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Where were some of your most memorable desserts?

This is a slight variation on @travel4fun's excellent post over the spring. Instead of asking about the desserts themselves, I want to hear about the places that stood out -- the where, as well as the what...

We were recently discussing desserts from our travels, and realized that very few places were memorable specifically for the dessert we had there. We always have pain au chocolat for breakfasts, and there's usually an eclair in the mix somewhere along the way of most trips. There's been dessert courses at the end of both inexpensive plat du jours and high-end tasting menus. There's been that "pick me up" snack across countless late afternoons, gelatos here and there, and various accompaniments to many, many cappuccinos and espressos. But at the end of the day, we couldn't name that many specific places where we remembered the location and the dessert -- in other words, the whole experience. This is what we came up with:

  • Black Forest Cake from the Trinkhalle in Baden-Baden, Germany
  • Belgian Waffles from the street vendor outside the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels
  • Dark Chocolate-Covered Gingerbread from Café Gundel, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Spitzbuebe cookies from Bäckerei Café Preisig, Bergün, Switzerland
  • Portuguese Egg Tart from the Mercado de la Paz, Madrid, Spain

Such a short list was a bit of a shock. We realized we may not be dessert people as much as we might have assumed. Or perhaps desserts were more utilitarian to us than as major events or memories. I'm also allowing for forgetfulness, hence this post. Please add your answers to the question and perhaps more recollections will emerge. And if not, we'll have one heck of a list to explore on future trips...

Posted by
447 posts

I love this topic as some of our favorite travel memories are related to food!

Peach melba dessert at Les Palmiers near the waterfront in Villefranche sur Mer, France. It is a delightful dessert with peaches, raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Strawberry Eton Mess at the Hereford Arms in London - wonderful dessert with strawberry sauce, whipped cream and meringue cookies!

Cannoli in Florence, Italy

Gelato in Venice at St Mark's Square and also at Gelaterio Nico in the Zattere area.

Salted Caramel Mousse at La Reserve in Amboise, France

Belgian waffles in Bruges, Belgium

Happy eating!

Posted by
1340 posts

Dozens of non-desserts spring to mind, but only two desserts. Both in Italy.

Ruby Red grapefruit gelato (with grapefruit bits in it) next to the duomo in Orvieto in the summer of 2001 --- at the time, I assumed I could find this again somewhere in Italy, but never have.

A warm chocolate brownie with a huge dollop of mascarpone at Osteria Broccaindosso in Bologna in early December TWICE in 2016 --- and we're right now back in Bologna and will go there again and order it again on Thursday.

Posted by
825 posts

This is a sweet trip down Dessert Lane.
Raspberry Pavlovas at Hurdon Farm in Cornwall, England, 1987. Made by the landlady, Margaret Smith, who also went through the painstaking steps of how to make clotted cream when I asked her for the recipe (!)
Belgian street waffles, Brugge Belgium
Millionaire Bars, St. Andrews University dorm cafeteria, Scotland
Any ice cream, but especially mango sorbet, at Berthillion's, Paris
Millefeuille, Le Violon d'Ingres, Paris
Banoffee, Butler’s Wharf Chop House, London with a kick-ass view of Tower Bridge
Sacher torte, Hotel Sacher, Vienna

Posted by
376 posts

Tavukgöğsü in Turkey. It is a kind of pudding that includes shredded chicken breast in the recipe

The traditional version uses white chicken breast meat. The meat is softened by boiling and separating the meat into very fine fibers or pounding until smooth. The meat is mixed with milk, sugar, cracked rice and other thickeners, and often some sort of flavoring such as cinnamon. The result is a thick pudding often shaped for presentation.

I was having dinner with a friend and he asked the waiter where we could find Tavukgogsu. He said "well we do not have it on the menu, but if you can wait a little while we can make it for you!"

It was absolutely delicious. I've never had anything like it.

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2228 posts

Cannot remember the name of the agritourismo near Buttrio Italy BUT absolutely remember the Pear Cake served at breakfast.

