Where to go out for dessert in Charlotte, NC

Open Rice's Bubble Waffles are made from a sweet batter, then filled with toppings and your choice of ice cream.

Open Rice’s Bubble Waffles are made from a sweet batter, then filled with toppings and your choice of ice cream.

Picture this: It’s date night and you’ve gone out to dinner, but you don’t want the night to end. You’re not looking to hit up the Charlotte bar or brewery scene, either. The easy solution: It’s time to go out for dessert.

It’s sometimes trickier than it sounds. Sure, you can probably stop in at almost any big chain restaurant and order something that will taste just fine. But that’s not your style, is it?

We’ve curated a list of some of our favorite local and North Carolina-based chain restaurants with great desserts that are open late-ish. You can use this list of go-to date night dessert spots to impress your companion with creative options for ice cream, chocolate creations and bakery treats without spending a lot of time hunting down a second reservation.

Charlotte’s 10 best places to get dessert are:

Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe

Location: 136 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205

Location: 7715 Pineville-Matthews Rd #34b, Charlotte, NC 28226

Location: 157 E Main St, Rock Hill, SC 29730

Location: 4321 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209


What to know: There’s wine and beer available to pair with your dessert, along with a variety of coffee and tea options. Hours vary by location, but the flagship NoDa spot is open until 10 pm on weeknights and midnight Saturdays and Sundays.

What to order: Amelie’s classic salted caramel brownie ($5.30) and a 16 ounce S’more Latte ($5.20).

Amelie’s salted caramel brownie. Wendy Yang


Location: 500 West 5th Street, Suite 120, Charlotte, NC 28202


What to know: You’ve got to be 21+ to enter this upscale dessert and drinks bar — and there’s other food, too. It’s open late nights (until midnight on weekdays and 1 am on Saturdays), and don’t come looking scruffy (no athletic wear, ball caps or excessively casual attire). Open until midnight Sundays and Tuesdays through Thursdays, and until 1 am Fridays and Saturdays.

What to order: The S’mores Platter, featuring Hershey’s milk chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows and a mini fire pit ($16).

Crave Dessert Bar’s S’Mores Platter. ROBERT LAHSER [email protected]

Day and Night Cereal Bars

Location: 127 Brevard Court, Charlotte, NC 28202


What to know: Day and Night Cereal Bar offers pre-made cereal bowls and shakes but also encourages customers to get creative. (You might even learn something new about your date.) It’s open until 10 pm Mondays through Saturdays and 6 pm on Sundays.

What to order: A Mucha Lucha bowl, which is Cinnamon Toast Crunch and whipped cream, topped with churro cereal and buttery cinnamon roll sprinkles ($8, or $10 as a shake.)

Day and Night Exotic Cereal Bar
Day and Night Exotic Cereal Bar serves cereal bowls and cereal milkshakes. Provided

Insomnia Cookies

Location: 210 E. Trade Street, #B-224, Charlotte, NC, 28202

Location: 2116 Hawkins Street, Suite 103, Charlotte, NC, 28203

Location: 9211 N Tryon Street, Space 4, Charlotte, NC, 28262


What to know: Insomnia Cookies is built around the idea that you’re going to want a cookies-and-milk nightcap. It’s open at multiple locations until midnight Sundays through Wednesdays and 1 am Thursdays through Saturdays — and you can even get delivery.

What to order: Just go ahead and pick out a dozen, with various flavors ($22).

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Insomnia Cookies. Insomnia Cookies

Krispy Kreme

Locations: Multiple locations


What to know: Of course, you’ll find Krispy Kreme’s classic donuts, but now you’ll also find ice cream and shakes, too. Hours vary by location, but the South End location that’s home to the Krispy Kreme Innovation Center is open everyday until 10 pm

What to order: A Cookies and Kreme shake ($4.99.)

Krispy Kreme Ice Cream Shake Duo. jpg
Krispy Kreme serves seven hand-spun shakes, including Cookies and Kreme and Birthday Batter. Krispy Kreme

Open Rice

Location: 9882 Rea Road Suite F, Charlotte, NC, 28277


What to know: There’s a hefty selection of boba drinks to satisfy your sweet tooth at Open Rice, a fast-casual Asian restaurant that focuses on Hong Kong-style Chinese food. It’s open until 9 pm on weeknights and 9:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

What to order: The Bubble Waffles. Choose your toppings, drizzles and one scoop of ice cream, with choices including chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream, and green tea (price varies, depending on toppings).

Open Rice Bubble Waffle. jpeg
Open Rice’s Bubble Waffles are made from a sweet batter, then filled with toppings and your choice of ice cream. Courtesy of Open Rice

Sip Co.

Location: 50 Branchview Drive NE, Concord, NC 28025

Location: 9055 Carolina Lily Ln, Charlotte, NC 28262


What to know: Sip Co., a drink and snack spot where you can customize your beverages, is open until 10 pm Monday through Saturday.

What to order: A pink sugar cookie ($2.75) to pair with a create-your-own drink (prices start at $1.50 for a 16 ounce and $2.50 for a 44 ounce drink).

Pro tip: There’s also an entire (not so) secret menu, with drink creations such as the D’Amelio (Mountain Dew, mango puree and strawberry puree) and the aptly named Date Night (Mountain Dew, raspberry, coconut, blackberry and vanilla cream).

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At Sip Co., you can customize a drink to pair with chocolate protein bites or a pink sugar cookie for dessert. Sip Co.

The Social Cork

Location: 887 Gold Hill Rd, Fort Mill SC 29708


What to know: If you’re looking to pair a glass of wine with your dessert, The Social Cork might hit the spot. (And there’s other sharables on the menu, too, if you’re still hungry.) It’s open until 10 pm on weeknights, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

What to order: Chocolate fondue for two, with a variety of items for dipping, such as marshmallows, fresh fruit and Rice Krispie treats ($14).

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The Social Cork’s chocolate fondue for two. The Social Cork

Trio Restaurant

Location: 10709 McMullen Creek Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28226


What to know: Trio features a full list of after dinner coffees and specialty drinks, along with a lineup of classic desserts. It does close up on the early side, however — 8:30 pm on weeknights and 9 pm Friday and Saturday — so plan accordingly.

What to order: Baked Alaska. You won’t find this old school dessert on every menu in town. This one features pound cake, vanilla bean ice cream with crumbled Heath bars, meringue, creme anglaise, chocolate and caramel sauces ($7).

Villani’s Bakery

Location: 901 Pecan Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205


What to know: Villani’s Bakery moved from Concord to “Chantizzlewood” (where Chantilly, Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood intersect) in 2018, and it’s one of Charlotte’s worst-kept secrets. There’s often a line out the door, and luckily for all of us, it stays open until 10 pm each night (closed on Mondays).

What to order: Of course, you shouldn’t leave here without the monster-sized North Carolina’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. It’s crisp on the outside, soft in the middle and big enough to share with your date — if you want. ($4)

Villani chocolate chip cookies - oyler copy.jpg
Monster chocolate chip cookies from Villani’s Bakery, shown above, were ranked the best chocolate chip cookies in North Carolina in 2022 by Yelp. Melissa Oyler CharlotteFive

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Heidi Finley is a writer and editor for CharlotteFive and the Charlotte Observer. Outside of work, you will most likely find her in the suburbs driving kids around, volunteering and indulging in foodie pursuits.