Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery

I’ve heard good things about Specialty’s from several friends. There are multiple locations in California, with two in San Diego. My friends had recommended the one in La Jolla, but it’s only open during the week since it’s catered to the lunch work crowd.

So on a rare week day off that Mr. K and I had recently, we decided to check it out. It’s located in the financial buildings area of UTC, making it a little hard to find. It sharea a spot with Peet’s Coffee. There are several ways for you to order: in person talking to a store employee, in person on one of their tablets, or placing your order online.


We chose to place our order online. I loved that you can customize the salads and sandwiches, and with each customization, it shows the nutrition value and how it is changing with your additions and subtractions. Once we finalized our order, the time estimate was about 15 minutes.

When we arrived, our order was actually already on this pick up shelf. It was that easy. We never even had to speak or interact with an employee!

I heard rave reviews about the cookies, so I ordered one. While in the cafe, I took a peek at the baked goods on display but didn’t see the famed cookies.

The Chairman (Oven-roasted turkey breast and swiss with avocado, cucumber, sprouts, ranch, stone ground mustard, mayo, fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, italian vinaigrette and black pepper, served on an herb bread)

I loved the size of the sandwiches, which tasted fresh and packed with ingredients. I enjoyed the herb bread and all the fresh vegetables inside my sandwich.

Turkey Pesto (Oven-roasted turkey breast, muenster, cream cheese and basil pesto with fresh spinach, dill pickle, bell peppers and mayo on toasted ciabatta)

Mr. K opted for this warm sandwich. This was quite good too.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

After hearing so many rave reviews about the cookie, I was initially quite disappointed with the look. It wasn’t even shaped like a typical round cookie. To tell you the truth, after seeing how it looked, I put it back and forgot about it. I remember it two days later, and oh my goodness, the cookie was so good! Even two days later! It was still soft and fluffy and the inside was oozing with chocolate.

I could see that they used chocolate discs which ensures maximum chocolate coverage inside the cookie. Actually the recipe tasted very similar to The New York Times cookies I’m always raving about.

Overall, we enjoyed this place. There’s a good variety and the portions are very satisfying. While the sandwiches are not mind-blowingly good, they are fresh and well made. And I highly recommend adding a chocolate chip cookie to your order. This is a great option for a quick work day lunch for those who are in the area. There is another location in downtown San Diego as well, which I didn’t realize until after this visit.

Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery
Multiple Locations
4330 La Jolla Village Dr
San Diego, CA, 92122
Specialty's Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

13 comments on “Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery”

  1. __When we arrived, our order was actually already on this pick up shelf. It was that easy. We never even had to speak or interact with an employee! __
    ….is that a good thing? Human interaction is happening less and less. So you didn’t even have human interaction to pay ?
    SIGH. Kids today can’t even write in cursive, and now this.

    • You order online and pay online. I don’t think zero human interaction is always a good thing, but in this particularly instance, I think it is. When you are on a short lunch period, having your order ready and waiting is a good option, so you don’t have to waste precious minutes standing in line and waiting for the employee to take down orders, especially if you’ve already paid and your food is ready.

  2. Hey Kirbie – I’ll go to the downtown location when I’m on Jury Duty since it’s close. Usually for breakfast and coffee.

  3. I wasn’t too impressed by their sandwiches either, but the cookies are amazing! There even used to be a “find a freshly-baked cookie” feature on their site, so you can get a nice and warm cookie. Haha! My favorite is the white chocolate macadamia nut 🙂

    • I liked the sandwich sizes though they aren’t anything particularly special. Loved the cookie. I must go back and try the other flavors.

  4. My roommate works at one of the companies located next to Specialty’s, so her company has an account with them and will constantly place catering orders there. However, this means everyone at her office is sick of Specialty’s, so lucky for me, my roommate will bring leftovers home for us to eat. She brought home a cookie platter once, with all the different varieties, and I was in absolute cookie heaven. I agree with the poster above, the white chocolate macadamia nut was my favorite. I tried googling recipes for their cookies, but I couldn’t find any. Glad to know that they taste similar to the New York Times recipe, now I really must try it out!

  5. I sometimes get their day old cookies so I can buy more. They’re half price. 🙂

  6. I like the ordering idea – with your order waiting for you on the shelf. Perfect for a quick lunch pick up! Our office is moving next month so this will be a little closer for me to try out. The warm cookie indicator on the site is awesome! I just picked up some chocolate discs last night at Whole Foods so I can finally try to make the NY Times Cookie!

    • Yay, I hope you like the NY Times recipe! And yeah, I love the warm cookie indicator thing too. I need to go back and try out all the other cookie flavors.

  7. @ jinxi, @ mary : I looked here udner cookies https://www.specialtys.com/Products.aspx?MenuId=230 and I dont see a warm cookie indicator. Where is it ? thank Uou.

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