Where to Delight in Dr. Seuss All Over San Diego

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Delight in the whimsy of Dr. Seuss all over San Diego! From the largest collection of Dr. Seuss items in the world to beholding the secret art of Dr. Seuss, we know all the places you’ll go. Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) lived in La Jolla for several decades and signs of his wacky, wonderful work abound throughout town. Your kids may not like green eggs and ham, but they’re guaranteed to love these real-life examples of Dr. Seuss’s zany work. Scroll down for the details.

The Geisel Library

Located on the University of California San Diego campus, this iconic library was renamed after Dr. Seuss (whose real name is Theodore Seuss Geisel) in 1995. It houses the largest collection of Dr. Seuss items in the world, including manuscripts, drawings and photos. Because the items are so precious, access is strictly limited. But the public can view the collection when the library displays them over the summer.

Additional Fun to Be Done: Visit the nearby campus bookstore to pick up Seuss supplies like pencils and T-shirts.

UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093
858-534-3336
Online: ucsd.edu
Hours vary depending on time of year.

Bronze Statue of Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat

Also located on the UC San Diego campus is a bronze statue of Dr. Seuss and arguably his most famous creation, the Cat in the Hat. Created to celebrate 100 years of Dr. Seuss, this life-size statue features Seuss at his desk while a 7.5-foot tall Cat in the Hat looks mischievously over his shoulder.

Additional Fun to Be Done: Your budding art majors are sure to love Niki de St. Phalle’s “Sun God” and Tim Hawkinson’s “Bear” statues also located on campus.

UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
858-534-2230
Online: ucsd.edu

Legends Gallery

This art gallery, located in downtown La Jolla, specializes in “The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss,” showcasing 70 years of Seuss’s paintings and sculptures. In addition to the whimsical images children love, there are also more satirical works, including several poking fun at high society. The entire collection is also viewable online, but there’s nothing quite like seeing his artwork in person.

Additional Fun to Be Done: Visit the nearby Cave Store, home of the Sunny Jim Sea Cave, which offers a unique view of La Jolla Cove.

Legends Gallery
1205 Prospect St.
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-456-9900
Online: legendsgallerylajolla.com

Cave Store
1325 Coast Blvd.
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-459-0746
Online: cavestore.com

Hotel del Coronado

Dr. Seuss could see the red-shingled roof of the landmark Hotel Del from his studio and that got him dreaming. In 1970 he painted “I Dreamed I was a Doorman at the Hotel del Coronado,” a riot of whimsical angles and colors. Why not head over the bridge and see what had Seuss so smitten? Over the years the hotel has hosted numerous movie stars, politicians and artists, but you don’t need to book a room to enjoy a stroll on the property or lunch on the patio.

Additional Fun to Be Done: With direct beach access, make sure you find a comfy spot in the sand at dusk to watch the gorgeous sunsets.

Hotel del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave.
Coronado, CA 92118
800-468-3533
Online: hoteldel.com

Leah R. Singer

Sanford Children’s Library

Kids will be in awe of the towering 16-foot tall wall murals depicting classic Dr. Seuss characters at the Sanford Children’s Library. They’ll also delight in seeing a historical first edition of Dr. Seuss stories.

Additional Fun to be Done: Don’t miss having a gander at the vintage collection from L. Frank Baum’s Oz books while you’re there.

Read all about Sanford Children’s Library here.

San Diego Central Library
330 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: SanDiegoLibrary.org

—Michelle Franklin & Beth Shea

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If you think of a perfect day out with your preschooler, it likely includes a super fun activity followed by some really yummy food. With this pairing in mind, we’ve put together a fantastic list of places where you and your kiddos can play and burn off energy before refueling at a nearby spot for some good eats. Whether your little ones are into sports, art or museums, we’ve got the ultimate urban playdate for you! Read on for your next adventure in the city.

The New Children's Museum + Brian's 24

The New Children's Museum, located downtown, is full of fun, educational activities. Whether they're playing in the Sandbox Gallery, using the Costume Cave for make believe, or tottering around Wobbleland, there is zero chance your explorers will be bored. But all that "work" is bound to make them hungry––so head to nearby Brian's 24 for all-day breakfast, sandwiches, pizza and more. Order carefully: their portions are famously huge! Read more about The New Children's Museum here and Brian's 24 here.

The New Children's Museum
200 W. Island Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-233-8792
Online: thinkplaycreate.org

Brian's 24
828 Sixth Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-702-8410
Online: brians24.com

The Hot Spot Studio + Fig Tree Cafe

If you're raising the next Picasso, then Hot Spot Studio, in Liberty Station is sure to delight. Pick out an unfinished piece of pottery (everything from piggy banks to plates to figurines), select your paints and have a blast. You pay by the piece, not the hour, so feel free to stay as long as you'd like. They also have supplies to make candles. To celebrate your masterpieces, walk over to Fig Tree Cafe for Bananas Foster French Toast, Breakfast Sushi and other delicious bites.

