Oatmeal Mango Cookie from Influx Cafe

San Diego Sugar | Close Up of Oatmeal Mango Cookie from Influx Cafe

Given the choice between chocolate chip, peanut butter, ginger, and oatmeal cookies, you might be surprised to see an essentially colorless lump of baked dough featured for Influx Cafe. But to write off the tastiness of this cookie based on appearance alone would be a shame.

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Chocolate Macaron from Lisko Imports

San Diego Sugar | Close-up of Chocolate Macaron from Lisko Imports

Macarons aren’t something I come across very often, so when I spied a display of giant macarons at the Lisko Imports table at the Little Italy Mercato, I had to have one. Four flavors were available, including chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and pistachio. Even though I was initially tempted to get three cookies for $8, I played it safe, sticking with one chocolate macaron for $3 — a very reasonable price, considering the cookie was the size of my palm (and macarons are always pricey).

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Grocery Goods: Trader Joe’s Petite Cocoa Batons

San Diego Sugar | Trader Joe's Petite Cocoa Baton Cookies

On my weekly visit to TJ’s, I usually try to avoid looking too closely at the cookies. Having never met a Trader Joe’s cookie that I didn’t love (especially the High Brow Chocolate Chip cookies), I know that opening that door could result in a shopping basket that’s 80% cookies and 20% Trader Ming’s Orange Chicken. But when I spied this box of Petite Cocoa Batons, a steal at $1.69, I couldn’t resist.

On the box, the cookies are described as “delicately crisp wafers filled with rich cocoa cream”, and are a product of Indonesia. With no photo on the box, it was difficult to imagine what they would look like, but I guessed they would be like Pepperidge Farms’ Pirouette cookies. They were not.

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Sugar High at the San Diego County Fair

San Diego Sugar | Fair Food

It’s been a pretty crazy year. At this time last year, I was living in a different country, working a different job, and engaged, but not married. Fast-forward 12 months and I’m +1 husband, with new freelance gigs, a new cat, and a perma-tan. Moving from the Great White North to San Diego resulted in many firsts, including my first trip to the San Diego County fair (which was basically an all-out fried-food binge). Check out all of the deep-fried sweets I ate in this slide-show on Serious Eats.

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Sugar Shots from Taste of Adams Ave.

San Diego Sugar | Taste of Adams Ave Ice Cream

Just about every neighborhood in San Diego hosts a “Taste Of…” festival each year, and Taste of Adams Ave might be my favorite. After attending the Gaslamp and Downtown events, I finally learned how to do these events right: be picky, share samples, and know when to quit. This time around, I focused most of my efforts on trying mostly sweets, a relatively easy feat since only a handful of places were handing out desserts.

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Hidden Treasure: Banana Split Pizza From Zia Gourmet Pizza

San Diego Sugar | Zia Gourmet Pizza's Banana Split Slice

As evidenced by my pizza coverage on Slice, I spend a good amount of time hunting down San Diego’s best pizza across all genres, including stuffed, coal-fired, and traditional NYC-style. But my love of pizza doesn’t end with savory options, I also love dessert pizza. My experiences trying to locate a good sweet slice have been mixed. The Merk does a decent dessert pie, but it’s really more like a baked crepe than a variant of pizza.

A much better option is Zia Gourmet Pizza, a Normal Heights pizzeria that pushes the boundaries of what pizza can (and should) be, by topping them with everything from baked eggplant to dried cranberries. When it comes to dessert pizzas, there are three different dessert options: Cinnamon Pear, Tropical Splash, and Banana Split. All three sounded tasty, but since there was a Banana Split pie hot and fresh from the oven, that’s what I chose.

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German Chocolate Cupcake from Sweet Treats Truck

San Diego Sugar | German Chocolate Cupcake from Sweet Treats Truck

San Diego’s food truck scene has reached critical mass. It seems like every weekend, there is at least one food truck event, ranging from small gatherings, to full-blown festivals. Hoping to find something in the middle, I headed to 57 Degrees, for their monthly gathering of food trucks, which happens on the third Friday of every month. Fifteen food trucks set up shop in the parking lot, including a few options for sweets.

After gorging myself on savory items from The Gathering Spot, I almost didn’t have enough room for dessert, but leaving without something sweet just wasn’t an option. The Sweet Treats Truck had several tempting options, including peanut butter brownies, red velvet whoopie pies, and eclairs, but once I laid eyes on the German chocolate cupcakes, my dessert dilemma was solved.

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Hidden Treasure: Polar Bear Latte at Cafe Virtuoso

San Diego Sugar | Polar Bear Latte at Cafe Virtuoso

Barrio Logan is quickly becoming my default Saturday morning destination. Like clockwork, our coffee supply runs low, and because it’s so close (and home to several coffee roasters) the Barrio is our main fuel station. While my husband selects a bag of beans, I typically peruse the drink menu. Cafe Virtuoso has all of the beverage options you’d expect: iced coffee, lattes, frappes, and three varieties of mochas, but when the barista on duty told me about the Polar Bear latte ($3.75), a special drink that’s not on the menu, I was sold. The triple-sweet drink features espresso, white chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel.

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Grocery Goods: Ben and Jerry’s Fair Goodness Cake Ice Cream

San Diego Sugar | Ben and Jerry's Fair Goodness Cake Ice Cream Tub

Ben and Jerry’s must be reading my mind. On the same day I was hit with an intense craving for macaroon ice cream from Ed’s Real Scoop in Toronto, I spied the next best thing: Fair Goodness Cake, a new ice cream flavor from Ben and Jerry’s that has the same killer combination of chocolate and coconut.

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Cheap Thrills: “Little” Cinnamon Rolls from Homies Cinnamon Rolls

San Diego Sugar | Cinnamon Roll from Homies Cinnamon Rolls

If you’ve ever walked by a Subway and been bowled over by the delicious scent of fresh-baked bread, you’ll understand why it was impossible to walk by Homies Cinnamon Rolls without going inside on the pretense of “just taking a peek”. Fresh rolls were baking in the oven and the aroma of warm pastry and cinnamon was wafting out the door.

The shop offers a few different flavors of cinnamon rolls, including apple, pecan, and raisin, but only the original flavor was available when I visited.

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San Diego Sugar is a site devoted to discovering the best sweet eats that San Diego has to offer. We take photos of sweet things, eat them, and write about them. Learn more →