San Diego

That's Amore: Get the Best Gelato Scoops in S.D.

Feb 7th 2011 1:20PM / by Nanette Wiser

Want a taste of Amalfi? One dessert says amore: creamy, tongue-titillating gelato. Sometimes two gelatos are better than one, banana split-style (chocolate with banana walnut) or with an alcoholic kick (peach champagne, Merlot). International flavors are all the rage now, so you can splurge on Mexican (dulce de leche), Asian (green tea) or go all-American with cake batter or peanut butter cup. Here's where to get the best scoops:

Caffe Italia: In addition to being the best Sunday brunch waffle bar, this cappuccino king inside the kitschy La Pensione hotel is dog-friendly and offers free Wi-Fi. Spoon up sensational gelatos exploding with flavors, especially spumoni, espresso bean, pistachio and a brownie-caramel concoction that will make you swoon.
1704 India St.; 619-234-6767

Cafe Zucchero: A little bit of Sicily from the Busalacchi family, visit one of their seven trattorias, featuring the marzipan floral sponge cassata. Get a dose of Zen on the patio by the fountain with their homemade gelato (amaretto, pistachio, nougat, strawberry, eggnog or limone) after a passionate panini or pizza.
1731 India St.; 619-531-1731

Chocolat Cremerie: From Mama Luisa's crepes to the gelatos made daily, it's an oasis of exotic flavors in the heart of the Gaslamp. Discover flavors like spicy cayenne, orange chocolate, vanilla rum brittle, amaretto, apple cinnamon, Oreos and cream and cinnamon coconut. It's best topped with fresh whipped cream -- calories be damned.
509 5th Ave.; 619-238-9400

Gelato Vero Caffe: After a late-night comedy show next door or for breakfast, this hole in the wall caffeine joint dishes out scoops of scrumptious mango, Mexican chocolate, Nutella and pistachio gelatos served in environmentally-friendly cups. Despite skimpy parking, the cafe offers free Wi-Fi and great people-watching from the second floor overlooking I-5. It's a home away from home for artists and hipsters.
3753 India St.; 619-295-9269

Paciugo Italian Gelato: It boasts a robust menu of milk-, water- and soy-based gelatos with the most unusual selections: florals (blueberry lavender or rose chocolate chip), spicy (black pepper olive oil), fruity (banana biscotti, herbal coconut basil), Japanese (green tea cheesecake or chocolate chip) and my favorite, chocolate black cherry swirl. For a little romance at home, get the Hunka Hunka Burnin' Chocolate to go.
3030 Plaza Bonita, National City; 619-475-8200

Photo Courtesy of Caffe Italia

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