The Hot Spot
2770 Historic Decatur Rd., #101
San Diego, Ca 92106
619-223-1339
Online: thehotspotstudio.com

Fig Tree Cafe
2400 Historic Decatur Rd., #103
San Diego, Ca 92106
619-821-2044
Online: figtreeeatery.com

Carlsbad Lagoon + Campfire

One of the perks of living in San Diego is our quick access to the water, so why not head up to Carlsbad Lagoon for a day of water sports? You can rent kayaks, standup paddleboards (kid sizes are available), pontoon boats and peddle boats. Your crew is bound to be ravenous after all that exercise. Nearby Campfire will hit the spot. The restaurant is open and airy with a large patio that feels like the hippest campground in town. Refuel with simple, hearty fare like Cheesy Eggs, Belgian Waffles and Camp Rice Bowls. Read our full review of Campfire here.

 

Carlsbad Lagoon
4215 Harrison St.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
760-434-3089
Online: carlsbadlagoon.com

Campfire
2725 State St.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
760-637-5121
Online: thisiscampfire.com

San Diego Air and Space Museum + Flight Path Grill

The San Diego Air and Space Museum, located in Balboa Park, is chock full of exhibits to keep your pint-sized aviators enthralled. They'll be able to see the genuine Apollo IX Command Module, an "American Women in Flight" exhibit and the International Air and Space Hall of Fame. For lunch, simply go upstairs! The Flight Path Grill is on the outdoor patio, giving you a perfect view of downtown as well as the planes landing at Lindbergh Field while you enjoy burgers, sandwiches and salads. Read more about the Air and Space Museum's new Speed: Science in Motion exhibit here.

San Diego Air and Space Museum
2001 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-234-8291
Online: sandiegoairandspace.org

Flight Path Grill
2001 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-234-8291
Online: sandiegoairandspace.org

Cowles Mountain + The Trails Eatery

If your kids are more athletes than aviators, Cowles Mountain is one of the most popular hiking spots in San Diego. Three miles may sound like a lot (and it is!), but the mostly gentle switchbacks make it a less strenuous climb. At the top, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of Lake Murray, downtown and Tijuana. Once you're done, you'll want to head across the street to The Trails Eatery where you can enjoy breakfast and lunch staples, including their popular Sin-a-mon Roll Pancakes.

Cowles Mountain
7000 Golfcrest Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92119
619-668-3281 (Mission Trail's Visitor's Center)
Online: alltrails.com (not official, but provides good trail information)

The Trails Eatery
7389 Jackson Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92119
619-667-2233
Online: thetrailseatery.com

Where are your favorite spots to play and eat with your kids? Let us know in the comments!

— Michelle Franklin

Featured photo: London Scout via Unsplash

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Most of us can remember (all the way) back to geometry class and the day we learned the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — also known as pi — or π — or 3.14. This is why every March 14th we unofficially celebrate Pie Day — yes, that delicious buttery crust filled with sweet or savory decadence that also happens to come in the shape of a circle! Read on for our list of the best pies in San Diego and make your math teacher proud!

Robin Harris Images

Betty's Pie Whole Saloon

Betty's Pie Whole, created by the same woman behind Elizabethan Desserts, is serious about pie. So much so that it's all they sell. Savory and sweet, individual and family-size — options change daily so call ahead if you want something in particular. Favorite savories include Grandma Lucy's Chicken Pie and Mama Jo's Meatball Pot Pie. For dessert, you'll definitely want to try the Peach Pie or Mississippi Mud Pie.

Betty's Pie Whole Saloon
155 Quail Garden Dr.
Encinitas, Ca 92024
760-230-6781
Online: bettyspiewhole.com

Pop Pie Co.

Pop Pie Co.

Pop Pie launched in University Heights about a year ago and has become a neighborhood favorite serving up coffee, beer and of course mouthwatering pies morning, noon and night. Come by in the morning for a Boss Pie, loaded with bacon and eggs and served with a side of maple syrup. For dinner sample the Aussie Meat Pie, filled with ground beef cooked in Vegemite and Worcestershire sauce. Dessert might include a coconut cream pie or a guava cream cheese hand pie. They also sell vegetarian and vegan options.

Pop Pie
4404 Park Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92116
619-501-4440
Online: poppieco.com

Peace Pies

If you're wondering how you can stay healthy and still eat pie, check out Peace Pies. Everything on the menu at this restaurant is raw, vegan, organic and gluten-free. That may not sound like a recipe for pie nirvana, but their fans swear their pies are to die for. Offerings vary from day to day, but perennial favorites include the Cosmic Coconut Cream Pie and the Alive Apple Pie.

 

Peace Pies
4230 Voltaire St.
San Diego, Ca 92107
619-223-2880

133 Daphne St.
Encinitas, Ca 92024
760-479-0996
Online: peacepies.com

Chicken Pie Shop

If you're looking for a little nostalgia with your pie, you can't beat Chicken Pie Shop, which has been around since 1938! This diner-style restaurant is no frills to say the least. There is little in the way of decor and they will not sprinkle parsley on your plate for design. What they will do is serve classic blue plate chicken pies with sides of whipped potatoes, vegetables and bread. Dessert pies are of the classic apple, cherry and blueberry variety.

