8 retro-inspired Charlotte desserts that’ll make you feel like a kid again

Serve up the s’mores! These days, even Charlotte’s most upscale pastry chefs are getting especially playful when it comes to their post-dinner dining creations. From funnel cake to hot fudge sundaes, these are the retro-inspired sugary treats you craved as a kid – and will love as a grown-up.

Funnel Cake

This classic county fair fried dish gets a serious upgrade at uptown rooftop restaurant Fahrenheit. Served with an over-sized scoop of fried cinnamon ice cream, chocolate drizzle, and (of course) powdered sugar, this is a dessert meant for sharing, but one you’ll be tempted to polish off all on your own.

Fahrenheit, 222 S. Caldwell St. 980-237-6718.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

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Chic Davidson restaurant Kindred has made it socially acceptable to order the ultimate kitschy dessert craving. The spot’s famed fresh-made birthday cake is on the menu and comes complete with ice cream and sprinkles. The best news? You get to enjoy it without turning a year older.

Kindred, 131 N. Main St., Davidson. 980-231-5000.

Chocolate Brownie

Sure, at Good Food on Montford, you could finish a meal of small plates and cocktails with the equally elegant pot de crème. But to end your evening with an elevated version the ultimate childhood favorite, order the chocolate brownie served hot with a creamy scoop of biscoff ice cream and drenched in chocolate sauce.

Good Food on Montford, 1701 Montford Drive. 704-525-0881.

S’mores Trifle

Uptown’s 5Church may serve its s’mores in a glass, but that doesn’t make them any less decadent and delicious than the ones you mashed together as a kid. In this twist on the traditional, chunks of chocolate brownie and graham streusel are topped with toasted marshmallow cream for a dish sure to conjure images of campfires.

5Church, 127 N. Tryon St. 704-919-1322.

Housemade Doughnuts


Forget edgy or extravagant. At the stylish Bonterra in Dilworth, the sweets trend to the traditional with offerings like Buttermilk Pie and Strawberry Pocket Pie. But it’s the freshly made, hot doughnuts that steal the after-dinner show with chocolate and glazed versions served with drizzles of sweet sauces.

Bonterra Dining & Wine Room, 1829 Cleveland Ave. 704-333-9463.

Olivia’s Milkshake

Nothing says nostalgia like a creamy homemade milkshake. At Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen the chocolate, vanilla and pistachio milkshakes are named for owner Jim Noble’s daughter, Olivia, because of her fondness for them. One sip of the cold, thick treats and you’ll feel the same way.

Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen, 6601 Morrison Blvd., 704-366-8688; or 150 N. College St., 704-370-7667.

Cupcake of the Day

With its spinning DJs and craft cocktail menu, Soul Gastrolounge may be one of the city’s most consistently hip spots. But the end of the meal is as relaxed as it gets with comfort food cupcake creations ranging from chocolate chip cake with mint whipped cream to vanilla cake and strawberry whipped cream. (Tip: Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the day’s selection.)

Soul Gastrolounge, 1500 Central Ave. 704-348-1848.

Hot Fudge Sundae

Block & Grinder may have been inspired by the confection beloved by all children, but this version is distinctly grown up. Homemade burnt bourbon ice cream is topped with hot fudge, bacon tuile, candied pecans, whipped cream, and, of course, a cherry. Consider yourself warned: You’ll have a hard time returning to the original.

Block & Grinder, 2935 Providence Road, 704-364-2100; or 130 Landings Drive, Mooreseville, 980-444-2995.

Photos: Kevin Dvorscak (doughnuts); Corey Inscoe (birthday cake)