2233 W. Balboa Blvd. #110, Newport Beach, CA 92663
You know when people say something is a “hidden gem” because nobody actually knows it exists? Well, let us introduce you to Chocolate Bash, a small creperie tucked into the coastal quaintness of W. Balboa Blvd. Self-proscribed as offering crêpes and waffles that boast “the genuine flavors that you’d find overseas,” Chocolate Bash serves waffles, mini powdered-sugar pancakes and made-to-order crepes with all the fixings (cookie crumbles, chocolate drizzles, fresh fruit). Sadly, the place opens 4 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (so a chocolate brunch is out) but it does keep its doors unlocked until midnight every single day of the week.
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Stephanie and Christophe Courtillier began Frenchies with a simple goal in mind: to share the crunchy, smooth, rum-tinged goodness of the classic canelé throughout Southern California. If you’re unfamiliar with the canelé, it’s a small French pastry flavored with rum and vanilla, characterized by a thick, caramelized crust and a soft, custard center. For Frenchies canelés, Christophe carefully mixes the batter, which must sit for two days. Once it’s ready, Stephanie bakes them then hand delivers fresh canelés to customers.
Chef Elyssa Fournier, founder of Mixed Bakery in Corona del Mar, enjoys a depth of experience working with some of the world’s finest pastry chefs. In New York City, she earned a degree in pastry arts from the French Culinary Institute, then studied in the kitchen of Le Cirque’s renowned pastry chef, Jacques Torres before heading west to eventually launch her own Southern California business. She bakes to order but specializes in tarts, muffins, cookies and French pastries.
2108 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Like City Bakery, Seaside Donuts is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The truth is, if you closed your eyes, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between donuts from Seaside or donuts from City Bakery but location, location, location! Seaside is found right along W. Oceanfront, next to iconic beach bars like Blackies, Beach Ball and around the corner, The Blue Beet. It tends to get crowded late at night and early Sunday morning but its fare is both simple and sweet. Added bonus: Seaside offers powdered sugar and glazed cronuts.
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70 E. 17th St., #18, Costa Mesa, California 92627
If, when you’re handed one of their singular circles of doughy goodness, you think Sidecar Doughnuts are works of art alllllmost too pretty to eat, you’d be right. Established in 2012, Sidecar was founded by a team of visual designers determined to create doughnuts beautifully wrought inside a gathering space just as striking. Since inception, Sidecar founders pride themselves on doughnuts featuring seasonal, local ingredients culled from the earth.