Chicken Pie Shop
2633 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-295-0156
Online: chickenpieshops.com

Bear Buns Bakery

The Serra Mesa neighborhood isn't exactly known for its culinary prowess, but this little bakery and cafe has made a name for itself selling decadent pies and pastries, alongside a full coffee bar. Pies are sold whole and baked to order, so you'll need to give at least 24-hours notice if you want to indulge in one of their apple, pecan, sweet cherry or pumpkin pies.

Bear Buns Bakery
3251 Greyling Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92123
858-573-2327
Online: mybearbuns.com

 

The Pie Joint

Pies of all shapes, sizes and fillings are served at this Point Loma spot. Sweet pies are mini size and at two inches each, you can afford to eat more than one! Try the Lemon Meringue, Apple Pear Cranberry or Double Stout Chocolate Mousse. If you want dinner with your dessert, try their five inch savories, including Steak and Ale and Chicken Bacon. Whole nine-inch pies can be made upon request, in advance.

The Pie Joint
3944 West Point Loma Blvd., Suites D-E
San Diego, Ca 92110
619-450-6316
Online: thepiejoint.com

 

Where’s your favorite place for pie in San Diego? Let us know in the comments.

— Michelle Franklin

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photo: True Food Kitchen

Seen one kids menu, seen them all: bright orange mac and cheese, lackluster chicken nuggets, buttered noodles… how would you like to eat off that menu every time you went out for a meal? Check out our list of restaurants elevating kiddie cuisine to the next level: think pan-seared salmon, build-your-own pizza pies and Lil’ Buddha bowls. You may discover your “picky” eaters are actually budding gourmands!

photo: Cohn Restaurant Group

BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden
This French casual eatery is a favorite among locals in La Mesa. The interior is cozy and hip, while the outdoor patio is relaxed. Parents love the extra space for kids to burn off energy before dinner — there’s even an old school bus for climbing, crawling and exploring. Older kids (12+) are also able to enjoy a decidedly more grown-up menu including pan-roasted fish and broccolini, seared salmon or a mini order of steak frites.

BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden
8384 La Mesa Blvd.
La Mesa, Ca 91942
619-337-3445
Online: cohnrestaurants.com

photo: Hun Minoda Photography

Cucina Enoteca
This airy, brightly decorated restaurant in Del Mar is sure to catch your kid’s attention and so will the menu. The Modo Mia Pizza lets kids build their own pies. A par-baked crust and choice of toppings are delivered tableside. Junior chefs can design it as the please and then walk the pizza to the oven! Nothing tastes better than making it yourself.

Cucina Enoteca
2730 Via de la Valle
Del Mar, Ca 92014
858-704-4500
Online: urbankitchengroup.com

photo: Jim K. via Yelp

Naked Cafe
This local chain bases its menu on whole, natural foods and it shows even in their kids menu. The pancakes are made with whole grains, just like the adult versions. Classic peanut butter and jam sandwiches are elevated with carrot zucchini bread. Each kid’s meal comes with a choice of cow’s milk or soy or almond milk instead.

Naked Cafe (multiple locations)
3555 Rosecrans St.
San Diego, Ca 92110
619-226-7866
Online: thenakedcafe.com

Mr. A’s
Mister A’s, the timeless dining destination which boasts panoramic views of the city and the sparkling San Diego Bay, has revamped and refreshed its children’s menu, elevating options for kids to a whole other level: Mister A’s style. Currently on offer for young patrons: roasted Gonestraw Farm chicken breast or breaded chicken tenders with a choice of seasonal vegetables, mashed potatoes or housemade fries, mini Kobe Burgers on a brioche bun, with french fries, or a selection of handmade pasta with choices of butter, tomato sauce or parmesan cream sauce. And for dessert: an ice cream sundae with vanilla ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookies made by pastry chef extraordinaire Amy Simpson.

2550 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92103
619-239-1377
Online: asrestaurant.com

photo: True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen
True Food prides itself on serving healthy, delicious meals based on seasonal ingredients. For your little health nuts, this means the burgers are grass-fed and served on flax seed buns. Chicken teriyaki bowls come with peas, broccoli, and carrots over brown rice and quinoa. And the typical PB&J is actually almond butter with fresh bananas and apples on seeded grain bread.

True Food Kitchen
UTC
4303 La Jolla Village Dr., #2100
San Diego, Ca 92122
858-431-4384

Fashion Valley
7007 Friars Rd., #394
San Diego, Ca 92108
619-810-2929
Online: truefoodkitchen.com

Native Foods
This vegan chain serves up food so tasty we promise your kids won’t know the chicken strips are actually meat-free. Also on the menu are Mac ‘n’ Cheese made with a vegetable and cashew cream sauce that come with a side of brown rice, steamed veggies or french fries. The Lil’ Buddha Bowl comes with teriyaki sweet potatoes, avocado, roasted corn and cilantro jasmine rice. If your kids love nothing more than PB&J, try the sunflower butter and chia jam sandwich served on crisp plantain bread with a cinnamon-sugar coating.