Posted by
865 posts

An outstanding dessert was in Seefeld, Austria 50+ years ago. It was an ice cream with a generous topping of apricots soaked in apricot brandy and whipped cream. I think the fact that I remember after all these years speaks for itself! Also remember a delicious and refreshing limoncello gelato in Taormina, Sicily from a stand outside the ruined theatre. And a light as air cannoli made by a Sicilian nonna who ran a stall in Rome’s Testaccio market, while on a food tour. Oh, and the wonderful sfogliatelle pastries from a coffee shop just inside the Galleria Umberto in Naples.

Posted by
2401 posts

My lunch from a food cart in the Tuileries included a very satisfying lemon cake (of course, the surroundings sure helped with enjoying it!).

Posted by
6896 posts

I just switched over to my iPad from my phone since this could take awhile to write - LOL!

Tiramisu

Vicenza, Italy. Picture an intimate piazza at night with light reflecting off the ancient buildings. We’ve just finished a nice relaxing dinner, and they bring us our tiramisu to share in a large sniffer glass, topped with fresh mango pieces - our first truly excellent tiramisu!

Several years later, my daughter & I stayed in Ferrara and had a fantastic meal of pasta dinners with pumpkin in them from Trattoria da Noemi. A nice setting down a dark side street and a very traditional old restaurant. Our finale was their wonderful tiramisu (learned to not share by this time!) which became the benchmark for the rest of our trip until are finish in Rome.

When we finished our swing through the Amalfi Coast, my daughter mentioned Mr. 100 Tiramisu when we reached Rome. The jackpot of tiramisu! How fun to share a 3-choice sampler tray with her in the small cafe, reliving our adventures of two weeks together in Italy!

There’s been a lot of variations & levels of quality & taste for tiramisu.

Gelato

Not just a little ice cream; there’s a lot of memories tied to this wonderful dessert! Those who know me on the forum, know I’m very serious about a great gelato!

The first setting for gelato for my husband & me was sitting in the park next to Piazza Bra in Verona. What a wonderful beginning for Italy to destress & share the anticipation each evening in that park over gelato for our RS tour later that week!

Buon Gusto in Pienza has its own story! ; ) Anticipation during research months before, arrival & not open, stopping by again and not open. Disappointment! Happen by later, and it’s open! A great, friendly conversation with the owner, and yes, worth the wait! I have a beautiful canvas photo in my bathroom of the ancient home next door - lovely memory!

I’ve stayed in over thirty cities in Italy and had gelato in almost all of them. So many memories flooding back of special settings where I enjoyed them! One more to mention - Suso gelato in Venice. Someone on the forum mentioned the Manet flavor, and it was outstanding! (I tried a few other flavors with very mixed results.). Even though the setting is a somewhat dark alleyway with people walking through, I’d go back in a heartbeat!

Apple strudel

Beautiful deliciousness in some charming restaurants in Melk, Salzburg & Vienna, Austria. I don’t remember the names of the restaurants but can picture them.

French pastries

If this category counts, ohh, some amazing ones! Cadici in Nancy; sharing some Kouign-Amann in our Paris hotel; the bakery from the Nice Food Tour - dropped in the next day, too!

Croatian Desserts

I don’t usually eat at hotel restaurants, but the Adriana Hotel’s outdoor restaurant on Hvar’s harbor with an outstanding front row view as the huge expensive yachts arrived for the evening was such a special setting! The whole dinner was extra special with a pistachio dessert as the finale.

During the RS Adriatic tour, several of us ate at the Park Restaurant and Cafe and finished our lunches splitting a piece of their famous Lake Bled Cream Cake between three of us. Huge, very delicious & sweet! The view on that clear day overlooking gorgeous Lake Bled and its tiny island was amazing!

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602 posts

These are wonderful. Please keep them coming.

Dozens of non-desserts spring to mind, but only two desserts.

That was our reaction too when we started this -- so many meals, but so few desserts comparatively! Still, a few more are bubbling to the surface thanks to this post/exercise...

Sacher torte, Hotel Sacher, Vienna

I wondered if someone would have this on their list. We did try the Sacher torte and did not care for it; however, it was many years (decades!) ago now. I suspect we might have been a little young to appreciate it. An excuse to return...!

