By Madeline Cook


There’s so many special places for delightful dining in Downtown Raleigh, but when is the last time you prioritized dessert over dinner?  All it takes is one visit to Bittersweet cocktail and dessert lounge to have you reimagining all the wonderful possibilities for satisfying your sweet tooth.



Take a seat inside and page through a menu full of beverages and sweets.  Bittersweet is keen on gin with the likes of cocktails such as the “Gin and Jam”, a summery drink served on the rocks with a spoonful of one of seven jam flavors of your choosing as a garnish.  If you’re not a gin fan, not to worry!  Maybe the “Champagne & Gummy Bears” is more your speed, or the alcohol-free “Sun is Shining” with pineapple, orange, lime and cream of coconut.  With such fun names, you’ll be tempted to try something different with each visit.

Onto the start of the show… dessert!  We hope you left some (er, a lot!) of room from dinner because anything served up at Bittersweet could be a meal of its own.  They have a knack for reinventing childhood favorites like Dirt & Worms, S’mores and Strawberry Pie on Pretzel Crust.  After hearing about the torched house-made marshmallow cream and dark chocolate brownie, we couldn’t say no to the “S’mores Sundae”.  Meanwhile, the “Prettiest Lemon Tart”, decorated with real flowers, was almost too pretty to eat, and certainly big enough to share!  And the blueberry lavender creme brulee did its job in reminding us exactly why Bittersweet is named a 2024 James Beard Award Semifinalist.  Each thoughtfully crafted dessert resembles an edible work of art. 


Make note of the weekly specials!  Stop in on Thursdays for a glass of prosecco and cupcake of the day for a steal.  Or, plan on the “Spring Dessert Sampler” Friday through Sunday for a delectable array of gin-honey cake, pot de creme and homemade coffee ice cream.  Sundays welcome a “Sunday Pie” featuring a different flavor each week.  The truth of the matter is that you won’t be disappointed with any choice at Bittersweet… unless of course you’re craving sweets on Monday or Tuesday when Bittersweet is closed.  Save that sweet tooth for Wednesday through Sunday, and we can’t wait to see what sweet treat calls your name!  


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