Native Foods
5604 Balboa Ave., #107
San Diego, Ca 92111
858-278-2855

3369 Rosecrans St.
San Diego, Ca 92110
619-225-1155
Online: nativefoods.com

photo: Stone Brewing via Facebook

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
When you hear “great kids menu,” brewery might not be the first place that comes to mind. Yet Stone Brewing seems to have been created with families in mind. Both locations feature ample outdoor space for lounging and exploring and they feature a kids menu you just won’t find anywhere else. Think braised pot roast, Jidori chicken breast, pan-seared salmon teriyaki and Bavarian sausage with ricotta mashed potatoes. Menus may vary by location.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, Ca 92029
760-294-7866

2816 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92106
619-269-2100
Online: stonebrewing.com

photo: Puesto

Puesto
Puesto’s menu was recently expanded to better cater to kiddos. For $10, young diners can choose two items from the options of chicken, veggie or carnitas tacos and a quesadilla, all featuring Puesto’s signature crispy melted cheese and mini flour tortillas. A side of rice and beans is also included. To wash it down, kids dishes come with a choice of a scratch-made jamaica, piña melón or mango limón agua fresca and for an additional $4, mini dessert tacos will satisfy kids’ hankering for a sweet treat.

Puesto
789 West Harbor Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-233-8880

1026 Wall St.
La Jolla, Ca 92037
858-454-1260
Online: eatpuesto.com

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar
If you’ve always wanted to introduce your kids to sushi, but weren’t sure how to do it, Kura may have the answer. Sushi turns into instant fun when it comes by on a conveyor belt. Simply pick the dishes you want to try as they roll by. If your little ninjas aren’t ready for unagi yet, they can still sample egg sushi (tamago), premium American beef sushi, or full cooked eel. California rolls and Kappa Maki (cucumber) are also available.

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar
4609 Convoy St.
San Diego, Ca 92123
858-715-4605
Online: kurausa.com

photo: Flower Child

Flower Child
Flower Child offers a healthy and enticing menu for kids 12 and under. Young diners can custom-make their meal by choosing between a protein (steak, chicken or tofu) and two sides. We love the gluten-free mac and cheese which tastes like a made-in-heaven gourmet side dish. Sweet corn and quinoa and broccoli with parmesan are also tasty options. Make sure the littles save room for a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie.

Read our full review of Flower Child restaurant here.

Flower Child
2690 Via De La Valle
Del Mar, Ca 92014
858-314-6818
Online: iamaflowerchild.com

Where are you impressed with the kids menu? Let us know in the comments!

—Michelle Franklin

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photo: Bill Dickinson via Flickr

Ready to make like a hipster and explore one of San Diego’s trendiest districts with your kiddos in tow? We’ve got all the places you must go in vibrant and eclectic North Park. Families and mom and pop shops dot the scene of this extremely walkable hot spot that’s filled with restaurants, cute stores and activities. You and your crew will never lack for things to do. Read on for our guide on where to eat and play in North Park.

Where to Play & Shop

photo: Pigment

Pigment
If you’re looking for a unique gift or party decor, you can’t beat Pigment. The brightly lit, colorful store is filled with gifts, party supplies and handmade cards you just won’t find anywhere else. They also have a make-your-own terrarium section where you can pick the container, sands, and succulents — a great opportunity to help little green thumbs learn about plants. On alternating Wednesdays, they also hold a popular “toddler time” event featuring North Park residents, singers Mike and Jean. Books are read, snacks are eaten and everyone is happy!

Pigment
3801 30th St.
San Diego, Ca
619-501-6318
Online: shoppigment.com
Toddler Time: alternating Wednesdays, 10:30 – 11 a.m./Call for specific dates

photo: Morley Field Disc Golf Course via Facebook

Morley Field
At the southern tip of North Park is the northern tip of Balboa Park. This area, known as Morley Field, is full of great ways for your family to stretch their legs and burn some calories. Balboa Park Tennis Club has youth and group tennis lessons, while the Bud Kearns pool provides lessons and free swim opportunities. If you’d like something less structured, there are trails, playgrounds and a Frisbee golf course. There’s also a leash-free dog park for your four-legged family members.

Morley Field
Online: balboapark.org

photo: Elexia D. via Yelp

Artelexia
Want to bring a little style from south of the border into your home? This vibrant shop is packed full of handcrafted gifts, art and decor from Mexico. Your niños and niñas will be captivated by the store’s selection of candies, dolls, balloons and games. You’ll love the beautiful ornaments, barware and serapes. They also carry books for all ages: cookbooks for you, pictures books for them.

Artelexia
3803 Ray St.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-501-6381
Online: artelexia.com

photo: Replay Toys via Facebook

Replay Toys
Replay Toys is a thrifty children’s boutique that specializes in re-selling educational toys (although they also have vast collections of My Little Ponys, Matchbox cars and Lalaloopsies too). Only used toys in mint condition are resold, which means you can pick up good quality items at a fraction of the cost. It’s also an opportunity to teach your kids about basic finances: they can bring in their old toys and earn money to purchase other items in the shop.

