery sees crowds lining up as early as 7 a.m. for her signature treats. Indeed, the best places for dessert inspire you to throw out all the rules—eat with moderation, save the best for last—and give in to sugary bliss, no matter what the time of day.

As part of T+L’s coverage of the Best Places to Eat Like a Local, we surveyed the globe for the finest desserts, such as ricotta-and-chocolate-stuffed pastries in Rome and the “mango avalanche” in Taipei, shaved ice piled high with fresh fruit, mango pudding, and sorbet.

Whether as an antidote to a long day of exploring or a quick pick-me-up between sightseeing stops, these sweets can define their destination in just one bite.

See more of best desserts from around the world

More from Travel + Leisure

World's Strangest Desserts
America's Best Museum Restaurants
Best Breakfasts Around the World

Still hungry? Devour CNN Travel and Eatocracy's Eat Like a Local coverage and see how iReporters chow in their towns

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Dessert • Dishes • Travel

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Voice Chat

    Hello there, You've done a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they'll be benefited from this site.

    March 12, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
  2. Jim

    Try Martine's chocolates (400 East 82nd street, in Manhatten or, the best I've ever tasted!

    March 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  3. brett

    you can't leave out Laduree! Their macaroons are the amazing. I have them shipped to the states from paris a couple times a year and never miss a trip when I'm in France because they're so good!

    March 12, 2013 at 1:43 am |
  4. ash

    I like #2, But, leaving out both French and Indian sweets is just naive.

    March 12, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • John

      You are Indian right?
      Then you are the naive one

      March 12, 2013 at 4:58 am |
      • Aravind

        Once in your lifetime you try Kulfi ,Jilebi . its available in Patel brothers.
        you will fall in love,I am not exaggerating ................

        March 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  5. Sam Paraguya

    Manila's Halo-halo should have been in the list. It is getting popular even in other countries in Asia.

    March 12, 2013 at 12:03 am |
  6. mahmoud El-Darwish

    What? No one gave the author permission to enter Switzerland?

    March 11, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  7. Red

    How can you leave out the French croissants???

    March 11, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  8. DanDurango

    Please do yourself a favor and check out Pietown in New Mexico. All of their pies are made the old fashioned way and all are woderful.

    March 11, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  9. Lena

    Not a single Parisian bakery on this list – Angelina and Laduree both offer some of the best pastries I have ever had!

    March 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  10. cometosouthasia

    Reading various CNN " best food around the world" it best breakfast yesterday or best desserts today or whatnot...South Asian food is never mentioned..I invite the various authors to try them out because the only reason I can think of is they have never had the chance

    March 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
  11. Jokes_on-You

    you will definitely be 'fatt' if you eat at Loong Fatts Confectionery Store lol

    March 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  12. I_Need_Candy!!!

    Oh man,I LOVE deSSErt!!!
    cake,pudding,candy,IceCream!! MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmMmMmmmMmMmmMMmMMMMMmmmMmMmMm

    I'm salviating just thingking about it.

    March 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  13. Lavender Mist

    Why is New Orleans marketed as a city of fine food? Every time an ad appears and shows a fat Republican shoveling oil covered shell fish into his mouth I experience nausea. New Orleans is a white trash destination.

    March 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • WC

      What an idiotic thing to say.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
      • Seansa

        I thought liberals were supposed to me open minded about other cultures and ideologies. Funny you say white trash when it is probably the LEAST white city in America. I guess this is what the public schools are churning out these days. Good job snowflake.

        March 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Scotman

      This has to be one of the dumbest comments I have ever read on this msg

      March 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • 11genealogist11

      Says someone who has CLEARLY never been anywhere near New Orleans.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:14 am |
  14. AD

    I want it all!!!

    March 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  15. Dean

    Nothing like pastries and desserts from Germany. Unless it is apple pie from the Pielab in
    Greensboro, Alabama

    March 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  16. Clown

    I like to always skip desert after dinner, couldn't stand to be a fat person.

    March 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dean

      Maybe you should have a smaller portion of dinner and try a bite or two of dessert.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • Clown

        As they say you should only eat till you feel full and no more which is what I do. I am 6'-0" and only 170-175#, deserts just arnen't appealing to me. All the sweets in the pics look disgusting.

