Desserts can create an experience for more than just your taste buds. Check out recommendations of the best dessert places in Vail to cure a sweet tooth or treat yourself, friends and family.
Location: 1300 Westhaven Dr., Vail, CO 81657
The Gessner is a restaurant with desserts that puts a twist on traditional s’more making by allowing you to stay toasty and warm indoors while you do it. In addition, this dessert place’s tableside experience offers beautiful views against huge windows or a cozier setting tucked inside private booths. Their thick and buttery shortbread, house-made marshmallow blocks flavored with mint, marbled chocolate and vanilla cake, dark chocolate, peanut-butter cups and strawberries allow you to take your s’more making to the next level. Cook your marshmallow of choice over an open flame safely at your table, and prepare for the deliciousness that’s to follow.
Gessner’s unique Dark Chocolate Spheres offer another experiential dessert, as you crack open the giant chocolate ball with a wooden hammer. The thin dome doesn’t usually crack with one tap, so keep going … the payoff is a classic sponge with a light mousse. Fresh berries and raspberry coulis complement the flavors, while homemade macarons add zip with lemon, pistachio and expresso flavors.
Pepi’s Bar & Restaurant
Location: 231 Gore Creek Dr., Vail, CO 81657
Pepi’s Bar & Restaurant is a fantastic place for dessert in Vail with their European Classic Banana Foster served in an authentic Bavarian atmosphere. While a classic dessert, servers must be properly trained and Pepi’s takes the preparation of their Banana Fosters seriously. Pepi’s Bananas Foster is prepared as a flambe tableside in The Antler’s dining room and is a show to watch. Complete with bananas and house-made vanilla ice cream — with a special Bavarian-style sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum and banana liqueur — it’s a great dish to share with family or friends.
Location: 242 E. Meadow Dr., Vail, CO 81657
Sundae, located in Vail Village is artisan ice cream at its best with creative flavors and homemade classics including ice cream sandwiches, waffle cones, signature shakes, and, of course, sundaes. This favorite Vail dessert spot allows you to mix in candies and goodies within layers and flavors of ice cream. Sundae creates signature ice-cream cakes, too. Just about everything, including jams and sprinkles, is made fresh, from scratch, and without artificial colors and preservatives at this dessert place. The innovative sundaes created by pastry chefs, like the lemon strawberry cheesecake sundae (made with lemon curd, graham-cracker crumble and strawberries) is divine. Kids love the favorite toppings of gummy bears and Oreo cookies!
Location: 193 Gore Creek Dr., Vail, CO 81657
Insider’s Tip: Closed select days. Plan in advance.
Sweet Basil is another cherished restaurant with desserts because of their Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake. Trust us, there is a reason it has been a staple on the dessert menu since 1994. It was inspired after a research and development trip to San Francisco when the pastry chef had a toffee dessert. The Sweet Basil chef and team played with their own version back in their kitchen based on a century-old English recipe, and small refinements have been made over the years. The “Sticky Toffee” (as it’s known to dessert restaurant insiders) is a decadent, comforting dessert that warms the belly with Meyer’s rum sauce, brown-sugar-rum ice cream and peanut brittle. It easily accounts for half of all Sweet Basil dessert sales and has been on the menu for as long as anyone can remember — yet no one ever seems to tire of it.
Location: 193 Gore Creek Dr., Vail, CO 81657
The authentic Swiss Chalet’s Schokoladen Fondue is a Bavarian delight to share with family and friends at this restaurant with desserts. Choose from (or better yet, get one of each!) Hazelnut Milk Chocolate or Des Alpes Swiss Dark Chocolate melted in a special fondue pot, with fresh fruits and sponge cake for dipping. This is an entertaining dessert experience served family-style, where you dictate how much or little decadent chocolate you can handle.
Location: 278 Hanson Ranch Road, Vail, CO 81657
7 Hermits, at the top of Vail Village’s Bridge Street, is a unique combination of locally crafted beer, pizza and sweet crepes, all offered all day. The favorite sweet crepe at this place for dessert is the Pillow Drop with chocolate ganache, toasted marshmallows, and graham crumbles. Try closing your eyes and imagine being at a campfire eating s’mores. The classic Crespelle combines Nutella and chocolate pearls with strawberries or bananas. And, the Berry White, leaves out the chocolate and accentuates fresh berries, jam and whip cream. Enjoy a hot espresso drink alongside the crepe for the full European experience.
Rimini Gelato & Chocolate
Location: 675 Lionshead Place, Vail, CO 81657
Rimini Gelato and Coffee Bar in Lionshead features ice-cream varieties made in the traditional Italian style. The Gelato at this dessert place is made with milk versus heavy cream and eggs, meaning it contains less fat than traditional ice cream. Ice cream is whipped and creates a fat-soluble coat across the tongue that doesn’t allow for the true flavor to come through, but that’s not the case with gelato. Each flavor is strong and creates a tasting experience that regular ice cream alone simply can’t provide. Every day, 24 tasty, interesting flavors are available at this Vail dessert spot — like Pumpkin Spice, Dr. Pepper and Birthday Cake. Rimini also offers a dairy-free sorbet collection including raspberry and dark chocolate. Kids and adults love the specialty ice creams (and coffee drinks) at Rimini. Stop in for a treat and sample a few of the unique flavors.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Location: 158 Gore Creek Dr., Vail, CO 81657
A visit to Vail is not complete without a stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Vail Village. Prepare for chocolate overload during your visit to this classic Vail dessert place with a variety of homemade fudge flavors, unique caramel apples — like the Rocky Road, milk and dark chocolate classics — and more. This dessert spot also offers gift boxes that are easy to bring home for yourself or as gifts if you can part with them.
From desserts that are part of a three-course meal, to quick and tasty ice-cream and chocolate, Vail’s got your sweet tooth covered. Find your favorite!
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