You know the feeling. You’re having a lovely night, the food's great and the conversation's flowing, but you've been handed the dessert menu and nothing appeals. Alternatively you've eaten too much and are in desperate need of a stroll to break the meal and rediscover your appetite. When either happens, you've got options. These are some of our favourite spots for post-dinner dessert that open late - and if you're really stuffed, dessert cocktails are also an option. (Note: we would never encourage leaving Uno Mas without the Flan de Queso)
Pro tip: loads of excellent restaurants will be happy to let you in for dessert if you give them a call in advance and they have space. Head to Mr Fox for their take on the Iceberger or Super Split, or the PB&J that will send you home with a nostalgic spring in your step.
The guys at Gertrude are always happy to see you for a nightcap and some apple fritters, or the strawberries, mascarpone and roasted white chocolate, or the 3fe Espresso Ice Cream, and they're such good value at €4-6 that we recommend getting one of each. A cheese plate and sweet wine is also a vibe.
Peruke and Periwig
Dessert in a glass - we're into it. Prop yourself up with Peruke & Periwig's 'The Cold S’mores' - marshmallow infused vodka, crème de cacao, kahlua, milk & cream with a biscuit rim & toasted marshmallows, or try the Key Lime Pie gimlet - citrus and vanilla vodka, tarte citron, lemon, lemonade, a biscuit rim and meringue foam. No matter how full you are when you enter, the likelihood is you'll find room for seconds.
Ely Wine Bar
Ely Wine Bar's elegant Georgian room is a comfy place to carry on the conversation and finish out the night with ‘just one more glass of wine’. Desserts features things like poached Irish rhubarb, jelly, nuts and vanilla ice-cream, and burnt honey cheesecake with bitter almond ice-cream, and excellent cheese is a given.
We can think of worse ways of finishing a night than with espresso and the best Sicilian cannoli this side of Naples at Dolce Sicily. We asked what time they usually run out of cannoli, and the reply was "never!" Plus there's always room for cannoli. It's a scientific fact.
Three Twenty Ice Cream Lab
Proof that ice-cream is hot. The good stuff at Three Twenty Ice-Cream lab is churned to order with a dash of liquid nitrogen, and we're all about the crème brûlée made with crème anglaise and a charred fair-trade sugar top, but can also stand behind the chocolate smore with toasted marshmallow fluff.
Put yourself in the hands of the cheese experts at Loose Canon and finish the night on a savoury note with a side of natural wine. The weekly cheese specials are in prime condition and there's always some with a bit of funk, just like the wine.
Try all the bombolinis (Italian filled doughnuts) you can manage at Café Bombo on Thomas Street, and wash them down with a jug of slushy margaritas to send the night off right. Open until 9pm at weekends.
Dunne and Crescenzi
Call them while you walk and with enough notice Dunne & Crescenzi should be able to squeeze you in for a late night tiramisu and a Tuscan Vin Santo or an affogato with amaretto. We're imagining this would be particularly perfect post pizza somewhere like Pi whose menu is dessert-less.
The legendary Teddy’s ice-cream has pitched up at outdoor food market Eatyard to serve you a cold scoop of nostalgia, or you could head to Sweet Churro for (in their own words) ‘crunchy clouds of deliciousness’ with dulce de leche.
The Vintage Cocktail Club
If your stomach really can't take any more food, or even a dessert cocktail, head to The Vintage Cocktail Club for something fresh, fruity and easily digestible, like The Dirty Wizard, with chilli-infused vodka, gingerbread and blackcurrant liqueur, cranberry juice, fresh citrus, egg whites, a ginger nut rim, berry skewer and a fresh mint sprig. It's basically a digestif.
Scoop Dessert Parlour
If on the other hand you haven't eaten enough, there's only one thing for it - the ice-cream cookie sandwich from Scoop. Pick any flavour of both, but a winning combo is the oreo gelato sandwiched between milk chocolate cookies. Just hope you got that walk in post-dinner.