If you’ve been trying to eat healthy in 2018, but are missing all the off-limits foods you’ve cut out, we’ve got good new! Although it’s counter-intuitive, research shows cheat days can actually help dieters lose weight and stay on track.
When your sweet tooth won’t leave you alone, head for Azucar in Ocean Beach. Try the house favorite “Raspberry Passion Fruit Scones” (available in gluten-free because Celiac sufferers need a cheat, too).
Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria
Any of the wood-fired pies from this four-star, chef-driven pizzeria in Encinitas are well worth it. We recommend the “Truffle Shuffle” (white truffle oil, wild mushrooms, goat cheese, parmesan, heavy cream & chives) and “Staff’s Favorite” (tomato sauce, fennel sausage, heavy cream, parmesan and basil).
Serving some the best pancakes in San Diego, Café 21’s Gaslamp Quarter and University Heights locations are beacons for brunch. Get the “Tiramisu Pancakes” (espresso syrup, mascarpone sauce, chocolate, powdered sugar) and “Potato Pancakes” (potato, mozzarella) any day of the week!
Carnita’s Snack Shack
Pork might be the answer to every diet-breaker. Go to the shack in North Park or Emarcadero and order the “Triple Threat Pork Sandwich” (pork loin schnitzel, pulled pork, bacon, pepperoncini relish and shack aioli).
The name says it all – as does the “Passion Fruit Ricotta Torte” (passion fruit whipped cream, kiwis, strawberries and bananas layered between passion fruit-moistened ricotta cakes). Order a whole cake from their Little Italy or Banker’s Hill shop for your reserves.
There’s a reason this burger joint has been churning out grease gold in OB since the magical year of 1969. Get the “Single Bacon Cheeseburger” (bacon and beef patty, mayo, mustard, onion, tomato, pickles, and two slices of cheddar). Double up if you dare, and triple dog dare you to get a shake.
Ironside Fish & Oyster
You can stick to most any diet with this Little Italy gem’s fresh oysters and seafood. Bur for a splurge, we recommend the “Lobster Roll” (over a pound of Maine lobster, brown-butter mayo, crispy onion strings, and chives on a buttered and pan-fried house-made roll).
For a full-out meal splurge, we adore the Nine-Ten restaurant and bar in La Jolla. Don’t skip the “Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly” (baby carrots, Swiss chard, plantains, black-eyed peas, spicy jellies and sweet potato purée) or “Half Baked Chocolate Cake” (caramel sauce, choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream).
Two locations, Del Mar, Hillcrest and La Jolla Village, mean three opportunities for a heavenly cheat breakfast with a brunch cocktail on top. The “Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes” (buttermilk pancakes with caramelized pineapple chunks, house-made vanilla crème anglaise and cinnamon butter) and the “OMG! French Toast” (Bread & Cie brioche stuffed with mascarpone, griddled and topped with vanilla crème, salted caramel, fresh strawberries and toasted coconut) will leave you satisfied for days.
Atypical Waffle Company
If you think waffles are the red-headed stepchild to the pancake, prepare to embrace these authentic Belgium Street Waffles in North Park. “The Basic” is the most-ordered, but we’re partial to the “Number Seven” (bacon baked in brown sugar, avocado, & goat cheese).