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.
Hot Cupps keeps cravings in balance by selling both fresh, savory deli sandwiches and specialty cakes and cupcakes. Sweets delight the palate in unexpected flavors such as Guinness Lover, pancakes and bacon, and piña colada, as well as more traditional flavors that include red velvet, lemon raspberry, and birthday cake. The bakers are true artists with frosting and are eager to design custom desserts for special events, whether the client desires elegant buttercream swirls for a wedding or a more playful cake encrusted with candy-bar crumbles.
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.