Two jogged memories I'll add to my original list:

  • Zimtschnecke (German Cinnamon Rolls) at Cochemer Kaffeerösterei, in Cochem, Germany
  • Erdbeerkuchen (Strawberry Mousse Cake) at The Small Cafe in Moselkern, Germany

@Jean, we have tried a few apple strudels on our Germany trips and never had one of those "wow" moments like some of the others listed. I've wondered if I'm just not a strudel fan. If anyone knows a place that can make me a convert, we're happy to have our minds changed! :-) Edit: I do remember one specific apple strudel in one place that was delicious and everything I hoped it would be. But it wasn't in Europe. It was at Café Sabarsky off the Neue Galerie museum in New York City. THAT was one to remember!

Posted by
5921 posts

I have two that not only were incredibly delicious but also beautiful.

At Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, I stopped at a little shop in the park called Cakenhagen (get it?) that had pastries and coffees. I had a hard time deciding which pastry to get because they were all beautiful, but I finally picked one that looked like an apricot. It was perfect, and when I cut into it and ate a piece, the flavor was to die for!

If you want to see the sheer lusciousness of it, here are two photos I took--one before and one after the first bite.
https://mostlytraveled.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/img_3075.jpeg
https://mostlytraveled.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/img_3080.jpeg

And in Berlin, I made time for a stop at Sammys Berliners (Berliners are a filled donut). Without hesitation, I can say that the raspberry and basil donut I ordered was the best donut I have ever eaten. It had a raspberry glaze and filling – and it was not filled with the sickeningly sweet raspberry goop that so many places in the US use, but actual pureed raspberries with a titch of sugar. And the basil cream that mounded the top was just decadent. The flavors all melded together like perfection.

Photo here (so good and so beautiful!
https://mostlytraveled.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/img_1564-3.jpeg

Posted by
2679 posts

I had a vanilla flan at Three Cabos, a B&B in northern Spain that was the best dessert I’ve ever had. It was rich and creamy and just a little sweet. Seriously delicious.

Posted by
536 posts

In 35 years of international travel, only two desserts immediately come to mind:

Salzburger Nockerl at St Peter’s Stiftskeller in Salzburg

Tiramisu which we made as part of a private cooking lesson in Florence.

Even now, I can see the setting, remember who I was with and when. Thanks for a lovely reminder .

Posted by
2309 posts

We were staying in a small village somewhere near Giverny. We were the only Americans in the restaurant and I ordered profiteroles. It was a small mountain of filled choux paste covered in chocolate. All I could say when it was put in front of me was “Oh, my god! Oh, my god!” Everyone around us started to laugh. It was enough for four people or more. Did I eat it all? Probably. It was a number of years ago so I don’t quite remember but I remember it was delicious.

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2129 posts

Oh my goodness, panna cotta in Italy with frutti di bosco sauce. This is the one I make at home on special occasions. Our first taste of this devine dessert was at Taverna degli Artisti in Urbino, Italy, and it's not always as good as that one was - but close.

And profiteroles - but the best ones I've ever had were at a restaurant in western Colorado. The chocolate coating was like chocolate mousse, so delicious!

The best strudel was in a mountain restaurant in the Dolomites, with vanilla sauce.

Posted by
4180 posts

For a fun atmosphere, the ice cream parlor at Fortnum and Mason and also their chocolates. Gelato at Vivoli's in Florence, which has gelato lab attached to the store!

Posted by
9337 posts

I’ve had 100s over the years in France, Italy and England but the best dessert i have ever had in my life was…

Raspberry (mousse) Charlotte at Hotel Eiger in Murren, Switzerland.

A close second is the already mentioned Berthillon ice cream / sorbet in Paris. Their raspberry sorbet is to die for.

Posted by
825 posts

Desserts that I want to try:
Lisbon cake
Gateau basque
St. Tropez cake

Posted by
604 posts

Black Forest torte at the Museum Vogtsbauernhof. Some concoction of chocolate mousse, nuts and lots of whip cream (no sweetener added) that was incredible after a dinner of wild elk Hungarian Goulash in a small family restaurant in Appenzel. Fresh strawberry gelato in Matera….are my favorite all time picks, so far.

