Ahhh, dessert. As a child you’d suffer through meal times, choking down the required amount of veggies just to get that sweet, sweet reward. Now that you’re an adult, you can skip the sprouts and indulge any time you damn well please. Here are the most over-the-top ways to do that. We won't tell your mom.
6. Brownie Parfait
Soda & Swine (address and info)
Known primarily for their ability to make entire meals out of meatballs, Soda & Swine also does some pretty incredible desserts that have nothing to do with meat (or carbonated beverages, for that matter). Their brownie parfait is an imposing goblet filled with layers of chocolate, caramel, and allspice vanilla ice cream (using spices from Polite Provisions next door), topped with brownie bites and a pile of whipped cream (both of which are made in-house). It's basically the pinnacle of sundae construction.
5. Lemon Meringue Milkshake
Draft (address and info)
A stellar beer selection and an ocean view are not the only things that Mission Beach’s newest hotspot has going for it. Draft has managed to cram all of the sweet and tart flavor of a slice of lemon meringue pie into a glass, blending ice cream, lemon curd, and bits of crumbly pie crust into a delicious base that supports a towering swirl of toasted meringue. This is the kind of dessert that says "I do not like choosing between milkshakes and pie".
Juniper & Ivy (address and info)
Juniper & Ivy is putting Little Debbie to shame with their version of the Yodel. At first glance it just looks like a chocolate cylinder plated on a bed of Devil's food crumbs, but just wait until your server pours on the hot Valrhona fudge table-side, melting the chocolate shell and spilling nitrogen-frozen balls of white & milk chocolate, hazelnut brittle, and white chocolate foam. Your move, Debbie.
3. Mississippi Mud Pie
Betty’s Pie Whole Saloon (address and info)
Whoever coined the phrase "easy as pie" obviously never baked a pie in their life, nor did they ever try a slice from Betty’s Pie Whole Saloon. Betty’s pastry creations are anything but simple, and unlike any pie your mom ever made. The most gut-busting option is the Mississippi Mud Pie, made with Belgian chocolate pudding, big chunks of brownie, cubes of housemade marshmallow, and butterscotch swirls -- all housed in a chocolatey crust. It's available as a whole pie or individual sized, but c’mon now, you need the whole thing.
2. Ice Cream-Filled Donuts
Baked Bear (address and info)
Baked Bear’s custom ice cream cookie sandos have been blowing minds since they opened last year, but they’ve taken it beyond the cookie with this one. You’ve had donuts filled with jellies, creams, and custards, but that’s amateur hour compared to the ice cream-filled donuts at Baked Bear. Pick whatever ice cream you want and they will cram it into a donut, then stick the whole thing in a hot press so you get a warm donut pocket full of cold, creamy ice cream.
Slaters 50/50 (address and info)
No more waiting until it's Girl Scout Cookie time to get your fill. The Cococarma is Slater’s take on the GS staple Samoa (or the Caramel deLite, depending on where you grew up eating cookies). It's a hot cast-iron skillet filled with warmed shortbread cookie, coconut, and gooey caramel served à la mode and drizzled with chocolate. Are you really surprised that the people who brought you this figured out how to make you an enormous Girl Scout cookie in a damn skillet?
Sign up here for our daily San Diego email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.
Soda & Swine does meatballs in a way that you might not expect, assuming that the word "meatball" conjures up images of spaghetti all covered with cheese. Sure, they've got spaghetti and meatballs too, but this place gives you the ability to choose your mix and match your meat, creating anything from a meatball slider to meatballs a la carte. There's a wild bevy of sodas to choose from as well, so there's really no excuse for you to be anywhere other than here.
This Pacific Beach spot has approximately 70 beers on tap and over 50 bottles of beer, making Draft a great place to kick back on your way home from the beach. While you're sipping, try some snacks from the menu, which is comprised of sharing plates, like mustard dusted pretzel bites; grilled items, like the bison burger with poblano pepper and cumin mayonnaise; greens, like the seared ahi salad; and sweets, like key lime pie. Draft’s boardwalk patio is a picturesque spot to grab a breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner bite with an oceanfront view, but if you want to catch the game, you’ll want to head inside to watch on one of the flat-screens.
Betty's Pie Whole Saloon doesn't accept the notion that pies are for dessert only: Boyd's Break-The-Fast Pie gives you your morning fix of eggs, potato, turkey bacon, and more. Another solid choice, the Field Hand has cheddar cheese, broccoli, and chicken -- all wrapped in a handheld dough pocket for lunch on the go; and for a more robust Italian meal, Mama Jo's Meatball Pot Pie fills you up with turkey meatballs, house-made marinara, and three kinds of cheese.
Serving up waffle ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, and other its-summer-somewhere treats, The Baked Bear is a Pacific Beach eatery (and mobile food cart!). Lucky for us, it's open late-- 'til 2am Thursday through Saturday. Don't leave without trying its signature menu item: an ice cream-filled donut. Pick whatever ice cream you want and they will cram it into a donut, then stick the whole thing in a hot press so you get a warm donut pocket full of cold, creamy ice cream.
Slater's 50/50 is a burger restaurant with a serious mission: providing San Diegans with burgers made from 50% ground beef... and 50% ground bacon. This unique burger patty is truly an explosive experience for you taste buds, and one that you likely haven't come across before. Slater's is also known from its selection of local and regional craft beers-- the ultimate burger accessory.
Top Chef: All Stars winner Richard Blais is behind Juniper & Ivy, a Little Italy restaurant that's making moves to put the San Diego dining scene on the same level as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The refined menu is nothing if not creative, and dishes like lobster congee with beef sausage, wagyu short rib with Gruyere-rye bread pudding, and vindaloo-rubbed filet carpaccio prove that Blais' cooking inspiration isn't limited to one cuisine. That said, one of the best things on the menu is also the simplest: the buttermilk drop biscuit with smoked butter.