Afters Ice Cream

Afters combines our two loves: doughnuts and ice cream. What sets it apart from most ice cream joints are two key things: their signature milky buns and their unique flavors. Milky buns are handcrafted glazed dough buns that act as the perfect vessel for your ice cream. They are always fresh and hot, providing a nice complement to the cold sensation of the ice cream. Ice cream offerings range from milk and cereal to a twists on classic flavors like Madagascar vanilla. 2738 Alton Parkway, Irvine. Arielle Roude

(Courtesy of 85 Degrees)

85ºC Bakery

For a sweet pastry, try their choco bun, taro swirl bun or matcha chocolate bun. All these breads burst with sweet flavor whenever you take a bite. They even have a fantastic selection of savory pastries to choose from, including garlic cheese bread, sausage rolls and potato cheese buns. Locals swear by their classic brioche bun roll and their mini cheese tarts. If pastries are not what you’re looking for, the bakery  also offers a large selection of cakes and other sweet treats. You can order anything from full-sized cakes to mango tarts and slices of blueberry cheesecake. 2700 Alton Pkwy, Suite 123, Irvine; 915 Spectrum Drive, Irvine. Arielle Roude

Meet Fresh

From the moment you enter the door, you immediately feel the coupled sensations of warmth and sophistication. Their many, many options are listed on a backlit board along the wall, including various types of jellies, puddings, shaved ice and red bean dishes, snacks and beverages. We recommend the Q Mochi: the toppings bring the dish to lofty heights, introducing themselves like a fist of flavor pummeling the tongue. Perhaps it’s better described as a bear hug with a running start; it’s intense, but it offers nothing but love.2710 Alton Parkway, Suite 105, Irvine. Ryan Najjar

(Courtesy of Sweet Combforts)

Sweet Combforts

Sweet Combforts is proving that waffles are much more than breakfast food. By making beautifully sugared handmade waffles and putting them on a popsicle stick, Sweet Combforts has made a dessert that is portable and less messy than most. Try a Bam Bam waffle, their classic Belgian Liègewaffle dipped in white chocolate and topped with fruity pebble cereal, cheesecake bites, powdered sugar and a white chocolate drizzle. Another favorite is their Cookies and Dream waffle. Dipped in Oreo cookie butter, this waffle is then topped off with Oreo cookie crumbles, powdered sugar and chocolate drizzle. 2222 Michelson Drive, Trade Food Court, Irvine. Arielle Roude

Sunmerry Asian Bakery

For fresh Asian pastries and desserts and a variety of breads and cakes look no further than Sunmerry, where you can find delicacies such as taro milk cake, BBQ pork chashu bolo buns and green tea croissants. Try the matcha daifuku, strawberry Japanese pudding, rainbow roll cake and more.14805 Jeffrey Road, Suite E, Irvine. Ruksana Hussain

Hello Kitty Cafe

The brand’s first permanent cafe concept, the Hello Kitty Cafe offers both afternoon tea and a cocktail service in its private Bow Room. For the tea service, each customer gets to pick a tea from a list of black, green, oolong, blended or caffeine-free teas. Tea also includes a fairly large selection of snacks fruit, as well as sweets and savory bites. Once 5 p.m. hits, the lights are dimmed and the tea service becomes a cocktail service. Customers can order drinks with practically any alcohol (vodka, gin, whiskey, mezcal and tequila) as well as wine by the glass or Hello Kitty brand wine by the bottle. 670 Spectrum Center Drive, #860, Irvine. Michael Cooper


Downtown Disney’s Black Tap

Known for its award-winning Greg Norman burger and famous CrazyShake milkshakes, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes opened its first California location in Downtown Disney, debuting an enhanced fast-casual service style that is a first for the global brand. The menu includes original flavors like Cotton Candy, Sweet n’ Salty, and Brooklyn Blackout, as well as Gand’s new signature Strawberry Shortcake Shake, a flavor available only at the Anaheim location. The concoction built for two starts as a strawberry shake with a vanilla frosted rim and crumbled cake topped with a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar, pink twisty pop, whipped cream, strawberry drizzle and a cherry on top. 1540 S. Disneyland Drive, Suite 101, Anaheim. Michele Steven

(Courtesy of The Dirty Cookie)

The Dirty Cookie

The Dirty Cookie is the perfect spot to pick up dessert for your next dinner party. This place gives a whole new angle on what it means to be a cookie. The Dirty Cookie takes different flavors of cookie dough and molds them into a small cup shape. These cookie shots come in classic cookie flavors like chocolate chip, red velvet, churro, and cookies and cream. You can pour milk or any liquid of your choice right into the middle of the cookie. For an adult party, you can even add your favorite type of liquor such as Bailey’s or Kahlua! 2493 Park Ave., Tustin. Arielle Roude

Basil Eggs Benedict (Courtesy of Sidecar Doughnuts)

Sidecar Doughnuts

Visit Sidecar when you want a unique spin on a glazed doughnut — or any doughnut for that matter. With a revolving door of flavors every month it is hard to pick a favorite, but here are some of the must-tries: their butter and salt doughnut and their signature huckleberry-flavored doughnut. Another unique flavor is their basil eggs Benedict doughnut. It is a savory raised doughnut filled with a poached egg, basil and a delicious sauce. 270 E 17th St., Ste 18, Costa Mesa. Arielle Roude


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