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A tall slice of coconut layer cake sits on a plate with a scoop of ice cream next to it. An upscale restaurant dining room is visible in the background.
Grill 23’s coconut cake with coconut dulce de leche.
Grill 23

Where to Order a Single Perfect Slice of Cake in and Around Boston

When the mood strikes for just one slice of chocolate cake or birthday cake or flan, try one of these local spots

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Grill 23’s coconut cake with coconut dulce de leche.
| Grill 23

Whether it’s a special occasion or just a regular old Monday afternoon, sometimes a person wants a single perfect slice of cake. Birthday cake, crepe cake, flan, Boston cream pie — for whatever the appetite, there’s probably a Boston-area restaurant or bakery that can provide. Here are some of the best by-the-slice (or single-serving) cake options in town. For most of these, no pre-planning or pre-ordering is necessary; just waltz right in, grab a slice, and enjoy.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 7ate9 Bakery

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199C Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
(781) 218-9361
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Strictly speaking, cheesecake isn’t technically cake, by most definitions. But instead of quibbling over the definition of “cake,” why not spend that time devouring a personal-sized cheesecake or three from this Somerville shop, which is the master of the genre? The mini cheesecakes come in flavors like peanut butter cup, lemon, and mocha.

2. La Saison Bakery

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407 Concord Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-0009
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La Saison Bakery, which debuted in late 2020, is the place to go for the absolute best sourdough bread in town. Co-owner and baker Soheil Fathi, whose first version of La Saison was a “super, super luxe” chocolate business in Tehran, is now serving up ultra-rich chocolate cake at his Cambridge shop, featuring 65% Belgian chocolate cream in between light layers of chocolate souffle cake. Grab a single slice, topped with a hint of a gold flake, or order a six-, eight-, 10-, or 12-inch cake. There’s a bit of seating outside, but this is primarily a takeout shop.

3. Manoa Poke Shop

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300 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 945-1042
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Located near Porter Square, this extraordinarily popular little poke shop only serves takeout Friday through Sunday. Plan ahead and make it over there for poke, irresistible fried chicken, and the fan-favorite pineapple cake, which comes in individual servings. “Grandma’s recipe,” notes the menu. “Every piece is a corner piece!” The guava cake with whipped guava cream cheese frosting and guava compote is also a must.

4. Gate Comme Des Filles

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1 Bow Market Way #8
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 764-5872
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Alexandra Whisnant’s chocolate shop at Bow Market is the place to go for impeccable bonbons, but there are some wonderful chocolate plated desserts available, too, for customers to grab and enjoy at home or in Bow Market’s courtyard. The menu changes a bit with the seasons, but there’s often molten chocolate cake available (allow 15 minutes for baking); it’s currently paired with a small tub of salty honey ice cream from Maine-based Parlor Ice Cream Co. Ok, it might be a slight stretch to include this on a list of cakes by the slice, but this petite melty round is suitable for one hungry chocolate lover, or maybe two. (Whisnant is also behind new Cambridge wine and dessert bar Zuzu’s Petals, which doesn’t have cake by the slice but does have must-try creme brulee, tiramisu, and more.)

5. La Flaneteria Pop-Up

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1 Bow Market Way #14
Somerville, MA 02143

Sometimes (ok, frequently), one needs a single, jiggly slice of flan to make the day better. Fortunately La Flaneteria tends to pop up at Buenas at Bow Market on Wednesdays — watch Instagram for ordering details — with a rotating list of flavors, such as pumpkin spice, honey sesame, mudslide, and more.

6. Milk Bar Mini

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3 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(857) 321-8430
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Now with locations across the country and distribution to grocery stores, Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar chain doesn’t have quite the indie bakeshop feel that it used to, but it still makes some killer cakes, and the Harvard Square outpost sells a few flavors by the slice, including the rainbow sprinkle-studded birthday cake (gluten-free or not), chocolate birthday cake, and strawberry shortcake. Delivery and takeout are available.

7. The Danish Pastry House

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205 Arlington St #4
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 926-2747
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The Danish Pastry House, as its name suggests, offers some specialty Scandinavian baked goods and pastries on its vast menu, as well as custom cakes and plenty of other treats. For those seeking a single serving of cake, there are usually a few options available, such as four-inch cheesecakes; frog-shaped mini cakes in lemon or raspberry with buttercream and marzipan; or chocolate and rum cake with buttercream, wrapped in marzipan and dipped in chocolate.

8. Bova's Bakery

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134 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-5601
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One of Boston’s very few 24-hour establishments, North End staple Bova’s Bakery is the spot for pastries, breads, and Sicilian pizza late at night or anytime. Those seeking a single slice of cake will find a few varieties, such as chocolate cake with sprinkles, coconut cake, carrot cake, and more, not to mention various types of cheesecake.

