Weekend Eats

5 Phoenix Treats to Try for National Eat What You Want Day

The prickly pear-flavored soft serve at Topo tastes as good as it looks.
The prickly pear-flavored soft serve at Topo tastes as good as it looks. Lauren Cusimano
Yes, these food holidays are more often than not ridiculous, but not many can argue with National Eat What You Want Day. It’s a cheat day for the ages, and better yet, it lands on a Saturday — plenty of time to splurge on sugar before you “start your diet” on Monday. Mom jokes aside, here’s how to make the most of this gifted day.

Prickly Pear Soft Serve at Topo

301 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert

The soft serve ($2.50) is almost irresistible at Topo, even if you’re not a dessert person. Choices are vanilla, prickly pear, or twist. Um, prickly pear, please. What results is a tall spiral of mauve in a cute little cone. It’s so pretty it pains you to take a bite, but that bite is heavenly. The fruity soft serve is incredible to the last crunchy bite of the cone’s base. Dips are a fun accompaniment at 50 cents a pop. Choose from chocolate, lime, or prickly pear again. However, the soft serve is good — and on a hot day, probably messy — enough to walk away sans dip.

click to enlarge Lucky us — this little beauty is found right at Lucky Donuts. - ALLISON YOUNG
Lucky us — this little beauty is found right at Lucky Donuts.
Allison Young

The Red Velvet at Lucky Donuts

2510 West Thunderbird Road

Though Lucky Donuts packs a punch for doughnut fiends, that red velvet flavor will truly steal your heart. It's a cakey cut above, all moist and crumbly with just the right amount of glaze — plain delicious and totally dunkable. It’s considered one of the best doughnuts in town.

click to enlarge Pretty in purple, the ube bubble waffles are made with fresh ube from the Philippines at Mango Rabbit. - PAOLO CUYNO
Pretty in purple, the ube bubble waffles are made with fresh ube from the Philippines at Mango Rabbit.
Paolo Cuyno

Ube Bubble Waffles at Mango Rabbit

1250 East Apache Boulevard, #112, Tempe

This little tea shop, with the huge teddy bear welcoming you upon entry, is ready to introduce you to your next favorite dessert trend — fluffy bubble waffles. Try the Ube Bubble Waffles, with ube (a popular kind of purple yam) sourced directly from the Philippines, or their Rose Bubble Waffles cooked with rose petals that have soaked for 15 hours.


The John & Yoko from New Wave Market is worth every calorie. - ALLISON YOUNG
The John & Yoko from New Wave Market is worth every calorie.
Allison Young

John & Yoko at New Wave Market

7120 East Sixth Avenue, #20, Scottsdale

At New Wave Market, time lags as your fork cuts through the layers, past the craggy honeycomb candy topper, down the dense yet fluffy honey cake smartly soaked in cinnamon tres leches — as evidenced by the glistening sides. Then it travels through the mascarpone whipped cream that will make all other whipped creams bland in comparison, and down the final stratum of syrup-soaked cake. The milk and honey flavors swirl and explode, a whirlwind of creamy and crunchy and spongy. No way could The Beatles bemoan this one. Yes, this is one of the best desserts in the Valley.

click to enlarge Coyote Oaties Cookie Shop is a must-stop-shop in Old Towne Glendale. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Coyote Oaties Cookie Shop is a must-stop-shop in Old Towne Glendale.
Lauren Cusimano

Chocolate Walnut at Coyote Oaties Cookie Shop

7005 North 58th Avenue, Glendale

Set among the antique shops, and part little shop itself, Coyote Oaties Cookie Shop has all your sugar-fix fixtures in Old Towne Glendale. There’s coffee, soda, a small selection of ice cream, sundaes, Italian soda, and its specialty, oatmeal cookies. But don’t let the oatmeal part bore you: These are monster cookie chunks packed with candy and fruit. The chocolate walnut has fair amounts of sweetness (from the chocolate), crunchiness (from the walnut), and chew (from the oatmeal). If you had to choose a flavor here, this one comes recommended.
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