Whether you want cookies, ice cream, chocolate, candy or other desserts, you can find a shop in the U.S. that specializes in satisfying your cravings. From coast to coast, there are bakeries that make cookies with fresh ingredients and unique flavors, and there are ice cream parlors that serve creatively flavored scoops of homemade ice cream.
If you’re a chocolate lover, you can indulge in handcrafted truffles, bars and bonbons from chocolatiers, and for those who enjoy candy, there are stores that sell everything from fudge and caramel apples to taffy and nostalgic candy. And for something quick and convenient, you can visit dessert chains that offer consistently good creations like cupcakes, ice cream, doughnuts and more.
To find the top spots to indulge, a panel of experts made their selections for the best places to go for desserts and treats across five categories. To decide the winners, our readers voted for their favorites over a period of four weeks – and the results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Candy Store: Bright’s Candies in Walla Walla, Washington
Enjoy handcrafted treats at Bright’s Candies — Photo courtesy of Kimberly Miner
A mainstay in historic downtown Walla Walla, Washington since 1934, Bright’s Candies keeps it old-school by handcrafting fine chocolates and confections using old family recipes and copper kettles. Specialties run the gamut from a variety of chocolate truffles to peanut brittle and salted caramels, all of which guests can watch being made via viewing windows flanking the side of the shop. Speaking of salted caramel, the caramel apples made with local apples are said to be the best in the state.
Full list of winners: Best Candy Store »
Best Chocolate Shop: Piety and Desire Chocolate in New Orleans, Louisiana
Indulge in unique flavors at Piety and Desire Chocolate — Photo courtesy of @pietydesirechoc
With a “bean to bar to bonbon and beyond” tagline, this chocolate cafe founded by New Orleans native Christopher Nobles is described by reviewers as having a cozy Old World setting, but their chocolates are lively in design and taste. Expert Amber Gibson says, “This charming cafe offers bean-to-bar chocolate, fun bonbon flavors, drinking chocolate, ice cream and affogatos. The Cajun spice blend chocolate is so uniquely NOLA!”
Full list of winners: Best Chocolate Shop »
Best Cookie Shop: Please & Thank You in Louisville, Kentucky
Don’t leave Louisville without trying the cookies at Please & Thank You — Photo courtesy of PLEASE & THANK YOU
It’s impossible to look up any Louisville travel guide without this cookie cafe popping up on the list. And there’s a reason for that: Please & Thank You’s chocolate chip cookies are often named the best in Kentucky. Soft and gooey on the inside and slightly crisp around the edges, they’re made from a secret recipe that took the shop’s owner over two years to perfect.
Full list of winners: Best Cookie Shop »
Best Dessert / Treat Chain: Crumbl Cookies
Crumbl Cookies is officially America’s favorite dessert chain — Photo courtesy of Crumbl Cookies
Two cousins tirelessly tested recipes until they created what they thought was the world’s best chocolate chip cookie, and the first Crumbl store debuted in Logan, Utah in 2017. Expect that award-winning milk chocolate chip cookie on every menu across 47 states as well as chilled pink sugar cookies and others inspired by desserts like brownies, cake batter and dulce de leche.
Full list of winners: Best Dessert / Treat Chain »
Best Ice Cream Shop: Island Creamery in Virginia and Maryland
It all starts with local milk at Island Creamery — Photo courtesy of Kelly Conklin
Churning an all-natural premium ice cream mix from local cows, Island Creamery’s flavors are inspired by local fruit farmers. Some of the most popular homemade small-batch treats include Bourbon Caramel Crunch, Java Jolt, super rich double chocolate Marsh Mud and Cotton Candy Party.
Full list of winners: Best Ice Cream Shop »
Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10best.com daily to vote in our Readers’ Choice contests.