Balboa Bars – The Tasty Confection of Balboa Island

balboa-bar1Most places you visit aren’t known for inventing even one famous frozen treat, much less two, but Balboa Island has that distinction. Local legend has it that Balboa Island is the birth place of both frozen bananas and the Balboa Bar. Certainly both delicious treats play a big part in life on Balboa Island.

The frozen banana is a banana on a stick, then frozen and dipped in chocolate and a variety of topping options. Popular choices are sprinkles, nuts and chocolate chips. Beachgoers to Balboa Island can purchase the frozen treat at any number of island establishments, including Dad’s Donuts, Tutti Frutti, and Suger ‘N Spice.

The Balboa Bar is a rectangle of vanilla ice cream on a stick, dipped in chocolate and rolled in delicious toppings. “My favorite topping is toffee bits,” tells local Cindy Cohen, “But my husband likes to combine toasted coconut and chocolate shavings.”

No one knows exactly who first served Balboa Bars on Balboa Island, but many believe it was Dad’s Donuts or Sugar ‘N Spice. A common island pastime is to taste test the Balboa Bars at each location and vote for your favorite one.


  • Tina Bonelli
    6 years ago

    Dad’s…half Butter Brickle, half Cinnamon Crunch….for the last 40 years!

  • Sarah Kincaid
    5 years ago

    Dad’s! I marvel at the MANY modern (inferior) knock-offs. If you’ve only had a freezer section ice cream bar, you truly don’t know what you’re missing.

  • Erin
    5 years ago

    Love Balboa Bars! Everything on one side, anything on the other! I heard the original place was Sugar N Spice – after all, that is pretty much all they have, B Bars and Frozen Bananas.

  • bermar
    4 years ago

    My memory is that the first frozen banana was next to the fun zone, just up from the ferry on the peninsula, not on the island.  It was next to the pie place.  This was in the 50’s.

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