Lick the Plate

The Sugar Factory in Bellevue is like a Willy Wonka fever dream, except with extravagant chandeliers and a 40-plus page menu that boasts fantastical desserts that would dizzy the sugar lord himself.

Rainbow Donut Ice Cream Sandwich

Rainbow Donut Ice Cream Sandwich

The iconic restaurant, which got its start as a Las Vegas candy store with celebrities twirling its rainbow lollipops in Instagram photos, opened in Bellevue last year as the first Sugar Factory location that wasn’t an overt tourist destination.

Sugar Factory owner Charissa Davidovici said that Bellevue felt like a natural location for the Sugar Factory, because the area needed a lively, fun place for families to enjoy a meal together.

“The idea to create the Sugar Factory came about while discussing candy at the dinner table,” Davidovici said. “We realized candy is one thing that everyone loves, and just like that, the world-famous Couture Pop was born, but we didn’t want to stop there. With this signature bling accessory and celebrity fans as our foundation and beginning, we wanted to combine candy excitement for an experience and a place for everyone that went beyond the typical restaurant and confectionery shops.”

And beyond typical it is.

Lollipop Passion Signature Cocktail

Lollipop Passion Signature Cocktail

When hungry diners stroll through its doors inside The Bravern, they go for the experience. Dry-ice fog spills mystically out of bubbling cocktails served in oversized glass goblets; the insane milkshakes are designed to be eaten from the outside in, being that each mug is coated in chocolate and candy; and the ice cream scoops are the size of softballs. Of course, there’s a bevy of nondessert items, including rainbow sliders, steaks cut in-house, nests of noodles with house-made Alfredo sauce, and gargantuan salads. But let’s be honest: No one is going to the Sugar Factory for a salad.

Every menu item truly is a spectacle. It’s like watching a parade. When a dish is brought out from the back kitchen, all eyes are trained on the waiter carrying the magnificent creations, and “oohs” and “ahhs” roll off the tongue uncontrollably.

No matter the age, eyes and smiles widen, which is one of the joys of running the Sugar Factory, Davidovici said. And candy-infused cocktails can be made with or without alcohol, so the kids don’t feel left out.

“As business owners, we put our full hearts in to make sure guests aren’t just visiting a restaurant, but having a memorable experience,” she said.

Get your phones ready. You’re about to wear down the battery with a food-fueled photoshoot.

Some of the standout items include the rainbow donut ice cream sandwich, featuring a mega scoop of cookies-and-cream ice cream smashed between a glittering rainbow donut and topped with whipped cream, and a raspberry and chocolate syrup drizzle. If you’re missing the Washington State Fair during the off-season, you’ll definitely want to try the fried Oreos and fried ice cream. The batter is light and perfectly crisp.

The King Kong Sundae

The King Kong Sundae

The true showstopper, though, is the King Kong sundae — a hefty bowl piled high with 24 scoops comprised of six flavors of ice cream; lollipops; marshmallow; caramelized bananas; red velvet, brownie and cheesecake pieces; malt balls; gummy bears; and gummy cherries. Anytime a guest orders it, the staff lowers the lights, blasts the music, and waves light sticks in honor of the behemoth as it’s carried to the table.

“With so many wonderful restaurants available across the world, we wanted to be unique and provide something extra, so that guests would want to share their experiences with others,” Davidovici said. “We aimed to become the place guests go for not only a quick ice cream, candy, or a dessert, but one that guests from 4 years old to 85 years old want to celebrate their birthdays, bachelorette parties, special date nights, bar mitzvahs, sweet 16s, and quinceañeras.”

No matter your confectionery weakness, the Sugar Factory has something for you. And with a massive celebrity following, don’t be surprised if you see, say, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, or Selena Gomez waltz in. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Sugar High – More Sweet Spots to Try

Kouign-amann from Midori Bakery

Kouign-amann from Midori Bakery. Crick Takagi Photography.

