Tampa’s 15 Best Desserts And Exactly Where To Find Them

best desserts in tampa
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Written by: Krissy Hernandez | December 02

Flickr / julien haler

Leave your passport at home — Tampa’s diverse cultural scene allows your taste buds to sample the world without ever having to leave the sunshine state.

Fulfill your sweet tooth with one of these delicious desserts. And don’t worry, we made it easy for you.

Below is a list of Tampa’s best desserts and the exact restaurants that make them:

To Transport You To France

1. Best Macarons – Chocolate Pi

1205 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

(813) 831-2195

Marie Antoinette infamously said “Let them eat cake,” but cupcakes aren’t the fashionable dessert anymore — it is the French macaron (not macaroon). Macarons are meringue-based cookies with a buttercream, ganache or fruit curd filling and Chocolate Pi is constantly making a variety of delicious options. Get ready to enjoy amazing flavors such as Salted Caramel, Pistachio, Bananas Foster and Raspberry Rose.

2. The Best Normandy – Cassis Bakery

170 Beach Dr NE, St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 827-2927

Chocolate lovers will die for this rich chocolate dessert. A moist piece of chocolatey cake topped with chocolate mousse, a praline insert and glazed with a chocolate ganache make up this Normandy. Chocolate is a dessert that doesn’t need an excuse for celebration, so dig in.


Go Greek

3. Best Baklava – Louis Pappas 

3409 W Bay to Bay Blvd, Tampa, FL 33629

(813) 839-0000

Baklava is probably the most popular Greek dessert. This delicious pastry is layered with phyllo dough and crushed walnuts and finished off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and drizzled in honey. The Greek gods would approve of Louis Pappas’ authentic Baklava recipe.


4. Best Galaktoboureko – Hellas Bakery

785 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

(727) 943-2400

This Greek dessert is a semolina custard pastry covered in a clear syrup and phyllo dough that is flavored in lemon, orange or rose. Hellas Bakery is located in Tarpon Springs, Tampa Bay’s little Greek town, so you know it is authentic. You will scream “Opa!”


Italian Desserts Just Like Your Mommas

5. Best Cannoli Cake – Mazzaro’s Italian Market

2909 22nd Ave N, St Petersburg, FL 33713

(727) 321-2400

Like famously said in the movie The Godfather, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” This cannoli cake is the ultimate dessert that will make a gangster holster their weapon. The actual cannoli cake has one layer of vanilla and one layer of chocolate cake that are both drool-worthy. Cannoli filling coats the top layer of the cake and also separates the different cake flavors. The outer part of the cake is surrounded by mini cannoli shells filled with whipped cream.


6. Best Gelato – Paciugo Gelato & Caffe

300 Beach Dr SE Ste. 120, St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 209-0298

Is there a Gelato song? Because it sure deserves one. Gelato is ice cream but a little different. This cold treat is a favorite for everyone of all ages. Gelato comes in a bunch of flavors, so you can be sure there is something  for everyone. At Paciugo’s, you can expect authentic Italian gelato and sorbet and you can enjoy this tasty treat in a traditional cup or waffle cone OR in a unique waffle taco shell. Check out their website to look through their countless options — you’re even able to search for flavors by mood.


Be Proud To Be An American (eater)

7. Best Candied Duck Bacon Maple Fried Ice Cream – Ulele

1810 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

(813) 999-4952

What is this, you ask? A mound of vanilla ice cream covered in corn flakes and candied duck bacon. Ice cream and bacon for dessert?! Now I know what you’re thinking, “Yuck.” I thought the same thing, but this dessert will have you in love at the first scoop. If breakfast was a dessert, this would be it.


8. Best Donuts – Datz Dough

2602 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33629

(813) 902-1979

Krispy Kreme doesn’t hold a torch next to Datz Dough. This bakery reinvents the donut and there is nothing ordinary about them. Just like their main restaurant, Datz, they never neglect bacon and they put it right on top of their Maple Bacon Donut. Other eccentric creations you can find are the following: Whiskey Caramel Donut, Birthday Cake Donut, Red Velvet Donut and many more.


Luscious Latin Desserts You’ll Love

9. Best Tres Leche – Terra Sur Cafe

5358 W Village Dr, Tampa, FL 33624

(813) 269-2694

Terra Sur Cafe is a Peruvian restaurant with delicious food and desserts. A favorite is their tres leche cake. Tres leche means three milks in english and it is a sponge cake made with three different milks: condensed milk, whole milk and evaporated milk. The cake is not complete without the homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit topping. Yum!


10. Best Flan – Columbia Restaurant

2117 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

(813) 248-4961

Flan is a traditional Latino dessert — it comes in many different flavors such as vanilla, coconut, chocolate and even pumpkin. It’s the first dessert your abuelita teaches you to make, but for those who do not know how to make it well, Columbia Restaurant in Ybor has a crazy tasty flan that will make your mouth water.


Awesome Asian Desserts

11. Best Pistachio Delight – Kaleisia Tea Lounge

1441 E Fletcher Ave #101, Tampa, FL 33612

Kaleisia Tea Lounge is a Japanese tea room with much more to offer than its large library of teas. This creamy pistachio smoothie is perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up or as a light dessert to end the night. Kaleisia blends ice, pistachios and condensed milk until it’s silky smooth.


12. Best Thai Donuts – Benjarong Thai

14402 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618

(813) 265-2667

Warm mini donuts with condensed milk for dipping. The best way to end a meal after eating Pad Thai. Benjarong Thai makes sure to include many little mini donuts, so that everyone at the table can enjoy the comfort that a donut provides.


A Taste Of Germany

13. Best Apple Strudel – Taste of Berlin German Restaurant

526 Oakfield Dr, Brandon, FL 33511

(813) 685-9392

This is not your average apple-strudel-wanna-be-dessert that you would find in the grocery store or on the dollar menu at McDonald’s. Authentic German food is found in this bay area hotspot. Apple Strudel is served warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. What could be better?


Lebanese Dessert Lovers Rejoice

14. Best Turmeric Cake – Fresh Bites 

116655 Countryway Blvd, Tampa, FL 33626

(813) 336-4936

Here at Fresh Bites, quality ingredients are taken seriously and when it comes to their desserts there is no exception. This family owned restaurant has the best Turmeric Cake — not too sweet and is perfect to go with a hot cup of tea. And, rest assured that your dessert is coming completely GMO, Hormone and Antibiotic Free.


Craving Jordanian?

15. Best Harissa Cake – Makkah Mart & Pastries

10740 N 56th St, Temple Terrace, FL 33617

(813) 988-2618

This is the best spot to find sweets from the Middle East. This traditional Arabic cake is made with semolina flour, coconut, soaked in a sugar syrup and topped with a toasted almond. The perfect way to satisfy your sugar craving.

Tampa’s best desserts will not only fulfill that sweet craving, but it will put you on a sugar high. Stop dieting for the night and have a spoon-full of sweets. It’s so worth it, you won’t even care about the potential guilt. Whatever your favorite cuisine is, Tampa offers the best cultural variety.

So what’s your favorite dessert? Sound off in the comments section to let us know. You never know if it will make our next list!


Looking for more Ambitious Eats in Tampa? Start here…

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Krissy Hernandez

Krissy considers herself to be a mass media aficionado, who loves a good story. Her friends call her “The Mother Teresa of Pop Culture” considering she graciously keeps them in the loop. Writing is her passion since it allows her inquisitive mind to find depth among her surroundings. On the weekends, you can find her at the movies or exploring Tampa’s fun activities and local cuisine.

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