People often say that Charleston, as a city, is about as pretty as they come. Well, those people will soon feel the same way about our confections: from cupcakes adorned with flawless, shimmering berries, to gold dusted truffles tied in an treasure trove of a box, to pastel macarons colorfully lined up on a vintage tray, when it comes to pretty sweet presentations (with unbeatable flavor to match), we take the cake.
The building is sweet itself, a tiny stucco square painted with treats on ever-evolving Cannon Street. A box of dainty, delicate cupcakes—fluffy coconut and vanilla almond with glazed blueberries are two favorites—will win fast friends. Cookies are TDF and here’s a secret few know: courtyard seating for four. 59½ Cannon Street. Open Monday through Saturday.
CHRISTOPHE ARTISAN CHOCOLATIER
We seemingly cannot fermer la bouche on the subject of Christophe’s, but his decadent chocolates, truffles, and dessert-as-art are a fundamental stop on the Charleston dessert trail. Looking for a gift? His packaging wins. 90 Society Street. Open seven days a week.
Yes, you should join the line that forms for sticky bun Sunday at Lauren Mitterer’s sugar-scented haven on Spring Street. She’s been Beard-award nominated for good reason: the top two might be banana chocolate chip bread and blondie bars. Some seating, so stay for a coffee, and take some granola for later. 73 Spring Street. Open Tuesday through Sunday (that’s Sticky Bun Sunday to Charleston locals.)
Donuts are just fun. But they are made even better by Allison Smith, who uses local ingredients in her Upper King shop to make creative flavors like Chocolate Orange Ginger and Cookie Monster. Maple Bacon is a best seller, but you can always get a good ol’ glazed too. 481 King Street. Open early Tuesday through Saturday until they run out.
Finding Local Chocolate
Sweeteeth Chocolate is the preeminent local chocolate operation. Started by an Alabama-born fella, the bars are made in North Charleston and include flavors like “Sea is for Caramel” to satisfy those in need of a sweet and salty fix, and “PB&C”, a peanut butter and chipotle mash-up that is one hot number.
Newer to the scene is Bitte, the only true bean-to-bar chocolate being crafted in the Lowcountry. Founder Michael Hoffman is a baker at Sugar and used his sweet surroundings to experiment with milk and dark bars, which the bakeshop (and a few other local spots) sell for $8 a bar. That sounds expensive until you try one. What a steal.
Every city has their characters and Paulo Dalla Zorza is one of ours. The native of Italy started out on a path to be a veterinarian, was detoured into becoming a magician, then earned a pilot’s license so he can deliver his delicious gelato on the fly…to both The Terrace Theater and his downtown John Street shop.
41 John Street. Open afternoons and evenings Tuesday through Sunday.
On the same block as Paolo’s is Macaroon Boutique where a French Couple makes macarons, croissants, and other traditional French desserts. Just walk by and the buttery smell will lure you in. 45 John Street. Open seven days a week.
For high-quality homemade ice cream, Jeni’s is the only game in town. Good thing this gal’s got serious game too. With flavors like Brown Butter Almond Brittle and Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk, yes, we’ll all scream for Jeni’s. 501 King Street. Open seven days a week.
An All-Star Classic Recipe
Husk’s Chocolate Chess Pie
from Chef Sean Brock of Husk Restaurant, Charleston, South Carolina