12 Decadent Chocolate Desserts We Love

By Sarah Freeman
April 14, 2014
Photo by: Sarah Freeman

Chocolate is the little black dress of the pastry world: it looks good on everything and is nearly impossible to resist. From airy chocolate mousse to rich chocolate cake, it's featured on dessert menus across the city in elegant and extravagant ways. Satisfy that sweet tooth in the most decadent way possible, with 12 chocolate desserts that almost look too good to eat.

  • Photo by: Sarah Freeman

    Chocolate Beignets at A10

    Why We Love It: Pastry chef Geovanna Salas expresses her love of chocolate in the form of a chocolate torte with malted milk, carmelia, pretzel and cocoa nib. But we can't deny the chocolate beignets, topped with toasted meringue, hazelnut and graham cracker. Although recently removed from the lunch menu, it might reappear for brunch (fingers crossed). Bet you can’t eat just one.
    Price: $8

    1462 E. 53rd St.; 773-288-1010

  • Photo by: Sarah Freeman

    Chocolate Cake at Boka

    Why We Love It: This vibrant dish, with its pops of pink cassis marshmallows, is a perfect fit in Boka's updated dining room. Pastry chef Genie Kwon’s dessert starts with dark-chocolate ganache and cassis that is beautifully plated with orange cocoa nib crumble, chocolate fudge cake and salted caramel ice cream.
    Price: $12

    1729 N. Halsted St.; 312-337-6070

  • Photo by: Eric Kleinberg

    Chocolate Bar at The Boarding House

    Why We Love It: Inspired by a recent trip to a chocolate farm in Punta Gorda, Belize, pastry chef Julia Fitting put together a dessert using six different forms and textures of chocolate. Flourless chocolate cake comes covered with a ganache glaze and crispy chocolate pearls, accompanied by chocolate streusel and Bobtail chocolate-bourbon ice cream.
    Price: $10

    720 N. Wells St.; 312-280-0720

  • Photo by: Sarah Freeman

    Chocolate Tart at The Bristol

    Why We Love It: The Bristol’s new pastry chef, Sarah Koechling, is satisfying chocolate lovers with a dark-chocolate tart that is filled with chocolate rum crèmeux and a thin layer of chocolate gianduja glaze. It's inspired by rum raisin cake with rum-soaked raisins, candied pecans and salted caramel ice cream.
    Price: $9

    2152 N. Damen Ave.; 773-862-5555

  • Ten Layer Cake at Deca

    Why We Love It: Really, this wouldn’t be a proper decadent chocolate dessert list without at least one multilayer chocolate cake. Deca’s has 10 moist layers of chocolate cake alternating with chocolate frosting and finished with a smooth coating of chocolate ganache and a drizzle of chocolate fudge sauce.
    Price: $9

    160 E. Pearson St.; 312-573-5160

  • Photo by: Clayton Hauck

    Chocolate Bar at Dusek’s

    Why We Love It: This dessert takes the definition of rich chocolate very seriously. The intense and very dense chocolate cake is served with a pretzel ice cream truffle, Coke cream, cherry jam and brûléed housemade marshmallow.
    Price: $8

    1227 W. 18th St.; 312-526-3851

  • Photo by: Sarah Freeman

    Chocolate Nutella Tart at Nico

    Why We Love It: Pastry chef Amanda Rockman’s desserts never fail to please in the flavor or the aesthetic departments. Her chocolate Nutella tart starts with a flaky almond shell that's filled with Nutella and chocolate flan. It's garnished with a trio of blood oranges - fresh segments, confit and freeze dried - with blood-orange sorbet and thin chocolate shards with nutmeg, Murray river sea salt and marigolds.
    Price: $12

    1015 N. Rush St.; 312-994-7100

  • Photo by: Sarah Freeman

    Chocolate Bombe at Owen & Engine

    Why We Love It: This new spring dessert is all about the chocolate - three types of chocolate, to be exact. The dessert started from the idea of a perfect chocolate bombe, or set mousse, over a fudge brownie drizzled with salted caramel syrup. The dish became more extravagant with the addition of toasted marshmallow fluff, a fried chocolate nest and malted chocolate ice cream.
    Price: $10

    2700 N. Western Ave.; 773-235-2930

  • Chocolate Caramel Cake at Siena Tavern

    Why We Love It: We imagine our next birthday cake looking something like this. Rich layers of chocolate cake are sandwiched with crispy caramel-fudge gelato and covered in hot fudge. It's inspired by the Baskin-Robbins ice cream cakes that pastry chef Amy Arnold enjoyed as a child.
    Price: $12

    51 W. Kinzie St.; 312-595-1322

  • Photo by: Sarah Freeman

    Chocolate Cake at Sepia

    Why We Love It: Little Debbie was the inspiration for the latest round of sweets from pastry chef Cindy Schuman. Her nostalgic creations include elevated versions of the Swiss Roll, made with chocolate cake, marshmallow, chocolate sauce and crème anglaise, as well as Schuman’s favorite, the Star Crunch, made with a chocolate-caramel tart, bananas Foster and pecans.
    Price: $10

    123 N. Jefferson St.; 312-441-1920

  • TC Bar at Tortoise Club

    Why We Love It: This dessert is all about the textures, and as many of them as possible. Chef Gary McNally wanted something that captured warm, chewy, soft, crunchy and sticky all in one bite. He achieved it with the Tortoise Club Bar, a decadent triple-chocolate butterscotch brownie with housemade marshmallow fluff, caramel sauce and chocolate crunch.
    Price: $8

    350 N. State St.; 312-755-1700

  • Dark-Chocolate Terrine at Travelle

    Why We Love It: This restaurant celebrates the mentality that anything can be turned into a terrine, from seafood to vegetables. Even the pastry department gets in on the action with a dark-chocolate terrine with layers of brownie biscuit and salted caramel. 
    Price: $9

    330 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-923-7705


Places Mentioned


American • Lincoln Park

Food26 Decor24 Service25 Cost$68
The Bristol

American • Bucktown

Food26 Decor22 Service23 Cost$41
Deca Restaurant + Bar

French • Streeterville

Food23 Decor23 Service23 Cost$70

American • West Loop

Food25 Decor24 Service24 Cost$74
The Boarding House

American • River North

Food22 Decor27 Service23 Cost$50
Nico Osteria

Italian • Gold Coast

Food26 Decor24 Service25 Cost$79
Siena Tavern

Italian • River North

Food24 Decor23 Service22 Cost$50

Mediterranean • River North

Food27 Decor25 Service24 Cost$75

Italian • Hyde Park

Food23 Decor23 Service22 Cost$43
Owen & Engine

British • Logan Square

Food25 Decor24 Service24 Cost$34
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