Located just 90 miles East of San Diego County, is the idyllic and enchanted forest called Idyllwild. I had a vague recollection of it’s charm and appeal when my folks had taken my brother and I on a back roads trip by dropping a two-ton Winnebago on a plot they purchased just outside of town. It was a short-lived adventure but roused my curiosity once again. A cafe sits at the center of town, and this day it was rimmed with big beautiful shiny chrome from various bikes and outside diners. Being a foodie, the hunt and peck started by searching for bakeries. I found the Idyllwild Tea Company and Bistro on Front Street and It was bustling with people, yet appeared to be a destination where time slows down and tea indulgences are encouraged. Upon entering, a gentleman was slowly strumming a guitar, and I was glazed over by the beautifully displayed baked goodies and shelves of exotic tea.
Heading up North Circle Drive towards Mt. Tahquitz and hiking trails, I stumbled upon a place called Honey Buns and Joe’s Bakery. A bit tricky to find, simply defined by a tall sign that proclaims “Bakery”. The menu and decor is just as homey, with a touch of Gma’s kitchen. The owner uses fresh, local produce to create the strawberry bread that lined the shelf but the “hot” sticky honey buns were the main attraction. A cup of Joe, a banana bread loaf and one lemon ricotta cookie were savored at the outdoor patio with a lovely view of the pine forest. Upon departing, the owner led me to the kitchen to share a beautifully designed birthday cake depicting a Idyllwild mountain scene.
Taking a nibble out of each bakery was a bite over the top, but hiking Tahquitz Peak would inspire (or perspire) me enough to get a few goodies to go from Nature’s Wisdom. They advertise as a Ovo, lacto and vegan-friendly, Juice bar and feature a full lunch menu with an organic market that served delicious baked goods & European apple streudel.Â
Idyllwild’s funnest and funkiest fine dining establishment, supporting the community of entrepreneur’s & worker-bees, hippies, old school jazz cats & classical musicians is Cafe Aroma. Boasting the best scones in town, they proudly support local farmers, wineries & brewers – such as Sage Mountain Farm, Bautista Creek Ranch, Inland Empire CSA, Middle Ridge Winery, Hart Family Winery, Thornton Winery & Green Flash Brewery.The day had ended with a beautiful hike and I looked forward to going back, next time on the quest for the most curious sandwich, aptly named: The Unofficial Directorsâ€™ Guild of Idyllwild Sandwich (a Steve Savage Production).
Natures Wisdom-Organic Juice Bar/ Bistro 54235 Ridgeview Drive, Idyllwild
Honey Bunns & Joe Bakery 54385 North Circle Drive, Idyllwild
Idyllwild Tea Company 54241 Ridge View Drive , Idyllwild
Cafe Aroma 54750 North Circle Drive, Idyllwild