Bakeries like Azúcar can be daunting. With a dizzying array of treats on offer (including cookies, cupcakes, and bars), it’s tempting to take the whole store home. On my latest visit, I wanted something truly indulgent, so I headed directly to the display case with filled with individual-sized cakes. After some heated deliberation, I settled on the Azúcar Tiramisu ($6).
A recent Friday night dinner at Sessions Public made me extra grateful that when I encounter legitimately lip-smacking food, my stomach capacity magically doubles, allowing me extra real estate to indulge. After polishing off their CAB Natural Buger, which I wrote about for Serious Eats, I ordered the orange scented beignets with Mexican “coco sauce”.
While the dessert was being prepared, my constant dining companion and I speculated on the size and amount of the beignets. I envisioned a pile of small, squarish pillows of pastry covered in powdered sugar, but what emerged from the kitchen was completely different. The dish contained five large, round, golden brown orbs of dough that were so fresh they were literally steaming.
My initial reaction to Urban Solace’s buttermilk cinnamon roll was shock, followed quickly by awe. “Massive” only begins to describe it and “decadent” doesn’t do it justice either. Flaky on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and topped with (I’m guessing) a cup of cream cheese icing, this baked beauty is enough to feed a family of four. If a giant pastry topped with gobs of icing isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can add butter pecan sauce for $1 extra.
One of my favorite dessert options in San Diego are self-serve frozen yogurt shops. Before I moved to San Diego, my only experience with frozen yogurt was at Yogen Fruz, which is totally different than places like Yogurt on the Rocks, where you can design a custom-made cup of frozen yogurt, then top it with as many different items as you want.
Carrot cake isn’t exactly high on my list of desserts I specifically crave, but every once in awhile, there’s nothing I want more. Part of the reason why I love carrot cake is that I can momentarily convince myself that it’s somewhat healthy (hey, it has a vegetable in it!), the other reason is more honest: I love cream cheese icing. The only sticking point I have with carrot cake are the interpretations of it that get muddled with unnecessary ingredients like pineapple, raisins, and chopped walnuts.
O.B. Smoothie Bar & Sub Shop has some crazy-good smoothies and subs, no doubt about it. But one of the tastiest items on the menu doesn’t get top billing on the sign: the acai bowls. Acai bowls, made with frozen acai puree (blended with soy milk or apple juice), are topped with granola, strawberries, bananas, frozen blueberries, and a drizzle of honey. It’s like eating a fruit salad on top of a smoothie slurry, with some granola thrown in for good measure (and extra crunch).
Cafe Hue is a melting pot of different cuisines where desserts from several cultures come together with delicious results. The Asian cafe features a variety of dessert options, including crepes, gelato, and waffles. My eye was instantly drawn to the waffle with gelato and fruit. This triple-threat dessert starts with a fresh-made Liège-style waffle, topped with one scoop of gelato (your choice of flavor — I opted for strawberry), whipped cream, and a handful of fresh fruit. The warm and crunchy waffle tinged with vanilla was a good pairing with the scoop of cool strawberry gelato, which quickly melted into the crevices.
Having a cupcake shop located near your apartment can be a blessing or a curse. When a craving for sugar hits, it’s great to be easy walking distance to the cure. On the flip-side, being too close to a shop that caters to your weakness can slowly chip away at your willpower. For me, this is a constant battle.
Heavenly Cupcake, a cupcakery located in downtown San Diego, sells cupcakes that are equally as beautiful to look at as they are worth indulging in.
In Hillcrest, San Diego’s gayborhood just north of the downtown core, dessert options are abundant. One of the best places to satisfy a sweet tooth is Babycakes, a cafe/bar that serves some of San Diego’s biggest and most frosting-laden cupcakes.
Cupcakes come in a mind-boggling variety of flavors, including classics like vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet, plus inspired flavors like blood orange, guava mango, and peanut butter and jelly. For $3.50 you get a larger-than-usual cupcake topped with a towering swirl of icing.