Not long after beginning their relationship, Fabrison’s co-owners Fabrice and Alison—from Marseilles, France and Columbus, Ohio, respectively—traveled to Europe together, seeking a change of scenery. Inspired by the warm hospitality of European cafés, they returned home to open their own cozy shop, combining their first names to form its distinctive moniker.
Crepes are the specialty at Fabrison’s, with customers perusing a menu of sweet, savory, and breakfast iterations of the traditional French food. The La Galette combines ham, mushrooms, and spinach with a fried egg, whereas the L’Isabelle keeps its ingredients as simple as Count von Count’s locker combination, mingling sugar, butter, and a topping of powdered sugar. Patrons can begin their mornings with a spot of espresso and Fabrice’s Breakfast Crepe, filled with sausage, bacon, and spicy harissa sauce. Rounding out the menu is a selection of patisserie-style desserts and pastries.
The couple’s friends and family helped them plan their café’s look, with Fabrice’s mother sending over photos and swatches from European cafes, which influenced its bright palette of crimson, gold, and washed turquoise. Alison’s mother sewed the gingham curtains on the windows, and artist Derek Little created the vivid painting on the front window. Fabrison’s also shares French culture with the community through regular evening events that include crepe-cooking classes, French movie nights, French speaking classes, and French kissing workshops.
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.
Dairy purveyors at Sweet Things Frozen Yogurt mix more than 10 fro-yo flavors a day, which peckish visitors can crown with more than 35 toppings. Dessert designers fold live cultures into small batches of yogurt, making good digestion as delicious and effortless as a book report on a fortune-cookie message. Fill 16- or 20-ounce cups with original-tart, pumpkin-pie, or no-sugar-added mint flavors ($0.43/oz.) before loading up on toppings such as cookie crumbles, sprinkles, and fresh strawberries. Health-conscious eaters can take solace in the dessert’s low calorie count—70–110 calories per 4-ounce serving—and ability to be molded into carrot shapes.
When Liz and Jerry Bishop were dating in the 1960s, they discovered they both adored Greek food and spent hours dining in Greek restaurants. Luckily, they were living in Chicago at the time, and the cuisine’s presence in Greektown and beyond kept the couple well fed. But when they moved to San Diego in 1978, the food wasn’t as prevalent, so they decided to open their own restaurant where they could serve the meals of their beloved culinary style.
With its terra cotta roof and tables perched seaside, Greek Islands Cafe looks like it was plucked from a Mediterranean village. The building wasn’t actually brought from Greece, but the recipes were—the chef, Peggy, builds dishes using traditional recipes from relatives living in the foothills of Mount Olympus. Beyond the recipes, the Bishops have developed some traditions of their own. Those who order the cafe’s saganaki, athenian chicken, and souvlaki might have the food served by the couple’s children, Chris and Melissa, or fellow patrons who just felt like stretching their legs.
After Cubs fan Jerry Bishop moved to San Diego, he couldn't find deep-dish pies that met the demands of his Chicago taste buds. So he decided to open his own pizza shop—Asaggio Pizza Pasta Plus. Over the past 30 years, Jerry and his wife Liz have rounded out the menu with New York–style pizza, calzones, and pasta, all made with freshly prepared dough and handcrafted sauces. Staffers also hand stuff the sweet Grandma's-recipe cannolis, which diners on the waterfront patio can then empty and use as mustering horns to summon merpeople.