Anytime is a good time for a Cinnaroll
Cooler late fall and early winter weather can leave you craving warm, freshly baked treats. Few baked goods are as comforting as a freshly made cinnamon roll. Buying them in the afternoon gives you something to look forward to in the morning. Even a re-heated cinnamon roll that’s a day old can lift your spirits and stem your carb cravings.
If you have the time, however, you’ll get the most flavor and enjoyment from a freshly-baked cinnamon roll, purchased right when you intend to eat it. If you’re really lucky, it’ll still be warm from the oven, with the icing and cinnamon still gooey and soft to the touch.
A perfect cinnamon roll will have a hint of crispness to the outside of the roll, while the cinnamon filling between layers of the dough should be evenly spread and melted. The inside should remain incredibly soft. Fresh cinnamon rolls may even collapse in on themselves if cut with a fork or knife.
Plenty of places sell cinnamon rolls but just reheat them. There’s nothing quite so disappointing as ordering up a fresh cinnamon roll only to receive a mass-produced, microwaved pastry. When you’re craving a cinnamon roll, you want something freshly made by a local bakery to ensure you get the best flavor and optimal freshness.
Whether you want one cinnamon roll for yourself or need to pick up a whole tray for your family or co-workers, any of the four bakeries on this list will have fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls available.
Bear Buns Bakery and Cafe
Location: 3251 Greyling Drive
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Located in Serra Mesa, Bear Buns Bakery and Cafe invites everyone in San Diego to “check out their buns.” They offer local products and baked goods made fresh daily, as well as coffee sourced from a local roastery. This organic coffee is carefully roasted to perfection and freshly brewed as the perfect complement to the pastries and baked goods on the menu here.
When it comes to cinnamon rolls, many people call the rolls at Bear Buns Bakery the best in San Diego. They’re just big enough without being overwhelming, with a perfectly doughy center. They use a cream cheese style frosting, which adds a sweetness you’ll find yourself craving later. Because they are so locally loved and crave-worthy, stopping in early is your best option if you want to snag one. They have been known to run out due to high demand on some days.
They have plenty of other sweet treats available, including scones, biscotti, sticky buns, cookies, muffins, bread pudding, bagels and croissants. They also make sandwiches, both for breakfast and for lunch. If you place an order the day before you want to pick it up, you can get an apple, pecan, pumpkin or sweet cherry pie.
Gluten Free Baby
Starry Lane Bakery
Location: 3925 Fourth Avenue
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you or someone you love has Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, the average cinnamon roll, not matter how warm and tasty, could carry a painful price. Thankfully, Starry Lane Bakery has a range of delectable gluten-free baked goods available. In fact, vegans and people with serious allergies will also be able to enjoy the goodies here. The sweet and satisfying baked goods are gluten, soy, dairy, egg, tree nut and peanut free.
When you walk in, you’ll find a plethora of incredible baked goods to purchase and take with you. There are eight kinds of cookies, including chocolate chip, strawberry lilies, maple cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies, as well as fudge and oatmeal cream sandwich cookies and even ginger snaps. There are pound cakes, coffee cakes, croutons, crostini, tortes, fruit tarts and even muffins.
Their cinnamon rolls are big and rich, and run $5.25 each or $57.75 for a dozen. Many of their other baked treats, including their muffins, cupcakes, biscotti, cookies and scones are available by the dozen. If it’s bread you’re craving, they have sandwich loaves, sandwich rolls, molasses oat, Italian flatbread, submarine rolls, pretzel rolls and even a chocolate cherry bread.
European Coffee, American Treats
Bondar’s Coffee & Sweets
Location: 722 11th Avenue
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Closed Sunday
If you’re looking for a place near East Village where you can enjoy classic baked goods, European coffee and creative takes on traditional treats, you need to pay a visit to Bondar’s Coffee and Sweets. They recently showcased a brilliantly colored matcha tart with blueberry cream online, as well as berry-colored zefirs. You can always look forward to finding a new and adventurous flavor on their menu when you stop in.
Of course, in order to draw customers for unique and strange flavors, a bakery first has to perfect the classics. There’s no doubt that many people in the region love the cinnamon rolls at Bondar’s Coffee & Sweets. There’s a great balance of spicy cinnamon flavor and sweetness from the frosting. They’re big enough to be satisfying, but not enough to put you off your next meal. You’ll want to grab an extra or two to take home or into the office.
The coffee is brewed to order. You won’t find pots full of drip brewed coffee waiting for you when you stop in. Instead, the staff at Bondar’s Coffee & Sweets will fresh brew any coffee drink you want from Intelligentsia coffee beans. There are plenty of choices when it comes to tea as well.
Location: 4652 Mission Blvd
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cinnaholic is a growing chain, with four locations in California, including their Pacific Beach location. While we generally prefer to feature local businesses, Cinnaholic has grown to more than a dozen locations because they do cinnamon rolls really well.
What they have to offer on the menu is simple: award-winning cinnamon rolls that can be topped with more than 30 different kinds of frostings and a range of toppings, like chocolate chips. One thing that sets these gourmet cinnamon rolls apart from the average chain bakery bun is that they are completely vegan. In fact, all of the products on the menu are dairy and lactose free, egg free and cholesterol free. You can’t find a cinnamon roll that’s 100 percent guilt-free, but these are probably as close as you can get!
They have special, seasonal flavors of cinnamon buns that change regularly. For the late fall and early winter, some of their specialty flavors include apple cider, pumpkin pie and tiramisu. There are massive cake-sized buns and mini buns available. When you pick your size and flavor of bun, then you get to pick your toppings. Frosting options include banana cream, chai, maple, orange, coffee, vanilla, cream cheese and peanut butter. Toppings include pretzels, walnuts, fresh berries, cookie dough, coconut and almonds.