‘Tis the season of indulgence, San Diego! Festive treats and locally-made snacks can be found throughout the county, perfect to savor over the holidays. The elves over at Yelp made this list, and checked it twice. Trust, these local businesses make naughty treats that are oh, so nice.
SweetBricks (East Village)
The toffee experts at this East Village sweets shop bake bricks of goodness daily and have a solid five-star rating among Yelp reviewers, to boot. Seasonal flavors are ready to be snagged but they do sell out, so don’t drag your feet. We like the Gingerbread Toffee enough to stuff stockings – and faces – full of it, and the White Peppermint is the perfect treat to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Give a box to your boss too; that’ll set you up sweet for the New Year!
Hans & Harry Bakery (Chula Vista)
Nothing says “happy holidays” like a World Famous Strudel from this delicious duo. Have one in hand as you attend those holiday parties this year and maybe one at home in the fridge as well – we won’t tell Santa. The Black Forest is our favorite for festivities, made with flakey pastry, chocolate Bavarian cream with cherry filling and whipped cream. For purists, the traditional Apple Strudel is, arguably, better than Christmas morning.
Michele Coulon Dessertier (La Jolla)
This is the place to order your Buches de Noel, or Yule log for the perfect December dessert. The treats are stunning, created with a flourless Belgian chocolate base, rolled up with Bailey’s cream then covered in a Belgian chocolate mousse. Each one is delightfully decorated with meringue forest mushrooms, marzipan holly and even a snowman. Place your orders in advance to assure a seasonal slice.
Candied Apple Pastry Company (Julian)
Take a drive out east to historic Julian, shop in small businesses housed in buildings dating back to 1870s and dive into some sweets served here at the Candied Apple Pastry Company. The Chocolate Bombe will put you in a festive mood: a sour cream chocolate cake filled with a Belgian chocolate mousse, encased in a chocolate shell and then topped with even more chocolate. Talk about sugarplums dancing in your head!
Ohana Cupcakes (Oceanside)
Don’t let San Diego’s tropical climate get you down. Say “Mele Kalikimaka” and get the family together for some festive baking, without the mess! The concept at Ohana Cupcakes is unique: the bakery allows customers to create their own cupcakes from scratch, put them in the oven and decorate them too. You even get a cupcake to snack on and a glass of milk while you wait for your batch to bake. Also on the menu: Kona coffee, too, naturally.
Bake Sale Café & Bakery (East Village)
Three words for you: Pecan. Sticky. Buns. If that doesn’t get you in the seasonal food mood, Bake Sale Café and Bakery will begin offering specialty holiday cookies this week, sold by the tasty dozen. If you want to learn from the master, head baker Jenn Reinhart, take a class! A holiday baking class is set for Dec. 9, covering the ins and outs of the classics, including traditional Spritz cookies.