If you’re anything like me, when your sweet tooth makes its presence known, you usually pick up some ice cream or maybe a frozen dessert at the grocery store. But as Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) on the wonderful television show “Parks & Recreation” once said, occasionally you deserve to “Treat yo self!”
With that mantra in mind, below are some dessert places around Greenville to enjoy when you want to indulge in something sweet.
Chocolate Moose Bakery and Café
130 S. Main St.
I once trekked in the pouring rain (sans umbrella) just to eat a cupcake from Chocolate Moose. Really. My friends and I were celebrating my birthday downtown when an unexpected thunderstorm rolled in; we were not prepared and preceded to get completely drenched on our way to Chocolate Moose. But would I do it again? Yes, because their cupcakes are amazing.
Since that episode, the bakery has relocated inside M. Judson Booksellers, changed ownership and broadened their dessert offerings to include cake pops and various cookies. But those delicious cupcakes remain, with everyday flavors including red velvet, chocolate and vanilla. Specialty flavors are available on a rotating basis, and a gluten-free cupcake flavor is baked daily.
Brick Street Café
315 Augusta St.
Three words: sweet potato cake. If the concept sounds a little strange to you, you’re not alone, because I was very skeptical when I first heard of this dessert. I love sweet potatoes, but incorporating them into a cake seemed like a recipe for disaster. Well, I soon found myself eating my words… and a lot of sweet potato cake.
Other excellent options include coconut cake, pineapple cake, German chocolate cake, peanut butter pie and a “24 karat” carrot cake. Good luck trying to decide on one option.
21 Roper Mountain Road
Strossner’s is a traditional bakery, so they do cakes for weddings and birthdays as well as other custom orders for parties and events.
But if you want a quick treat, they also have you covered. Strossner’s has an assortment of premade cookies and cupcakes that can be purchased individually. Personally, I prefer their “purple people eater” cookie, pictured above. Is it clearly meant for younger kids? Yes. Do I care? No.
155 August St.
Did you ever go to a county fair as a child and beg your parents to buy you a treat that they feared would give you an intense sugar high? Well, you can relive that memory when you walk into FunnelDelicious, which brings classic carnival fare to a brick-and-mortar store. Their funnel cakes are available in four different sizes, ranging from “baby” (priced at $3.29) to “mega danny” (priced at $19.99).
If funnel cake doesn’t get your mouth watering, then their fried desserts, including fried Oreos, Snickers, cookie dough, Honey Buns and Twinkies probably will. FunnelDelicious also has specialty cakes that come in a variety of flavors, including s’more, cookies and cream and mud pie, among others.
1 E. Coffee St.
Coffee Underground has an underrated dessert menu of cakes (chocolate mousse and carrot); pies (peanut butter, chocolate chip and pecan); cheesecakes (turtle, mocha and New York); and cookies (chocolate, white chocolate, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter). I am a big fan of cheesecake, so any establishment that regularly offers that option gets my approval. Pair one of these desserts with a regular cup of coffee, hot or iced.
9 W. Washington St.
If you think of gelato in Greenville, you think of Luna Rosa. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, but the two are actually different.
According to thekitchn.com, gelato has a smoother, silkier texture than ice cream, and it’s made with more milk, less cream and fewer eggs compared with ice cream. Gelato is churned more slowly than ice cream, which removes more air and leads to a denser product.
Now that my lesson is over, I’ll get to the point: Luna Rosa’s gelato is simply excellent. It’s rich and flavorful without being too sweet and overwhelming — perfect for a hot day.
Flavors change on a rotating basis, but if you visit their website, you’ll see an updated list. Some of my personal favorites include chocolate velvet, strawberry basil and grapefruit. If you upgrade to two scoops, you can try two different flavors, which is an option I highly recommend.
Spill The Beans
531 S. Main St.
I love the concept of Spill the Beans. In terms of flavors, you’re limited to chocolate or vanilla, but you have more than 40 options to choose from to mix in with your ice cream. And instead of just dumping your toppings on your ice cream and calling it a day, Spill the Beans puts all ingredients in a unique blender to create a dense, smooth and nicely textured product that is similar to gelato.
My go-to orders here are chocolate ice cream with cookie dough or chocolate ice cream with strawberries and Oreos. I can’t go wrong with either choice.
Kilwins Chocolates, Fudge and Ice Cream
200 N. Main St.
Kilwins is an old-fashioned confectionary shop serving up decadent delights including toffees, truffles, clusters, caramels, fudge, caramel apples and more. (My recommendations are the sea salt caramel fudge and the raspberry truffles.) Their ice cream is also popular, with a wide selection of classic flavors.