Every year, Valentine’s Day presents a delicious treasure hunt challenge for foodies looking to go beyond boring boxed candy. With an exquisite array of cuisines and culinary talent in San Diego, that challenge has been met by chefs and local businesses.
PACIFIC has rounded up some of the top treats to try this Valentine’s Day, whether you are heading out for a night on the town or snuggling up at home.
Start Valentine’s Day out with heart-shaped everything bagels and strawberry chocolate chip bagels at Spill the Beans. And don’t forget the Almond-Rose Cappuccino from Barista Connor Nerat, which features espresso with housemade almond-rose water syrup, finished with a pink heart.
555 Market St., downtown, 619.233.3836, spillthebeanssd.com
For a more boozy start to the day, head to Breakfast Republic for its Red Rose Mimosa infused with rose syrup and cranberry. Or stop in the Fig Tree Cafe for the Bouquet of Roses Mimosa Flight featuring Blush Rose, Lavender Rose, Yellow Rose and Red Rose tasters.
Breakfast Republic: multiple locations, breakfastrepublic.com
Fig Tree Café: multiple locations figtreeeatery.com
“Warm buns, warm heart” is sure to be the newest catch phrase thanks to the adorable Valentine’s Day-themed character buns at Harumama. Featuring happy and smiling heart faces, the bao buns encase a chocolate filling, and will be available through Feb. 14.
Little Italy: 1901 Columbia St., 619.269.7122; Carlsbad: 2958 Madison St., 760.720.7874, harumamasd.com
Celebrate love Parisian-style with Le Parfait Paris and its decadent Valentine’s worthy pastries. Reds and pinks explode in vibrant color with mouthwatering chocolate-covered strawberry macarons, fruit tarts, and the crème de la crème: heart-shaped strawberry mousse topped with a white chocolate glaze and shaved chocolate.
Multiple locations, leparfaitparis.com
Head to Liberty Market for a range of indulgent V-Day treats from Executive Pastry Chef Lori Sauer at Crafted Baked Goods. Create a box for your bae including rose-tinted cupcakes, cakes and strawberry and forest berry ice cream filled bon bons. A night of sweet love is sure to follow.
2820 Historic Decatur Rd., Point Loma, 619.546.8885, craftedsd.com
If cruising for a date is on your Valentine’s roster, head first to The Oceanaire Seafood Room for a little liquid courage in the form of The Flirt. Crafted with vodka, Grand Marnier, strawberry cordial, fresh lime juice, edible glitter and Prosecco, you’ll be feeling fabulous and sexy — and glittery.
400 J St., downtown, 619.858.2277, theoceanaire.com
If snuggling under blankets sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day, grab a take-home pizza kit from Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill. Including fresh dough, mozzarella, house-made tomato sauce, basil, and instructions, the kit is available for purchase throughout February. In addition to a full tummy, you’ll also get a full heart as $1 from every pizza kit sold will benefit the American Heart Association.
Multiple locations, sammyspizza.com
While you’re on the couch (or bed), keep the love sweet with a heart-shaped CinnaBread from Woodstock’s Pizza. Appropriately decadent for the holiday, the dessert pizza is made with brown sugar, cinnamon and icing with toppings ranging from fresh strawberries and blueberries to an ooey gooey Nutella drizzle. Available for dine-in, take-out or delivery
Speaking of grab-and-go options for home, pop into Baron’s Market for heart-shaped cheesecakes by local Incredible Cheesecake Company, and chocolate dipped long-stem strawberries (hand-dipped Feb. 12-14 only).
Multiple locations, baronsmarket.com
If heading to the movies is in your Valentine’s Day rotation, we can promise you’ve never had an experience like this. Check out Theatre Box for an array of love-inspired treats, including the housemade donuts in the shapes of hearts with classic sayings, like “Be Mine” or “Kiss Me.” Wash down the sweet goodness with Insane Milkshakes including the Naughty Insane Milkshake, a cookies and cream concoction with whipped cream, dark chocolate-dipped Rice Krispies Treats, chocolate sprinkles and dark chocolate-covered strawberries drizzled with white chocolate and served in a dark red chocolate ganache-dipped mug covered in chocolate hearts and sliced strawberries. Did you get all of that? But it doesn’t stop there… the Valentine’s Fondue For Two is a pink and white chocolate fondue with strawberry chocolate shavings and a gummy heart, with bites of red velvet cake, brownies, vanilla cake, gummy kisses, gummy hearts, strawberries and bananas for dipping. Ask about all of the other available sweet(heart) treats available around the lovebird holiday.
701 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.814.2225, theatrebox.com