Babycakes Cupcakes: Oh, Baby
Babycakes is the un-Starbucks—a charming, non-chain coffee house in Hillcrest with arguably the best cupcakes in town…and more.
Located on Fifth Avenue with a view of the neighborhood’s iconic neon sign, Babycakes is in a lovingly restored 1889 Craftsman-style cottage, painted periwinkle blue--an homage to the movie Chocolat. If you’re not into cupcakes, or if you need something with a bit more of a kick, there’s also a wine-and-beer bar.
Christopher Stavros and Rafael Del Rio are the owners of this self described “pop-and-pop shop.” Their partnership reflects the strengths of each: Stavros is the front man, handsome and savvy about real estate. Del Rio is the pastry chef, and a veteran of the San Diego culinary scene.
Cupcakes may be considered trendy right now--like self-serve yogurt and skinny-leg jeans--but there is something to be said for being really good.Del Rio bakes every batch of cupcakes himself, daily. The marble-fudge with chocolate icing is light and sumptuous. The signature cupcakes are: red-velvet cakes with cream cheese frosting; and “Babies”—marble cakes with chocolate chips and cream cheese frosting. They're moist, and filled with rich layers of buttery goodness.
Stavros sees Babycakes positioning itself as an alternative to the after-dinner-drink or dessert place. Here,you’ll find both an eclectic and comfy atmosphere. Black-and-white photos of Stavros’ family members hang over the dark-wood bar; funky paintings by local abstract artist John Brooks line the walls. Over-stuffed chairs and sofas are gently placed in every nook.
The creamy goodness.
“We want it to be a place for people to come and just hang out,” says Stavros, “It should feel like home.”
The shop also has picturesque patios. The street-side is spacious and bright, very European. In the back of the house is a quaint hideaway, with tables nestled under a thorny-trunked African-silk tree, blooming with bright pink flowers.
Babycakes hasn’t been open long, but demand is up. The kitchen is being expanded to keep pace with orders. Upon completion, Babycakes will also offer soup, sandwiches and salads. Cakes for weddings and commitment ceremonies are another Del Rios specialty. From the classic Chocolate Decadence or Lemon Chiffon to the whimsical Tres Leches or Peaches and Cream, one bite and you’re swerving off the well-rationalized path of your diet.
- Name: Babycakes