Although San Diego is often associated with beach bodies, fit surfers, and healthy food, the dessert scene is not one to underestimate. Besides delicious cupcakes, the sunny city has decadent ice cream, cakes, and donuts to offer. If you ever have the chance to visit San Diego, be sure to stop by some of these stores.

1. Donut Bar

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From ice cream donut cones to cake batter donuts to vegan donuts, Donut Bar is guaranteed to always deliver in both taste and presentation. Nestled in downtown SD, stop by for the largest, most creative donuts you can find. Be sure to pick up a Strawberry Split donut – a customer favorite.

2. Up2you Cafe

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Famously known for their classic “brick toast,” Up2you cafe offers a customizable dessert experience with options including freshly made waffles, brick toast, and crepes. The cafe-like ambiance is completed with a variety of available board games for you and your friends to play until the place closes at 12 am.

3. Extraordinary Desserts

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Extraordinary Desserts is one of the most popular dessert places in San Diego and rightfully so. Located in Little Italy, stop by this place for light and airy desserts. With top notch presentation and flavor, Extraordinary Desserts earns it’s popularity. Try any of their cakes or desserts for a luxuriously decadent experience.

4. Cafe Hielo

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If you’re in need of a dessert lighter on the stomach, Cafe Hielo is a great place to go to. Try their customizable shaved ice snow dessert with a variety of toppings including red bean, green tea mochi, and ice cream. If you’re with a group, opt for their premium shaved snow which includes flavors such as green tea and mango cheesecake.

5. Blush Desserts

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Blush Desserts specializes in custom macaron ice cream sandwiches and other handmade desserts. If you’re not in the mood for something cold, try their various unique cupcake flavors such as Ferraro Roche, Banana Cream, and Blush Velvet.

6. Iceskimo

photo courtesy of iceskimo on facebook

This Taiwanese dessert place specializes in shaved snow, shaved in ribbons instead of the traditional shaved ice. If you’re overwhelmed by the build-your-own style, Iceskimo includes many delicious pre-made combinations such as strawberry shortcake or cookie monster. If you’re more adventurous, you can create your shaved snow combination from scratch. Try the original milk, green tea, black sesame, or strawberry snow and top it with condensed milk, red bean, or more.

7. Babycakes

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If you love cupcakes, Babycakes is a must stop location for you. With so many different choices of cupcakes, anyone with a sweet tooth will find a flavor for themselves. Their selection includes flavors such as lemon bavarian, blood orange, pistachio, and their original babycake. If you are in the mood for a moist, rich treat be sure to visit. This bakery opens at 9am and also includes brunch if you’re in the mood for a meal before dessert.

8. iDesserts

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iDesserts is a place where dessert is not only an after meal food, but also a form of art. Created by Jean-Philippe, iDessert is a customizable gelato shop but with a twist. Gelatos are served inside of a meringue with syrup or other toppings on top. The entire menu features a customizable aspect to their desserts, even including a Vegas Bowl option in which the gelato is served on dry ice for a futuristic experience.

9. Hammond’s

photo courtesy of @hammondsicecream on instagram

If you are the type who has trouble committing to one ice cream flavor at an ice cream shop and want a place where you can try multiple flavors, Hammond’s is the place for you. Famous for their ice cream flights, customers can order mini versions of either waffle or cake cones. Their unique flavor selection includes ice creams such as Mango Cream, Beer Cream (an IPA flavor), and Blueberry Cheesecake.


10. Cravory Cookies

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Cravory cookies redefines the boundaries of what a cookie can be. With a soft, dense texture, these cookies are sinful combination of both a cookie and a cake. If you can’t make it to their store’s location, stop by their booth at the Hillcrest or Little Italy Farmer’s Market. Be sure to pick up popular flavors such as Caramel S’mores, Taro, and Chocolate Chip.