The problem in London is never going to be lack of desserts, but hours in the day to eat them. So if you don't want your cake to taste of regret, it's important to choose your desserts well. Or let us choose them for you. Like this.
Grilled banana at Som Saa
Shouldn't all desserts, ultimately, just be hot banana? Yes is the answer and Som Saa's grilled banana with palm sugar ice cream is the proof. The full name is kluey thort nahm dan beep, which incidentally is the noise you'll make when you try to order two more batches around mouthfuls of the first one.
Som Saa, 43a, Commercial Street, E1 6BD
Green tea s'mores at Flesh & Buns
For the un-American or uninitiated, s'mores are marshmallow, chocolate and biscuit piles, toasted over a campfire. Here the chocolate's been laced through with green tea, to Japanese it up a bit. They're pretty good as it is. But what makes them even better is they come with a fire. You know, just a little tabletop fire to cook your s'mores on. That is the dream and you, roasting your little marshmallow stacks, are living it.
Flesh & Buns, 41, Earlham Street, WC2H 9LX
Sanguinello orange shaker pie with clotted cream at Rawduck
This Hackney restaurant does incredible things to eggs, to fried chicken, to hanger steak — to all savoury food, so there's a good chance even if you've been to Rawduck you've never made it as far as the dessert menu. Fix that, though, for the sake of the blood orange shaker pie — a twist on the lemon and Americana of your standard shaker pie, with the bloodiness of the orange for sharpness and the clotted cream to add some West Country into the mix.
Rawduck, 197, Richmond Road, E8 3NJ
Baklava at Antepliler
Opinion is divided on the best baklava in London. Less so on the best area to head for these Middle Eastern pastries, with their layers of filo, nuts and honey — get to Green Lanes, with its mass of Turkish cafés. We recommend Antepliler, a justifiably heaving restaurant with a patisserie attached, where you can wash down your small, sticky pastries with a gritty Turkish coffee.
Antepliler, Grand Parade, 47, Green Lanes, N4 1AG
Walnut and quince pie with sour cream at Marksman
Marksman is more famous for its brown butter & honey tart, and in an ideal world you'll go with as many people as it takes to cover all of the desserts. But if you have to narrow it down to just one we recommend this. Walnuts, quince, sour cream — all beautiful things and not jammed together in one dish often enough.
Marksman, 254, Hackney Road, E2 7SJ
Stout tiramisu at Donostia Social Club
All of the desserts at this Basque tapas bar in one of the Pop Brixton shipping containers look strong. The white chocolate and chilli mousse is weirdly compelling and good with their red wines or Spanish beer. But for richness, lightness, sweetness, bitterness — basically all the best things about a dessert, at once — try the Brixton Brewery stout tiramisu, dense with malty, chocolate flavours rather than sweet marsala, and much nicer for it.
Donostia Social Club, Pop Brixton, Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ
Loukoumades at Mazi
It's tough to make a dessert of, essentially, little dumplings, feel innately summery, but Mazi have done it with lavender honey, crushed walnuts and sorbet, along with the loukoumades themselves — Greek honey-puffs, like a smaller, lighter doughnut.
Mazi, 14, Hillgate Street, W8 7SR
Gelato from Gelupo
Basically anything from this Soho gelateria is going to be a strong favourite for best dessert you'll eat when the weather's not cold. The line-up rotates all the time, but our pick for best regular? The ricotta and sour cherry. It's sweet, it's sour, it's got cheese in it. Eat enough of it and maybe it's one of your five a day. This is ticking a lot of boxes. Honorary shout-out goes to the blood orange sorbet: also lovely.
Gelupo, 7, Archer Street, W1D 7AU