10 Extra-Decadent Chocolate Desserts From Your Fave S.F. Restos

With Valentine’s Day approaching and your sweet tooth being tempted from every angle (get out of here, Walgreen’s candy section!) you have to be selective about the treats you actually indulge in. That's why we made it our personal mission to scour the city for the most delicious, sinister, mouth watering, have-you-screaming-for-mercy chocolate desserts that will make any calories you rack up oh-so worth it.
Our findings? Let’s just say this: Our local pastry chefs have done us proud. Featuring nods to your favorite sweet and salty movie snack, upgraded versions of popular candy bars, and one of the most respected chocolate soufflés in the city, this list is nothing if not comprehensive. We’ve done our homework and hit almost every neighborhood on this 7x7 plot of land. Seriously we taste-tested everything. Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody had to do it.
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Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
1 of 10
Chocolate Creameux at Sons & Daughters
Ever had a Caramello? Love it as much as we do? Well then put Sons & Daughters on your must-visit immediately (this weekend?). This small, new(ish) restaurant tucked away in the Tendernob had us at hello. The gorgeous dessert du jour: A milk chocolate and vanilla crème filled with liquid salted caramel sitting on top of a hidden chocolate cookie. Sprinkled with sea salt and accompanied by hazelnuts and milk ice cream, this is one to write home about. Dear Mom…I may need to go to fat camp.
Price: $15
Sons & Daughters, 708 Bush Street (between Mason and Powell streets); 415-391-8311.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
2 of 10
Opera Cake at Tartine Bakery
Not going to lie, it was really hard to choose just one thing from the Mission’s favorite, line-out-the-door bakery. You know us, we like to go against the grain and in the end it was the unexpected, lesser-known Opera Cake that got our attention. This thick cake is layered high with chocolate, buttercream and espresso and is well worth the queue. And might we suggest the perfect addition to a Valentine’s night in?
Price: $5.50 a slice, $30 for a 6" cake
Tartine, 600 Guerrero Street (at 18th Street); 415-487-2600.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
3 of 10
Chocolate Budino Tart at A16
We love sweet and savory just as much as the next foodie, but what the folks at the Marina’s A16 have done is some whole ‘nother level genius. It looks so simple yet is so very complex. This choco tart is something like two pieces of heaven merging into one, with chocolate custard on top and dark chocolate mousse on the bottom. What really takes it over the top is the balance that the sea salt and virgin olive oil bring to the table. Is this what inner peace is like? Nom nom nomaste.
Price: $8.50
A16, 2355 Chestnut Street (between Scott and Divisadero streets); 415-771-2216.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
4 of 10
Chocolate Pot de Crème at Foreign Cinema
As if having the coolest outdoor patio and screening old movies wasn’t enough for the Mission’s beloved Foreign Cinema, now you have yet another reason to go there. This gem is what we envision is at the end of every chocoholic’s rainbow. No frills, and no need for them really. Just rich decadent dark chocolate with a splotch of whipped cream. We know you’re thinking, "Pudding?" No, we promise you, it is so much more.
Price: $8.50
Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission Street (between 21st and 22nd streets); 415-648-7600.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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5 of 10
Chocolate Custard Tart at Spruce
Looking for a little pick me up in your dessert? Look no further than this chocolate coffee- and caramel- inspired fete. Found at one of Sacramento Street's premier restos, this piece-of-art tart is made from caramelized white and Valrona milk chocolate set in a cocoa powder crust, and topped off with cream that has been steeped in roasted coffee. Bonus: It's garnished with salted caramel, the most insanely delicious crispy rice clusters, and a chocolate ribbon. In theory you might want to be delicate when eating it — but in the end you won’t.
Price: $9 at lunch, $10 at dinner
Spruce, 3640 Sacramento Street (between Spruce and Locust streets); 415-931-5100.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
6 of 10
Malt Chocolate Cake at SPQR
SPQR’s sous chef Sheree Cheng was in for a surprise when she made a birthday cake for her boss...her deliciously deviled malt cake ended up on the menu! And now the go-to in Upper Fillmore for delicious homemade pastas is making waves with this island-inspired dessert. Here's the basics: It's a chocolate fudge cake topped with malt cream that makes your knees quiver, whipped coconut and — get this — passion-fruit cream drizzle. The complex textures and flavors will have you questioning your dessert orientation.
Price: $10
SPQR, 1911 Fillmore Street (between Bush and Pine streets); 415-771-7779.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
7 of 10
Chocolate Soufflé at Gary Danko
Been to the famed Gary Danko for dinner yet? Yeah, us neither. But we did find a loophole to get you and your taste buds in the door to experience what we are now calling heaven on earth. You can walk-in with no reservation for dessert a la carte at the bar. And that's where you can order this chocolate soufflé, which has been on the menu since the eatery opened in 1999, and with good reason. The light-as-air dessert puffs out as they bring it to you, accompanied by two sauces — dark chocolate Belgian and crème anglaise. They disappear into the center and then so do you, as you dive in right after them.
Price: $17
Gary Danko, 800 North Point Street (at Fisherman’s Wharf); 415-749-2060.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
8 of 10
Peanut Butter Semifreddo at Commonwealth
At one of the Mission’s best-kept foodie secrets, Commonwealth chef Jason Fox devised this little number while at the movies. His inspiration? Popcorn and Reese’s Pieces. I know, we freaked out, too! His sweet-and-savory concoction starts with peanut-butter ice cream-like mousse atop a chocolate crust that is covered with chocolate and then drizzled with caramel. The salted frozen “popcorn” is made using nitrogen. Looks like a candy bar and taste even better! Dude where’s my dessert?
Price: $8
Commonwealth, 2224 Mission Street (at 18th Street); 415-355-1500.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
9 of 10
Lori's Famous XXX Chocolate Cake at Baker and Banker
You know that scene in “When Harry Met Sally“ when Meg Ryan, you know, does it at the table? Well, beware, that is how you may feel when you eat Lori Baker of Pacific Height’s Baker and Banker’s famous chocolate cake. It’s a triple-decker, milk chocolate and dark chocolate perfectly divided by the fluffiest, creamiest, chocolate cheesecake you’ve ever laid your tongue on. It’s available both in the restaurant and at the bakery. You have been warned.
Price: $9
Baker and Banker, 1701 Octavia Street (between Bush and Pine streets); 415-351-2500.

Photo: Courtesy of Baker and Banker
10 of 10
Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake at Chez Spencer
Listen very carefully. The French know what’s up with two very important sweet spots: Love and dessert. Chez Spencer, hidden on the outskirts of the Inner Mission, has absolutely perfected the two. Like a scene out of "Midnight in Paris," you can dine on a dim-lit patio, old-timey music in the background, watching the vanilla whipped cream melt down the sides of the cake as you glare into your lover’s eyes and fumble for your spoon.
Price: $8
Chez Spencer, 82 14th Street (between Folsom and Harrison streets); 415-864-2191.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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