How sweet: 12 desserts to indulge in


If sugar’s going to be in the mix, get your sweet fix (before New Year’s Day dieting begins) at these 12 San Diego restaurants. Indulging in festive and heartwarming over the holidays - dozen it feel good?

Rustic Root

Dark chocolate doughnuts

Every Monday night, Rustic Root rolls out its decadent, bittersweet doughnuts, handmade with buttermilk, cinnamon sugar and warm chocolate glaze. Enjoy some with a glass of red wine in the rooftop lounge.
535 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.232.1747,

Urban Solace

Sweet potato and pecan pie

Chef Matt Gordon’s seasonal winter pie is made with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, toasted pecans and a topping of whipped crème fraîche. The three-layer baked pie has a hand-rolled dough crust; a creamy sweet potato and pumpkin pie-spice layer; and a light, caramelized sugar and pecan top layer. Available by the slice or the pie.
3823 30th St., North Park, 619.295.6464,

Pillbox Tavern

Apple crumb brandy cheesecake

This dessert starts with a graham cracker crust made with chopped walnuts and pinches of nutmeg and cinnamon. The cheesecake is flavored with brandy and layered with a baked apple crumb topping. Not a cheesecake fan? Consider Pillbox’s caramel apple crisp with pumpkin spice ice cream.
117 W. Plaza St., Solana Beach, 858.436.7016,


Grilled s’mores sandwich

This holiday warmup offers one of the county’s most unique takes on campfire s’mores. House-made slices of molten vanilla bean marshmallow and warm bourbon chocolate ganache are sandwiched between fresh-toasted slices of cinnamon swirl bread and served with a scoop of cinnamon crunch ice cream that’s decorated with a Christmas tree-shaped graham cracker cookie.
600 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.255.7373,

The Cork & Craft

Sweet potato clafoutis

Pastry chef Brenda Gonzalez creates desserts for every season. This fall’s offerings include a sweet potato-based clafoutis (a baked French dessert that mixes fruit with a flanlike batter). This cake is served with a dash of purple sweet potato puree, cranberry sauce, spiced meringue crumble and panforte ice cream.
16990 Via Tazon, Rancho Bernardo, 858.618.2463,


Fig and brie tart

Almost too pretty to eat, this sweet and savory baked tart is made with creamy French cheese and sliced figs seasoned with herb-infused local honey and the spicy leaves and flowers of the anise plant.
616 J St., East Village, 619.531.8744,



The classic Italian dessert is usually made with ladyfingers soaked in espresso, but BiCE’s San Diego-inspired take marinates Italian pavesini biscuits in a stout beer reduction. The cookies are then layered with sweet mascarpone cheese and served with a stick of peppermint-striped white chocolate.
425 Island Ave., Gaslamp, 619.239.2423,

Le Parfait Paris

Bûche de Noël (Christmas log)
This classic French patisserie rolls out as a traditional Christmas log for the holidays. The rolled cake, designed to serve six to eight people, comes in two flavors: chocolate hazelnut, where a rolled chocolate cake is frosted with hazelnut and praline cream and then frosted with a chocolate hazelnut icing; and framboise, a white chocolate cake rolled with white chocolate.
555 G St., Gaslamp, 619.245.4457,

Extraordinary Desserts

Pumpkin cheesecake

For the holiday season, master chef Karen Krasne is serving a baked cheesecake made with pumpkin, spices and a touch of cranberry on a buttery ginger cookie crust. It’s topped with spices, whipped cream, cranberries, pecans, orange rose petals and a sprinkling of edible gold leaf.
1430 Union St., Little Italy, 619.294.7001,

Bottega Americano

Nutella crostata

The fresh pastries at this Italian food hall in East Village are always changing, but one of the best for the cooler winter months is the classic sweet pie made with the beloved chocolate hazelnut spread Nutella. A pastry crust is layered with Nutella and sprinkled with chopped nuts, then baked to perfection.
1195 Island Ave., East Village, 619.255.7800,

Tasting Room Del Mar

Bruléed apple custard tart

The newly opened wine bar and bistro in Del Mar Village is now showcasing this petite apple pie topped with oat streusel and a scoop of eggnog ice cream, served with an accent of apple cider caramel on the side.
1435 Camino Del Mar, Ste. D, Del Mar, 858.461.0124,

Bleu Bohème

Pain d’epices

Culinary legend has it that the pain d’epices, a dense, honey-infused quick bread, dates to the Brittany region of France in the late 1500s. This modern French restaurant has adapted the recipe into a gingerbread loaf. Slices are served warm with strawberry confit and a scoop of caramel ice cream.
4090 Adams Ave., Kensington, 619.255.4167,