Marvelous Muffins is a demure mom and pop shop on Point Loma at the northwest end of Shelter Island Drive, the causeway leading to Shelter Island. The independent bakery café is gray with white trim and has a nautical feel to the exterior. A U.S. flag flies atop a belvedere on the bakery’s rooftop, and the low urban building is surrounded by neatly trimmed shrubs, trees, and greenery. This affordable neighborhood favorite primarily has take-out orders, but there is also limited indoor seating. It’s a great place to get your morning coffee, breakfast sandwich, muffins, or pastries and at the same time promote local businesses.
Marvelous Muffins Ambiance
Marvelous Muffins ambiance is a cross between a local diner and Grandma’s kitchen. White tile flooring, white dropped ceiling, and tan walls with white and red trim define the space. When you walk in the door, you’ll see the register area where you place and pick up your order nestled between a bakery case and a cold case with juices and other drinks. On the other side of the cold case is counter seating for four with a simple wood counter and four wood counter stools with black cushiony seats. There are no less than eight kinds of coffee in thermal dispensers on the kitchen side of the counter. The remaining restaurant seating is more stools at a red counter facing a bank of windows along the exterior wall. Windows are trimmed with flowery ruffled valances, and country-themed tchotchkes adorn the wall between the windows. The space is simple and functional.
Marvelous Muffins Food
This bakery café serves delicious pastries, bagels, and muffins of every imaginable kind and is an excellent choice for a quick eat-in or take-out breakfast. Guests can choose from an array of bagel or croissant breakfast sandwiches made fresh to order. The ham and cheese croissant is a favorite because the ham is thick-sliced and the cheese is plentiful. Vegetarian diners speak highly of the spinach croissant. Doughnuts and pastries are made fresh daily and also get rave reviews. One of the most popular choices is the walnut cinnamon roll.
Marvelous Muffins is known for its signature huge muffin-top muffins above all else. There is such a variety of delectable muffins, it’s hard to pin down favorites. In-demand muffins that get repeat accolades are the chocolate chip, triple berry, almond poppy seed, and lemon cheesecake muffins. They are dense without being either soggy or crumbly and dry. Don’t forget to get a cup of one of the many coffees “on tap.” Plenty of teas, and cold drinks are also available.
Note: Come early for the best selection of muffins and pastries. Many favorites are snapped up by mid-morning.
Marvelous Muffins Details
The restaurant is open alarmingly early and closes after the lunch hour. It’s an excellent choice for a no-fuss breakfast. Expect a line, but it moves quickly, because it’s mostly take-out. It’s a casual diner-style café that is ADA accessible and a great place to bring kids. Don’t expect frills like a TV or Wi-Fi – not happening here. There is free street parking and an adjacent complimentary parking lot; the restaurant also offers bike parking. There is no delivery service, but they do cater. They also accept credit cards.
Marvelous Muffins Neighborhood
Point Loma is an affluent neighborhood that was once a Portuguese fishing village. When you think of all things nautical, Point Loma comes to mind. There are great opportunities for sport fishing on Shelter Island. You can charter boats for a few hours or a few days. There is good scuba diving in the kelp beds off Point Loma too. Sailors love both Shelter and Harbor Islands for the convenience of harboring their vessels. Shelter Island is a superyacht destination, because it is the only marina in San Diego bay that can accommodate them.
Shelter Island has many attractions including Shoreline Park with walking paths, a children’s playground, and notable artworks. Visitors should check out the Yokohama Friendship Bell – a gift from San Diego’s sister city, “The Girl in the Red Shoes” statue, Tunaman’s Memorial in honor of the former neighborhood fishermen, and Pearl of the Pacific – a bubbling fountain surrounded by a mosaic wall. Humphrey’s by the Bay is a summer concert venue with nationally known acts. If you stay on the island, Best Western Island Palms Hotel & Marina or Kona Kai Resort and Spa are two great options.
Liberty Station is a lively revitalized neighborhood within the neighborhood on the site of the former Naval Training Center northeast of the restaurant. Check out historic Decatur Road. Cabrillo National Monument, Old Point Loma Lighthouse, and Point Loma tide pools are on Point Loma’s southern tip. The Pacific side of the peninsula features the dramatic sandstone cliffs of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, excellent surfing, and a more laidback ambiance. San Diego International Airport and Downtown San Diego are also minutes away.