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6988 posts

My only truly memorable dessert was an amazing raspberry mousse torte with a lovely white wine at a sidewalk cafe in Boppard, Germany. It was memorable enough to take a photo of it and my mouth still waters when I look at that picture.

Posted by
6741 posts

The one that comes to mind right now is the Salzburg Nockerl which I had for the first and only time about a year ago: not necessarily from a taste standpoint (it was good but I don't remember the specific), but from an esthetics point of view. It is a visually stunning dessert.
Oh, and Mont Blanc from Angelina at their Rivoli location. It was about 10 years ago, but the setting and overall experience (together with the hot chocolate) did set it apart - despite this not necessarily being the best dessert ever.

Posted by
100 posts

Crepes anywhere in Paris.
Millionaire shortbread in the UK

Posted by
1875 posts

Skyr mousse and Skyr cheesecake in Iceland, specifically at Ingolfsskali and Vogafjos. In Reykjavik, the licorice/blueberry cinnamon rolls at Braud. At Forrettabarinn, the skyr mousse with rhubarb compote. A very unique blueberry pie at Bustarfell in Iceland.

Apple Strudel in Salzburg at the cooking class last December.

Any lemon tart in Paris, well almost any.

Gingerbread cookies in Germany.

Posted by
602 posts

This continues to be a great conversation. I'm taking many notes! A couple people have mentioned crepes. Crepes are a perfect example of the observation behind my original post -- we've eaten crepes throughout Paris and France. I don't remember ever having a bad one; in fact, I remember lots of enjoyment from crepes. But I'll be a darned if I can remember a single, specific crepe including the place where we had it. It is all just background. Same for eclairs. And pain au chocolat. And chocolate mousse. All wonderful, but also nothing that sticks in the long-term memory where we can sit around years later as say, "remember that ______ in ______." The bullets in my postings are the anomalies -- the ones where all the details stand out.

Which is a long way of saying, if anyone has a specific place for crepes, I'm all ears!

Posted by
350 posts

I don't think I can point out any single item. But I do have a general observation which is this:

why is it that in western Europe there are so many interesting bakeries with such a wide variety of baked goods to select from (and that don't necessarily cost a meal!) but in the US the baked goods offered in mainstream stores have a very narrow range, they tend to be too large, and is almost (or IS!) the cost of a meal.

I generally find American bake/pastry shops very boring :(

On our recent trip to Lisbon, I was so in love with all the cafes and bake shops. They offer pastry, bread, sandwiches, etc. all at very affordable prices so you can get SEVERAL items without feeling like you're paying for the cost of a meal!

(In the town I live in, we do have a local bakeshop that I do love. For an American bakery, it has a somewhat wide range of baked goods, but not as wide as the ones I see in Lisbon, and it is more expensive though thankfully one baked good isn't the price of a meal though maybe about 1/2 the price of a meal or just a little less than half the price of a meal.)

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2221 posts

Dutch Apple Pie at Kobus Kuch in Delft

Gelato at Frigidarium in Rome

Churros and chocolate at Gran Cafe Bib-Rambla in Granada

Posted by
2221 posts

Raspberry strudel at the Budapest market

Nestor, you don't happen to remember the name of the specific place, do you? This sounds incredible and my husband hates raspberries so I won't have to share!

Posted by
167 posts

After 2 years of Covid isolation and deferred travel dreams, my perfect dessert was a chocolate gelato cone at dusk in the Piazza Di Santa Maria Novella in Florence in May 2022. I sat on a stone bench watching the world go by and saying "I'm finally here! I'm finally here!"

Posted by
368 posts

The BEST sticky toffee pudding with a cognac in London in 2011. Sigh……

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387 posts

I have very fond memories of a lemon merengue from Pastisseria La Colmena in Barcelona, where my daughter in law and I bought pastries and desserts. On a different trip, my sister in law and I were in Madrid on a snowy February day and stopped at Chocolateria San Gines for excellent churros and chocolate.

