The Top Dessert Spots In Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto

Alexandra Brown

The Gourmet Ghetto in California’s North Berkeley is renowned for its delicious, artisan restaurants that helped kindle the slow-food movement in Berkeley and give this town such a healthy, food-conscious reputation. But even Berkeley enjoys its sweets. Here are the best dessert spots in the Gourmet Ghetto, all along, on or near North Shattuck Avenue.

Macaroons at Masse’s Pastries

1. Masse’s Pastries

Patisserie, Dessert

Love At First Bite Cupcakes
©i8pixistix/flickr
With its delicate, handmade sweet treats, Masse’s Pastries is the closest Berkeley comes to having a European-style patisserie. Each day, small pastries are lined up behind the glass counter in different shapes and colors, all have unique designs and patterns. One of the most popular treats is the bite-sized French macaroon that comes in a wide array of colors and flavors. Having been around since 1997, Masse’s has built up quite a reputation for its cakes, especially seasonal and wedding cakes; the cake menu can be found here.

2. Love At First Bite Bakery

Bakery, Dessert

Lush Gelato
©DanielParks/flickr
The moist dough and buttercream frosting of Love At First Bite cupcakes are so delectable and mouthwatering that they have the ability to transport you back to the simpler days of childhood. This cupcakery strives to create old-fashioned baked goods that bring happiness to all customers. With 12-15 different flavors carried daily, there is a great selection to choose from, but customers can place orders ahead of time as well. Only the finest ingredients are used at this bakery, from real butter and Mexican vanillas to milk and eggs from local dairies, guaranteeing that this will be an unforgettable dessert experience.

3. Lush Gelato

Food Court, Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

Alegio Chocolate
©bubbletea1/flickr
For the most authentic gelato shop in Berkeley, look no further than Lush, which always boasts an abundance of unique and original flavors that reflect the Bay Area. Ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible to create flavors like Cowgirl Creamery Fromage Blanc which can only be found in the Bay. There are additional Lush Gelato locations in San Francisco and Oakland. This North Berkeley location is special in that it is located inside of the Epicurius Garden, a food court with an outdoor backyard patio and garden, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a gelato on a summer day.

4. Alegio Chocolate

Bakery, Food Court, American

Virginia Bakery Cake
©DrBiggles/flickr
A dessert spot that is located in the Epicurius Garden on Shattuck is Alegio Chocolate, a high-end, fair-trade chocolate shop. Alegio focuses on the entire process of chocolate production to ensure that the customer has the perfect chocolate experience. Although the shop is just a small counter in the corner of the food court, a strong smell of chocolate wafts through the air, and some of the most beautiful chocolate ever seen is on display. The Alegio chocolate bars have been covered in intricate gold and silver patterns and are surrounded by exotic cocoa beans.

5. Virginia Bakery

Bakery, Dessert

Virginia Bakery is one of the oldest bakeries around, having been in the same Berkeley location since its opening in 1953. This dessert haven specializes in making cakes, and has perfected the art of birthday, graduation, and wedding cakes. If you are looking for a special occasion cake, Virginia Bakery makes many original cake designs that resemble castles, designer bags, turtles, hamburgers, and dolls. They can almost certainly create a cake tailored specifically to whatever occasion is being celebrated.

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