I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty experienced when it comes to eating chocolate. Decades upon decades, I’ve been enjoying chocolate. Growing up, I picked the same flavor for my birthday cake year after year: chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Now, I like other birthday desserts, too, but I still really love chocolate.
Since Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, many places have special treats for the holiday, but what about the rest of the year, huh? This list has delicious chocolate desserts that are available all the time in Champaign-Urbana and Mahomet. From Swiss chocolate fondue to a Japanese miso brownie, here are five awesome chocolate desserts for chocolate-lovers.
Chocolate Fondue ︱ Bread Company
Arguably, the most romantic way to consume chocolate is fondue, and my favorite (and the only?) spot in C-U for chocolate fondue is The Bread Company in Urbana. Last Friday, my husband and I went for dinner and ordered the #26 chocolate fondue ($12) for dessert, served with a bowl of sliced strawberries, pears, and apples. The melted bittersweet chocolate was super thick, creamy, and just the epitome of chocolate fondue. The hot pot of choc was exactly the right temperature: thin enough to give way to dipped fruit and but thick enough that the heavy glaze of decadent Swiss chocolate actually stuck to the fruit. Our portion of fondue was more than enough to coat all the sliced fruit — with chocolate leftover.
I do wish it was served with those cool metal sticks, but the forks worked fine. For dine in at the campus restaurant, order at the counter; servers will bring food to the tables, and diners are responsible to bus their own table. Open six days a week, The Bread Company is a cosy spot for a romantic dessert.
The Bread Company
706 S Goodwin Ave
M 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tu-Th 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sa 4 to 9 p.m.
French Sipping Chocolate ︱ Lucky Moon Pies & More
Last month, I visited Lucky Moon Pies & More’s new bakery and café and ordered the French sipping chocolate ($5). A little espresso cup of warm, melted chocolate, this drink was nothing like a hot chocolate drink (made with cocoa powder). Lucky Moon’s sipping chocolate was much more akin to drinking a little spot of chocolate fondue. I loved the drink’s intense cocoa flavor and how deliciously rich it was. The dessert’s blend of milk chocolate and dark chocolate had a gloopy texture not unlike hot fudge and was quite a thick sip. Paired with a cup of the bakery’s drip coffee, it was lovely.
This cup of French sipping chocolate (plus pie, quiche, cookies, sandwiches, and more) are always on the menu at Lucky Moon. For more about the food, read Matt’s review, Remington’s review, and Rachael’s review. Follow the bakery on Facebook.
Lucky Moon Pies & More
703 Eastwood Drive
T-F 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sa 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Double Chocolate Pie ︱ Po’ Boys
I am low key obsessed with the pie at Po’ Boys near Five Points in Urbana, specifically the double chocolate flavor. Last week, I went for lunch and ordered a slice of double chocolate pie ($4.75) to-go, and it was a fantastic decision. The pie’s main part of fluffy chocolate tasted sweet and creamy, and the cookie crust was super sweet and not at all creamy. The crushed chocolate cookies of the crust punctuated every bite of silky chocolate cream with crunchy, buttery chocolate cookie crumbles. That slice’s chocolate-y overload was everything I wanted in a chocolate dessert. Since it was packed to-go, it was an easy treat to enjoy later or deliver to a chocoholic friend.
This one is the best Po’ Boys pie in my opinion, but the regular chocolate pie (the one with flaky pie crust instead of chocolate cookie crust) is excellent as well. The pies here are all made in-house by a dedicated pie-maker. The slices are big, but for those hungry for more, Po’ Boys does offer whole pies. Visit the restaurant to know what flavor pies are available, and cross fingers for the double chocolate.
Po’ Boys Restaurant
202 E University Ave
W-Su 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Miso Brownie ︱ Suzu’s Bakery
Of all the treats on this list, this is the C-U chocolate I’ve loved the longest. It was one of the first things I tried at the bakery when Suzu’s first opened in 2020, and I still love it so much. One afternoon, I ordered a miso brownie ($5), which was served on a plate on a tray with a fork. Looking beautiful and almost too good to eat — almost, the dessert was a tall, skinny slice of brownie topped with a broad stroke of super-sweet hardened chocolate and chocolate-coated crunchies. The brownie’s texture was soft and fudgy, on the edge of fully cooked and brownie batter-esque. Suzu’s miso brownie had it all: crispy crunch and ultra decadent chocolate drizzle over an intense, heavenly chocolate crumb.
For more about the Japanese bakery in Downtown Champaign, check out Matt’s review and this interview with one of the owners Jennifer-Gunji-Ballsrud. Order online, and follow Suzu’s Bakery on Facebook for photos of sweet treats.
114 N Walnut St
W-Th 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
F+Sa 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Su 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chocolate Tart ︱ Tasty Tart
Tasty Tart offers a variety of tarts a la carte, and the Champaign shop’s chocolate tart ($3.49) is a practically perfect chocolate tart. Made from-scratch with lots of real butter, the crust’s sturdy structure did well at holding the fudge-like filling and gave a super crunchy bite to each nibble of tart. The rich, sweet chocolate flavor and the satisfyingly smooth texture of the custard filling hit hard. This little tart had no bells and whistles or sprinkles and cookie crust: it was just a plain tart shell with plain ol’ chocolate in the middle, but Tasty Tart’s creamy chocolate filling was really delicious. There was something wonderful about the simplicity of it.
This tiny treat was a nice size for one person, but the crust stays mostly unscathed when cut, so it’s easy to buy a few to split, too. Order tarts online or stop by the tiny tart store on Neil Street.
405 S Neil St
T-Th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
F-Su 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.