Helmed by sisters Rosalina, Monica, Lorena, and Giovanna Ascolani, Coronado Cupcakery brings a welcome dash of the familial to the cozy confines of Coronado. Following in their cupcake-loving mother’s footsteps, the siblings craft creatively flavored desserts each day in the form of red velvet, coconut cake, and lunch-friendly peanut butter and jelly cupcakes—a cousin of the chocolate cake sandwich. In addition to their daily flavors available in store, they custom-design birthday cupcakes, cater weddings, and bake muffins, cookies, and regular-sized cakes.
Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe imports products from across the pond and welcomes neighbors for afternoon tea, served daily with finger sandwiches and cakes. An extensive online and in-store inventory spans everything from canned jellies, curds, and jams to animal collars patterned with the British flag. Should an item of desire elude shoppers or Sherlock Holmes, store associates occasionally place special orders. The tea experts stock a selection of English bone china, which is available to purchase or rent for an at-home garden party or a sophisticated rave. The store's quaint outdoor patio is home to daily afternoon tea, a British tradition that the crew has modernized to include vegetarian and sugar- or gluten-free delicacies.
Frozen yogurt not only tastes good; it's also good for you. Each of Fiji Yogurt's 100 flavors can be consumed guilt free, even if they're not one of the sugar-free, fat-free, dairy-free varieties. Besides classics such as pistachio, vanilla, and chocolate, far-out flavors are inspired by dessert with varieties such as blueberry cheesecake and white chocolate mousse. Once patrons fill their cups at the red yogurt station, they move to the green countertop to choose toppings. Peaks of yogurt can be crowned with candy, cookies, nuts, and fruit, as well as chunks of cookie dough and cheesecake. Customers enjoy their cups while perched on chairs that match the counter or the candy-apple-red leather sofas that match the maraschino cherry bush growing out front.
Nestled into a shopping center in Carmel Valley, Chuao Chocolatier serves up uniquely decadent chocolate-infused desserts. Founded by two Venezuelan brothers in 2002, Chuao is a pioneer in fusion chocolate, developing unexpected flavors using a special blend of chocolate and fresh ingredients. What began as a single boutique in Encinitas has developed into a premiere artisan chocolatier destination for San Diegans. In the Carmel Valley location, red walls surround a glass case filled to capacity with trays of chocolates. Their signature twist is the Spicy Maya, a modern take on the Mayan’s ancient hot chocolate recipe made with pasilla chile and cayenne pepper. Other highlights include their chocolate bars, bonbons, brownies, gelato and truffles.
San Diego locals Rick and Tiffany Trevino started Indigo Café in 2000 as a way to marry their two passions: Californian cuisine and the blues. Between blue walls covered in photos of blues and jazz musicians, they create their own mix of Cali-Cajun dishes such as bubba blue jambalaya and Cajun pesto pasta with Andouille sausage. Even their sandwiches bounce back and forth between Cajun and Californian flavors: shrimp po’ boys rest side by side with portabella mushroom sandwiches. Besides breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Indigo Café also cooks up catered meals and weekend brunch.
To create a Mad Dog, cooks take a house-baked baguette bun and tuck one of 10 gourmet sausages inside, choosing from varieties including traditional english bangers, spicy spanish chorizo, and vegetarian-friendly italian soy sausage. Patrons can then smother their choice in sauces ranging from ketchup to curry to the house’s signature Mad sauce. Mad Dogs Café also offers Extreme Mad Dogs, created from couture game such as ostrich, alligator, and wandering decks of Uno cards.