You’re going to love this walking tour of Claremont, California, because it showcases some of the town’s most delicious treats. Known as the beautiful ‘City of Trees’ and home to the Claremont Colleges, Claremont is also a foodies’ paradise. And while there are many wonderful dining establishments that will serve up an amazing meal, this walking tour is heavenly because it’s all about the most delicious desserts and specialties in Claremont!
My husband and I had the opportunity to explore Claremont a few months ago. We came for the Village Venture Craft Faire, Friday Nights LIVE!, and to see all that Claremont has to offer. Be sure to see 10 Things to Love About Claremont if you want to know more. We enjoyed trying new restaurants for our dinners, but it was just plain fun to sample all the delectable treats. So we put together this walking tour for you so you can re-create our experience…
Start your walking tour at Crepes De Paris, 510 W. 1st Street
Crepe De Paris is the cutest French cafe, specializing in sweet and savory crepes, sandwiches and desserts. I say “cute” because I just loved the bistro chairs, the French scenes on the walls framed by shutters, and the extra touches that reminded me of Paris, like printed napkins and tablecloths lined with lace. I ordered the savory cheese crepe, which combined cream cheese, cheddar and Parmesan in a very satisfying and rich, but not too satiating cheesy dream! It doesn’t hurt that Crepe De Paris is in Claremont’s Packing House — a fun collection of restaurants and businesses in a restored fruit packing house from the 1920’s.
Next stop on the walking tour: à la minute, 532 W. 1st Street
Also in the Packing House, à la minute was packed with college students perched on industrial-styled stools enjoying a drink or an ice cream while taking advantage of free wi-fi and concentrating on their phones or laptops. But I felt welcome, too, as I asked the server what she suggested I order. “What’s your most popular item?”, I queried. “Definitely the Salted Caramel,” she said. For only $5, I received not only the most delicious salted caramel ice cream I’ve ever had, but also the chance to watch my order frozen in a fog of liquid nitrogen!
A la minute uses only farm fresh local ingredients and small batches of ice cream. When you try it, I guarantee you’ll be able to tell the difference!
On to Some Crust Bakery, 119 Yale Avenue
Some Crust Bakery has been Claremont’s bakery for over 100 years. Here, you can find hand-made cakes, pies, cupcakes, cookies, pastries, bread, sandwiches, and so much more! I couldn’t decide what I wanted to sample so I asked what was Some Crust Bakery’s most popular item. After the salesclerk answered, another customer chimed in to agree — I had to try the Mocha Chocolate Cookie. In fact, people drive from all over to buy their Mocha Chocolate Cookies. I have to tell you I don’t even like coffee, so I shy away from anything with the word mocha in it. But I was allowed to sample a tiny sliver of the cookie first — no hint of coffee at all! Oh my gosh! What an amazing cookie, more like a rich chocolate lava cake and a brownie combined in cookie form. And my husband and I devoured the rest of the cookie. I highly recommend it, too!
A little side trip to A-Kline Chocolatier, 210 W. 2nd Street
With just a little jog off of Yale Avenue, our next stop was A-Kline Chocolatier. Please…just let me show you what I sampled:
Doesn’t that just say about all you need to know? The chocolate turtles are A-Kline Chocolatier’s most popular item, but seriously I’m not sure how anyone decides what to get because it all looks so good! Oh, and just so you know, there’s no way I could have eaten all of this myself, especially after sampling other treats. You can be assured my husband helped me finish this off!
Next up: Bert & Rocky’s Cream Co., 242 Yale Avenue
Not thinking I could possibly eat any more but not wanting to miss out on one of Claremont’s most popular ice creameries, I just had to stop at Bert & Rocky’s! Besides, every time I passed it, there was always a line out the door. Doesn’t that convince you this is the place to be? And when I tell you the name of their most purchased flavor, you’re going to smile — “Debbie’s Double Devil Food Delight.” Yep, I see that smile on your face…you should have seen ours when we tried it. Rich and creamy and very chocolate-y!
They don’t just have ice cream — there are caramel apples, homemade goods, candy, and lots of things covered in chocolate: bananas, Rice Krispy bars, pretzels, marshmallows, and Oreos!
And our final stop: Cheese Cave, 325 Yale Avenue
Had I spotted the Cheese Cave first, I might have just stayed there all day. As it was, I was thrilled when I was able to get a cheese sampler “to go” because I wanted to be able to really enjoy it. I took it back to my hotel with me, and then completely savored it later. My sampler included three cheeses and some tidbits of things to pair with them: Lancashire (an English cow’s milk cheese from the county of Lancashire), Grazalema Payoyo (a Spanish cheese made from both sheep and goat’s milk), and Holey Cow (a baby Swiss cheese made in California).
And how was the cheese, you ask? Oh so wonderful! My favorite was the Holey Cow, with just a little touch of salt, sweetness, and nutty flavor. The Grazalema Payoyo was a new flavor for me — gloriously strong with a slight after-taste of blue cheese. It seemed to melt on my tongue! And the Lancashire was a little sharp and full and rich, and just a little crumbly. Sampling cheeses is a favorite family activity for us. We have a son who lived in France for two years, and he became quite the expert on European cheeses. I am still learning to recognize the different flavors and textures, but I love the process! I’d like to especially thank Milan for putting together a wonderful mix of cheeses for me to try! Oh, and by the way, Cheese Cave also has salami, chocolate, honey, olives, and crackers. It’s a full-service cut-to-order cheese shop.
That’s the end of my Claremont delicious walking tour. And here’s a map of the route we took:
Not quite the end of the walking tour
But I’m not just going to leave you hanging at this point. If you’re coming to Claremont to sample all their delectable treats, you might have time to do some more exploring. So I just want to point out two of my favorite stores for browsing, too.
- Barbara Cheatley’s at 215 Yale Avenue — touted as an antique shop, it was most certainly filled to the brim with the most wondrous collection of gifts and Christmas decorations I have ever seen. I love that Barbara’s business card says, “Ambulate and Pry About” because that’s what I did, for sure. I bought a beautiful Christmas ornament for my collection, and I even met Barbara Cheatley herself! Take a look at these photos and tell me what you think!
- Heirloom, at 175 N. Indian Hill Blvd. — this was a store that caught my attention from the get-go! I just had to wander in and browse because all the products were so fun and interesting. Lots of gifts, home decor, books, jewelry and clever little knick-knacks made me wish I could re-decorate one of my rooms just so I could buy everything on their shelves.
My husband and I loved getting to know Claremont. If you haven’t been, I suggest you go and do a little exploring of your own. You might just love it as much as the townsfolk do. But I know you’ll LOVE the food!