9. Paris Baguette

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581 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 714-3062
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French-inspired bakery mega-chain Paris Baguette, which has locations worldwide, has an outpost tucked inside Cambridge’s H Mart, with takeout and delivery available. It generally offers around a dozen different cakes by the slice, with options such as a three-layer mango and coconut cake or a chocolate cake with layers of strawberries and cream. Might as well grab a croissant-wrapped hot dog while you’re there.

10. Pagu

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310 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-9290
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Here’s something different among the chocolate cakes, carrot cakes, and coconut cakes of this map: an olive oil polenta cake with citrus and a side of maple soft serve. Try it at Pagu (available on the dine-in menu), a Cambridge restaurant that highlights chef and owner Tracy Chang’s background cooking both Spanish and Japanese cuisine.

11. Eldo Cake House

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36 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 350-7977
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This Chinatown mainstay offers numerous cake slices in its jam-packed pastry cases, but the shop is particularly known for its sponge cakes stuffed with cream and fresh fruits, so be on the lookout for one of those.

12. Ocean Prime

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140 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 670-1345
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One of the Seaport District’s many steakhouse-and-seafood chain restaurants, Ocean Prime is particularly known for its ten-layer carrot cake, which is garnished with cream cheese icing and pineapple syrup. Takeout and delivery are available.

13. Flour Bakery & Cafe

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12 Farnsworth St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 338-4333
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Joanne Chang’s beloved local cafe and bakery chain Flour, which has nine locations throughout Boston and Cambridge, may be best known for its sticky buns, but it offers a variety of cakes by the slice that are not to be missed, including carrot cake, coconut cake, Boston cream pie (which, despite its name, is cake), birthday cake, lemon raspberry cake, and more.

14. L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates

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220 Clarendon St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 303-0113
Visit Website

With local storefronts in Back Bay and Harvard Square, decades-old chocolatier L.A. Burdick is known in particular for its little chocolate mice and luxurious hot chocolate, but don’t miss the extensive selection of cakes by the slice (most featuring chocolate, of course). Options include dark chocolate raspberry cake, chocolate-glazed lemon cream sponge cake, earl grey mousse cake, and more. Both locations offer online preordering (Boston, Cambridge).

15. The Smoke Shop BBQ

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343 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 261-7427
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Chef Andy Husbands’s mini-chain of barbecue restaurants (with this Boston location as well as two in Cambridge and one in Somerville) offers a sweet, simple square of butter cake on the dessert menu. Diners can even specifically order an edge piece for an extra bit of caramelization. Takeout and delivery are available.

16. Grill 23 & Bar

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161 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 542-2255
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There’s something about steakhouses: Most serve a killer slice of cake or two on their dessert menus. (See also: Ocean Prime above.) Not looking for a full steak dinner? Try to grab a seat at the bar to unwind with a glass of wine and a bit of cake (or order for takeout or delivery). Back Bay favorite Grill 23 calls its coconut cake with coconut dulce de leche “famous”; indeed, it’s a popular pick among repeat customers of the nearly 40-year-old steakhouse.

17. Lady M Cake Boutique

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304 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 329-5555
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This international chain is known for its crepe cakes, each featuring at least 20 crepes with layers of pastry cream in between, available in flavors like passionfruit, green tea, and salted caramel. The Newbury Street location offers the cakes by the slice, as well as a few non-crepe cakes, such as a strawberry shortcake layer cake.

18. May's Cake House

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223 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 350-0210

May’s Cake House, a basement-level storefront hidden a bit away from the busiest section of Boston’s Chinatown, offers mousse cakes and Swiss rolls by the slice, not to mention other cakes like red bean, pineapple, or walnut. Beyond cakes, be sure to try rice noodle rolls stuffed with shrimp, beef, or fried dough.

19. Cafe Madeleine

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517 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(857) 239-8052
Visit Website

This French bakery in Boston’s South End generally has at least a couple different cakes available by the slice among its beautiful pastries and baked goods, such as a chocolate cake with layers of chocolate mousse and hazelnut gianduja or an airy chiffon cake. The best way to keep an eye on the cafe’s updates and specials is to watch pastry chef Hana Quon’s Instagram account.

20. Fiore's Bakery

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55 South St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-9200
Visit Website

Specializing in vegan and gluten-free options, this Jamaica Plain bakery offers a rotating selection of sweets and baked goods; there are typically a few kinds of cake squares and cake bars available.

21. Sugar Baking Co.

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1884 Centre St
Boston, MA 02132
(617) 327-8427
Visit Website

This West Roxbury bakery, which makes cakes for all occasions, has a variety of single-serving treats available that fall under the cake umbrella, such as mini mocha cakes and Italian-style flourless chocolate cakes. Keep an eye out for cheesecake slices, too.

