Seasonal Holiday Treats

Ditch your galoshes and dig your toes in the sand during Oceanside’s most wonderful time of the year. ‘Tis the season to enjoy tantalizing treats with your family and friends. We’ve discovered some local culinary gems to make your coastal visit more merry and memorable.

Banana Dang & DaniGirl Cake Pops

Trendy downtown coffeehouse Banana Dang serves exceptional craft coffee drinks and banana smoothies. Now you can find delectable DaniGirl Cake Pops on the menu. Perfect for parties, these bite-sized morsels of goodness are made using local cage-free eggs from Jake’s Farm Fresh and homemade vanilla from Bonsall.

Owner/baker Dani Kennelly spent a year developing a special cake recipe that’s super moist without the standard addition of frosting to bind the batter. She hand makes, rolls then dips the cake pops in melted chocolate before decorating. Top sellers include butter-infused French vanilla and chocolate fudge flavors. However, you can request anything custom from red velvet to pumpkin spice to cinnamon coffeecake. For the holidays, Dani’s festive green, red and white cake pops are a surefire hit. And how can you resist her adorable sparkly snowmen pops topped with miniature Oreo cookie hats and wrapped in crimson candy scarves?

Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro

Also downtown Petite Madeline Bakery/Patisserie prepares outstanding breakfasts, lunches, espresso drinks and baked goods. Everything on the seasonally driven menu is made from scratch daily with care. Organic strawberries and other produce are sourced year round from nearby Cyclops Farms. Talented executive chef Marc Santos excels at creating divine desserts. He explains, “What makes our desserts special is that everything is handmade. It’s that rustic touch that comes from a kitchen, not a factory. Everything is unique in some way like somebody that you loved baked it for you.” And what’s not to love about the array of enticing holiday options?

If you’re a chocoholic, consider the classic French Bûche de Noël (Yule Log): a roulette of chocolate sponge cake and mousse with a bark-like texture garnished with marzipan mushroom, holly leaves and berries. Prefer deep-dish pies? Petite Madeline’s piecrusts are handmade with 100% butter and rolled out one at a time. Apples are hand peeled and cut for Double Apple Pies. Rich filling made without flour or cornstarch showcases the house spice blend in Pumpkin Pies. The tantalizingly nutty Bourbon Custard Pecan Pies are also made without cornstarch. On the savory side, don’t miss the buttery, flakey Brioche Dinner Rolls.

San Luis Rey Bakery & Restaurant

From French to Mexican tradition, indulge in Christmas time tamales made from corn masa (dough) spread on a corn husk or banana leaf, filled with ingredients then wrapped tight and steamed. Find these bundles of joy at Oceanside’s oldest bakery, San Luis Rey Bakery & Restaurant, established in 1968. Owned and operated by the Mendoza family, San Luis Rey makes authentic fluffy chicken, beef and pork tamales throughout the holidays. The bakery is also famous for its many varieties of pan dulce and custom cakes.

Golden Coast Mead

When it comes to celebrating, festive drinks such as eggnog, hot-buttered rum and mulled wine come to mind. For a unique, Oceanside twist on old time favorites, try Golden Coast Mead’s light-bodied Christmas Tree Mead. The world’s oldest type of alcoholic beverage produced from fermented honey tastes like an effervescent cross between champagne, beer and white wine. Golden Coast embraces the global trend to bring the ancient art of brewing mead back to life. Their refreshing Christmas Tree blend combines wildflower honey, juniper, rosemary and lemon. The juniper nicely balances out the beverage’s acidity. Research and development brewer Chris Herr describes it as “jammy with a hint of lemon.”

About the Author

Jolee Pink is an Oceanside-based writer, designer and artist. She runs the popular Eat Drink SD Facebook group and her Wabisabi Green lifestyle blog focuses on art, design, food and travel. For more information, please visit

Published: December 8, 2017

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