Posted by
2129 posts

I was on the My Way France trip last spring and discovered a crepe restaurant in Annecy: Creperie Ti Mad. For me, it was the best meal of the trip. (I'm not high on fine dining and this was just what I was looking for.) Just 24 seats and only Mom and Pop working. People waiting in line to get in. Both the dinner crepe and dessert crepe were outstanding - so incredibly thin.

Posted by
5179 posts

What a fun thread!

I definitely have a sweet tooth so have tried many pastries, cookie, cakes, ice cream/ gelato, etc, etc… Most memorable desserts that come to mind are:
- sweet, flaky & nutty Baklavas in Greece

  • Peach & Mango sorbet from Berthillon in Paris.
  • Pistachio cream Tiramisu at my favorite restaurant in Ortigia, Sicilia in Tavola

  • Mango sorbet at Amorino’s in Paris & Lisbon

  • Pistachio & chocolate gelato at ‘Gelateria Le Cuspidi’, on Piazza Cavour in Agrigento.

  • Gelato at ‘Gelateria Gusto’ in Ortigia & Noto.

  • Ice cream at ‘Los Italianos’ in Granada, Spain.

I’m sure others will come to mind later on but that’s all for now!

Edited to add…
Janet,
thanks for reminding me of the delicious crepes at Creperie Ti Mad!

Posted by
920 posts

Baklava. Though Crepes are a very close next choice. .

Posted by
602 posts

@Janet and @Priscilla, we are going to be in Annecy this spring. Creperie Ti Mad is definitely on the list now. Thank you!

Posted by
825 posts

History Traveler, many on this forum recommend Breizh Café in Paris for crepes. I have eaten at a Breizh in Montmartre and one elsewhere in Paris. The savory and sweet crepes are indeed very good. However, I really want to simply stop at any street vendor in Paris but have always been too busy getting from Point A to Point B.

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107 posts

One of our favorite traditions, when in Paris, or a good dessert city location, is to load up on treats on the way to the airport. Then, on the flight back, we enjoy the desserts we purchased, stretching out the end of the vacation a bit.

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472 posts

Most memorable is clearly a papaya filled with frog eggs that was served for desert at a multi (as in at least 25) course meal in a Tianjin private dining room. A star of the meal was a turtle served several ways after we drank its blood mixed with Baijiu.
Also served were deep fried scorpions (we got to watch them get caught with chop sticks).
I made the mistake of remarking about how good the thousand-year eggs were and was rewarded with my own plate of them. They were good, but not that good!
The frog eggs were pretty odd, but very edible. That was one strange desert. The papaya had been split open, hollowed out and was served with the spit off top covering the eggs like a lid. They were revealed in their full glory when you lifted the top off.

I recall a fabulous desert at the private Merchants Club in Brugge. Sadly, I don't recall exactly what it was since the meal was accompanied by an endless stream of wines, ports and Genever's.

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792 posts

First Paris trip, October 2021.

First, I'm NOT a foodie, so these are my opinions only lol.

First day in Paris, jet lagged, etc. I have the most delicious chicken with cream sauce at La Fontaine Sully on Rue Saint Antoine. I saved room for the creme brulee, because, Paris. And it was worth EVERY penny.

La Flotille at Versailles. It was during Covid, the museum was 'practically' empty; was able to sit outside at the restaurant, just wanted a load off my feet, didn't want to really eat much. i had my first crepe (EVER). Caramel, it was amazing. I'll just never forget hanging outside and looking at the canal, the grounds, and eating this (maybe) delicious crepe!

Posted by
5179 posts

Since you’ll be visiting beautiful Annecy, you must go to Glacier de Alpes for a deliciously creamy getato/ice cream.
We also enjoyed a great pizza at Sapaudia

We had fun browsing through the street markets and got some yummy candied pecans which we snacked on during our train journey to Avignon 😉

Posted by
2401 posts

A couple more:
An excellent apple crisp with ice cream at the Amaranto restaurant (vegetarian/vegan) in Ravenna. Apples were piping hot.
A slice of tiramisu given to me by the birthday person at a birthday party in a restaurant in Verona.