The Ann Arbor area has so much to offer in the sweets department. From ice cream and gelato, to cheesecake and donuts, we've got it covered! If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you'll find just what you are looking for.
Here are ten local businesses offering unique treats. This is just small sampling of the delicious confections to be discovered. Find more Sweet Treats here. Do you have a favorite that is not listed? Let us know in the comments below!
Your safety is a top priority when experiencing the unique things that the Ann Arbor area has to offer. All individuals are urged to adhere to social distancing guidelines, practice frequent hand washing, utilize face coverings when in public and be respectful of others.
Washtenaw Dairy (Ann Arbor)
A staple in the Ann Arbor community, Washtenaw Dairy provides dairy products to individuals and businesses alike. What the locals know, is that some of the best donuts on the planet are fried here. The donuts are perfectly made. With a variety of classic flavors to choose from it would be a shame to only have one. Another sweet treat that is more expected is the ice cream. Washtenaw Dairy is a classic corner ice cream shop with many flavors to choose from. Stepping in is like stepping back to a simpler time before Instagram, when the warmth of the greeting and the creaminess of the ice cream were more important than the decorations. If you really want to get fancy, order a donut with a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top!
24th CheeseCakerie (Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti)
Chef Sean’s passion and excitement are contagious. His energy lights up the entire room. 24th CheeseCakerie is a Black-owned family business that comprises three generations. All three birthdays land on the 24th, hence the name, 24th CheeseCakerie. When you enter one of their two locations you may be lucky enough to meet Little Sean, the adorable son of Chef Sean who proudly follows his dad around, learning the trade secrets. All their cheesecakes and toppings are made from scratch; and can be mixed and matched for many different flavor profiles. There is always a vegan flavor available and a Keto option can be ordered as well. How good is the cheesecake itself? It is extraordinarily creamy with the delicate tartness indicative of excellent cheesecake.
MD Bagel Fragel (Ann Arbor)
What in the world is a fragel, you ask? MD Bagel Fragel's sweet little confection is a cross between a donut and a bagel. Cinnamon raisin bagel dough is fried up and tossed in sugar. Taking a bite is magical. The chewy dough, crunchy sugar, and juicy raisins combine to make an experience so unique you must try it for yourself! Patricia Rockette is the owner. The MD in the business name represents the first initial in each of her sons’ names. The bagels and fragels are made fresh daily, and when they are gone that’s it for the day. Be sure to get there early and call ahead for large orders. The menu also includes sandwiches as well as a wide variety of cream cheese flavors. Rockette’s favorite is the Vegetarian Sandwich, although not sweet, it is certainly a treat!
Yoon’s Bakery (Ann Arbor)
As soon as you step foot in this clean and organized space you are hit with the familiar smell of freshly baked bread. Yoon’s Bakery is one of the only Korean bakeries in the area. This French-Style Korean Bakery is owned by Mr. Yoon, and he knows what he’s doing. He visited Ann Arbor in 2010 and was impressed with the many Korean restaurants. However, he noticed there were no Korean Bakeries. He took up the torch and opened Yoon’s Bakery. The variety of baked goods available in such a small space is stunning. Everywhere you look there are unique pastries to try. The flavors and textures you will experience are milder and softer than the American counterparts. Grab a tray and start loading up on egg tarts, custard soboro bread, sweet potato bread, fruit custard tarts and so much more. During the summer in the afternoons Yoon’s Bakery serves Shaved Ice! An Asian-style frozen treat topped with fruits or chocolate!
Big City Small World Bakery (Ann Arbor)
This unassuming little bakery is nestled into a neighborhood with several other local businesses. You will find Scott Newell, the owner of Big City Small World Bakery, working tirelessly to bake the over 70 items available. The neighborhood locals know this is the spot to grab their morning coffee and a scone, but plan on ordering more then you came in for. What sets Newell’s creations apart is his commitment to quality. He bakes everything from scratch with organic and local ingredients. He takes pride is providing real food that has been hand-crafted. There is something for everyone with vegan and gluten-free options. The oatmeal raisin cookie was a standout. Whole cakes are available as well as sandwiches on home-made bread. Need something cold? Guernsey Farms Ice Cream is available in 8 flavors with a variety of toppings and scratch made sauces.
