Guest article by Archana Vemulapalli
For those of you with a sweet tooth here in Austin, you already know there are plenty of places for fresh bites to satisfy those cravings. But what you may not know is that Austin’s local businesses offer international desserts for the times when you want to indulge in something different. Get ready to travel around the world without having to leave Austin city limits.
1/ Holla Mode: Thai Ice Cream
The owners of Holla Mode were inspired to open up a food trailer in Austin that serves Thai ice cream during a trip to Thailand. Their process involves pouring locally-sourced dairy, coconut milk, or cane sugar with different flavors onto a steel surface. The mixture is then scraped off into rolls and assembled in cones and cups with toppings for a fantastic taste of goodness.
Bhumi Bhowl, the most popular item on the menu, is named after the Thailand king, and it lives up to the hype. The flavors at Holla Mode are gourmet, seasonal, experimental, and constantly changing, but always yummy! The business has two locations now.
1800 Barton Springs Road and 1309 W. 45th St. – Website
2/ Fonda San Miguel: Tres Leches
This exquisitely decorated Mexican restaurant is mostly known for its traditional authentic cuisine. But few realize Fonda San Miguel is also a wonderful dessert spot.
This is by far my most favorite late night dessert spot. The tres leches is decadent, flavorful, and such a treat on a hot summer day. Also, the silken flan de almendra (almond flan) with caramel melts in your mouth. You’ll be begging for more.
233 W. North Loop – Website
3/ Austin Chai Wala: Chai Tea
Exams? Stress? Boredom? Just have a cup of chai, the ultimate panacea for any worldly troubles. It’s something you’d find on the streets of Pakistan or India, but now you can indulge in the popular South Eastern tradition in Austin.
This chai tea trailer, owned by local couples, Ahmed Malik and Nicole Hayes-Malik, and Wajahat and Zainab Zaidi, was once a catering and special events business. But Austin Chai Wala recently opened its trailer doors at Burnet and 45th. Get some delectable Nutella paratha to go with your chai and kiss your worries goodbye.
1309 W. 45th St. – Website
4/ épicerie: Beignets
This chic bistro is a little upscale Manhattan, but completely Austin with its gourmet cheese, groceries, and a selection of beer and wine. But what keeps me coming back to Epicerie are the soft, melt-in-your-mouth beignets.
Hot and fresh out of the oven, these beauties are baked to perfection and topped with plenty of powdered sugar. Couple that with a nice cup of cappuccino, while gazing at Epicerie’s black and white framed art on the walls, and life feels truly blissful.
2307 Hancock Dr. – Website
5/ South Congress Cafe: Crème Brulee
A charming restaurant amidst the new and funky on SoCo, South Congress Cafe also features a sinfully delicious crème brulee. Whether it’s the chef’s use of Adam’s extract (an Austin-made spice), or the ambiance, it makes for an unforgettable treat for those craving something sweet.
1600 South Congress Ave. – Website
6/ Troy Restaurant: Baklava and More
You won’t be disappointed by the baklava at Troy Restaurant, but you have to try a couple of less popular, yet equally mouthwatering, Middle Eastern treats there. The kunefe is a glorious cheese-filled pastry with shredded strands of phyllo dough. Also worth a try is the tavukgogsu, milk pudding made with chicken. Yes, chicken!
Troy is run by a very hospitable family, whose members make every visit even more enjoyable.
8105 Mesa Dr. – Facebook
7/ Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery: Doughnuts
I can’t talk desserts without mentioning this American staple, the doughnut. Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery has been around since 1948. You can’t miss their big sign in front of the business on Airport Boulevard.
Try the ever popular glazed doughnut or my personal favorite, the apple fritter. One bite and you will understand why this place is still a local favorite.
4909 Airport Blvd. – Website
8/ Sticky Toffee Pudding Company: Pudding
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Pudding is a British term for dessert that’s hot, and baked or steamed. Sticky Toffee Pudding Company started when Tracy Wilkinson-Claros moved from England to Austin. Luckily for us, she bought her recipes for delectable, hot puddings with her.
Her products are now available at most Whole Foods Markets, Central Markets, Fresh Plus, The Whip-In, and Cafe Medici.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What are your favorite places for international desserts in Austin?
Archana Vemulapalli is a full-time mom, part-time everything else: writer/blogger, program manager, bibliophile, foodie, travel enthusiast, techie, passable homemaker, occasionally brilliant chef, kid chauffeur, dependable plant killer. Follow her musings at myasays.com.