Not all desserts that get posted on Instagram are as tasty as they are aesthetically pleasing. Fortunately, taiyaki has been around since before the days of ordering it for Instagram (the treat was created more than 100 years ago), so it wasn’t invented for its appearance alone. The Japanese dessert is a fish-shaped piece of dense cake, which can be filled with custard, red bean paste, chocolate, ice cream, or even savory items such as cheese or meat.
In Las Vegas, taiyaki is most commonly served with custard or ice cream. Here’s where to find it:
Taiyaki in Chinatown
Tucked inside Korean Town Plaza, Bbear Cafe serves a whimsical variety of desserts including taiyaki with fillings such as fresh strawberries, red bean, and Nutella. Soft serve flavors include vanilla, green tea, and taro.
Bbear Cafe, 6850 Spring Mountain Road; 702-400-4647
Fish and bear taiyaki
Recess Italian Ice Desserts didn’t feel like limiting taiyaki to the traditional fish design, so the restaurant created a bear variety, too. The custard and Italian ice spot offers a variety of flavors of taiyaki including red velvet, green tea, and black sesame. Bears and fish both tend to sell out quickly here, so diners should swing by earlier in the day to get a fix of the fun dessert.
Recess Italian Ice Desserts, 5035 S. Fort Apache Road, Suite 104; 702-893-2317
Taiyaki with charcoal soft serve
Just outside of the Desert Shores neighborhood, Bover is a hub for diners seeking out matcha, charcoal, and ube. Fans of these flavors can find them in soft serve ice cream that’s best enjoyed inside taiyaki. Toppings include Fruity Pebbles, Oreo, and caramel.
Bover, 1780 N. Buffalo Drive, Suite 107; 702-778-5757
Creative takes on taiyaki
Cafe Summer puts a creative spin on taiyaki by offering the fish-shaped cake with unique accompaniments. Diners can find it with hard serve ice cream instead of the usual soft serve that’s more commonly seen or as a topping on one of the restaurant’s popular slushes. Fillings include Bavarian cream, Nutella, and red bean.
Cafe Summer, 7965 S. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 110; 702-202-2767
Taiyaki with a side of tea
Itea Boba & Dessert specializes in boba, slushes, and all things tea, but the casual restaurant also offers taiyaki that’s slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Located just off of the Maryland Parkway near the Strip and UNLV, Itea serves taiyaki filled with custard, red bean, or with ice cream on the side.
Itea Boba & Dessert, 1350 E. Flamingo Road, Suite 15B; 702-434-0229