Melany Perez

My favorite places for dessert and anything with sugar


“Is that your breakfast?” 

Olivia’s eyes traveled right to the stack of nine cookies and three heaping scoops of ice cream topped with a generous serving of crushed Oreos. While Olivia’s breakfast plate was adorned with eggs and hashbrowns, mine looked like the residence of a euphoric sugar plum fairy. 

I had no concept of insulin, cholesterol or anything green. This was what my meal typically looked like when I was a first year. I emphasize as a first year to exemplify my maturation to only taking three cookies at dinner now. I still reason that my massive sweet tooth fuels my sweet personality … or it could just be fueling my progressive sugar addiction. 

As someone who used to consume sugar as the entirety of my meal, I have had just about every dessert around New Haven, with some tasting as bland as our dining hall chicken and others tasting so good they could almost cure my depression. H Here is my take on top dessert places around Yale. 

Listed in no particular order.

  1. T-Swirl 

T-Swirl has Japanese crepes that are filled with fruit, custard and other toppings that you can choose from. The crepes are made with rice flour, which gives them a slight crunch. And, this means the crepes are fully gluten-free, and they can be dairy-free — just don’t add custard. I love the fresh fruit combined with a touch of creamy richness from the custard, all wrapped inside the thin crepe which has a little crunch. 

There are many combinations of crepes that you can get, including the possibility of making your own. My go-to crepe is the “Wild Berries”, which has sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, custard cream, whipped yogurt, chocolate pearls and granola.  This is a lighter dessert option that gives freshness with a touch of sweetness! 

  1. Arethusa

Arethusa is a New Haven staple and it is my favorite ice cream place. I love the luxurious richness of the ice cream and the creaminess. Arethusa has wholesale flavors, which don’t change, and they have seasonal flavors. My favorite wholesale flavor is strawberry. 

Aside from the wholesale flavors, they also have a selection of seasonal flavors. From here, I like the pistachio and pumpkin with ginger molasses cookies. I have yet to try the peach though! Bonus: they also sell other products, like milk, cheese and yogurt. I also recommend trying some of their cheeses! 

  1. Pistachio Cafe 

Pistachio Cafe has two locations, but I recommend going to the original location on Whalley Avenue, which is beautifully decorated. Many of the desserts have a Middle Eastern fusion, such as their wide variety of baklava, halva, Turkish delights, and Barazik. They also have a collection of decadent cakes, ranging from limoncello mascarpone to tora nocciola with praline and hazelnuts. Overal, I recommend trying their classic pistachio cake!

  1. G Cafe 

G cafe has three locations, but I most recommend going to the Ninth Square location on Orange Street. During my first year — with COVID-19—, my friend Marley and I would sit on the bright red leather seats, drinking tea and eating croissants as our Friday morning ritual. 

I have had quite a few of G cafe’s pastries, including their financier, pain au Chocolat, croissant, flourless chocolate tart, brownie, carrot cake, almond croissant and the cronut. My least favorite was the carrot cake, which I don’t think they sell anymore. Out of all the baked goods, I would most recommend the cronut and their bread. Aside from the sweets, you can buy a loaf of bread for about $8.  My favorite bread was the Josephine, which is a classic sourdough. I used to buy a loaf of bread from here each week when I lived off campus, which was perfect for my egg and toast breakfast.

  1. Tous les Jours 

Tous les Jours is a French-Asian-inspired bakery with a multitude of pastries, cakes and coffee. Their pastries range from sweet to savory, such as their variations of milk bread and croquettes — a deep-fried roll with filling. Lined the warmly lit glass cabinets filled with every variation of pastry, you get a tray and you can pick out exactly what you’d like. Tous les Jours also has a wide range of assorted macarons and slices of cake. Although a slice of cake can be quite pricey in comparison to the other pastries, their cloud cake is their specialty and what I most recommend trying. 

My favorite is the Tripe Berry Cloud Cake, which has a light sponge cake with layers of whipped cream, berries and a light cloud frosting. I don’t like heavy dense cakes or frosting that is overly sweet and saccharine. This berry cake layers freshness from the berries, softness from the white cake and a light sweetness from the whipped topping.  

  1. Whale Tea

Whale Tea is a must-try bubble tea place! I love how the boba is still warm, chewy and sweet. I typically get the standard brown sugar milk, but I also like their strawberry milk. 

  1. Lucibello’s

Lucibello’s has Italian pastries, such as every type of Italian cookie, butter pastries filled with ricotta or cream, pies and cakes. Lucibello has great prices for the size and is around $4 for a large pastry. You can sample a ton of different cookies, and you pay by the weight. I have tried my fair share of variations of butter and shortbread cookies sandwiched with different types of jam. I also really like the Anginetti, which are lemon drop cookies. Anginetti are very similar to the Lofthouse cookies that fall apart in your mouth with their light cakey texture. 

Additionally, they have a lot of flaky pastry variations filled with these creams, such as the Napoleon square and the lobster tail. You can either get the full-size or a mini version, which is perfect for sampling. Overall, I suggest trying their cannolis, which are filled with vanilla cream, chocolate or ricotta. I typically get the ricotta, which goes well against the crunchy shell. Lucibello’s is a great step into Italian pastries. Bonus: I always see the elderly Italian couples there. 

  1. Atticus Market 

Atticus has two locations: one on Chapel Street which is a part of the bookstore, and a market in East Rock. I prefer the East Rock location for pastries because this location has more variety and carries the pies. Atticus has a variety of pastries to choose from along with savory meal options and coffee. I have tried the tiramisu, salted caramel honey pie, morning bun, anadama cookie and kouign amann. 

My least favorite item were the cookies, which tasted too hard and dry. However, all of the pastries were very flaky, and I really liked the kouign amann “butter cake”, which was akin to a croissant filled with blueberry compote. My all-time favorite is the salted honey pie, which is a mini custard pie that is superbly balanced with the sea salt topping. 

While all of these delectable sweets don’t have to be your breakfast or every meal, they can be a great addition and a great way to explore New Haven and have a change of scenery.