2022’s Best Cities for Sweet Tooths: LawnLove

Cakes, candies, and pies — oh my!

America loves sweets, but which cities will give you the biggest sugar rush?

To mark National Dessert Day this Oct. 14, Lawn Love ranked 2022’s Best Cities for Sweet Tooths.

We compared the 200 biggest cities based on 18 metrics. We looked for cities with plenty of candy, cookie, chocolate, and dessert shops. We also considered the number of baking classes, and local winners of national and global pastry, pie, and baking competitions. 

Check out the 10 sweetest (and 10 least sweet) cities below, followed by key insights from our report. (See where your city ranks.)

Best Cities for Sweet Tooths
Rank City
1 Miami, FL
2 Garden Grove, CA
3 San Francisco, CA
4 Jersey City, NJ
5 New York, NY
6 Alexandria, VA
7 Seattle, WA
8 Pasadena, CA
9 Fullerton, CA
10 Las Vegas, NV


Worst Cities for Sweet Tooths
Rank City
1 Macon, GA
2 Columbus, GA
3 Clarksville, TN
4 Fayetteville, NC
5 Sioux Falls, SD
6 Midland, TX
7 Port St. Lucie, FL
8 Brownsville, TX
9 Lubbock, TX
10 Surprise, AZ

Key insights:

  • Florida fare: Miami takes the cake at No. 1 overall, with the most dessert, ice cream, and gelato shops per square mile in our ranking. The Magic City has plenty of other magical treats to try, with a top-three ranking in half of all the Access factors and a second-place rank for recent National Pie Championships. 

    Other Sunshine State cities landed in the top 20, including Fort Lauderdale (No. 16), Hollywood (No. 18), Hialeah (No. 19), and Pembroke Pines (No. 20). Abundant ice cream and gelato shops help keep folks in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale cool. Meanwhile, cakes and cupcakes are more popular fare in Hialeah and Pembroke Pines.

  • California sugar rush: Four Cali cities rose into the top 10, starting with Garden Grove at No. 2. You don’t have to travel far for sweets in Garden Grove, which has the most cupcake, cake, and candy shops per square mile.

    If you’re after high quality, our bronze medalist (and home to Ghirardelli), San Francisco, is the place to be. San Fran brings home first place in Quality, with multiple nationally recognized chocolatiers, bakers, and pastry chefs working in the city. Los Angeles (No. 15) also impresses in Quality (No. 8) and Community (No. 6). LA suburbs Pasadena (No. 8) and Fullerton (No. 9) delight dessert lovers with plenty of doughnut shops, cake shops, and pâtisseries.

  • Southern sweets: Spread-out Southern cities like Atlanta (No. 29), Dallas (No. 37), and Austin (No. 40) deserve a shout-out. With these cities’ sprawl, you might need to drive across town for dessert — but it’s probably worth it. The James Beard Foundation recently awarded several dessert makers in these cities, and The International Chocolate Salon recognized chocolatiers in Austin and Dallas.

    Unfortunately, some Southern cities crumbled in our ranking, with Georgia cities Macon and Columbus dropping to the very bottom. These smaller cities have little access to and demand for delicious desserts, as demonstrated by low Google search interest for sweets-related terms.

Our full ranking and analysis are available here: https://lawnlove.com/blog/best-cities-for-sweet-tooths/

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