San Diego is a city known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, but it also has a thriving dessert scene.
From ice cream to cupcakes, there is no shortage of delicious treats to satisfy any sweet tooth. Whether you are a local or a tourist, you won't want to miss out on these must-try dessert spots.
San Diego's dessert scene is diverse, with something for everyone. If you're looking for something classic, head to a bakery for a fresh-baked cookie or a slice of cake.
But if you're feeling adventurous, try one of the city's many unique dessert shops. From nitrogen ice cream to gourmet donuts, there are plenty of places to indulge in something new and exciting.
No matter what your preference is, San Diego's dessert scene has plenty to offer. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start.
That's why we've compiled a list of the best dessert places in the city. So sit back, relax, and get ready to satisfy your sweet tooth with the best desserts San Diego has to offer.
1. The Baked Bear
The Baked Bear is a dessert place that offers made-to-order ice cream sandwiches with freshly baked cookies, donuts, and brownies.
They have an interesting selection of ice cream flavors and a variety of cookies to choose from. The portions are big, so sharing is recommended.
The service is friendly and prompt. It's a great spot to stop for a treat on the go while walking around the area.
The Baked Bear is highly recommended for those who love ice cream sandwiches and desserts that are rich and decadent.
2. Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw is a dessert place that offers unique and delicious ice cream flavors.
Their ingredients are sourced from local farms and blended in a way that perfectly balances salty and sweet flavors.
They have a wide range of flavors to choose from, including vegan options, and offer flights so you can try multiple flavors at once.
The staff is friendly and the service is great. The space is cozy and inviting, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a tasty treat.
3. Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop
Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop offers a variety of delicious chocolate and ice cream treats.
The menu includes ice cream cones, sundaes, shakes, and more.
The store also sells chocolate gifts such as bars and baskets. The customer service is friendly and the atmosphere is cozy.
Prices are a little high but worth it for the quality. A great spot to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Pappalecco is a charming Italian dessert spot with a great atmosphere.
They offer a variety of delicious gelato flavors, pastries, and coffee. The service is excellent and the staff is friendly.
It's the perfect place for a light dinner or a sweet treat with friends. The outdoor seating is a great option during the warmer months.
Pappalecco is definitely worth a visit for anyone with a sweet tooth.
5. Stella Jean's Ice Cream
Stella Jean's Ice Cream is a retro-inspired parlor that serves artisanal ice cream with unique and unconventional flavors.
They offer vegan options and use no harmful sweeteners. The staff is friendly and helpful.
The seasonal flavors are indicative of their passion for their craft.
The portions are large and flavorful, and the waffle cones are freshly made. It's a bit pricey, but the taste is worth it.
6. Mariposa Ice Cream
Mariposa Ice Cream is a local gem for dessert lovers. Their homemade ice cream and sorbet are delicious and creamy, with a wide variety of flavors to choose from.
The friendly staff are always happy to help you decide on a flavor and provide quick service.
The waffle cones are fresh and crispy, making the perfect vessel for your ice cream.
With Beatles memorabilia decorating the walls, Mariposa Ice Cream is a fun and charming spot to satisfy your sweet tooth.
7. Milkissimo Gelato
Milkissimo Gelato is a dessert place that serves exceptional gelato with a variety of flavors to choose from.
The ingredients used are fresh and of great quality, which is evident in the taste. The vegan options are delicious as well.
The service is friendly, and customers are allowed to sample almost any flavor they want.
The location has a few tables outside for people watching. This is a must-visit place for anyone looking for a great dessert experience.
8. Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream
Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream is a dessert place that offers a wide range of flavors to choose from. They have an ever-changing menu of classic, unique, and exotic ice cream flavors.
The ice cream is thick and creamy, and they also have vegan options available. The staff is friendly and offers great customer service.
Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream is a bit pricey, but it's worth the splurge for ice cream lovers.
They have an interesting concept of the ice cream flight on little mini cake or waffle cones, which is a great way to try out different flavors. The shop has a cool vibe and a good decor.
9. Boba Bar and Desserts
Boba Bar and Desserts is a playful dessert shop that offers a variety of frozen treats, bubble tea, and smoothies.
The staff is friendly and quick to customize orders to meet the customer's needs.
The standout item on the menu is the Puffles, which are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The vanilla custard pairs perfectly with the warm Puffles.
The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous. The only downside is that the parking lot can be crowded.
Iceskimo is a Taiwanese snow and toppings specialist that serves up unique and delicious desserts.
Their shaved ice flavors are delicate and fluffy, and the toppings bar offers a wide variety of options for customers to choose from.
The staff is friendly and always happy to help customers select the perfect combination of flavors and toppings. While parking can be a bit of a challenge, the desserts are definitely worth the effort.