Naughty Boy’s Rolled Ice Cream (Dexter)
Who knew a trip to Thailand and meeting an elephant nicknamed “Naughty Boy” could change your life forever? For Emily and Corey Russell, that is exactly what happened. Starting off in a food truck in 2017, Naughty Boy's Rolled Ice Cream has now opened a storefront in Dexter. Never heard of rolled ice cream? It’s made by pouring a milk base (Naughty Boy’s has their own unique recipe) onto a frozen metal pan. Toppings, such as fresh fruit or candy are added to the milk base, chopped, and blended on the pan with metal spatulas while the milk base quickly freezes. The mixture is then smoothed flat on the pan and artfully curled into tasty, creamy rolls. More toppings and syrups like whipped cream, caramel, and chocolate can be added before being devoured. Try one of their recommended flavors or create your own for a unique spin on a classic summer treat.
Tasty Bakery (Ann Arbor)
This tiny little bakery tucked behind a warehouse off of Huron Street is a peaceful escape mere steps from Downtown Ann Arbor. Tasty Bakery started after the owner learned she had to begin eating gluten-free. Tasty is a dedicated gluten-free bakery and they also have many vegan options. Using the highest quality ingredients is as important as the deliciousness of the final product. You can find these tasty bakes at the source or a myriad of places such as the Farmer’s Market, Argus Farm Stop, and Sweetwater Coffee. The chocolate dipped vegan donut is the personal recommendation of the owner, she eats one nearly every day. After taking a bite out of this donut, you’ll discover it’s cakey with a thick coat of chocolate draped over the entire thing. The vegan Barry Bar is another standout with a lovely tartness enveloped in a sweet, crumbly crust. Stop by and try all these tasty treats for yourself!
Tea Ninja (Ann Arbor)
A treat you drink! Endlessly customizable, this Taiwanese-Style drink stand will have you hooked after the first sip. Try the classic Milk Tea with Tapioca at Tea Ninja or be a little adventurous with a Red Bean Matcha! The Brown Sugar Crème Brûlée is a decadent choice that is finished with a torched topping. You can customize not only the base and toppings but the ice and sugar levels too! They have a sugar substitute for those watching their blood sugar. In addition to the drinks you can order pocky sticks, macarons, brownie bites and several others. Located in the heart of Downtown Ann Arbor you can pop in for a cold refresher before continuing your exploration of the city.
Zingerman’s Creamery Cream Top Shop. (Ann Arbor)
You have likely heard the name Zingerman’s in relation to Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County before. What you may not know is Zingerman’s is not just one business. They are a community of businesses that collaborate to provide the best quality and service possible. Zingerman's Creamery Cream Top Shop is nestled in-between several other Zingerman’s businesses and offers a large selection of cheeses and freshly made gelato! What is gelato exactly? It is an Italian ice cream with roots dating back to the 1500s. It is different than American ice cream as it has less fat, less sugar, and less air. Don’t let less fat or sugar fool you; this treat is sweet, creamy, and dreamy! The cream top staff makes a variety of flavors on premises. They even have a window into their workspace allowing you to see where the magic happens!
Life Is Sweet Bakery & Café (Milan)
A surprisingly large space in the heart of Milan, Life Is Sweet Bakery & Café lives up to its name. They offer huge selection of sandwiches, beverages, cookies, candy, ice cream, and pastries. Walking into their shop is like stepping into a tasty, fantasy world. Deciding what to have is a challenge worth taking on. No matter what time of day, there is something perfect for every palate. Not sure what to have? Ask for a recommendation from one of the friendly staff members. The mini tarts are not only adorable but incredibly flavorful. The Key Lime Tart has a creamy filling inside a crumbly cookie crust and topped with the cutest little candy lime wedge. Stop in and find your perfect bite!
Still looking for more sweets? You can also check out other spots for sweet treats on our website.
No matter how you enjoy the Ann Arbor area, we want to emphasize the importance of following the requirements and recommendations of local and state health officials, the Centers for Disease Control, and your health care provider. All individuals are urged to continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines, practice frequent hand washing, utilize face coverings when in public and be respectful of others.
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