In a cozy bakery in Boston's South End, where sticky buns drip with caramel pecans and donuts are sold out by noon, a cheeky sign above the register proclaims: "Make life sweeter—eat dessert first."
There's no arguing with pastry chef Joanne Chang, whose Flour bakery sees crowds lining up as early as 7 a.m. for her signature treats. Indeed, the best places for dessert inspire you to throw out all the rules—eat with moderation, save the best for last—and give in to sugary bliss, no matter what the time of day.
As part of T+L's coverage of the Best Places to Eat Like a Local, we surveyed the globe for the finest desserts, such as ricotta-and-chocolate-stuffed pastries in Rome and the "mango avalanche" in Taipei, shaved ice piled high with fresh fruit, mango pudding, and sorbet. Whether as an antidote to a long day of exploring or a quick pick-me-up between sightseeing stops, these sweets can define their destination in just one bite. —Nikki Ekstein
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