Unicorn in a Cup

As you cruise along Interstate 5 with the view of the California coastline augmenting your drive, you can’t help but notice the beauty of your surroundings. This interstate highway will lead you almost directly to one of Del Mar’s newest colorful cafés, which promises a different kind of beauty.

Earlier this year, Crème & Sugar opened its second location here. The dessert parlor first made its name in Anaheim, California, earning the moniker The Home of the Unicorn. This sugary paradise features a burst of colors and flavors. Not long after Joanna Czikalla debuted it in 2016, her mission became to create a magical menu that would not only satisfy the Instagram crowd, but delight their taste buds.

Crème & Sugar’s treats give customers a nostalgia trip. “You feel like a kid when you come in. I think that’s part of the experience, getting a Unicorn Milkshake with candy and cotton candy on it. You feel like you’re eight again and you have fun,” says head baker Kassandra Mendieta.

Unicorn beverages are by far the most popular items on the menu. The Unicorn Milkshake consists of cotton candy and vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped crème, marshmallows, sprinkles, a horn, a charm bracelet, and a rainbow belt. For cooler days, the Unicorn Hot Chocolate features a white hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and sprinkles.

Other popular milkshake and hot chocolate flavors include the Cookie Monster, which features chocolate chip cookie dough, Oreo cookie crumbles, and chocolate chip cookies; Mermaid, which has a piña colada flavor, pink rock candy, sour belt, cotton candy, and a mermaid tail; and, Pink Elephant, which has a shortbread flavor, marshmallows, circus animal cookies, and nonpareils.

“We’ve had people come in from places like New Zealand and other places across the world just for this. They’ve planned their trips around us,” says Kassandra.

Crème & Sugar has been known to have lines wrapping around the block for its treats, which also include a wide variety of colorful cakes and ice cream flavors. In 2018, a key factor is presentation. If a business can make those items taste great as well, then it has truly made magic.