We love sweets. Chocolate, candy, marshmallow, baked goods – we are here for it. So it’s only appropriate that when you splurge, you splurge for something really good. Here are a few of our favorite sweets around the peninsula:
Tucked away on society street is the Christophe Chocolatier, whose goodies are eye candy and almost too pretty to eat. (Almost!) They do handmade artisan chocolates, French pastries, Did we forget to mention that they do more than just the eye popping sweet stuff. Pick up a sandwich and a cup of coffee, but save room for dessert. Trust us.
Top treats: You can’t go wrong with any of their pastries or candies, but we like their chocolate bars. We love the dark chocolate Mendiant bar, where fruit and nuts give the dark chocolate hints of sweetness.
Sweet Belgium is one of the newest editions to upper King Street but is slowly becoming a local favorite. Sweet Belgium was founded by Sergio and Audrey Tosi, a Belgian couple who came to Charleston in 2016. Their first store opened on James Island, but business has done so well they have been able to move downtown. Their aim is to share their passion for the sickeningly sweet la gaufre and (hopefully) replace the doughnut as people’s morning sweet.
Top treats: Sweet Belgium has a build-your-own appeal of reasonably priced Belgium waffles made to order with an endless array of toppings (my personal favorite is with nutella, powdered sugar and fresh-cut strawberries on top). If a full waffle might be too much for you, they also offer mini waffle bites with a glaze.
Long a staple for college students, business professionals, and families alike on the peninsula, Cupcake Downsouth has some of the best treats the Holy City has to offer (and for a decent price too). Kristin Kuhlke Cobb founded Cupcake Downsouth in 2006 (then just called Cupcake) after returning from New York City. Along with her father, Cobb never gave up on her dream of owning a bakery despite all the naysayers –and luckily she didn’t. Not only has Cupcake Downsouth received accolades from all across the country in magazines, websites and television shows, has a large following across social media of all the cupcake connoisseurs who post about their delicious treats everyday. Cupcake fans can get a fix at either the downtown (Cupcake Downsouth), Mount Pleasant, or Columbia locations.
Top treats: While you can’t go wrong with any of their cupcakes, a must-try is definitely their southern red velvet with a delicious mountain of cream cheese icing on a moist bed of red velvet cake. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can try a treat from their After Dark collection – a series of alcohol-infused goodies– which include White Chocolate Champagne, Spiked Apple Pie and Chocolate Caramel Moonshine.
Saffron is a staple for Charlestonians since its founding in 1986. It has been giving people fresh from the oven food inspired by Mediterranean and Persian flavors. While they’re most noted for their made daily fresh bread and their use of local vendors whenever they can, one of their most slept on secrets is their bakery section. With delicious concoctions all portioned out in perfect bites, it’s no wonder they stay as busy as they are.
Top treats: A match made in heaven is their red velvet cheesecake. With layers of New York style cheesecake atop cream cheese icing and red velvet cake, you might have to get seconds. If chocolate isn’t really your thing, their strawberry shortcake is sure to get your mouth watering.
King Street Cookies
Who has time to make themselves a batch of cookies with only one flavor when you can easily go on King Street and get a mix of three gigantic freshly-baked cookies and a drink? With milk and coffee on tap and giant tubs of ice cream ready to make your cookies into the best ice cream sandwich ever, you’re going to have to drop all your thoughts of a diet at the door.
Top treats: There is an endless amount of delicious treats that you can get from King Street Cookies, but one of the best is the salted caramel which features a caramel drizzle and salt sprinkled on top. Their choco choco chunk is another crowd favorite with a delectable chocolate cook with chocolate chips on top. To round of your order and qualify yourself for a free beverage of your choice, why not give the classic peanut butter chocolate chip a try? (It’s like a Reese’s in cookie form.)
Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts
If you need a quick morning pick-me-up or late night snack, doughnuts are always a great choice. Glazed loves doughnuts too, but only the best will do. They specialize in gourmet homemade artisan doughnuts that you can’t find at any Dunkin’ Donuts with never frozen dough never with preservatives all made in store.
Top treats: Glazed has delicious flavors filled with delicious cream like their chocolate chip cookie dough-nut garnished with a small little cookie for an extra tasty crunch. Their chocolate covered strawberry with a white chocolate strawberry on top or their birthday cake with cake crumpled atop are also exquisite choices. Glazes also offers amazing vegan options like their vegan chocolate mint, so anyone can enjoy their tasty treats.
Created by former New York City architects turned Lowcountry bakers Bill Bowick and David Bouffard in 2007, Sugar Bakeshop is proud to only feature local ingredients all homemade – and trust me, you can taste the difference. With the emphasis on fresh ingredients, their availability changes with the seasons, so be sure to stop in every so often to see what’s new in the neighborhood.
Top treats: Sugar offers up some of the most unique and scrumptious desserts downtown, including their Almond chocolate coconut cupcake. But, you can’t go wrong with their classics like a lemon tart, German’s chocolate cake or good ol’ Southern pecan pie.
The French are known for a lot of things and their pastries have to be at the top of the list. Located in the French Quarter of Charleston, Cafe Framboise sticks to its roots with fresh ingredients and all their food made on site. You can stop by for a salad or sandwich for lunch, but their main pull is definitely their pastry counter filled with freshy french goodies.
Top treats: While they have plenty of chocolatey options like éclairs, a must try is any of their fruity tarts. You can have a classic fruit tart filled with various fresh fruits or seasonal favorites like an apple or pecan tart. Their croissants and danishes are also to die for. You’re welcome.
Originally a food truck, BkED Shop was so popular they opened up a brick and mortar right across the street from the Joe. All of their bites are made daily and the special and seasonal flavors can’t be beat. They specialize in yeast donuts, but don’t sleep on their more savory pretzels, homemade hohos and PopTarts, fritters, milkshakes, or coffees. Fear not, vegans, they have treats just for you, too.
Top treats: Something about one of their apple fritters and a latte is just perfect. We also love their seasonal flavors and their cereal milk donut – when they’re not sold out! If you can’t decide, bring home a box of six, or twelve. Order an extra for us, please!