Belle Pastry
Berets are optional at this quaint French bakery. Belle Pastry in Bellevue has been blessing Eastsiders with enchanting desserts for more than a decade. Whether you want to get your chocolate fix or grab a flaky, buttery croissant, this adorable bakery has it all. Bellevue

Café Trophy
They have macarons, coffee, cakes, and some of the best (and prettiest) cupcakes you’ll ever taste. We suggest the red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Bellevue and Seattle

Nothing Bundt Cakes
Head to Nothing Bundt Cakes, and have your mind blown. You will never look at a Bundt cake the same way — these are moist and full of flavor. Issaquah

Black Diamond Bakery
During the winter months, there is nothing quite like a slice of pie. Apple, marionberry, coconut cream, chocolate meringue, and pumpkin cheesecake are just a few of the delicious flavors that the Black Diamond Bakery serves. And what makes this bakery and restaurant all the more quaint is the history behind it. It was built on the land of the Black Diamond Mining Co. in 1902, and its famous “Old Brick Oven” became a hit. Black Diamond


FogRose. Photo by Julie Arnan.

Bellevue’s new ice cream boutique, FogRose, is serving up bowls of ice cream and sorbet made to order thanks to a blast of liquid nitrogen that freezes it right before your eyes. Or order a boozy shake or Champagne float. Bellevue

The French Bakery
Imported Italian coffee, croissants galore, and desserts to die for: You don’t have to go to Paris to enjoy a Parisian experience. On the savory side, nibble on a panini, crepes, and a variety of salads. Various locations

Margo’s Sweet Shop
Redmond Town Center has something super special for your sweet tooth. Margo’s Sweet Shop — Everything Sugar is the newest store by Eastsider Margo Engberg, founder of PinkaBella Cupcakes (also an amazing go-to for a sweet fix available in various locations). Her shop features everything you can find at a county fair or touristy places like Seaside, Oregon. Think caramel apples and cotton candy, as well as shaved ice, Italian sodas, and candy galore. But the most popular treat is the safe-to-eat edible cookie dough. Redmond

Old Country Bakery
Visit the Old Country Bakery in Bellevue at Crossroads East Shopping Center for the best bread, like challah and Persian bread, as well as rum balls, Russian cakes, honey cake, and so much more flavor from around the world. Bellevue

The ultimate candy store for adults, Sugarfina is the only place you can find Champagne gummy bears, chocolate-covered almonds disguised as martini olives, and tequila-infused sours. This chic boutique crafts unique sweets that look as good as they taste. Bellevue

Fran’s Chocolates
We cannot go to Main Street in Bellevue without stopping at Fran’s for a salted chocolate caramel or three. The peanut butter cups are to die for. This is an artisanal chocolate dream, and the Obamas are big fans of the salted caramels, too. Everything at Fran’s is made by hand, as it has been done for more than 30 years. Bellevue and Seattle

Hodge Podge Café
When in Kenmore, hit the Hodge Podge Café and order the Sweet Puffy Things — fried dough tossed in cinnamon sugar and served with whipped cream and jam. Kenmore

Fumie’s Gold
Fumie’s Gold is a tiny shop across from Bellevue’s Downtown Park where you can get a warm matcha latte and a cake pop, and also some Japanese desserts like red bean cake and green tea tiramisu. You can order custom cakes as well. Bellevue

Midori Bakery
Midori is small, and the selections of super delicious sweets changes every day, but you better believe a croissant, or slice of gateau will hit the spot. Redmond

Hoffman’s Fine Cakes & Pastries
Get giant bear claws, gooey cinnamon rolls, slices of cake and pie, and other goodness, all made with love and quality ingredients. Redmond

The Neapolitan from Vivo 53

The Neapolitan from Vivo 53. Courtesy Vivo 53.

We’d be remiss to create a dessert list that doesn’t include VIVO 53’s popular Insane Sundaes, which are Instagrammable and super shareable. Order the Seattle Meet Sicily, made with salted caramel ice cream, Seattle caramel corn, tiramisu, chocolate, and whipped cream. Bellevue

Wildflour Gluten-Free Baking Co.
Wildflour Gluten-Free Baking Co. has treats made without tree nuts, dairy, eggs, or soy lecithin. Order your cookies, breads, and biscuits ahead of time (pre-orders only), and enjoy from the comfort of your couch. Bellevue

is an assistant editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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