        March 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • sri

          I am 6'2" and I am 175-180lbs. I eat dessert almost every day and I work out 4 times a week. Most of the desserts in the pictures are appealing to me. Its how to balance your calories that matters Clown.

          March 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • Short Round

          I'm 5'3" and weight 293-pounds. And I eat myself into a sugar coma twice a day, and working out... never.

          Never believe anyone who boasts about their dimension online.

          March 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • IntraVenus

      Many of the desserts here are presented as culinary works-of-art. I believe most level-headed folks understand that the pictured desserts are delicacies meant to be consumed as occasional treats, as on special occasions. Not AFTER EVERY DINNER, as you imply before going into your Mr. Atlas routine.

      In distorting the intent of the article – deliberately or otherwise – you exposed your loneliness and crankiness. No one here cares about your dietary regimen because we don't know you. The anonymous web is a poor substitute for friends and loved ones who would care.

      I hope you form some close relationships with real people who take a personal interest you, so you don't have to resort to finding excuses for phony holier-than-thou criticism.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Sunny

      You sound like a very shallow person.

      March 12, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  17. capt crunch

    None of these come close to Twinkies.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • peridot2

      Never have I tasted a Twinkie in my life.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  18. Megan

    I am so glad Habbibah's is on the list. I love their knafeh.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  19. StrongOne

    I thought for sure that "Mike's" in Boston or Masuer's in New Jersey would make the top 10.

    March 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  20. Kemal

    Ice Monster is highly recommended. Eat it slow and enjoy the somewhat warmer ending as well. The aroma shifts and twirls like seasons in every different layer. Enjoy Taipei as well, since the location is at a very nice local market. Food for the soul too.

    March 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  21. Cues who

    you are all wrong! The best dessert I have ever had is my wife's homemade peach cobbler made with fresh local peaches
    That are tree ripened. Can' t wait for the early summer and a new crop!

    March 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • peridot2

      Don't forget homemade pecan pie when it's made properly. Nummy.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Fiona

      Oh, I love peach cobbler! I make a killer one with organic white peaches and a sour-cream crust.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  22. Fiona

    The best baklava I have ever had were from a bakery in Syria. They didn't have that cloying, sticky-sweetness of the Greek version (Greeks use honey, Syrians use sugar syrup). They were nutty and fresh, and hinted of rose water.

    There are so many reasons to mourn what is happening is Syria.

    March 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  23. flabbio

    This article should be called "Best desserts from where I've been", because F those outher countries.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • peridot2

      Stay put in your parents' basement, Flabbio. Your mum will bring you all the Ben & Jerry's you want.

      Still, what about Key Lime Pie?

      March 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  24. Satya

    How can the author did not find any dessert from India? I am really surprised.......

    March 11, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  25. rs1201

    I'm amazed that no french pastry shops were shown. I've had some of the best pastries ever on the Champs Elysees and in a small pastry shop in the town of Versailles. However, of all the pastries they've shown, I'm positive that the Viennese pastries are the best. There was a Viennese pastry shop in NYC called Eclair years ago. It was also a restaurant. It had the best pastries in NYC. It's closed now...

    March 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  26. Jamie

    Where is Saray Muhallebi of Turkey? They have so many varieties and they all taste sooo delicious!!!

    March 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  27. M.E.

    Oh good lord, that mango avalanche looks like something that would have me staring into the face of god. As far as I'm concerned, that's the most perfect desert in the world.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • sunjka

      I had thin in Jamaca.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  28. jfmatos

    where are the pasteis de belem? cooked cream ftw!

    March 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  29. palintwit

    Absolutely nothing can beat a large platter of Sarah Palin's famous s'mores.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • harbharb

      Palin, be gone! But leave the s'mores here.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • peridot2

      Palin's 15 minutes are over, Palintwit. Deal with it.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  30. lxNay

    That mango dessert looks amazing. That is the only one that appeals to me. I lie, that one and all of the others.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  31. Michael too

    Beignets suck....truly, the most overrated thing on the planet besides maybe Kim Kardashian. Beignets are awful. Flavorless dough and powdered sugar. French for "sucks."

    March 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  32. Michael

    Where are the Lamingtons on picture number 9?

    March 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Brisbane Chick

      I was wondering the same thing! Wonder if the person who wrote the article even knows what a Lamington looks like???

      March 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • PJ

      You are correct, Sir. Nary a Lamington to be seen in that photo.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
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