10 Most Decadent Chocolate Desserts in Philadelphia

By Danya Henninger  |  April 15, 2014

It’s science: chocolate triggers the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. A bite of the magic that is cocoa plus sugar is the easiest route to a quick pick-me-up, so why fight it? Here are 10 of the most decadent ways to bring on a smile in Philadelphia.

  • Credit: Danya Henninger

    Dark Chocolate Terrine at Pennsylvania 6

    Why We Love It: Customers at this Midtown Village American bistro kept asking for something with intense chocolate flavor, so chef Mark Plessis obliged with a new dessert that lands on the menu this weekend. His sweet terrine - surrounded by raspberry-liqueur gel, peanut-butter powder and espresso gelato - definitely has that “chocolate kick” people are searching for.

    Price: $10

    114 S. 12th St.; 267-639-5606

  • Credit: Danya Henninger

    Chocolate Bento Box at Buddakan

    Why We Love It: Chocolate plays an integral part in each of the six pieces in pastry chef Cedric Barberet’s bento box at the Old City Pan-Asian. The parade of bites includes: a pistachio ice cream macaron dipped in dark chocolate, a white-chocolate cheesecake beneath raspberry mousse, dark-chocolate Grand Marnier truffles, chocolate pot de crème with mango-passion fruit tapioca, white-chocolate lychee mousse with rose gelée and a chocolate-banana decadence on a hazelnut crust. (Cue the When Harry Met Sally “Yes!” scene...)

    Price: $15

    325 Chestnut St.; 215-574-9440

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie at Magpie

    Why We Love It: The April pie of the month at Holly Riccardi’s South Street West bakeshop combines those two ingredients that go great together into a mousse so fluffy and light, you won’t even notice as you devour your slice. If that happens, just pick up a whole pie to take home and repeat the treat.

    Price: $5.25 (slice) or $30 (whole pie)

    1622 South St.; 267-519-2904

  • Chocolate Cream Pie at Vernick Food & Drink

    Why We Love It: This new dish from pastry chef Jennifer Sokoloff makes it all too easy to sit at the bar and skip dinner in place of dessert if you’re in Rittenhouse for the evening. Meant to be shared, the mini pie is a take on s’mores: a graham-cracker crust filled with Valrhona dark-chocolate cream and topped with toasted marshmallow meringue.

    The Price: $10

    2031 Walnut St.; 267-639-6644

  • Tortino di Nocciola e Cioccolata at Le Virtù

    Why We Love It: Pastry chef Angela Ranalli channels the sensuality of the Old Country into this treat at the East Passyunk Italian. A toasted-hazelnut olive-oil cake is filled with chocolate-hazelnut mousse and covered in dark-chocolate ganache. To make the nest-like garnish, she pipes chocolate into a bowl of ice water, pulling it as soon as it hardens and setting it on top with a little extra mousse.

    The Price: $12

    1927 E. Passyunk Ave.; 215-271-5626

  • Double Chocolate Tart at Square 1682

    Why We Love It: This dessert at the Hotel Palomar restaurant brings together chef Caitlin Mateo’s three favorite flavors: chocolate, salty and “wine.” A not-too-sweet crust is the perfect foil for the ultrarich ganache filling, which is topped with port-flavored marshmallows and Maldon sea salt.

    The Price: $9

    121 S. 17th St.; 215-563-5008

  • The Tower at Chocolate by Mueller

    Why We Love It: Glenn Mueller could go by the name Dr. Chockenstein, because he loves constructing new chocolate-dipped monstrosities to sell from his Reading Terminal Market stand. This stack pulls together a Rice Krispies treat, a chocolate chip cookie, an Oreo, a marshmallow and a peanut-butter cup under a cloak of milk or dark chocolate.

    The Price: $10

    45 N. 12th St.; 215-922-6164

  • Chocolate Brownie With Bacon Ice Cream at The Mildred

    Why We Love It: Bacon ice cream? “It’s very refreshing and not greasy at all,” says chef Michael Santoro, and he’s right. At his Bella Vista dining room, the sweet ham-hock cream adds lightness to the flourless chocolate brownie torte, which is garnished with banana mousse and more chocolate sauce.

    The Price: $7

    824 S. 8th St.; 267-687-1600

  • Chocolate Spaghetti at Max Brenner

    Why We Love It: It’s all chocolate, all the time at the Center City outpost of the high-end international sweets restaurant, where this deliciously absurdist creation has just landed on the menu. Chocolate crêpes are cut into thin ribbons, then drenched in warm frosting made of both milk and dark chocolates.

    The Price: $13

    1500 Walnut St.; 215-344-8150

  • Belgian Waffle Sundae at Taproom on 19th

    Why We Love It: Chef Jennifer Choplin gives Belgian waffles a chance to escape brunch and land at dessert. A best-seller at this Girard Estate beer bar, the crosshatched cakes are studded with chocolate chips, then topped with Foam Floaterie salted-caramel ice cream, housemade whipped cream and bits of candied bacon.

    The Price: $8

    2400 S. 19th St.; 267-687-7817