With their mixture of colors and quirkiness, Asian desserts can be a breathtaking sight to behold – not to mention an Instagram addict's dream. If you're okay with the sugar intake, here are fifteen spots around San Diego to fill up on Harajuku-style crepes, boba teas, shaved Korean snow, liquid Nitrogen frozen ice cream and more.Read More
15 Asian Dessert Cafés & Bakeries in San Diego
Where to find more than just macarons
1. Angels & Hearts: Harajuku Crêperie
Filled with regular or mochi ice cream, fresh fruit and other sweet treats the Harajuku-style crepes here come rolled up in a handy to hold cone. If dessert crepes aren’t your thing the shaved Japanese snow is a great alternative – flavors include lychee, taro and green tea - each ‘snow angel’ comes topped with popping boba pearls and whipped cream.
2. Square Bar Cafe
This new Kearny Mesa café serves up sweet treats including macaron ice cream sandwiches, and a blue-hued Cookie Monster ice cream in addition to its famed matcha crepe cake. There are seasonal specialty drinks too, including a green tea frappe and Fifty/Fifty iced milk with pudding, caramel and honey boba.
Enjoy liquid nitrogen frozen ice cream –bases include Creamistry’s signature milk blend, an 100% organic, GMO-free version or a vegan coconut– flavored with everything from matcha green tea and roasted black sesame to fresh banana and pistachio. Top with candy, cookies and sauces to your hearts content - most toppings run around $1 each.
Located in Spring Valley's Kababayan Bakery, Snoice serves up shaved snow and pandesal ice cream sandwiches ($3) in addition to popular Filipino dessert, halo halo, which literally translates as “mix mix”. Custom-order your halo halo - flavors include red bean, jackfruit, purple yam, avocado and sweet potato - and select up to six toppings.
Six core snows – original, strawberry, green tea, lychee, black sesame and salted caramel – are available on rotation in addition to special, seasonal flavors (you’ll currently find cookies & cream, horchata and super lemon on the board). The hand shaved, melt-in-your-mouth frozen ribbons can be topped with assorted fruits, candies or mochi and expertly finished off with a healthy squeeze of condensed milk.
6. Blush Desserts
This French inspired bakery, which specializes in pretty cakes and cupcakes, also has a wide variety of inventively flavored macarons: regular size cost $2, while an ice cream maracon sandwich will set you back $5. Other sweet treats include a churro (goes great with green tea ice cream), Vietnamese ice coffee and stuffed cookies.
7. Paris Baguette Cafe
This cult Korean bakery chain (which also has an outpost within Kearny Mesa’s Zion Market) is a go-to for puddings and delectable French-style pastries. There’s always a great selection of macarons to choose from and you can't go wrong with any of their exquisite cakes, including the mocha chiffon and decadent tiramisu.
8. Boba Bar and Desserts
San Diego, CA 92111
Located within Zion Market you’ll find this cheery counter-serve spot, which does a mean trade in bubble teas, smoothies, frozen desserts and the like. Highlights include its egg puffle (a folded egg waffle best when stuffed with green tea ice cream), chrysanthemum milk tea and melt in your mouth taro shaved snow topped with lychee jelly.
9. Up2you Cafe
Menu highlights at this chic, modern spot on Convoy include the honey brick toast with almonds, banana and condensed milk, ice cream topped crepes and waffles, and churros with toasted marshmallows, Nutella and dulce de leche. There are milk, boba and Thai teas, plus lattes and sweet iced drinks to quench your thirst too.
10. Cafe Hue
San Diego, CA 92111
If you’re hankering for a Nutella filled crepe topped with taro ice cream then head to Café Hue. The dessert specialists offer a “crêpe-heavy menu” in addition to some seriously good gelato (the black sesame is a consistent crowd pleaser) and waffles – don’t miss the red bean liege waffle with sweet red bean paste and whipped cream.
11. T-pop Desserts & More
The predesigned honey toasts, which can come filled and adorned with a huge variety of toppings (the Shibuya comprises strawberries, bananas, Nutella, condensed milk and strawberry ice cream) are the real draw at this cool Mira Mesa café. There are other build your own desserts too, like crepes with cookies and cream and banana split waffles.
12. Caffè Bene
The South Korean import serves a traditional coffee menu and snacks that range from Belgian waffles and gelato to sandwiches and sweet toast they call honey bread, but they're more popularly known for their bubble tea drinks and Korean specialties, from misugaru, a sweet multi-grain drink made with black and brown rice, black sesame, barley and black beans, and bingsu, a shaved ice dessert.
13. 85°Bakery Cafe
National City, CA 91950
Popular Taiwanese import 85°C Bakery Cafe attracts long lines for its fresh cakes, breads and pastries. Officially opened on September 9, the new National City location stocks 50 breads, 25 different cakes and 30 drinks, from tea to smoothies, with everything baked everything on site.
14. Big Joy Family Bakery
Discover a myriad of multicolored macaroons (green tea, pistachio, hazelnut, red velvet, and sea salt caramel to name a few), which come a la carte in Frappuccino or ice cream sandwich form), plus red bean pastries, fruit tarts and exquisite cakes by the slice like green tea mousse and red velvet at this homey bakery and café.
15. Sage French Cake & Coffee
You’ll find this French-Japanese patisserie tucked within the Nijiya shopping center on Convoy. Here the cakes are light, just the right amount of sweet and presented with a beautiful balance of wabi sabi Japanese minimalism. Chocolate mousse cake the Elby, strawberry shortcake and the fruit tart are all worthy menu mentions.