22. Greenhills Irish Bakery

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780 Adams St
Boston, MA 02124
(617) 825-8187
Visit Website

This popular Dorchester spot for baked goods, imported Irish goods, and more sells plenty of cakes for special occasions, and sometimes it offers cakes by the slice, but not always, so interested customers should call first to check. When available, the slices are typically the bakery’s classic chocolate or vanilla.

1. 7ate9 Bakery

199C Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

Strictly speaking, cheesecake isn’t technically cake, by most definitions. But instead of quibbling over the definition of “cake,” why not spend that time devouring a personal-sized cheesecake or three from this Somerville shop, which is the master of the genre? The mini cheesecakes come in flavors like peanut butter cup, lemon, and mocha.

199C Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143

2. La Saison Bakery

407 Concord Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

La Saison Bakery, which debuted in late 2020, is the place to go for the absolute best sourdough bread in town. Co-owner and baker Soheil Fathi, whose first version of La Saison was a “super, super luxe” chocolate business in Tehran, is now serving up ultra-rich chocolate cake at his Cambridge shop, featuring 65% Belgian chocolate cream in between light layers of chocolate souffle cake. Grab a single slice, topped with a hint of a gold flake, or order a six-, eight-, 10-, or 12-inch cake. There’s a bit of seating outside, but this is primarily a takeout shop.

407 Concord Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

3. Manoa Poke Shop

300 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

Located near Porter Square, this extraordinarily popular little poke shop only serves takeout Friday through Sunday. Plan ahead and make it over there for poke, irresistible fried chicken, and the fan-favorite pineapple cake, which comes in individual servings. “Grandma’s recipe,” notes the menu. “Every piece is a corner piece!” The guava cake with whipped guava cream cheese frosting and guava compote is also a must.

300 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143

4. Gate Comme Des Filles

1 Bow Market Way #8, Somerville, MA 02143

Alexandra Whisnant’s chocolate shop at Bow Market is the place to go for impeccable bonbons, but there are some wonderful chocolate plated desserts available, too, for customers to grab and enjoy at home or in Bow Market’s courtyard. The menu changes a bit with the seasons, but there’s often molten chocolate cake available (allow 15 minutes for baking); it’s currently paired with a small tub of salty honey ice cream from Maine-based Parlor Ice Cream Co. Ok, it might be a slight stretch to include this on a list of cakes by the slice, but this petite melty round is suitable for one hungry chocolate lover, or maybe two. (Whisnant is also behind new Cambridge wine and dessert bar Zuzu’s Petals, which doesn’t have cake by the slice but does have must-try creme brulee, tiramisu, and more.)

1 Bow Market Way #8
Somerville, MA 02143

5. La Flaneteria Pop-Up

1 Bow Market Way #14, Somerville, MA 02143

Sometimes (ok, frequently), one needs a single, jiggly slice of flan to make the day better. Fortunately La Flaneteria tends to pop up at Buenas at Bow Market on Wednesdays — watch Instagram for ordering details — with a rotating list of flavors, such as pumpkin spice, honey sesame, mudslide, and more.

1 Bow Market Way #14
Somerville, MA 02143

6. Milk Bar Mini

3 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Now with locations across the country and distribution to grocery stores, Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar chain doesn’t have quite the indie bakeshop feel that it used to, but it still makes some killer cakes, and the Harvard Square outpost sells a few flavors by the slice, including the rainbow sprinkle-studded birthday cake (gluten-free or not), chocolate birthday cake, and strawberry shortcake. Delivery and takeout are available.

3 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138

7. The Danish Pastry House

205 Arlington St #4, Watertown, MA 02472

The Danish Pastry House, as its name suggests, offers some specialty Scandinavian baked goods and pastries on its vast menu, as well as custom cakes and plenty of other treats. For those seeking a single serving of cake, there are usually a few options available, such as four-inch cheesecakes; frog-shaped mini cakes in lemon or raspberry with buttercream and marzipan; or chocolate and rum cake with buttercream, wrapped in marzipan and dipped in chocolate.

205 Arlington St #4
Watertown, MA 02472

8. Bova's Bakery

134 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

One of Boston’s very few 24-hour establishments, North End staple Bova’s Bakery is the spot for pastries, breads, and Sicilian pizza late at night or anytime. Those seeking a single slice of cake will find a few varieties, such as chocolate cake with sprinkles, coconut cake, carrot cake, and more, not to mention various types of cheesecake.

134 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113

9. Paris Baguette

581 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

French-inspired bakery mega-chain Paris Baguette, which has locations worldwide, has an outpost tucked inside Cambridge’s H Mart, with takeout and delivery available. It generally offers around a dozen different cakes by the slice, with options such as a three-layer mango and coconut cake or a chocolate cake with layers of strawberries and cream. Might as well grab a croissant-wrapped hot dog while you’re there.

