Got a sweet tooth? Here’s where you should go and what you should try when you’re in my city.
Every shop serves up seriously tempting treats in a unique atmosphere. And to make things even better, they’re all locally owned. Bon appétit!
Nichole’s Fine Pastry: Try the lemon tart
If you only have time to get dessert at one place in Fargo, make it Nichole’s. It blends gasp-inducing desserts and a cozy atmosphere. The pies, tarts, delicately layered cakes and pastries in the cases are edible works of art. And the bustling shop (which also serves light sandwiches, soups and salads) is almost always filled with the tempting smells of butter and baking treats.
I adore the lemon curd tart topped with a glorious, perfectly browned swirl of meringue. I’m also fond of the gloriously colorful fruit tart, the rich coconut cream pie topped with mounds of whipped cream and the chocolate feuilletine cake, which features chocolate mousse and hazelnut crunch in a pretty little package.
Sandy’s Donuts: Try the angel icing donuts
I’m usually pretty neutral about donuts, but the donuts at Sandy’s are the exception to the rule. They’re light, satisfying and available in a dizzying number of varieties at two locations in the Fargo metro. The West Fargo location is the original location and a neighborhood gathering place, while the new(ish) downtown shop is open late. For the best selection, come early. (11 a.m. is practically closing time in the donut world.)
I’ve liked every donut I’ve tried at Sandy’s and you can read about some of my favorites here. My current go-to are the angel icing donuts, which are frosted with vanilla or chocolate frosting like you’d find on a cake. (In true Sandy’s style, there are a few varieties.) The icing is just as delightfully sweet as cake frosting, but lighter and airier.
Carol Widman’s Candy Co.: Try the Chippers
This Fargo shop has been making candy for four generations. The cases are full of treats, everything from creamy caramels and tempting truffles to gummy candies and bolder flavors like chocolate covered bacon. Every visitor gets a free sample, so you can find your favorite.
Don’t leave without a box or bag of Chippers, locally grown potato chips drenched in a thick coating of rich chocolate. (They’re available in milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and white almond bark.) This addictive mix of salty and sweet make them a cult classic in the Red River Valley.
Josie’s Corner Cafe and Bakery: Try the pumpkin cookies
The recipes at Josie’s are taken from Grandma Josie’s family recipes and the cakes, cookies and pies in the wooden bakery cases definitely have that old fashioned feel. I wrote about some of my favorite cookies here.
In a taste bud mystery I don’t even claim to understand, I dislike pumpkin pie, but I can gorge myself on pumpkin cookies, bread and cakes. And there’s no better showpiece for pumpkin that Josie’s fat, cake-like cookies topped with a thick layer of cream cheese icing. They’re heavenly.
Sweet Dreams Confections: Try the gelato (any flavor!)
I’m a casual ice cream fan, but I love gelato and sorbetto. These icy treats are a satisfying as ice cream on a hot day, but the flavors are more concentrated and they aren’t as heavy or filling.
In addition to being among the nicest people on the planet, Lee and Brenda Paseka craft delicious, flavor packed gelato and sorbetto from a trove of over 200 recipes. I particularly like peach mango, raspberry and a lovely lemon and vanilla cookie combo that seamlessly blends sweet and tart. You can sample the contenders until you find the one you want.
There are other food and candy samples available in this charming, old-fashioned candy and gift shop, so allow time to browe. (You can read more about it in this post.) P.S. bring your I.D. on your birthday to score a double scoop of gelato for free!
What about you?
Which of these dessert spots is your favorite?
What do you order when you get dessert?
What dessert shops would you add to this list?
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