Cheap Thrills: Dessert

A pastry hunt that will cost you less than $10

Admit it: You will travel long distances, even by bus, for dessert. So will we. And for these three, we'd do it again.

Sybil Johnson, a Kokkari and Aqua alumna, opened Heartbaker a few weeks ago on a quiet block of Clement. Although Johnson's Nutella-filled bomboloni caught our attention, they were eclipsed by her oval brownies ($1.50), hollowed out in the center to contain a pool of salted caramel that melts over the top. They're rich, sticky and just right.

While there are boba drinks aplenty at Honeyberry, a small, San Jose-based franchise that recently opened Berkeley and San Francisco stores, you want to snag whichever roti bun ($2) have just come from the oven. The Malaysian version of a Japanese melonpan, it's an airy bun covered in a crumbly lattice of browned butter and sugar. Warning/promise: This bun evaporates on first bite.

You're going to have to chase down Jen Nguyen's Native Baking Co., which has been making intermittent guest appearances at Dandelion Chocolate, and regular ones at the Wednesday-afternoon Mission Bay Farmers' Market. Look for the former Spruce pastry chef's Nuts 'n' Chews Bar ($3.50), a mass of toasted walnuts, pecans and almonds bound with buttery caramel.