85c bakery

85c Bakery opened up in San Diego back in November 2014 and I remember there being so much hype about it! There are a few in the north land (aka Orange County/LA) and I read about long lines over opening weekend. I decided to wait a bit before venturing over there last month for the first time. I’d hadn’t been to any of the other locations, even though I’d heard so much about them. Long lines pretty much keep me away from places. I figured I’d just wait for the San Diego opening.

Line to get a tray at 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

This is inside the bakery. I’m line to check out and snapped a photo of the people waiting to get trays to grab up some goodies. If you’ve been to a Panaderia or Paris Baguette, it’s a similar set up.

(psst – can you spot Jake in this photo? He’s quite tall compared to others. I don’t post a lot of photos of his back though, so maybe not… heehee)

85c bread trays at 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

There are trays of breads, tarts, pastries and more. You get a tray and a pair of tongs and grab what you want. Wait a few minutes and you’ll probably hear a worker come out and yell “Fresh Bread!” and the rest of the workers yell it out, too. Then you can watch that person get swarmed as everyone takes the bread off their tray. You basically just have to dart in and around people to get what you want.

I’m good at darting.

Inside of 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

This is the line where you pay and get other things. See that case on the left? That one has all the cakes and cold desserts in it. I didn’t even look at it until after I paid for everything. It looked like great stuff – maybe I’ll remember to check it out one of these visits…

Breads and Treats from 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

My first tray! I had no idea what to get so I just went by descriptions and looks. Like at any other place, really.

A few of these I didn’t even get to try because they got gobbled up and eaten before I could have a bite. The Whole Wheat Mushroom Bread ($1.50) was the first item I tried and it was just okay. I think I would have enjoyed it more heated up and dipped in some marinara sauce. It almost looked like a pizza stick to me for some reason but it’s basically just a breadstick with mushrooms in it. I wasn’t quite digging the taste of the whole wheat, either. 

The Berrytale ($1.50) I don’t remember trying. I feel like I had a tiny piece.

The Maple Brick Toast ($1.50) also tastes much better reheated. It’s sticky and sweet from the maple – it’s like have a sweet version of garlic bread… but you know, without the garlic. It’s a nice extra thick slice and would be fun to eat with breakfast.

The Mocha Bread ($2.20) was nice and light. It’s a mix of coffee and chocolate flavored bread with a chocolate and walnut filling. I only tasted the bread part and really enjoyed the coffee flavor and marveled how light the bread was.

The Milk Pudding ($1.50) was eaten by someone else. And the Premium Milk (which didn’t have a tag at the time so I don’t know the price) was my favorite of the bunch. It’s a lightly sweetened, soft bread with white chocolate chunks in the middle and a dusting of powdered sugar over the top. That sounds like it would be extra sweet but it wasn’t! That’s what I enjoyed the most about everything – it all had just a light touch of sweetness to it. The Premium Milk bread was soft and light and I’ve gone back a few times already just to get this one again

Coconut Custard Roll from 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

The Coconut Custard Roll ($2.85) was a last minute addition so it wasn’t on our tray above. I got this mostly for my mom and I managed to snag a tiny bite before she gleefully claimed it for herself. I liked the spongy texture of the roll with the sweet cream filling inside. It’s got a strong punch of coconut flavor!

Almond Half Moon Bread at 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

I loved how big the Half Moon breads are. We got the Almond Half Moon ($3) but they also have Strawberry (also good) and Blueberry (haven’t tried it yet). I really loved the almond silvers that surround the outside of it. It’s quite a big piece. The bread is fluffy and spongy – almost like an angel food cake but a little more dense – with a light bit of slightly sweet cream in the middle. 

Boxed and Bagged - 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

They bag up each pastry/bread/yummy treat into it’s own little plastic bag and put it in a box for you. It’s hard to only get a few things but it’ll last you for a few days. Unless your family are vultures. In which case it won’t last as long and someone will ask you to go and get more bread. 

Giant Brioche - 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

On a subsequent visit I managed to only take a photo of the Giant Brioche. I’ve heard the regular brioche is the thing to get but I didn’t see it out there. This one looks kind of like a giant moon crater or maybe a head of cauliflower. It looks like it would be really dense and heavy but again – so light! So airy! The crust on top had a bit of crunch that I liked, too. 

