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The 100 best dishes in Chicago 2014: desserts

These 9 best desserts of the year, including a perfect chocolate chip cookie and a showstopping baked Alaska, give your meal a sweet ending

If your meal isn't complete without a sweet bite at the end, you'll want to make a beeline for these spots, which range from a casual pizza place to a high-end Italian restaurant to a cocktail bar. But they all have one thing in common: They know how to turn out excellent desserts. Whether you want a perfect scoop of gelato or a St. Louis cake a chef learned to make from his mom, don't miss these best desserts of the year.

RECOMMENDED: The 100 best dishes and drinks in Chicago

The best desserts

Pistachio gelato at Acanto
Photograph: Martha Williams
1/9

Pistachio gelato at Acanto

Sure, we liked the pastas and extensive cheese menu at Acanto, but you’d better leave some room—this is the smoothest, creamiest gelato in town. $3.

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Loop
Chocolate chunk cookie at Beatrix
Photograph: Courtesy Beatrix
2/9

Chocolate chunk cookie at Beatrix

With more chocolate than cookie in this thing, it’s hands-down the best version in Chicago. $2.95.

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River North
S’more pie at Blaze Pizza
3/9

S’more pie at Blaze Pizza

By opting for thick, hearty McVitie’s biscuits for its s’mores, Blaze instantly made us question why we’ve been using brittle graham crackers for so long. $2.

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Lake View
Gooey butter cake at CH Distillery
Photograph:
4/9

Gooey butter cake at CH Distillery

JP Doiron’s food menu at CH Distillery skews toward Northern and Eastern European flavors, but the St. Louis–born chef looks to home for his gooey butter cake. The dense cake (from Doiron’s mother’s recipe) has the texture of a brownie and tastes like toffee. $6.

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West Loop
PBJ milkshake at Chef’s Burger Bistro
5/9

PBJ milkshake at Chef’s Burger Bistro

This creamy milkshake tastes exactly like a drinkable PB & J, so get one for your favorite kid—and one for yourself. $5.

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Streeterville
Malay sponge cake at MingHin Cuisine
Photograph: Nick Murway
6/9

Malay sponge cake at MingHin Cuisine

Recommended

This brown sugar cake, so light it barely fills you up, is the perfect cap to a hearty dim-sum session. $3.15.

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Armour Square
Fernet mint fudge pub pop at Publican Quality Meats
Photograph: Martha Williams
7/9

Fernet mint fudge pub pop at Publican Quality Meats

We will drink Fernet Branca anywhere, anytime, so picking up Publican pastry chef Anna Shovers’s ice cream version, threaded with fudge, was a must. No longer available.

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West Loop
Baked Alaska at RPM Steak
Photograph: Martha Williams
8/9

Baked Alaska at RPM Steak

You need to order the baked Alaska as much for the presentation—set ablaze next to your table—as for the flavor. Filled with lemon sorbet, it’s the love child between baked Alaska and lemon meringue pie. $11.

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River North
Dolcini at Spiaggia
9/9

Dolcini at Spiaggia

Pastry chef Nicole Guini makes desserts sized for a Barbie doll, such as a minute four-layer cake, a teensy blue cheese macaron and a tiny pavolva. Precious, yes; delicious, definitely. $9/$16/$28.

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Streeterville

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