Welcome to the unlikely pairing, but delicious, combination that is Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets. If you haven’t heard of this spot, Rose’s is an East Asian inspired eatery and bakery serving breakfast, lunch and to-go dinner with artisan pastries and sweets. You may have known it as Rose’s Meat Market & Sweet Shop formally. In Summer 2017, Rose’s transformed from a meat market to an East Asian inspired eatery, while still serving delicious sweets and pastries.

We stopped by to celebrate the start of strawberry season, Mother’s Day, and being alive in Durham. Rose’s famous homemade ice cream sandwiches were all we could think about on this 95 degree day in May.

We were immediately greeted by a friendly face asking to seat us, as we let him know we were on a mission for something sweet. The bright, airy storefront is split, as expected. Make your way down to the left side of the shop to partake in some of the sweetest things Durham has to offer.

Take a look at those choices. Chocolate dipped vanilla cream puffs, chocolate sea salt tart, fluffy macarons, homemade caramels, cookies, cakes, and on, and on. Everything is prepared fresh daily. And finally, what we were here for. The homemade ice cream sandwiches. The flavors everything from Vanilla Stracciatella to White Miso Gingersnap to Strawberries and Cream to Butter Pecan. We couldn’t just get one thing, of course. Some chocolate cake was boxed up to go, but the ice cream sandwich couldn’t wait.

Eager toddler hands

Well we have to wait for just for a few minutes. The ice cream is SO COLD when you get it you can’t get bit into it, but it makes for a much more pleasant experience when it’s not melting all over you. We’ll take the small sacrifice. There’s something about eating an ice cream sandwich that makes you feel like a kid again, but in a good way. With amazing, fresh ingredients. (We always joke that our toddler is very spoiled growing up in Durham with all this incredible food! Don’t you wish you had this when you were a kid?!)

This is more so a review of their dessert options because I am a self proclaimed dessert expert. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about their ramen and Asian dishes! So go check it out for yourself!

Side note: Even though we were just getting a small dessert the staff was so kind and checked in on us several times. Getting us water, plates, napkins. Bonus points for their kindness and great service.

Other notes:There are no reservations. It means first come first serve. We didn’t have a wait on a Sunday afternoon especially since we were just grabbing dessert, but I imagine it’s packed at lunch time. Parking is pretty limited in front of the shop, but there is lots of street parking on the surrounding streets. The Brightleaf parking lot across the street is free after 5pm and all day on the weekends.

Katelyn Belch
Author: Katelyn Belch

Founder of Best of the Bull and Shop Durham. It’s my chief goal to keep you in the know about all things Durham.