Tiramisu dessert on a white background. Italian sweet dessert concept. Plate of tiramisu cake. close up. selective focus. Horizontal view.

The Hunt: Finding the Best Tiramisu In Jax

 

Words by Ambar Ramirez & Carmen Macri

 

Let’s just start by saying we are tiramisu snobs. We had scoured high and low to find the best tiramisu in Jacksonville, so when the opportunity came to make this our Valentine’s Day Hunt, We already knew where to go. 

 

Amaretti Desserts 

She’s thick, she’s creamy, she’s CoverGirl.

 

Settled on the corner of Baymeadows and Old Saint Augustine Road, this family-owned shop has anything bakery item you could possibly want. Each baked good is made from scratch every morning with the finest natural ingredients, no preservatives, and a double spoonful of love. We stumbled upon Amaretti in our personal search to find a decent tiramisu last year and were far from disappointed. 

 

She’s thick, she’s creamy, she’s moist and busting at the seams with flavor. One thing that we find incredibly important for a good tiramisu is, of course, the coffee-soaked ladyfingers. And Amaretti knows how to soak ’em. The mascarpone cream is whipped to perfection leaving us wanting more after every bite. The consistency is exactly what it needs to be to combat the bitter espresso taste, though if you’re looking for a traditional tiramisu, this one is on the sweeter side (and there is nothing wrong with that).

 

Atmosphere: 3/5

Flavor: 5/5

Overall: 4/5

Perfect for someone who wants to dabble into espresso-flavored desserts without being overpowered by it. 

 

Toscana Little Italy

Situated on Hendricks Avenue, this family-owned and operated Italian restaurant has been a staple in the Jacksonville Italian dining scene for approximately 10 years. Boasting a diverse menu designed to satisfy any palate and pizza that is proudly promoted as rivaling the quality of New York’s renowned pizza, it comes as no surprise this establishment has stood the test of time. Tables are strategically placed throughout the medium-sized space, providing ample seating for customers, albeit with limited walking space. With the apparent hustle and bustle of the evening, surely nothing could go wrong, right? Wrong. 

 

Without being too pessimistic, this was the worst tiramisu we’ve ever had… and that is being generous. The ladyfingers were bone dry and the mascarpone cream tasted like it spoiled last week. There was hardly any coffee/espresso flavor and the cocoa topping looked like molded cheese – how? We don’t know. We each took one bite and threw it in the trash. Maybe we got an old slice or a bad batch. So, if you are willing to test it out yourself, let us know your experience. We won’t be back for their desserts: We will stick to the pizza. 

 

Author’s note [Ambar]: I should’ve known this was gonna be a bad experience when someone asked me if I was a dog walker while waiting for the tiramisu. 

 

Atmosphere: 3/5

Flavor: 1/5

Overall: 2/5

Perfect for people who prefer savory meals over sweet desserts.

 

Primi Piatti

Where does one go for tiramisu? An Italian restaurant, yes. But not just any Italian restaurant. To get the best tiramisu, one has to go to the most unassuming, hole-in-the-wall joint. One has to go to Primi Piatti located in Riverside. 

 

Allow us to paint the scene: crisp, white flowing linen adorned the scarce tables with candles casting a soft glow, while tapered candles illuminated the space. Canvases portraying scenes from what we could only assume is Northern Italy adorned the walls, and a kind old man warmly welcomed us the moment we stepped inside. This family-owned Northern Italian cuisine restaurant exuded a comforting atmosphere, reminiscent of a cherished home.

 

Now, for the main reason of the visit. Tiramisu. When we tell you that as soon as we took the first bite we were drooling, we mean it. There was simply no contest. This tiramisu was, without a doubt, the best of the bunch. Each bite packed a punch that left us craving for more, even after we finished the entire thing. The mascarpone cream did not overpower the espresso taste and the coffee-soaked ladyfingers added the perfect balance. Not to mention the coffee and cocoa shavings on top… we are still drooling over it. We thought it would be more difficult to decide on a winner, but like we said, there really was no contest. 

 

Atmosphere: 5/5

Flavor: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Perfect for people who have taste buds. 

About FOLIO