Replay Toys
2920 North Park Way
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-294-5904
Online: replaytoysboutique.com

photo: David G. via Yelp

North Park Thursday Market
Each Thursday evening over 90 vendors line North Park Way with flowers, organic produce and eggs, locally made sauces and food stalls serving up cuisine from around the globe. Often chefs from nearby restaurants hold cooking demonstrations (past restaurants include Urban Solace and Cardamom Cafe and Bakery). Enjoy live music; mingle with friends; buy some local kale. Then grab dinner at Gourmet Tamales or Masala Cottage.

North Park Market
300 North Park Way (from 30th St. to Utah St.)
San Diego, Ca 92104
Hours: Every Thurs., 3-7:30 p.m., rain or shine
Online: northparkmainstreet.com

Where to Eat Seriously Good Grub

photo: Waypoint Public

Waypoint Public
Waypoint may be the most family friendly pub in San Diego. Not only do they have a gated play area for little ones, but they have regular movie nights where kids can have dinner and watch movies while parents relax in the main dining area. They also have fun, themed cooking classes for kids throughout the year. Their weekend brunch is extremely popular, so you’ll want to arrive early.

Waypoint Public
3794 30th St.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-255-8778
Online: waypointpublic.com

photo: Gleela Z. via Yelp

Crazee Burger
This North Park mainstay serves a great selection of beef burgers, including some with brie, chili sauce, or Nutella (it’s called the Muddy Pig). But what really sets them apart is their menu of exotic meats — burgers made from bison, lamb, ostrich, camel, or duck. If you have adventurous little gourmands in your house, this is a great place grab a bite.

Crazee Burger
3993 30th St.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-282-6044
Online: crazeeburger.com

photo: Hammond’s Ice Cream via Facebook

Hammond’s Ice Cream
Want to cool down with a sweet treat? This scoop shop specializes in super premium ice creams (meaning 18% butter fat and an extra creamy texture) with a tropical twist. Unique flavors include Peanut Butter and Guava Jelly, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut and Banana Storm. Can’t decide on one flavor? Order a flight of several different scoops served in mini cones.

Hammond’s Ice Cream
3077 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-220-0231
Online: hammondsgourmet.com

photo: Tribute Pizza via Facebook

Tribute Pizza
If your kids think pizza only comes in cheese or pepperoni, you need to check out Tribute. A rotating menu of specialty pies include Mademoiselle Chanterelle (mushrooms, gruyere and pine nuts) and Dirty Dancin’s (jalapeno, pineapple and harissa). For dessert, indulge in a little soft serve ice cream with flavors like olive oil and sea salt and apple pie filling. Their weekend breakfast and lunch menu includes egg dishes, sandwiches and breakfast calzones.

Tribute Pizza
3077 North Park Way
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-450-4505
Online: tributepizza.com

Tell us your favorite things to do in North Park in the comments!

––Michelle Franklin

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Nothing says love quite like a box of chocolates, but this year why not skip the ho-hum sampler in the heart-shaped box and opt for handmade, premium chocolates from local chocolatiers? Great for Valentine’s Day, these confections are also a wonderful indulgence just for yourself or as a special after-dinner treat with your family. Whether you like your chocolate in bar, truffle, or cocoa form, we’ll have you saying “I do!” to our list of top shops. Read on for the sweet deets.

Dallmann Fine Chocolates

Dallmann Fine Chocolates

Located at The Headquarters at Seaport Village, this chocolatier has enough tempting treats to guarantee your first trip won't be your last. Tremendously beautiful truffles come in exotic flavors like Cardamom & Blood Orange, Coconut Curry and Strawberry Balsamic. You can build your own box of hand-selected truffles or buy one of their pre-filled sets (including a special Valentine's Day Box). They also sell a variety of chocolate-covered nuts, caramel sauces and cocoa mixes.

Dallmann Fine Chocolates
789 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-238-0045
Online: dallmanconfections.com

Carlsbad Chocolate Bar

This North County chocolate shop has everything your sweet tooth desires, including an extensive variety of truffles and other treats. Favorites includes Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and Nonpareils. Many chocolates are made in-house, while others are imported from select chocolatiers from around the country. If chocolate makes you thirsty, they also have a full coffee bar and selection of wines.

Carlsbad Chocolate Bar
2998 State St.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
760-434-4479
Online: carlsbadchocolatebar.com

Andrea's Truffles

Andrea's Truffles

The motto here is "From my heart to your tummy" and once you take a look at their gorgeous chocolates, you'll agree. Andrea, a San Diego native, partners with local breweries and produce suppliers for many of her creations, including Bacon Whisky, Orange Mocha and Vanilla Bean Lemon. Although she doesn't have a standalone shop, her artisanal chocolates can be found at many establishments around town, including Mike Hess Brewing Company, the Coronado Marriott and Grant's Marketplace. Check out her website for a full list.

Andrea's Truffles
858-299-6677
Online: andreastruffles.com

Chocolate Haus

This chocolate shop sells a variety of irresistible confections at its Pacific Beach location. Universally beloved Buckeyes (peanut butter and chocolate), Cinnamon Bun Truffles (brown sugar, cinnamon and white chocolate fudge) and Grand Marnier (dark chocolate, orange zest, cognac) are just a few of the truffles on the menu. They also sell nut brittle and classic Turtle chocolates, as well as a variety of ice cream.

