Finding Desserts

Crème Brûlée at Bleu Bohème
Crème Brûlée at Bleu Bohème (courtesy photo)

National Dessert Day is October 14, and here are a few of our favorite “cheat day” treats!

At BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant, locals go wild for the Warm Chocolate Brownie with espresso Baileys ice cream, pretzel crunch and chocolate sauce. Although fan-favorite, this brownie doesn’t take the full spotlight, as diners also love the Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Blueberry Compote: fluffy lemon olive oil cake topped with blueberry compote, fresh lemon curd, whipped cream and Marcona almonds.

Theatre Box’s Sugar Factory is recognized as one of the most “Instagrammed” restaurants in the world, and one creation guests love to ‘gram as much as they love to eat is the signature World Famous Sugar Factory King Kong Sundae. The over-the-top dessert is made with 24 scoops of ice cream covered with dark chocolate, caramel, and strawberry sauces; caramelized banana; marshmallows; chocolate chips; cookie chunks; a glazed donut; a red velvet cupcake; white chocolate strawberry curls; gummy bears; Reese’s Pieces; Oreo cookie crumbles; rainbow and chocolate sprinkles; graham cracker crumbles; waffle cones; unicorn pops; candy necklaces; and topped off with whipped cream, gummy cherries and sparklers. 

From the Chocolate Mudslide Martini to premium chocolate fondues, Theatre Box’s Chocolate Lounge is heaven on earth for any chocolate enthusiast. To taste the wide variety of treats in one sitting, chocolate lovers may go for the Chocolate Brownie Tower, which includes chocolate mousse cakes, Oreo-crusted white chocolate cheesecake pops, chocolate chip cookies, a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich, chocolate candies and nuts and dark chocolate-dipped strawberries atop a brownie base drizzled with white chocolate.

Take a stroll through the streets of France with every bite of the classic Crème Brûlée at Bleu Bohème. From cracking into the sugar crust shell, to indulging in the rich French vanilla custard, this decadent treat is the best way to end a meal.

American classics meet beloved Greek treats at Mezé Greek Fusion! Mezé’s Baklava Cheesecake is a combination of house-made cheesecake with a walnut crust, topped with baklava: layers of phyllo dough, walnuts, cinnamon, sugar and Greek honey. The restaurant also features the Greek favorite in its Baklava Sundae: baklava crushed with vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce, fresh seasonal fruit and whipped cream.

Primavera Ristorante’s signature Tiramisu features espresso-soaked lady fingers layered with mascarpone and a dark chocolate dusted finish – a classic always worth indulging in.

Indulge in authentic Cuban “postres” any time of the day at Havana 1920. In addition to a rotating selection of pastries available in the first-floor café, Havana 1920 also has sweet options to end the meal. For a sweet spin on empanadas, try the Empanada De Queso y Guyaba, sweet pastry filled with cream cheese and guava. Known for its impressive selection of rums, Havana 1920 adds a little something extra to its Havana Club Arroz Con Leche, infusing the rice pudding with Havana Club rum.

El Chingon offers two classically delicious dessert options: fried ice cream, vanilla ice cream with bueñelo crumbs and dulce de leche; and churros dusted with cinnamon and sugar served with vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche.

Tableside Cherries Jubilee Flambée at The Westgate Hotel

Serving up elegance is nothing new for The Westgate Hotel. Fit for a queen, their California Cherries Jubilee Flambée ($12) is served tableside, so you can watch in excitement every step of the way. This simple yet indulgent dessert boasts generous amounts of pitted cherries flambéed in brandy and is topped with vanilla ice cream and shaved white chocolate.

Mr. Trustee Banana Split at Trust

Pastry Chef Jeremy Harville’s riff on a Banana Split is a Neapolitan cheesecake featuring chocolate, strawberry and vanilla layers. It’s topped with a quenelle of banana ice cream and garnished with fresh bananas, pineapple chutney, strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and toasted walnuts. Stay tuned for more of Chef Harville’s frozen treats at the Mr. Trustee scoop shop window at Trust Restaurant Group’s forthcoming Cardellino Restaurant.

Anything but Basic Chocolate Mousse Cake at Fort Oak

You’ll also find Pastry Chef Jeremy Harville behind the desserts at neighborhood favorite, Fort Oak. One of his recent sweet standouts is a creative take on a favorite. His rendition of Chocolate Mousse Cake is topped with cookies and cream ice cream, rice krispies soil and mint anglaise.

