I’m a big dessert person. Like a pick-it-out-before-the-meal-starts dessert person. Thankfully, most desserts in Japan are adorably small, which means I can enjoy them without too much guilt — as if I feel that anyway. Everything in moderation, right? That’s why I decided to round up five of my favorite dessert spots here in Tokyo that I do my best not to go to too much.
I had to begin this list with the cheesecake to end all cheesecakes. My husband’s favorite dessert is cheesecake and while I was never against it, it was never my first dessert choice. That is, until I tried the two-layer cheesecake from Henri Charpentier. It’s my go-to hostess and special occasion treat. Covered in a tasty crumble and flecks of gold leaf (<– yup), the delicious finishing touch is a drizzle of sweet honey.
2-5-1 1F Azabu-juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo and 1-5-5 Atre Ebisu 3F, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
You can’t go wrong with gelato. I remember the first time I had really good gelato in Boston’s Little Italy and if given the option between regular ice cream and gelato, I go gelato every time. This Tokyo outpost of gelateria from Milan has all the traditional flavors like pistachio and stracciatella as well as a variety of other desserts you can take to go.
iBeer Le Sun Palm
Shibuya Hikarie 7F, 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
So, crème brûlée is my all-time favorite dessert. It’s just so fancy and has just the right amount of sweet. Craig and I have a rule we always order the crème brûlée if it’s on the menu when we go out to eat. When we went to iBeer Le Sun Palm, we thought all we would have was beer until we spotted this ice cream-topped version and damn, the mix of the warm burnt sugar and the cool ice cream. The game done changed.
Parfaits in Japan are like nothing I’ve ever had before. They combine all sorts of desserts into towers of sweet amazingness and this one from Dalloyau is one of my favorites. My sister and I went there during her visit and gobbled down this macaron-topped delight in no time at all. They’re technically big enough to share but I can say it wouldn’t be too hard to finish it yourself.
5-10-1 GYRE B1F, Jingumae Shibuya-ku
OK, I know this place isn’t unique to Tokyo, but I can’t pass up a taste of New York, my favorite city on the entire planet. If there isn’t a line I’m happy to stop in for one of their classic vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. It may be a bit of a tourist trap, but I never regret it.