Chocolate Haus
947 Turquoise St.
San Diego, Ca 92109
858-488-4857
Online: chocolatehauspb.com

Eclipse Chocolate Bar and Bistro

If you'd like to treat your special loved one to brunch and dessert, this South Park favorite has you covered. The menu features pancakes, quiche and salads, as well as an array of drinking chocolates (think of a thicker, richer hot cocoa). Infusions include Chile Burnt Caramel and Smoke Brown Sugar. They have a wide assortment of caramels, truffles and toffee, as well as their popular Build-a-Bar program. For $10/bar you can make your own bar with a variety of fruits, nuts and spices from around the world.

Eclipse Chocolate Bar and Bistro
2145 Fern St.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-578-2984
Online: eclipsechocolate.com

Sweet Petite Confections

Michelle Lomelin launched Sweet Petite Confections after leaving a two-decades-long career in fashion design. In her role as chocolatier and shop owner, Michelle creates and sells bonbons, meltaways, barks, salted caramels, custom chocolate business cards and ice cream, and teaches candy-making classes to families. Don't miss her upcoming Make Sweets for Your Sweetheart chocolate making class where parent/child teams will create nearly 1.5 pounds of confections: a tray of filled chocolates with guest-favorite flavors like salted caramel and peanut butter cup as well as cabernet caramel and spicy serrano ganache made by Lomelin herself. Students will also select from more than two dozen ingredients as they personalize a chocolate bark – with options including freeze dried raspberries and strawberries alongside savory pretzels, potato chips, nuts, candied bacon and more!

Sweet Petite Confections
3582A Mount Acadia Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92111
Online: sweetpetiteconfections.com

Tell us your favorite spot for indulgent chocolate treats. 

—Michelle Franklin

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Oui Oui! The Best Croissants in San Diego

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photo: Bread & Cie

January 30th is National Croissant Day and we’re saying”Oui! Oui!” to celebrating the buttery, flaky French pastry that everyone loves. Croissants are perfectly divine on their own, but they can also be filled with everything from chocolate and almond paste to ham and cheese. We’ve toured the city to find the most mouthwatering croissants this side of Paris. Read on to see where to say “Bon Appétit” to this versatile culinary delight and to learn about a local baker’s new spin called the Froissant™!

photo: Renee G. via Yelp

Le Parfait Paris
With two main locations in Little Italy and Liberty Public Market, Le Parfait Paris serves up croissants every way imaginable. They’ve got plain, with almond filling, with chocolate filling, with almond and chocolate filling… or perhaps you’re in the mood for something more substantial? They also serve croissant sandwiches, including the Alsacien (Swiss cheese, eggs, Canadian bacon) and Saumon (smoked salmon, red onions, capers, cream cheese).

Le Parfait Paris
555 G St.
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-245-4457

2820 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92106
619-245-4457
Online: leparfaitparis.com

 

photo: Bread & Cie

Bread & Cie
This Hillcrest mainstay has a huge array of fresh bread and pastries, including several mouthwatering croissants. In addition to the plain, they also serve almond, chocolate, chocolate and almond, and cinnamon. All are made fresh by hand each day with only the best European butter (which contains more butterfat, meaning it melts faster, meaning your croissant is unbelievably flaky). Paired with a cup of coffee, it’s a great start to any day.

Bread & Cie
350 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92103
619-683-9322
Online: breadandcie.com

photo: Cardamom Cafe and Bakery via Facebook

Cardamom Cafe and Bakery
Is 11 a.m. late breakfast or early lunch? At Cardamom you can make it both. Pick up one of their outstanding almond croissants (named the best in town by San Diego Magazine) as a late-morning snack, but don’t leave before trying one of their famous stuffed croissant sandwiches. Two options include chicken salad with tarragon dressing and the Messy Grilled Cheese with basil and roasted tomato spread. But the great news here is that any of their sandwiches can be made to order as a stuffed croissant.

2977 Upas St.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-546-5609
Online: cardamomsandiego.com

photo: Extraordinary Desserts

Extraordinary Desserts
Just when you thought a croissant couldn’t get any more decadent, this popular San Diego dessert spot does something, well, extraordinary. Meet the Froissant™. Owner Karen Krasne said the inspiration came from her love of almond croissants and warm glazed donuts. Her genius invention is a flaky croissant, deep fried and rolled in vanilla bean sugar, before being filled with rich vanilla custard. Sounds like magic!

Extraordinary Desserts
2929 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92103
619-294-2132

1430 Union St.
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-294-7001
Online: extraordinarydesserts.com

photo: Petite Madeline via Facebook

Petite Madeline
Located just blocks from the beach in Oceanside, this bistro and bakery is a popular spot for a post-surfing refuel. Their croissants are made in-house using a traditional method that takes three days. The care is obvious the moment you bite into one of their flaky pastries. If you need something more substantial, their Breakfast Croissant Sandwich comes loaded with eggs, ham and cheese or spinach and feta.

Petite Madeline
223 N. Coast Highway
Oceanside, Ca 92054
760-231-7300
Online: petitemadelinebakery.com

Tell us your favorite spot to pick up a croissant in the comments! 

