Desserts date back to the 1600s in France, when the term was coined as a reference to “clearing the table”. Back then, a mountain of ice cream wasn’t available — puddings, pies, cheeses, dessert wines and liqueurs were served instead. Those are all still delicious options at high-end restaurants today, but over the years, confectioners have taken sweets to the next level and many of their creations seem too good to save for the end of a meal.

Who said dessert had to come last, anyway? I’m all for making sweets the focus of a meal. And doing so here in Chicago is a super fun way to explore the city, one pastry, ice-cream scoop or sugary confection at a time.

Here are some the must-not-miss (and Insta-worthy) dessert spots in Chicago.

ETA Restaurant + Bar

This intimate space serving up rustic American fare with a side of Midwestern warmth is a great spot to pop into before or after a show. Grab a crafty cocktail and one of ETA’s newest sweet treats.

Compressed Mint Watermelon | goat’s milk ice cream, toasted pistachio, pie crust cookie, watermelon gelee

The Compressed Mint Watermelon is a favorite of mine by far. It’s absolutely delicious — light, fluffy and perfectly sweet.

Cassis Elderflower Entremet (Gluten Free) | flourless almond cake, white chocolate mousse, cassis sorbet, tarragon sabayon

The perfectly even layers of almond cake placed between perfectly spread white chocolate mousse and cassis sorbet in the Cassis Elderflower Entremet are also seriously good.

Chocolate Truffle Cake (Gluten Free) | fenugreek ice cream, espresso sauce, gf chocolate streusel

And, for the chocolate lover in us all, this Chocolate Truffle Cake is as delicious as it sounds, especially when paired with “The Wake-Up Cup” cocktail.

Margie’s Candies

A true Chicago gem, Margie’s feature a throw-back neon marquee sign and old-school decor. There are often lines out the door, and for good reason. Not only do they sell some of the best sweets in town, they are mainly known for their soda fountain and classic Ice Cream Sundaes. I won’t describe their “Royal George”… a 25-scoop mega-bowl of ice cold, creamy confection… the photo will explain it all! But one word of advice: grab a few friends because this one may take a team to finish.

Photo Credit: cachetes_506

Bombo Bar

If you find yourself enjoying one of the many top-rated restaurants in the West Loop, I strongly suggest that you head on over to Bombo Bar for a truly delicious, entertaining and colorful dessert experience. Not only are their desserts seriously Insta-worthy, but the colorful art on the exterior walls and inviting decor inside make this place a one-stop shop for any photo-op. What I love about their desserts is that they are interactive… just squeeze!

Photo Credit: teharhynn

Here are some more of my favorite sweet-shops to check out on your next visit to Chicago:

Bon appe-sweets!

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