I’ve been out to Cali a few times, and on one trip I was happened upon Baked Bear (in Pacific Beach), and was in LOOOOVE!! I returned to FL, and my friends told me I didn’t do “it” right, as I had not visited Diddy Riese (more of fan L.A. institution), which of course, made me intrigued. This trip, I was determined to try out both spots so I can save you time and $$ next time you’re in Cali and want an ice cream-based dessert.
What do they do?
They specialize in making custom ice cream sandwiches. When you walk in, you’ll see rows of cookie flavors and a tray of brownies, as well as tubs of ice cream – you mix and match and create the ice cream sandwich that you want.
Cookies/Brownies? Baked Bear
This is where I have to give mad props to Baked Bear. First off, they have more flavors to choose from, and they have more overall options. If you want just a warmed brownie or cookie in a skillet type bowl – they got you. If you want something completely different, they even have donuts!! Plus, in my opinion, their cookies taste better and fresher… though I do believe Diddy Riese has better brownies – they have a deeper-tasting chocolate. Baked Bear’s brownies taste more like what I make from the box on a Sunday night – but their cookies more than make up for it. If you don’t believe me – check out their Insta sites and even websites (you can also check out my photos below – I ordered the same item from both spots, so you can see the difference) – if you don’t think Baked Bear’s creations look more amazing, then we can’t be foodie friends, haha!!
Ice cream? Baked Bear
Again, Baked Bear has more flavors and toppings – you can make ridiculous creations if you want. I’m more of a purist – so I rock with the vanilla ice cream/brownie/cookie combo – but I’ve eaten with folks that go all in, and they tended to think Baked Bear’s homemade ice cream offered more choices.
Cost? Diddy Riese
Diddy Riese is slightly cheaper – I believe the sandwich I “made” there was $2 cheaper than the one at Baked Bear – but again, it’s worth the extra cost, imo. Plus, keeping it real, although I love Baked Bear’s cookies more, there is definitely a strong contingent of folks who are in love with Diddy’s Riese’s cookies – and at only 50 cents each – you can’t really go wrong…
Lines? Baked Bear
I’ve gone to both during the weekdays and weekends, and so far the lines have always been longer at Diddy Riese – I believe this is because Diddy Riese is considered more of a Cali institution (it has been around since 1983). Folks are always willing to wait in line for something that tastes good, and is well known. Also, in all fairness, the line does move relatively quickly, so don’t be put off by the line if your heart is set on Diddy Riese. But to me, I’d rather not have to wait in a longer line, esp as I believe the product is better at Baked Bear.
Also – just in case this matters to you, as I almost never have cash on me, Diddy Riese only takes cash (at least the location I tried). Baked Bear takes cash and credit cards – which I’m grateful for.
Ultimately, there’s room for both in our lives – who ever said “no thanks”, to having too many dessert spots? Not I! But if time is of the essence, and you can only choose one – go w/ Baked Bear. As usual…you’re welcome! hahaha!!