—Michelle Franklin

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Photo: Salt & Straw via Facebook

Just in time to ring in the New Year on a sweet note, Salt & Straw has opened its doors to serve up their downright dreamy and creamy artisanal ice cream. This isn’t your average ice cream shop by any stretch. The family-run business with a big heart conjures up wildly imaginative San Diego-specific flavors made using ingredients from local businesses. Peanut Butter Stout with Chocolate Chicharrón, Avocado & Oaxacan Chocolate Fudge and James Coffee & Compartes Love Nuts to name just a few! Read on for the ‘scoop’ on this delicious addition to Little Italy’s burgeoning dessert empire.

Photo: Salt & Straw via Facebook

Why We’re Screaming For This Ice Cream
Founded in Portland in 2011, Salt & Straw gained a cult-like following for their high-quality, artisanal ice creams. After slowly expanding south, they’ve finally landed in San Diego. Made locally in small batches, their ice creams combine local, organic and sustainable ingredients into unique flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All their cream comes from Scott Brothers Dairy in Chino. Their menu has two parts: permanent fixtures (called “classics”) that are so beloved they remain year-round and a selection of limited-time flavors that rotate each month. Classics here include Honey Lavender (a delightfully light purple-hued treat), Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons (featuring hand-burned caramel with a deep, rich flavor you won’t find in your grocery aisle) and Chocolate Gooey Brownie (hot chocolate ice cream with hearty chunks of chewy brownie).

Scoops are available in either cups or handmade waffle cones, in addition to milkshakes, special sundaes and pints-to- go.

Insider’s tip: Customers can always skip the line when buying a pint and home delivery is available through Postmates.

Photo: Salt & Straw

Local Partnerships
Despite having several locations along the West Coast, Salt & Straw tries to make each outpost as true to its neighborhood location as possible. They seek out partnerships with other local businesses, which means using San Diego ingredients when feasible. Their James Coffee and Compartes Love Nuts flavor uses local roaster James Coffee for the single-source beans that go into the coffee ice cream. They’ve tossed in Love Nuts–caramelized pecans–for a salty crunch. Peanut Butter Stout with Chocolate Chicharron features peanut butter milk stout from Belching Beaver Brewery. Paired with chocolate covered pork rinds, it’s definitely not a flavor you’ll find anywhere else. Look for more local partnerships in the future.

Photo: Salt & Straw

Kindness Matters
As if you needed another reason to order a double scoop, Salt & Straw also believes in giving back to the community. They partner annually with local schools and organizations that support equality and childhood food security. They also treat their employees to a full range of benefits including health insurance, paid time off and professional training.

Good to know: Salt & Straw offers vegan ice cream flavors including Roasted Strawberry Coconut. Super creamy and full of flavor, it’s a great lighter option whether you’re vegan or not.

San Diego’s year-round sunny climate means there’s never a bad time for an ice cream cone. Now that Salt & Straw has set up shop in Little Italy, you have another amazing option for decadent ice cream in unique flavors that your whole family will lick up. Pretty cool.

Salt & Straw
1670 India St.
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-542-9394
Online: saltandstraw.com

Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. every day

Have you tried Salt & Straw ice cream yet? Let us know your favorite flavor in the comments!

––Michelle Franklin

The Most Instagrammable Food in San Diego

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As the saying goes: you eat with your eyes first––and there’s no greater testament to that fact than the droolworthy food pics on Instagram. We’ve scoured our feeds to find enticing eye candy photos from San Diego restaurants so you can feast your eyes––and then go feed your belly the delectable goods nearby. Read on to check out our collection of the most “like”able snapshots of local eats and treats.

@blueribbon_encinitas

If a day at the beach has got your little guppies hungry, head over to this Encinitas staple for high-quality pizzas including the Americana with pepperoni and olives or the Cheezy Garlic Bread with garlic butter and parmesan. Don’t forget to save room for their signature butterscotch pudding.

Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria
897 S. Coast Hwy. 101
Encinitas, Ca 92024
760-634-7671
Online: blueribbonpizzeria.com

https://www.instagram.com/p/BV47-2mgE3J/?taken-by=libertypublicmarket

On the days when no one can agree on what to eat, you can journey to Liberty Public Market where the options are plentiful. Head to Mastiff Sausages for bacon-wrapped hot dogs or Parana for authentic empanadas and the best chimichurri north of the border. If you’re feeling healthy, check out this fruit tart from Le Parfait Paris.

Liberty Public Market
2820 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92106
619-487-9346
Online: libertypublicmarket.com

This North Park spot may be the most kid-friendly pub in San Diego. They have a play area just for little ones, regularly feature kids’ movie nights and even have pint-sized cooking classes. In addition to their nightly menu, they also have a weekend brunch that features four kinds of eggs benedict, a variety of egg scrambles and a homemade cinnamon roll with vanilla-orange glaze.

Waypoint Public
3794 30th St.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-255-8778
Online: waypointpublic.com

No list of kid-friendly restaurants would be complete without Corvette Diner, where your teeny-boppers are guaranteed to have a blast. Burgers, fries and milkshakes galore, not to mention dancing waiters and hair bows made out of drinking straws. Oh and did we mention there’s an arcade too?

