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Enjoying an ice cream at Cocolat

The dessert lovers' guide to a great late night bite

Cosy cafés, luxurious dessert kitchens and contemporary ice cream parlours are popping up all over Adelaide. 

It’s no secret, Adelaide excels in the food and wine department. Now more than ever, our city is overflowing with new and exciting places to eat. For those who want the night to kick on, our laneways and side streets are packed with slick bars, upmarket pubs and hidden clubs.


But there’s more to Adelaide’s nightlife than dinner and drinks. In the last ten years a thriving late-night dessert culture has taken grasp of our city, with a load of cosy cafés, luxurious dessert kitchens and contemporary ice cream parlours popping up all over town.


Here, you’ll find some of the best places to be tempted by sultry sundaes and decadent desserts, late into the night.


Eggless Dessert Cafe 

Unsurprisingly, Eggless Dessert Café specialises in desserts and cakes that are egg-free. They also specialise in desserts that are downright delicious. Eggless’ intricate dessert creations are homemade and mostly vegan and lacto-vegetarian friendly. Décor is simple and contemporary with a visible Asian twist – colourful lanterns hang from the roof, complimented by soft lighting, cozy lounges and very friendly staff.


Something I love about Eggless is the ever-changing menu. This month, diners were treated to concoctions such as Yong’s Onde Onde Sundae – Pandan & peanut sticky bombs, sweet potato and palm sugar sticky bombs, coconut, house churned sweet corn ice cream and crushed peanuts, and Zazc’s Apricot Honey and Whiskey Tiramisu – Whiskey, honey, apricot soaked vanilla sponge, honey mascarpone cream, caramel sauce, honey poached apricots, and scorched almonds. Eggless also serves-up traditional Asian deserts such as black sticky rice and lychee rose sago.


You can find Eggless at 162 Goodwood Road. Treat your tastebuds from Wednesday to Saturday: 8pm – late, or on Sunday: 7:30pm – 11pm.


Spats Coffee Lounge

It’s difficult to accurately describe Spats Coffee Lounge. Part coffee lounge, part dessert café, part cabaret show, it’s a flamboyant world of gastronomic seduction. Step inside and be greeted with frills, velvet drapes, antique chandeliers and intimate booths aglow with candlelight. Open the menu, and it becomes clear that at Spats, almost anything goes. From waffles to muscles; tea to cocktails; burgers to crepes and cakes, the list is endless.


A visit to Spats Coffee Lounge is an entirely unique experience. A performance in itself, Spats is a mish-mash of themes, cuisines and cultures with a seductive, intimate vibe.


Spats can be found at 108 King William Road, Goodwood. It’s open Monday to Thursday: 6:30pm – 12:00am, Friday to Saturday: 6:30pm – 2:00am and Sunday: 6:30pm – 12:00am.


Bracegirdles House of Fine Chocolate

The mother of dessert cafés, Bracegirdles House of Fine Chocolates is located at Glenelg, Toorak Gardens, McLaren Vale, Marion shopping centre and Clarence Gardens.


Bracegirdles is casual and inviting: the perfect place to catch up with friends after dinner. All desserts are made on-site by highly talented chocolatiers, and there’s a load to choose from. Chocolates are displayed in gorgeous glass cabinets, and you’ll find breakfast options, frappes, fondues, cakes and ice creams. Bracegirdle’s has won gold awards at the Royal Adelaide Show for the past seven years, plus the Champion Chocolate and Most Successful Exhibitor awards.


Décor is simple, unpretentious and airy. Each store has different opening ours, but most stay open late on weekends. For opening hours check out their website: http://www.bracegirdles.com.au/contact.html.


The Original Pancake Kitchen

Established back in 1965 and open 24 hours, the Original Pancake kitchen is a well-loved haunt for late-night sweet tooths. Charming in its simplicity, its aim is to fill hungry bellies at any hour of the day or night. Inspired by American roadhouses and their ever-popular pancakes, the Original Pancake Kitchen slaps-up stacks in an impressive range of flavours including Jamaican banana, Bavarian apple, brandied apricot and Dutch chocolate.

If you’re feeling extra hungry, and don’t mind the concept of a savoury pancake, you’re in luck. Take your pick from the Pancake Kitchen’s…heavier…menu. Try a Canadian feast, German feast or farmer’s breakfast. Even hungrier? How about a ham steak & pineapple feast or – wait for it – a grain-fed Scotch fillet pancake feast? You’ll also find a range of options sans pancake, including sundaes, salads, waffles, drinks and steaks.


The Original Pancake Kitchen is tucked away at 13 Gilbert Place, Adelaide and is open 24 hours per day, every day.


Cocolat Dessert Cafe 

Chocolate connoisseurs will be in heaven at Cocolat Dessert Café. The first store opened in the leafy Adelaide Hills town of Balhannah many moons ago. Now, Cocolat has built an empire with stores in Adelaide’s CBD, Prospect, Tea Tree Plaza, Burnside Village, Adelaide Airport and Henley Beach.