581 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

10. Pagu

310 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Here’s something different among the chocolate cakes, carrot cakes, and coconut cakes of this map: an olive oil polenta cake with citrus and a side of maple soft serve. Try it at Pagu (available on the dine-in menu), a Cambridge restaurant that highlights chef and owner Tracy Chang’s background cooking both Spanish and Japanese cuisine.

310 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

11. Eldo Cake House

36 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111

This Chinatown mainstay offers numerous cake slices in its jam-packed pastry cases, but the shop is particularly known for its sponge cakes stuffed with cream and fresh fruits, so be on the lookout for one of those.

36 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02111

12. Ocean Prime

140 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210

One of the Seaport District’s many steakhouse-and-seafood chain restaurants, Ocean Prime is particularly known for its ten-layer carrot cake, which is garnished with cream cheese icing and pineapple syrup. Takeout and delivery are available.

140 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA 02210

13. Flour Bakery & Cafe

12 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210

Joanne Chang’s beloved local cafe and bakery chain Flour, which has nine locations throughout Boston and Cambridge, may be best known for its sticky buns, but it offers a variety of cakes by the slice that are not to be missed, including carrot cake, coconut cake, Boston cream pie (which, despite its name, is cake), birthday cake, lemon raspberry cake, and more.

12 Farnsworth St
Boston, MA 02210

14. L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates

220 Clarendon St, Boston, MA 02116

With local storefronts in Back Bay and Harvard Square, decades-old chocolatier L.A. Burdick is known in particular for its little chocolate mice and luxurious hot chocolate, but don’t miss the extensive selection of cakes by the slice (most featuring chocolate, of course). Options include dark chocolate raspberry cake, chocolate-glazed lemon cream sponge cake, earl grey mousse cake, and more. Both locations offer online preordering (Boston, Cambridge).

220 Clarendon St
Boston, MA 02116

15. The Smoke Shop BBQ

343 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Chef Andy Husbands’s mini-chain of barbecue restaurants (with this Boston location as well as two in Cambridge and one in Somerville) offers a sweet, simple square of butter cake on the dessert menu. Diners can even specifically order an edge piece for an extra bit of caramelization. Takeout and delivery are available.

343 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210

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16. Grill 23 & Bar

161 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

There’s something about steakhouses: Most serve a killer slice of cake or two on their dessert menus. (See also: Ocean Prime above.) Not looking for a full steak dinner? Try to grab a seat at the bar to unwind with a glass of wine and a bit of cake (or order for takeout or delivery). Back Bay favorite Grill 23 calls its coconut cake with coconut dulce de leche “famous”; indeed, it’s a popular pick among repeat customers of the nearly 40-year-old steakhouse.

161 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116

17. Lady M Cake Boutique

304 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115

This international chain is known for its crepe cakes, each featuring at least 20 crepes with layers of pastry cream in between, available in flavors like passionfruit, green tea, and salted caramel. The Newbury Street location offers the cakes by the slice, as well as a few non-crepe cakes, such as a strawberry shortcake layer cake.

304 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115

18. May's Cake House

223 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111

May’s Cake House, a basement-level storefront hidden a bit away from the busiest section of Boston’s Chinatown, offers mousse cakes and Swiss rolls by the slice, not to mention other cakes like red bean, pineapple, or walnut. Beyond cakes, be sure to try rice noodle rolls stuffed with shrimp, beef, or fried dough.

223 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02111

19. Cafe Madeleine

517 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118

This French bakery in Boston’s South End generally has at least a couple different cakes available by the slice among its beautiful pastries and baked goods, such as a chocolate cake with layers of chocolate mousse and hazelnut gianduja or an airy chiffon cake. The best way to keep an eye on the cafe’s updates and specials is to watch pastry chef Hana Quon’s Instagram account.

517 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02118

20. Fiore's Bakery

55 South St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Specializing in vegan and gluten-free options, this Jamaica Plain bakery offers a rotating selection of sweets and baked goods; there are typically a few kinds of cake squares and cake bars available.

55 South St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

21. Sugar Baking Co.

1884 Centre St, Boston, MA 02132

This West Roxbury bakery, which makes cakes for all occasions, has a variety of single-serving treats available that fall under the cake umbrella, such as mini mocha cakes and Italian-style flourless chocolate cakes. Keep an eye out for cheesecake slices, too.

1884 Centre St
Boston, MA 02132

22. Greenhills Irish Bakery

780 Adams St, Boston, MA 02124

This popular Dorchester spot for baked goods, imported Irish goods, and more sells plenty of cakes for special occasions, and sometimes it offers cakes by the slice, but not always, so interested customers should call first to check. When available, the slices are typically the bakery’s classic chocolate or vanilla.

780 Adams St
Boston, MA 02124

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