There are a lot of chocolate lava cakes out there, but we think SOLO Trattoria's is one of the best.
There are a lot of chocolate lava cakes out there, but we think SOLO Trattoria's is one of the best.
Courtesy of Craig Cummins

5 Unexpectedly Great Desserts in Metro Phoenix

With so many restaurants in the Valley boasting gourmet desserts, it's easy to lose track of which places carry the best ones. Not every restaurant with a great dessert brags about it though, as many amazing desserts are kept on the back page of the menu and show no sign of being something out of the ordinary until you order it.

Just because you have a good restaurant doesn't mean you make good dessert, so here's our list of five of our favorite desserts from places that you may already go to for dinner, but foolishly pass on the post-meal sweetness.

See also: 5 Best Places for Dessert in Scottsdale

Mastro's Steakhouse - Mastro's Signature Warm Butter Cake All right, we'll admit that this one isn't much of a secret anymore, but it's still one of the best desserts in the Valley at a restaurant where people rarely have any stomach space left over for post-meal treats. Much like everything else at Mastro's, the super creamy butter cake is huge, simple, and delicious. To compliment it, the cake is served with a scoop of ice cream, some fruit, and a couple drizzles of raspberry sauce. As tempting as it is to order the biggest slab of beef on the menu when choosing the entree, we recommend going with something smaller than you might normally eat. This way, you'll still have an appetite for the massive hot mountain of golden greatness that'll be sitting on the table for dessert.

SOLO Trattoria - Chocolate Lava Cake This lava cake is awfully good, considering it doesn't even get a description on the menu. Odds are, when you go to Phoenix's SOLO, you're too busy stuffing your face with melt-in-your-mouth meatballs, pasta and their scrumptious "Ham and Figs" pizza to save room for dessert, but that's where you're making a mistake. Italian restaurants aren't typically a place to go for lava cake, but SOLO isn't a typical Italian restaurant. The richness of the cake and gooiness of the center are balanced out by some vanilla cream, and it makes for one of our preferred desserts at one of our favorite little Italian spots. The affogato and tiramisu are also worth trying, in case you're not in the mood for so much chocolate.

The "pudding" comes on the side as more of a sauce for the chocolate bread/cake in Cornish Pasty Co.'s signature dessert.
The "pudding" comes on the side as more of a sauce for the chocolate bread/cake in Cornish Pasty Co.'s signature dessert.
Nikki Buchanan

Pig & Pickle - Vinegar Pie Let's just start off by saying that Pig & Pickle has some of the more underrated desserts in all of Scottsdale, so you really can't go wrong with ordering any of them. Our favorite is definitely the different variations of vinegar pie they have, more or less regardless of which fruit it's based around. Vinegar pie might sound a little bit nasty, but the bitterness of the vinegar in the crust actually goes really well with the sweet filling. Sure, it's a little bit of a weird taste if you're looking for just a straight sugar overload, but sometimes you want dessert without feeling like you're back in elementary school. If you don't believe us, go ahead and try it, then tell us it's gross. It's probably the most delicious non-pork product you'll find at any restaurant with "pig" in the name.

Cornish Pasty Co. - Chocolate Bread Pudding The first time we had this signature dessert at Cornish Pasty Co., we were expecting something more pudding-like. We'd heard it was good from our chocolate-loving friends, but when it came to the table, it just looked like some weird piece of bread-like cake. It was that evening when we learned not to judge a dessert by its appearance, as the dish became our entire reason to live for the next few minutes. The texture is the perfect combination of soft and chewy without seeming soggy, the chocolate is as rich and dark as you can get without venturing into bitter-tasting territory, and the entire presentation is just a perfectly simple end to a warming and comforting meal. As good as the "Broccoli & Cauliflower Cheese Bake" is for a side, you can totally pass up on it to make sure you're not too full for dessert.

Fuego Bistro - Banana Burrito You know what might be even better than a burrito? A dessert burrito. Our favorite dessert at Fuego Bistro has so much going on in it that it starts to taste like just a blend of diverse sweet flavors in your mouth. The burrito itself is a combination of a banana and some chocolate deep fried inside of a tortilla. That alone would be enough for us, but then it gets smothered in an amaretto sauce and served with some of their delicious chocolate ice cream. The portions are pretty huge at Fuego Bistro, so we like to take some of the cornbread (always get the cornbread as a side) home with us to make sure we're physically capable of eating dessert. We'd also recommend the "Ancho Chile Chocolate Torte," if you're not feeling awesome enough to have the banana burrito.

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