Cambridge Dessert Bars


Photo courtesy of L.A. Burdick.

Maybe you partied hard at a friend’s house and are hoping to satisfy a sudden sweet tooth. Maybe dinner left you unable to walk, but there’s still a liiiittle bit of room in your stomach for dessert. Maybe you want to catch up with an old friend over coffee and buns.

No matter the reason, it’s all right to be honest: sometimes, all you want is a little sugar. But day-old cupcakes with hardened frosting and coffee bordering on so-so is hardly the way to treat yourself.

Cambridge is studded with high-quality bakeries, meaning there’s no excuse to “settle for anything” here. Check out this roundup of dessert bars whose goodies blow stale cookies and cold cups of coffee out of the water.

Royal Pastry Shop

738 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02141

Before you ride the T to the North End, stop! Royal Pastry Shop is less of a journey, and their fresh pastries, cookies, and cakes match the quality of North End treats.

Royal Pastry Shop is one of the hidden treasures of Cambridge Street. It began as a humble bakery in 1942, offering traditional Italian goodies to the public before expanding its menu to incorporate some American favorites as well.

But this old bakery is history, and history doesn’t confine itself behind brick and mortar. Family after family has grown up with Royal Pastry Shop over the past 70 years.


Fresh strawberries and plenty of whipped cream on these goodies! Photo courtesy of Royal Pastry Shop.

Because of this, the shop’s online reviews are usually authored by nostalgic men and women who still stop in weekly for a pastry, who can recall the cakes Mom brought home with her, that first velvety bite.

It’s no surprise that Royal Pastry Shop’s gems make appearances at annual family gatherings—and are often the stars of the events. Try to ask guests what they love most, but don’t expect a uniform response.

Someone will describe the heavy whipped cream and fresh strawberries on a cake. Another will pour over the holiday cookies. And someone may just unwrap a newly-purchased cannoli and shove it in your mouth. Instead of trekking to the North End for dessert, grab a friend and join the Royal Pastry Shop congregation.

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