If you're looking for a sweet treat that's a little different from the usual ice cream or frozen yogurt, Iceskimo is definitely worth a visit.
11. Bobboi Natural Gelato
Bobboi Natural Gelato is a must-visit dessert place for anyone who loves gelato.
Their dark chocolate sorbet and pistachio combination is a must-try. The staff is welcoming and provides extraordinary service.
The Affogato with Moka Gelato is beyond amazing. Mediterraneo flavor is very unique and worth a try.
With new flavors added every week, this is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet cravings.
12. Holy Paleta
Holy Paleta is a trendy dessert place that offers a refreshing twist on traditional ice cream.
With a wide variety of unique flavors and customizable toppings, customers can create their own perfect paleta. The modern and Instagram-ready interior makes it a perfect spot for photos.
The friendly and helpful staff adds to the overall enjoyable experience. The prices are reasonable and the quality of the paletas is top-notch.
Holy Paleta is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a cool and delicious treat.
Gelabong is a dessert place that offers a variety of sweet treats and beverages. The mochi donuts are a must-try, with flavors like Ube and Fruity Pebble.
Customers can also enjoy soft serve ice cream served in a taiyaki waffle with unlimited toppings.
The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is cute and Instagram-worthy. Prices are reasonable compared to other dessert places in the area.
Gelabong is a great spot for those with a sweet tooth looking for a unique and tasty dessert experience.
14. The Yeti Dessert Cafe
The Yeti Dessert Cafe is a must-try for dessert lovers. Their snow is made of milk and is light, fluffy, and delicious. The cafe offers a variety of choices at reasonable prices, including the Taiyaki sundae.
The staff is friendly and informative, and the self-order kiosks add to the convenience. The cafe has a nice vibe, making it a great place to hang out with friends.
The lactose-free snow desserts are a hit, and during happy hour, you can get them at a discounted price. The owner takes pride in offering fresh fruit options and carefully crafting every order.
With excellent service and delicious desserts, The Yeti Dessert Cafe is a great addition to any dessert lover's list.
15. U Dessert Eats
U Dessert Eats is a small, family-owned dessert shop that serves a variety of unique drinks and desserts.
Their menu includes wintermelon, jasmine milk tea with mango and strawberry popping boba, and brown sugar milk tea.
The staff is friendly and efficient, and their order and pickup system is seamless. The shop also offers event-themed drinks with cup sleeves and banners.
Customers highly recommend U Dessert Eats for their delicious drinks and top-notch customer service.
16. CABETOS Pops
CABETOS Pops is an ice cream shop that serves delicious popsicles with customizable chocolate coating and toppings.
They have a variety of flavors, including strawberry sorbet and rocky road. The service is top-notch, and the employees are helpful and friendly.
The shop is clean and aesthetically pleasing, with cute quotes on the walls. The popsicles are available in regular or mini sizes, perfect for kids or sampling.
CABETOS Pops also offers vegan options for those who prefer it. If you're in the mood for something sweet, CABETOS Pops is a must-visit.
17. Coco Bomb
Coco Bomb is a dessert and coffee shop that offers a great selection of Thai and Lao desserts.
Their coconut and mango dishes are particularly fresh and flavorful. The cafe is a great spot to relax and enjoy a variety of teas, smoothies, and coffee drinks.
They also offer boba and have great deals on coffee. The staff is friendly and efficient, making it a great place to grab a quick dessert or drink.
Coco Bomb is a must-visit for anyone in the area looking for unique and authentic Thai and Lao desserts.
18. Afters Ice Cream
Afters Ice Cream is a small dessert place with a good selection of flavors.
Their Milky Buns, warm donut halves with ice cream in between, are a must-try. The ice cream is creamy and rich, almost like gelato.
Prices are reasonable, but the lack of seating can be a downside. The staff is friendly and helpful, making the wait worth it.
If you're in the area, consider dropping in for a unique taste that is crave-worthy.
Snoice is a dessert place that offers unique and creative flavors of bubble tea and Filipino desserts.
Their drinks are visually appealing and taste great. The staff is kind and accommodating, and the shop is clean and well-maintained.
They also offer catering services, making it a great option for events and parties.
If you're looking for something different and delicious, Snoice is definitely worth checking out.
20. Figaro Dessert Cafe
Figaro Dessert Cafe offers a wide selection of delicious desserts, including creative and colorful options for kids.
The gelato and cheesecake are particularly noteworthy, and there are plenty of flavors to choose from. The staff is friendly and informative, and the service is fast.
The seating can be limited, so it's best to have a backup plan. It's a perfect spot for a date or a sweet treat after dinner.
The cafe also offers vegan options for those who can't have dairy. Don't miss out on the locally handcrafted desserts and gelato at Figaro Dessert Cafe.