Finding Childhood Eats With A Grown Up Twist

S’mores French Toast at Breakfast Republic (courtesy photo)

Gone are the days of watching endless cartoons, Chuck-E-Cheese birthday parties and consuming copious amounts of sugar. Just because our childhood has faded into distant memories doesn’t mean our childhood taste buds have to! Thanks to these top-notch San Diego eateries, we can indulge in our favorite nostalgic dishes from our youth…with a grown-up twist.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! If this was a familiar mantra of your youth, make your way to Baked Bear at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. Step into the shop of your childhood dreams, where you can make your own customized ice cream sandwich masterpiece! Choose from a variety of freshly baked cookies, fudgy brownies and warm donuts and pair with your selection of frosty ice cream – the sky’s the limit for you to finally achieve the sugar coma your parents would never let you reach.

Located in Mission Valley, Wood Ranch focuses on combining the freshest ingredients into creative food and signature cocktails. A truly warm and inviting atmosphere allows Wood Ranch to be the perfect meeting place for family and friends. Satisfy your nostalgic sweet-tooth with their Oreo Cookie Crunch dessert, a fusion of vanilla bean ice cream and classic Oreo cookies rolled by hand and served with caramel and fudge sauces. Adulting has its perks, like completely devouring this dessert just because you can!

Equal parts modern and comfortable, The Smoking Gun has quickly risen to the top as one of San Diego’s most sought- after dining experiences. Taking a revolutionary spin on the classic neighborhood bar, The Smoking Gun evokes the idea of face-to-face conversation over innovative food and drink creations. A subtle spin on a favorite, theCheeseburger Sliders, are served on homemade sweet rolls and topped with lettuce, tomato, house pickles, red onion, smoked Gouda cheese and garlic aioli for- a simple enhancement to the kids menu classic.

Originally opening in the 1930’s, The Rail has captured the hearts of San Diego locals and out-of-towners alike with their unequivocal history, energetic nightlife and now tasty menu options. While there’s probably no mac and cheese recipe that competes with your mom’s gooey, home cooked classic, The Rail Mac is arguably as close as you’ll get. With signature elbow macaroni pasta, prosciutto and grilled chicken in a creamy Fontina and Gouda cheese sauce, this is a mac and cheese even mom would approve of.

Since its initial North Park opening in 2015, Breakfast Republic is now one of San Diego’s most well-known names in the brunching arena. Breakfast Republic continues to take an unconventional spin on all of your favorite classic morning menu items with their signature quirky character and mastery of all things breakfast. Travel back to the nights of summer camp with their S’mores French Toast, a graham cracker crusted brioche bread creation topped with toasted marshmallows and chocolate sauce.

While our childhood days may technically be over, you can still fully embrace the nostalgic foods of your younger years with these local San Diego favorites!