Corvette Diner
2965 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92106
619-542-1476
Online: cohnrestaurants.com/corvettediner</a

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXy-dtkBL7K/?taken-at=1775545722692075

For those times when you’d like a little art with your cocktail, this hip spot serves up tasty drinks and food next door to the San Diego Museum of Art. Kids are free to roam the sculpture garden while parents relax and listen to the music. Everyone can enjoy the wagyu burger, watermelon salad and cheese plate.

Panama 66
1450 El Prado
San Diego, Ca 92101
619-696-1966
Online: panama66.blogspot.com

Did someone say pie? Check out this Normal Heights spot for sweet and savory pies, including mini “handhelds” in flavors like guava cream cheese. They also have a variety of coffee and tea if you need a quick pick-me-up.

Pop Pie Co.
4404 Park Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92116
619-501-4440
Online: poppieco.com

 

Come to this Hillcrest spot for all things matcha (powdered green tea) including tea, soft serve ice cream and yes, chocolate donuts with matcha icing.

Holy Matcha
3118 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92104

Blue corn tortillas filled with lobster, chicken and steak with a side of chicharrones, pickled watermelon and perfect guacamole? Sounds like a great way to make anyone’s day.

 

Puesto
1026 Wall St.
La Jolla, Ca 92037

This North Park coffee shop shares space with Native Poppy, which means you can sip a rose vanilla latte and eat avocado toast while staring at gorgeous flower arrangements.

Communal Coffee
2335 University Ave.
San Diego, Ca 92104
619-363-7737
Online: communalcoffee.com

Share your favorite Insta-worthy food snaps in the comments!

—Michelle Franklin

Featured photo via Christine Dionese on Instagram.

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photo: Michelle Franklin

Your kids’ Halloween candy stash is kaput after you sneakily ate all your faves––but as the holidays approach, visions of sugar plums are dancing in your head. Wondering where to get your next sugar rush? Sugarfina just set up shop at Westfield UTC and this luxury boutique sells sweets for the kid in all of us! They even have gummy bears infused with Dom Pérignon! Read on to discover your next candy crush.

photo: Michelle Franklin

Not Your Average Candy Shop
Sugarfina is a Los Angeles-based, luxury candy boutique that was started in 2012 by Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick after they realized there weren’t really any candy stores made for grown-ups who never outgrew their love of sweets. Today they have shops scattered around the country and in select Nordstrom stores. No bulk bins in sight, all their candy is displayed in pretty Lucite boxes and wrapped up in their trademark blue and white packaging.

photo: Michelle Franklin

One of Sugarfina’s signatures is their candy bento box. Shoppers can choose from a 3-, 4- or 8-pack to fill with the candy of their choice. Beautifully packaged, it makes a stunning gift that’s ready to give. The UTC location also features in-store sampling, including a Thursday-night Happy Hour; and a candy concierge who can arrange large gifts, private events, dessert bars and more.

photo: Michelle Franklin

Candy with a Kick
You won’t find stale gummy bears or pasty jelly beans at Sugarfina. Instead you’ll find decidedly grown-up sweets like customer favorite Champagne Bears, made with real Dom Perignon. They also have Birthday Cake Caramels (caramel dipped in white chocolate and rainbow sprinkles), Pale Ale Pint gummies (they look like beer glasses but taste like citrus) and Martini Olive Almonds––which look exactly like olives but taste like white chocolate-covered almonds.

They also have several exclusive partnerships, including Casamigos, which provides the tequilla used in their Tequilla Cordials. They’ve partnered with Pressed Juicery, which provides the green juice used in their “Green Juice” Gummy Bears. And they recently partnered with Sanrio on a line of adorable Hello Kitty gummies and chocolates.

Although Sugarfina is marketed to adults, of course there is plenty to tempt your young ones too. Gummies shaped like lips, ice cream cones and cola bottles are all favorites. Pumpkin Pie Caramels, Mint Chip Milkshake Malt Balls… we could go on and on.

photo: Michelle Franklin

The Sweetest Gift
Sugarfina rocks at candy displaying and gift packaging and presentation. Their bento boxes are beautiful enough to gift as they are––no wrapping required. The individual Lucite boxes make perfect stocking stuffers. Additionally, several of their products come in clever packaging: the Martini Olive Almonds come in a martini shaker; the “Green Juice” Gummy Bears come in a bottle; and the Hello Kitty line comes in Hello Kitty branded boxes or even her signature red bow. This is candy that anyone would be delighted to receive. Just make sure you buy a gift for yourself while you’re at it, because you don’t want to miss out.

photo: Michelle Franklin

Who says candy is only for kids? Not Sugarfina. They have candy to suit everyone’s taste, no matter what their age. With their new location in UTC you can still feel like a kid while eating candy that’s made with adults in mind. That’s sweet.

Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Sugarfina
4545 La Jolla Village Dr., #E-25
San Diego, Ca 92122
858-546-8858
Online: sugarfina.com

Tell us your favorite Sugarfina treat in the comments!

—Michelle Franklin

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