Trio of Tarts at Zinque

This newly opened French-inspired bistro in Little Italy is known for their exquisite house-made pastries served all day.  Traditional tart selections include Apple Almond, Pear, and Clafoutis Cherry.  They are served warm with a scoop of Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

Semifreddo Al Pistachio at Bencotto

This classic Italian dessert is halfway between ice cream and mousse. Bencotto’s signature version features partially frozen pistachio mousse and hazelnuts drizzled with a sour black cherry sauce.

Eight Layer Carrot Cake at JRDN

This beach-chic restaurant known for its Golden Coast-inspired dishes offers an eight-layer carrot cake with hints of Asian flavors. The moist cake is layered with yuzu cream cheese, crystallized ginger, caramel corn, and golden raisins and topped with ooey-gooey butterscotch.

Torta Della Nonna at Monello

Monello’s Torta Della Nonna is a family recipe that offers a nostalgic slice of indulgence. The sweet pastry base is topped with a lemon- and vanilla-scented custard filling and a layer of crunchy pine nuts.

Chocolate Tart at Patisserie Melanie

Chef Melanie Dunn whips up a delectably sweet chocolate tart and brings in more of the French elegance together with a gold leaf. The chic, smooth exterior of the tart seems almost too perfect to bite into, but once you do, the rich chocolate filling offers a sweet sensation that puts a smile on any face.

Bobboi Natural Gelato | Santa Ysabel Apple Pie Gelato

Bobboi’s gelato chef Monica Maccioni creates gelato flavors based solely on what is currently in season and, lucky for us, apples happen to be enjoying their peak. Enjoy their seasonal Santa Ysabel Apple Pie Gelato which is made by mixing in whole apple pies from California Mountain Bakery into Bobboi’s vanilla gelato.

Enoteca Buona Forchetta | Affogato

A hidden gem just two doors down from South Park’s always crowded Buona Forchetta, Enoteca Buona Forchetta is a cozy, romantic wine bar/market that offers the classic Italian Affogato for those looking for a little pick-me-up with their dessert. It comes with house-made vanilla walnut gelato (from the soon-to-be-open Gelati & Peccati) drowned in shot of steaming espresso and topped with Amaretti cookies.

Lou & Mickey’s | King’s Key Lime Pie

What better way to end an experience at an old-timey, classic steakhouse than with an old school dessert like key lime pie? Lou & Mickey’s house-made key lime pie is equal parts sweet treat and burst of freshness that is just light enough to be the perfect nightcap to a big steak dinner.

Pop Pie Co. & Stella Jean’s | Caramel Apple Piescream

Share with a friend or keep it all to yourself, Pop Pie Co.’s Caramel Apple Piescream features one slice of its warm apple crumble pie stuffed between scoops of Madagascar vanilla ice cream from sister shop Stella Jean’s, all topped with whipped cream, housemade salted caramel syrup and an oat crumble. This menu item represents the best of both worlds: pie and ice cream!

Puesto | Watermelon Raspado

A refreshing Mexican treat, Puesto’s Watermelon Raspado features shaved ice, housemade fruit gummies, sweetened condensed milk, fresh mint and lime. Created by Executive Pastry Chef Erik Aronow, this dessert will be heading off the menu when the fall menu launches next month, so there’s only a short while left to enjoy it.

Simsim | Mahalabia

Who says fast casual can’t have fantastic dessert? This is Simsim’s specialty. Enjoy the sweet, Middle Eastern dessert that features milk, cream, sugar and sliced dates topped with shredded filo dough and crushed pistachios. (And if you’re lucky, you might catch Chef Ibrahim Alsharief making his delicious Kanafa – made with filo dough, cheese and served with pistachio and sugar syrup.)

The Smoking Goat | Goat Cheese Cheesecake

One of North Park’s more romantic and intimate dining destinations, The Smoking Goat offers a Goat Cheese Cheesecake to diners looking for a lighter, less sweet dessert option. Blended goat cheese and cream cheese make this treat creamy and rich, pairing perfectly with a glass of wine from the restaurant’s curated wine list.

Surf Rider Pizza Co. is known for bringing its unique East Coast-style pizza to San Diego, but you might not know they also specialize in decadent homemade desserts made by Surf Rider’s in-house pastry chef, Rachael Musico. These gourmet desserts are served at all four locations in Ocean Beach, Crown Point, Mission Beach, and La Mesa—perfect for your after dinner sweet tooth. Highlights include carrot cake cookies, cream cheese brownies, cheesecakes in many flavors, lemon bars, coconut bars, macaroons, and cupcakes. Surf Rider Pizza Co. also makes full-sized cakes and pastries for occasions. All the desserts are homemade at the flagship Surf Rider Pizza Co. location in La Mesa.