At Cafe Lily, the vibrant, house-made fare mirrors the pastel storefronts of the Old Poway Village outside. The eatery was described by the Pomerado News as "an energetic hub brewing social interaction and creativity, as envisioned by owner Sean Sassani." A blend of Sean's artistic inclinations and his mother, Lily's, culinary talents, the café doles out steaming cups of Divine Madman coffee, a flavorful, organic java that's roasted in 1-pound batches via eco-friendly and socially responsible techniques. Loose-leaf black, green, chai, and herbal teas hail from global gardens, but breakfast and lunch menus claim roots in Lily's own kitchen. Cold sandwiches and colorful paninis, some stuffed with Boar's Head meats⎯like a deli owner's bed pillow⎯serve as savory precursors to pastries and cakes baked onsite.
Patrons can entertain themselves around a fragmented puzzle, or absorb euphonic sounds during open-mic sessions and sets by live musicians. Creativity continues to run abound in the form of colorful artwork by local artists. Coral walls and a fireplace add to the coffee shop's warm ambiance, which extends to an outdoor deck and induces a sneaking suspicion that you might secretly be on fire.
Variety may be the spice of life, but at Buttercream it's also the sweetness. Each day, co-owners Jeanette Dennis Eddery and Kathi Catania Jackson whip up a special cupcake flavor to go along with their regular offerings. Though each day's specialty varies by month—bringing with it everything from coconut lime to cherry almond—the staples are enough to entice any sweet tooth through the door. Chocolate mint's richness offsets the light, more delicate flavor of lemon mousse, which in turn bows to the signature neapolitan, a cake marbled with vanilla and Valrhona chocolate and topped with strawberry buttercream frosting. And even when they're not making cupcakes or signing autographs with icing, these confectioners are busy making other unexpected sweets: cannolis, cheesecake, brownies, cookies, and other desserts.
Cupcake Love opened in 2008 and has since led an assault on sweet teeth with its decorative gourmet cupcakes. Baked from scratch, the shop's cupcake selection features 10 flavors daily, including chocolate peanut butter, red velvet, and coconut cream. Over the years, Cupcake Love has added cake pops, small cakes, handmade fudge, and cookies to its repertoire. The shop also offers cupcake party packages, which make special days extra special with costumed hostesses, craft projects, and goodie bags.
The folks at New York Bagels & Café make bagels the old-fashioned way. They're boiled in a kettle, then baked to keep them moist and chewy. No preservatives are used, so customers can be assured that the ingredients are natural and ephemeral. In addition to serving bagels and bagel sandwiches, the shop offers freshly brewed coffee from Seattle's Best.
One of the original pioneers of the yogurt industry, Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt has been whirling yogurt since the early 1980s. A bevy of rotating daily flavors includes tastes such as just chocolate, peanut-butter cup, café latte, graham cracker, and mango tart. Sample a small bit with a mini ($2.05 for 4 oz.), or take 32 ounces home to share in a quart ($6.25). Traditionally conical edible yogurt containers (small $2.90, waffle $3.30) make it possible for hands to hold the frozen delight. At 25–29 calories an ounce, health-conscious consumers can enjoy licks without translating each tongueful into the quantity of jumping jacks or flying starfish impersonations needed to offset it.
More exciting than opening your front door to a charitable crew of gingerbread track stars, a half-dozen gang of cupcakes is haute even when the weather's not. Haute Pink Cakes is locally owned and operated by three mums and a pair of anthropomorphic cakes that bake inspired creations for the dessert-loving tums of human beings.