Traditional s'mores at Camp Wharf at the District Square Firepit
The distinct scent of a wood-burning fire leads the way to Camp Wharf — a laid-back gathering spot in the center of one of the Southwest Waterfront’s busiest thoroughfares. There, a dozen brightly hued chairs are arranged around a flickering fire, where passersby can hang out or purchase s’mores supplies. “It really started with the romance of the fire pit,” says Bob Rubenkonig, executive director of the Wharf Community Association. “It’s this social gathering place, right along the water.” The s’mores selection rotates seasonally; there are three options through the fall: classic, peanut butter cup and cookies and cream. (In the summer, s’mOreos are the hot offering; in December, a peppermint s’more will return to the menu.) Pair the treat with warm apple cider, available at a retro camper adjacent to the fire, and when you’re done, toss your bamboo roasting stick into the pit and watch it go up in flames. $3 each, or four for $10. 101 District Sq. SW. wharfdc.com.
Smoked s'mores at Bourbon Steak
Bourbon Steak’s smoked s’mores dessert is a sophisticated riff on the childhood treat. “It’s essentially a deconstructed s’mores,” executive chef Drew Adams says, fondly recalling the s’mores he made with his dad during camping trips as a kid. The showstopper is made out of rich chocolate praline mousse, fudge, toasted marshmallow ice cream, candied hazelnut and graham streusel. It’s presented to diners under a smoke-filled cloche with an ember from the restaurant’s wood-burning grill; when the glass dome is lifted, smoke wafts through the dining room. As soon as one smoked s’mores arrives at a table, orders for the decadent dessert multiply, Adams says — everyone wants in on the nostalgia-inducing extravagance. $16. Inside the Four Seasons, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW. fourseasons.com/washington.
S'mores milkshake at Fare Well
This funky vegan diner in Northeast, which boasts an impressive lineup of dairy-free treats, puts a cool spin on the campfire favorite. Fare Well’s s’mores shake blends coconut-based ice cream; housemade, extra dark chocolate sauce; and house marshmallow fluff that spills over the top of the glass. Owner Doron Petersan describes the sweet fluff as “a nearly magical experience.” The shake is topped with graham cracker crumbs, and it’s “cold, creamy, crunchy, sweet, chocolaty and smooth,” as Petersan puts it. Consider sharing with a friend so you still have room for Fare Well’s three-layer s’mores cake ($8 a slice). $8. 406 H St. NE. eatfarewell.com .
S'mores hot chocolate at Sugar Factory
The sensory-overload Sugar Factory at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City — home to over-the-top, made-for-Instagram sweet concoctions — is a s’mores lover’s delight. Savor it in hot chocolate form, a rich drink topped with generous heaps of toasted marshmallows, whipped cream and graham cracker crumbles. It feels indulgent and celebratory and is drizzled with, what else, more chocolate. On a return visit, sample the s’mores martini ($14), or try the campfire-spiked s’mores milkshake ($29; $17 non-alcoholic): a towering, almost intimidating treat made with chocolate and coffee ice cream, espresso and whiskey — and piled high with a seven-layer s’mores cookie, Hershey bar chunks and graham cracker crumbles. $10. Inside Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, 1100 S. Hayes St., Arlington. sugarfactory.com.
S'mores cupcake at Buzz Bakeshop
Even if you’ve never stepped foot in this bakery’s Alexandria or Arlington locations, you may have sampled its goods: Buzz Bakeshop makes the 9:30 Club’s cupcakes. Buzz’s s’mores cupcake has yet to snag such a deal, but its lower profile doesn’t mean it’s any less tasty. Pastry chef Allie Cheppa prepares the base out of light, moist chocolate cake, “taken up a notch with a graham cracker crust on the bottom and marshmallow filling.” The cupcake is topped with chocolate buttercream, marshmallow fluff, graham cracker crumbs and milk chocolate. It’s well-balanced and difficult not to inhale in one bite — the crust at the bottom lends an unexpected crunch, and the marshmallow filling is a sweet surprise. $3.25. 901 Slaters Lane, Alexandria; 818 N. Quincy St., Arlington. buzzbakeshop.com.