Walk into any Cocolat store and prepare yourself for some seriously decadent desserts. Sink your teeth into artisan handmade chocolates, pastries, jaffa cakes, macaroons, ice creams and tarts. Sip on a quenching range of milkshakes and juices, or how about a chilli hot chocolate? Stand-out dishes include pistachio, pear and dark chocolate cake, orange and macadamia tart, salted caramel cheesecake and the ever-popular choc mint dream bomb.


Most Cocolat stores close around 5pm, but the Rundle Street store (281 Rundle Street, to be exact) stays open till late, seven days per week.


Chocolates at Cocolat

Tuck into a plate of locally made chocolate at Cocolat, Bracegirdles or Chocolatree.


St Louis House of Fine Ice Cream and Dessert

St Louis is the ultimate in ice cream indulgence. You’ll find two stores in Adelaide; one conveniently located on our busiest dining strip – Gouger Street, and another at our most popular city beach – Gleleng. Made locally and lovingly, St Louis desserts are ridiculously tasty. Pick from a selection of handmade chocolates and a huge range of ice cream flavours.


From churros fondue to affogato; dessert cocktails to waffles, the menu is lengthy and impressive. Combined with a great range of fine wine, beer and spirits, St Louis is the perfect place for a late-night dessert jaunt.

You’ll find the city store at 19 Gouger Street, Adelaide. It’s open Monday to Thursday: 7:30am – 11pm, Friday: 7:30am – 12:00am, Saturday: 9:00am – 12:00am and Sunday: 9:00 – 11:00pm.


The Glenelg store is located at 1 Colley Terrace, Glenelg. It’s open Monday to Thursday: 8:00am – 11:00pm, Friday to Saturday: 8:00am – 12:00am and Sunday: 8:00am – 11:00pm.


Chocolatree

Chocolatree is a one-stop shop for artisan chocolates and late-night desserts. Conveniently located on O’Connell Street, near restaurants and cafés, it’s a lively affair with funky décor, a huge indoor mural, comfy sofas and café-style seating. Chocolatree specialises in Belgian-style, handcrafted chocolates made with fresh ingredients by an in-house chocolatier.


Their range includes truffles, gift packs, cakes, ice cream and macaroons. They also do a mean coffee, made with the finest Arabica beans sourced from around the world. But the highlight of Chocolatree (for me, anyway) is their hot chocolate. Silky smooth and in flavours such as peanut butter, jaffa and coconut, a Chocolatree hot chocolate is hard to beat.


The store can be found at 25 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide. It’s open Sunday to Thursday: 10am – 11pm and Friday to Saturday: 10am – midnight.


The Aviary Dessert Kitchen

The Aviary is an intimate dessert café on the cosmopolitan Norwood Parade, conveniently located near restaurants and cafés. Everything about the Aviary is ultra-modern with contemporary art, quirky sculptures and intricate light fixtures prevalent throughout its dining area. It’s also the perfect place to sample some of Adelaide’s most creative dessert concoctions.


When it comes to food, the Aviary is nothing short of Avant Garde. Fascinating, delicious, and at times bizarre, prepare your tastebuds for creations such as the macaroon flower pot – macaroons set in a pot of rich Belgian chocolate mud cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate soil and pistachios, or the lychee pearl – lychee icecream encased in a pink guava granita on a bed of lychee jelly. Friends in tow? Order the chocolate pecking plate – Belgian waffles, a chocolate raspberry mousse pot and flourless chocolate cake. Of course, you’ll find shakes, sundaes, tea and coffee too.


The Aviary is located at 227 The Parade, Norwood. It’s open Tuesday to Thursday: 7:30am – 10:30pm, Friday to Saturday: 7:30am – 11:30pm and Sunday: 7:30am – 10:30pm.


Dessert Story

Dessert Story is one of Adelaide’s most unique late-night desert cafés. Owner, David Loh’s passion is authentic Taiwanese and Chinese dessert. His aim? To introduce traditional Asian dessert culture to Australia, and introduce something fresh and new to palates around the country. With stores interstate and in China, Adelaide has recently welcomed its very own Dessert Story café to Gouger Street.


While many eateries falsely claim “authenticity”, I can safely say, Dessert Story is the real deal. Their menu is vast and filled with delicious dishes I’d never even heard of. Taiwanese desserts include herbal jellies, black rice, tofu pudding and snow ice. Chinese deserts include black pearl sago, grass jelly and a range of back rice ice creams. Thirsty? Try a fruity coconut colada with red bean and mango, or delicious aloe-vera and watermelon juice.


Dessert Story’s Décor is both traditional and cheery, much-like its food. In the dining area, red Chinese lanterns hang from the roof, emitting a warm glow. At the bar, a giant plastic penguin stands-by, ready to take your order (why not?)


With so many dessert cafés popping up around Adelaide, Dessert Story gives diners a unique opportunity to branch out and try something totally new. It’s located at 118 Gouger Street, Adelaide and is open Monday to Sunday: 11am – 2am.
Samuel Smith
About Samuel Smith

Sam is a South Australian writer with a passion for travel, the arts, consuming large amounts of food and correcting people's grammar.

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