DiMare Pastry Shop

Photograph: Andrew Sullivan

Fairfield County sure is sweet on DiMare. Aside from winning best bakery, the family-owned bake shop also won for best desserts in Fairfield County. Imagine everyone’s smile when you bring out a fresh fruit tart or cheesecake or arrange a variety of biscotti alongside the coffee. And though not technically a dessert, we suggest the cheese and fruit Danish. (See also “Bakery.”)

1245 East Putnam Ave., Riverside, 203-637-4781
12 Largo Dr. S., Stamford, 203-967-2253


Chocolate Works

Chocolate! Now you’ve got us sitting up and giving you our full attention. This is one of the moments that we editors love—our voters surprise us. We haven’t been to Chocolate Works, and we love to check out new places, especially when chocolate is involved. So we are all over this. It’s the first location in the state for this franchise; it is a candy store that encourages guests to mold, decorate, dip and otherwise customize their chocolate experience. Have a party, stop by for an event—check it out. Like we said, there’s chocolate.

25 Old Kings Hwy. N., Darien, 203-202-7067;


Forever Sweet Bakery

How did cupcakes come about? Sure, they’re cute, but they also tackle the issue of making sure that no one is getting more cake than anyone else around the table. Well, the humble cupcake has evolved with elaborate decorations that rival the attention lavished on cakes—at least at Forever Sweet Bakery cupcakes get the royal treatment. Fanciful, beautiful designs will delight all of your guests, equally. Individual  cupcakes can be topped with little graduation caps or miniature bow ties or served in a group arranged as a sweet bouquet of roses. Everyone’s happy!

4 New Canaan Ave., Norwalk, 203-939-9600;


16 Handles

The great thing about 16 Handles is that whether you know exactly what you want—Blackberry frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit and coconut flakes—or you have absolutely no idea, you will find plenty of options. Plus, the frozen yogurt flavors range from classics with a twist, like Midnight Tahitian Vanilla, to choices you wouldn’t have dreamed of, like AriZona Lemon Iced Tea Sorbet. The toppings—dry, fruit or a sauce—range from birthday cake bites to plump blueberries. If you can dream it, you can pull it together.

219 Bedford St., Stamford, 203-817-0707
1300 Post Rd., Fairfield, 203-292-9841


Saugatuck Sweets

It’s high summer, and it’s hot. Our voters know a good way to cool off: head to Saugatuck Sweets. With two locations—one waterside in Westport, the other in downtown Fairfield—the shop serves up shivery treats. Ice cream cone in hand, take a seat right outside the shop and expect to see lots of happy faces as your friends and family enjoy their treat. Now,  just chill for a moment. (See also “Candy Store.”)

575 Riverside Ave., Westport, 203-642-4615
28 Reef Rd., Fairfield, 203-292-8550


Saugatuck Sweets

Every once in a while you want a treat. Good thing Al DiGuido, owner of Saugatuck Sweets, is always sweet. For one, his store has bins loaded up with colorful pieces of candy—the old-time favorites, alongside the newest gummy design that today’s kids want. Everyone loves being able to fill the sack with their own personalized mix of sweets. For another, he’s one of the good guys, regularly engaging in community philanthropy with Al’s Angels, and inspiring others to give back, too.  (See also “Ice Cream/Gelato.”)

575 Riverside Ave., Westport, 203-642-4615
28 Reef Rd., Fairfield, 203-292-8550


DiMare Pastry Shop

Winning year after year after year, it is far from a shock to see DiMare take the top spot yet again. We wonder, do they still celebrate their win with a cake? After all, they are there for others’s big events, including weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and graduations. If there’s a reason to cheer and gather round a table, our voters seem to say that a DiMare cake will be in the center of things. Luckily, this full-service bakery does it all: cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more. (See also “Desserts.”)

1245 East Putnam Ave., Riverside, 203-637-4781
12 Largo Dr. S., Stamford, 203-967-2253



For a little coffee shop, Lorca gets big buzz. Founded by Leyla Jenkins, the shop is rooted in a love for the flavors and style of Spain, where she grew up—yet via Brooklyn, where she was located before opening in Stamford in 2012. She did her research, traveling to Seville to learn how to make authentic churros, and worked at a local coffee bar to learn the art of artisan coffee. Our voters appreciate the effort, and hand Leyla and her dedicated baristas the gold. The place has funky “floating” white-birch booths and wall murals over whitewashed bricks, appealing to dreamers who are also doers.

125 Bedford St., Stamford, 203-504-2847;