Gelato shops are surprisingly spare in San Diego, especially for a city where warm, sunny days are so common. The most favored frozen novelty is fro-yo, but if you're craving something cool and nothing short of gelato will do, make a trip to Pappalecco. The cases at all three locations (the most recent being their production facility in Midway, which now houses a retail cafe) are rife with delicious flavors, from stracciatella to cinnamon roll, and multiple variations on chocolate.
One combo I can enthusiastically vouch for is the peanut butter (which is really peanut butter and chocolate) and banana. The PB/chocolate is rich and creamy, with a subtle nutty flavor and a pinch of salt, while the banana is a touch icier, with an intense banana flavor that's bordering on tasting ever-so-slightly boozy.
Both flavors can stand on their own, but they're much tastier together. If you want a banana/chocolate hybrid cup, this is the way to go. Other chocolate options like the fondente (which tastes like frozen ganache) would overpower the banana, while the namesake Pappalecco flavor has a shot of almond extract that doesn't mesh quite as well. You can combine two flavors in the smallest size, a piccolo ($4.25), but I suggest the medio ($4.95). For only 50 cents more than the smallest size, you get a whole extra scoop.
Locations in Little Italy, Hillcrest, and Midway, full list on pappalecco.com
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax