Chillin’ at The Baked Bear, Encinitas

Part 6: Eating Up and Down 101

We’re slowly making our way through the restaurants that line Highway 101 in our town and writing about them. Today we’re at the end of the block between D and E Streets, heading south.

Here in Encinitas, there’s no shortage of tacos and ice cream on 101. Today the weather is heating up, so we’re cooling down with our next eatery: The Baked Bear Custom Ice Cream Sandwiches, nestled near the corner of 101 and E Street, surrounded by stylish boutiques and just a flip flop throw (or two) from the beach. I love a big melty ice cream on the beach!

Bearing Down

And it’s about time! The Baked Bear opened last summer in Encinitas, though they have other locations. The ice cream and cookie shop was founded by San Diego natives who were childhood friends. Rob Robbins and Shane Stangler began the business in Pacific Beach, but now have about 20 stores across America, including as far away from San Diego as New Jersey! They spent a good part of Lockdown getting the Encinitas location ready.

The Baked Bear’s specialty? Big, handful-sized, colorful, gourmet ice cream sandwiches! But there is a build-your-own process, much like that mall bear.

Bucking Up

I’ve prepared myself for our visit by checking out their website first to familiarize myself with the four-steps. But when you walk through their door, they happily walk you through the steps to creating your own dreamy sandwich.

If a big ol’ drippy ice cream sandwich sounds a bit too sticky for you, they also offer scoops and cones. And you can get what they call “Bear Bowls,” a bowl with a cookie baked right on the bottom, then piled with ice cream and toppings.

Bestill my heart! Especially if you have too many!

Ganging Up on The Bear

We decide the more the merrier for this adventure and invite my mom (AKA LuLu) along for the fun. She totally loves ice cream, and has particular ideas about how it should be eaten! So yeah, we definitely must have LuLu’s opinion!

We visit midweek, but it’s Week Two of Spring Break in Encinitas, so business is brisk. (Yes, we get two weeks, because everything is better in Encinitas!)

The Baked Bear Way

  • Step 1: choose your cookie(s)
    • Get crazy and mix-n-match if you like!
  • Step 2: choose your ice cream
    • Remember that it has to blend with your cookie!
  • Step 3: choose your toppings
    • Go for gooey and sticky like caramel sauce, or pick sprinkles and cookie crumbs
    • Sandwiches get sprinkles around the edges and sauce drizzled on top
  • Step 4: hot-press your sandwich
    • This warms the cookies without melting the ice cream

Bear With Us

LuLu is an ice cream purist. She chooses a bowl of chocolate mint, no cookie thank you. It’s bright green and creamy with big chunks of chocolate. Her opinion? We’ll have to interpret her moans of pleasure and empty cup as “not bad!”

Andy goes for peanut butter Nutella cookies with espresso bean ice cream, hot pressed. His reasoning is the flavors will all blend into one big yum, and he isn’t disappointed! The cookies are warm, not hot, and soft, but not crumbly. You’re never worry that you’re going to lose a big chunk of cookie!

The sandwiches are served in a small waxy cardboard boat with a plastic spoon, just in case you don’t feel like getting ice cream all over your face and hand. Which would have been especially troublesome for me, because…

I went wild! Cookie Monster cookies, signature Bear Batter ice cream, Fruity Pebbles sprinkles, and hot pressed!

Cookie Monster cookies are bright blue with chunks of other cookies on top. It’s like the Boss Cookie! There is just a hint of sea salt, too. I love that contrast! Their Bear Batter ice cream is also blue, and has a cake batter base with fudge and brownie bits mixed in. So good! The Fruity Pebbles bring me back to childhood. Hot-pressing makes the cookies soft and chewy.

You might think all that sugar would be overwhelming, but none of us feel that it’s too sweet. The balance of cookie-to-ice cream is perfect, but either are very good on their own as well. And you can order merely a cookie (freak!) or just ice cream, like LuLu. We’re not feeling sugar-shock, and no crash a while later.

We get a table on the sidewalk to enjoy our treats and people-watching, which is particularly fun in a beach town that draws tourists. There’s just a hint of ocean breeze in the air.

We all think this is way more than we could possibly eat, but nothing goes to waste. We all notice that we don’t feel over-stuffed!

We’ll take the long way back to the car and do some shopping to burn a few calories. And maybe a few bucks.


  1. Those ice cream sandwiches sound delicious 😋😛. I’m with Lulu on the ice cream pick, although, I would have had a Cookie Monster cookie with it!!!

    • A cookie on the side would be a great choice. ❤🍦