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Amanda Stancati
Travel like a local.
Insider takes on the best of the city – by Amanda Stancati

Feeding your sweet tooth is a piece of cake in Hamilton thanks to a huge selection of decadent treats. So go ahead and indulge in these made-in-Hamilton desserts.

Donuts We Love a Hole Lot

Donut Monster

246 Locke Street South

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Not your average donut shop, Donut Monster takes seriously creative liberties with their flavours, which change seasonally. Think crumbled tahini and pistachio halva over a ginger cardamom glaze. They also supply their from-scratch donuts to local shops across the city and have plenty of vegan-friendly options to choose from.

Grandad's Donuts

574 James Street North

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The team behind the family-run Grandad's Donuts have been making donuts for over 30 years, and they're still making' em the way grandad used to: the old fashioned way. For a sneak peak at this favourite north-end haunt, check out the video for People's Champ by Hamilton's The Arkells (but please refrain from dancing on the tables when you visit).

Tim Hortons

65 Ottawa Street North (original location)

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The OG of donuts, you can always count on Tim Hortons for reliable, familiar, and consistently delicious treats that hit the spot. Visit the chain's first location on Ottawa Street for an apple fritter (one of the original donuts offered since 1964) and to take a peek at the small museum on the second floor.

Treats That Make Us Melt


280 Van Wagners Beach Road, Hamilton & 325 Bay Street North

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No summer bucket list is complete without a trip to Hutch's. At the iconic Van Wagners Beach, pair your cone with a beachside stroll or soak up the nostalgic diner-style ambiance inside (milkshakes and jukebox tunes, anyone?). The other location at downtown Hamilton's historic west harbour has prime picnic areas and family-friendly activities nearby.

Chocolat on James

123 James Street North, Hamilton

Ice cream

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Chocolat on James boasts a mouth-watering selection of fine chocolates, barks, fudge and other confections – but it's their epic ice cream that really makes a statement. Cones and cups are dipped, drizzled, sprinkled, and loaded with all sorts of toppings. Swap your regular bowl for a cookie, brownie, or waffle bowl. Why not? You're on vacation.

Panini & Ice Cream

1505 Main Street East

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You wouldn't know it from the outside, but this popular grab and go spot has earned a reputation for their monster ice cream creations. Order the "half and half" of your choice: half milkshake and half ice cream, garnished with extra sweets on top like cookie chunks or cotton candy.

Cookies and Cobblers and cakes, oh my!

Cake & Loaf

321 Dundurn Street South, Hamilton

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For ethically sourced desserts locals love, look no further than this from-scratch bakery with two locations in Hamilton. The menu is stacked with everything from cookies and brownies to macarons and tarts. Pies and tall cakes are popular, but it's their holiday treats (Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, etc.) that you'll really want to taste (and photograph!). Their best-selling Cadbury Cream Egg brownies draw out of towners and have inspired headlines across the country.

Hello Baked

342 Barton Street East

Hello Baked cookies

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You may know this pretty sugar shop from its much photographed outdoor mural adorned with a welcoming 'hello'. Inside, baby pink walls and floral wallpaper invite you to explore the boutique's delicate confections: candies, a sprinkle bar, chocolate, and their signature sugar cookies with extreme attention to detail (great for gifts!).

Dolled Up Desserts

142 James Street North

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For those with food allergies and sensitivities, Dolled Up Desserts is here to make all your dessert dreams come true. Specializing in actually delicious vegan and gluten free treats, this James Street North dessert shop is dedicated to ensuring no sweet tooth goes unsatisfied.

Ola Bakery & Pastries

230 James Street North

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Specializing in traditional Portuguese pastries, Ola is an authentic dessert option that's been around for decades on James Street North – a neighbourhood with a strong Portuguese heritage. Taste their famous and flaky pasteis de nata (custard tarts) or choose from other options like rice pudding, eclairs, and brownies.


339 Barton Street East, Hamilton

Crumbled cake cups

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Ever had cake, crumbled? This Barton street shop has deconstructed a birthday staple and served it in a bowl. Think chunks of chocolate, vanilla, or red velvet cake mixed with buttercream frosting. They have seasonal flavours like apple cheesecake, snickers, and cookies and cream, plus Giant Loaded Twinkies (yes, you read that right). They also make stunning traditional cakes for special occasions.

Amanda StancatiBorn and raised in Hamilton, Amanda shares her favourite places and experiences to inspire others to explore! Follow her on Twitter @amandastancati.