Sea Salt Coffee - unmixed - 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

I couldn’t resist trying a Sea Salt Coffee the first time around, too. I felt like I had to wait forever for this thing since so many people had placed drink orders. They were really cranking these out! This is the “before” shot – before I shook it up to mix it. Dear god, do you see how much cream is in there?!

Sea Salt Coffee - mixed - 85c Bakery San Diego | This Tasty Life

All shook up it now barely looks like coffee. I wonder if you can ask them to go easy on the cream next time. I liked the bit of salty flavor you can detect in the drink but it felt it was a little too creamy. I still want to taste my coffee, you know. It was kind of like “coffee lite” after you mix all of that cream in.

We’ve already been back several times and my mom has even managed to drag my dad over there so she doesn’t have to wait for me to go again. I finally see what all the fuss is about!

Link love:
Lynn went to 85c on opening weekend! Holy cow.
Kirbie also went during the opening weekend.
and CC has been back a few times already.

85c Bakery
Balboa Mesa Shopping Center (on the Vons/Kohl’s side)
5575 Balboa Avenue, Suite 330
San Diego, CA 92111

85°c Bakery Café on Urbanspoon

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

14 Replies to “85c bakery

  1. Oh man I can’t believe you waited in that long line (or made Jake wait!). I see him in line too! How tall is he again?

    I’ve been there I think twice now and luckily haven’t had to wait in line. I think we ‘over buy’ when we are there b/c 1) there’s no line so let’s take advantage of what’s out and 2) just the obsession to try everything that is there. I like the giant brioche too. I think you’re spot on w/ the cauliflower description!!

    That ice coffee looks amazing. Do they use heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2 for that coffee? Can you get it unsweetened ?

    1. Hi Faye! The line for the trays was shorter when I was in it. It started filling up afterwards! So I deceived you with my photos haha. Jake was taking photos of the tags so I knew what the names of all the breads were. It seems like the kind of place where you want to buy a bunch anyway. Why go just to get one thing?! I’m fairly sure they use heavy cream. I don’t know if you can customize it since I didn’t try, but it seems like they would. Less cream or milk instead would be better, I think! Oh, and Jake is 6’2″! He’s over a foot taller than me….

  2. Urghhhh there are still lines here its been so much timeeee!

    I am intrigued by the coffee, the only way i drink non-espresso coffee is mixed with all the cream and sugar in the world so…this might be my thing.

  3. I like how you labeled the pastries on your photo. I need to learn how to do that. But who am I kidding, I’m too lazy, haha. But seriously, that is really helpful.

    I like that striped mocha/walnut pastry as well as the chocolate chip bread bowl. Although the sponge/roll cakes look pretty, I don’t like how soft they are. I like texture, but that’s just me.

    All the different times I went, it wasn’t too crowded. I think the excitement has died down already.

    1. Hi CC – Thanks! I figured it was easier to label the photo then to do the whole “left to right: clockwise blah blah” thing. I think I’ll do that from now on for multiple item photos like that (if I’m not feeling lazy, like you said, haha).

      I didn’t even get to try the filling on the mocha bread, only the bread. I think my dad “stole” it.

      Yeah the last time we went was in the evening and it wasn’t super crowded then either. It was busy, but not insane. I bet lunchtime hours are a nightmare though.

  4. i’ve only tried the milk pudding and strawberry half moon from your list. if i did go back, i’d try that premium bread and get more hot dogs bread and squid ink rolls. maybe milk pudding too. i just don’t have much patience after the crazy grand opening though. redeeming my coupons still took 30 minutes from start to finish.

    1. Hi Lynn! I don’t think it’s quite as bad as when it first opened. I totally missed hot dog bread and squid ink rolls (I don’t think they’ve had either on my visits so far). I must go again and try some goodies!

  5. I love how you named all the pastries! The Maple Brick Toast is one of my favorite BUT I like the Berrytale, Milk Pudding, and the Mocha Bread.

    I like their Sea Salt Coffee but I also thought it was too creamy too.

Leave a Reply