San Diego, CA

Best Desserts in San Diego part 1


ALRIGHT GUYS. You know the drill- it’s time for another round of ‘best of San Diego!’ Hopefully you’re not tired of them yet, because there are a lot more coming…. ;)

I am ALL ABOUT THE DESSERTS. Who isn’t?! (if you’re not, this is probably not the article for you) I have taken on the onus of trying all the dessert places in San Diego, all for the sake of this article. A sacrifice I took on just for you guys ;) Here is a list of places that are lovingly spoken about by San Diego natives, top rated on Yelp, and will bring you ALL the likes on Instagram.

One thing to keep in mind when reading this article is that these are all more or less top-notch dessert places. Number one isn’t absolutely better than the others and number five is not the worst of the bunch. They’re all equally amazing, just have different offerings and different specialties. Places that I think are amazing some of my friends don’t like (don’t worry we’re not friends anymore) (just kidding). What I’m trying to say is, we all have different tastes and preferences. Once again, please don’t murder me if your place isn’t on here.

1. Extraordinary Desserts

Ask any native (or even tourist!) where you should go for desserts and the answer is more or less always the same- Extraordinary Desserts. If there is any dessert place that is a San Diego institution, it’s this one. There are continuous long lines year round- you can seriously find yourself waiting two hours for a slice of their cake. Their pastry chef, Karen Krasne, has been named one of the top ten pastry chefs in the country by Forbes magazine. You can find all the classics- cupcakes, brownies, tarts, pies, bread puddings, chocolate bars, cheesecakes, crème brulees, anything your heart can desire! This is a great place to bring family and friends, because there is something for everybody. I personally love their fruity desserts because they often come with a coulis (a fruit sauce that you can mix in with your dessert). I would highly recommend splitting one dessert for two people- they can be quite large and dense!


Another famous San Diego classic! MNGO is famous for……wait for it……MANGO DESSERTS. Shocker right? While they have a large array of offerings (coffee, tea, smoothies, crème brulee, mango sticky rice, etc..) what they’re known for is their kakigoris. A kakigori is a shaved ice dessert that hails from Japan, oftentimes flavored with syrup and condensed milk, and MNGO is the only place in San Diego to serve them. They take this snow dessert to another level. Their MNGO kakigori comes with mango flavored ice, mango pudding, and fresh mango house cream sauce! And it is simply heavenly. Just take a look at the picture below if you’re not convinced! Bask in its beauty. If mango isn’t quite your thing, they also have green tea, Thai tea, strawberry cheesecake, and taro kakigoris. Shaved ice is a bit of a misnomer; you’re not going to be crunching through thick ice chunks. Instead the texture is definitely that of snow, where it melts on your tongue instantly. I actually have sensitive teeth (and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this) so there are very few cold desserts I am willing to risk pain to eat. And this is one of them!

3. Azucar

Now THIS is more of a hidden gem. The first time I walked by Azucar, I thought they were a vegetarian joint (their sign has a leaf on it!). It was very unassuming from the outside, and I was very sad when I realized that I walked by, on multiple occasions, an amazing Cuban French patisserie. When I first stepped into Azucar, I was instantly transported to France- it felt like I was walking into a French dessert shop off the streets of Paris, with glass displays full of the most gorgeous petit-sized desserts. Azucar uses French techniques with Cuban roots to create wonders such as the Artemisa, with Cuban rum cake, Malibu coconut custard, and flamed pineapple, or the cielo de limon, with salted pistachio cake, lemon cream, pistachio macaron crumbles, pistachio cookie crumbles. Don’t even get me started on their mango cheesecake. I still have dreams about it at night. Their desserts are gorgeous, they taste amazing, and I think you should go.

4. Café 86

Café 86 has only been in San Diego for about a year now but is already making big waves in the dessert community……..and this is because they are home of everything UBE!! 99% of their menu is ube flavored. Now what is ube you may ask? Ube is a purple yam that originates from the Philippines. This does NOT mean your desserts are going to be vegetable flavored. Ube is similar to taro and has a mild coconuty taste, perfect for desserts. It’s exploded over social media the past few years and if you have seen any bright purple desserts on your Instagram feed, they’re probably ube flavored. The first time I came to Café 86 I invited a friend, who upon meeting, promptly told me she had never had ube before. I then promptly had an anxiety attack because hey, what if she hated ube, and I just dragged her to a dessert shop where she couldn’t eat anything? Lucky for me, she LOVED ube and quickly became obsessed with it- she now wants to go to Café 86 all the time. Just a fair warning that that could be you! I would highly recommend their ube truffles (oreo and ube mashed together) their ube cheesecake, their halo halo, and their ube ice cream sandwich. Check their menu before you go because they rotate their menu daily!

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram page, foodventurewithanna, for more delicious bites. Check out my youtube worldventurewithanna if you’re into mukbangs or you need something to laugh at!

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Covering the latest and greatest in San Diego! Follow me on instagram for more food porn! My food page is foodventurewithanna, my personal is worldventurewithanna. You can also find me on youtube under worldventurewithanna :) Thank you for your support!

San Diego, CA

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