Ready to know more about San Diego?


8 Places to Find Ube in San Diego Right Now

Take a walk down the ube brick road to snag these purple gems
Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Ube Ice Cream

Ube ice cream

Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Ube (pronounced “ooh-beh”) is a vibrant purple yam native to the Philippines that has gained tremendous popularity in the culinary world in recent years. Often mistaken for taro, another purple root vegetable, ube has been a staple ingredient in Filipino cuisine for centuries.

Because of its nutty, vanilla-like taste, the yam is traditionally used in various sweets, such as ube halaya (a jam made by boiling and mashing ube), halo-halo (an ube beverage crafted with crushed ice and evaporated or coconut milk), and binignit (an ube dessert soup featuring sticky rice, coconut milk, and various spices).

And—to the delight of Instagrammers and TikTokers everywhere—the vegetable’s captivating purple color lends an amethyst hue to almost any dish in which it appears. For the last decade or so, food enthusiasts across social media have been sharing visually arresting creations like ube pastries, ice cream, donuts, and countless other variations, driving new diners to take a chance on the root.

Want to explore ube’s violet delights? Let’s take a walk down the ube brick road and check out eight spots to snag San Diego’s purple gems.

Halo-Halo Bread Pudding  Cafe 86

Halo-Halo Bread Pudding 

Courtesy of Cafe 86

Cafe 86

Located in Mira Mesa and Otay Ranch, Cafe 86 serves ube-centric desserts and pastries. Their signature upside down halo-halo features coconut jellies, jackfruit, boba, frosted flakes, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and flan. Other lilac-hued menu items include Oreo-ube milkshakes and ube lattes, cheesecake, pop tarts, and ice cream, the latter of which tastes great atop Cafe 86’s churrochies—mochi dough grilled with butter and topped with cinnamon sugar and carmel. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, delish all the way through. Various locations

SomiSomi Ube

Ube flavored ice cream with taiyaki pancakes

Courtesy of SomiSomi


SomiSomi has made its name with warm, fish-shaped taiyaki waffles stuffed with the filling or ice cream of your choice. Try the ube soft-serve (or whatever ube swirl the shop’s got going on that day—possibilities include ube-milk, ube-matcha, and ube-sesame) dusted with Oreo or graham cracker crumbs. Various locations

All Things Ube Desserts

An assortment of ube cheescake bites 

Courtesy of All Things Ube Desserts

All Things Ube Desserts

Founded in 2019 by Daphne and Dennis Daung, All Things Ube Desserts explores the boundaries of ube-flavored sweets and drinks. Located in La Jolla and available for catering and online orders, the bakery offers a wide range of treats. Current highlights include ube mochi bricks, ube flan with toasted coconut, ube Rice Krispy treats, and ube-coconut lemonade—but they always seem to be unveiling something new and exciting on their Instagram. Miramar

White Rice

White Rice is a San Diego staple and a favorite among lovers of modern Filipino food. You’ve probably tried their pork belly rice bowls or delectable mushroom and tofu sisig, but you might have overlooked their ube desserts. Order the ube pandesal, a sweet roll of purple bread filled with whipped ube butter and topped with a sprinkle of salt. Wash it down with ube milk tea. Point Loma, Normal Heights, National City, Linda Vista(coming soon)

Ube Shaved Snow Snoice

Ube Shaved Snow

Courtesy of Snoice


Interested in sampling multiple branches of the purple root veggie family tree? Spring for the ube-taro boba beverage at Snoice’s Spring Valley storefront. As their name implies, Snoice focuses on snow and ice-based desserts. Other periwinkle picks include the ube milk tea (with leaves sourced from local tea shop Paru), ube shaved snow, the Island Breeze (pandan milk tea with ube cloud foam), and traditional halo-halo. Spring Valley

Tita’s Kitchenette

This family-owned Filipino restaurant located in a National City strip mall is known for its BBQ chicken, lumpia, pancit, and pork adobo—as well as, of course, their ube options. End your meal with ube biko (a sweet sticky-rice cake made with coconut milk), ube ice cream, or halo-halo. National City


Chula Vista’s Starbread Bakery (which we featured in our January food hit list) is a favorite for pastries in South County. While the outpost is known for its golden-brown senorita bread, it also offers ube cheese cupcakes, ube donuts, ube rice cakes, and even ube malasadas (known also as portuguese fried dough). Chula Vista

GuilTea Cravings

In Clairemont Mesa, look past GuilTea Cravings’ colorful assortment of macarons and you’ll find ube options like ube chocolate chip cookies, ube ice cream, ube macarons, and a crispy on the outside, velvety on the inside, Basque cheesecake that’s a must try. Clairemont Mesa

By Cole Novak

With a background crafting digital strategies and storytelling for brands, Cole loves reporting on local figures, businesses and nonprofits. A lifelong San Diegan, Cole is passionate about photography, surfing, music, cooking, the local art scene, and the great outdoors.

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA