Neighbourhood institution crafts sweet and savoury baked goods using family recipes, no preservatives, and a brick-hearth oven from 1918
50% Off at Blak's Bakery Limited
Blak's Bakery Limited
Michelle and Ben Davidson can't get enough of helping others. Though Michelle, a nurse, cares for the sick and Ben, a pastor, fosters spiritual healing, they wanted to bring even more joy and comfort to the community, especially students at the nearby University of Windsor. When Michelle was enrolled there, she worked as a barista at a local coffee shop. There, she learned to handcraft espresso drinks and pondered how to cultivate an atmosphere ripe for both studying and hanging out. After graduation, she and Ben decided to build a café around organic and fair-trade products that help farmers around the world make a living while helping local residents rise and shine, like a loaf of bread baked inside a hot disco ball. In addition to preparing brewed coffee, lattes, and loose-leaf teas, staffers serve sandwiches, soups, and baked goods that are made fresh each day.
Pastry pasha and eponymous epicurean Renee Pratt-Snively leads a team of chefs that craft gourmet cakes and cupcakes within the cute café confines of Renee's Fine Cakes. Baking bravado and attention to detail characterize the delicacies that hop out of Renee's oven, and the responsive staff caters to the dietary and culinary desires of customers. Dairy-free cupcakes get the lactose intolerant and indifferent into the fold, while sugar-shirking customers can get their dozen delights unencumbered by sucrose, fructose, glucose, or hippopotamusose. Soft pink walls, traditional pastry shop décor, and sweet-smelling stacks of fresh baked goods make Renee's a perfect place to munch on mini-masterpieces with friends or enjoy a quiet cappuccino.
Since 1918, Blak’s Bakery has prepared a large variety of sweet and savoury baked goods with care and ages-old know-how. Although the bakery is small in size, it is known for boxing approximately 24,000 paczki per year on Fat Tuesday—a feat that earned the attention of CBC News. In addition to paczki, the bakers create an array of goodies, such as mincemeat pies, 9-inch cakes, and breads, which are baked in the original 1918 Peterson brick-hearth oven instead of on the engine block of an overheated car.
Alongside her mother, Lucki's Cheesecakes' namesake owner crafts more than 50 decadent varieties of cheesecake as well as custom cakes. The celebrated mother-daughter team mixes and decorates cakes that are as eye-catching as they are tasty, with flavors ranging from New York–style or oreo cheesecake to more adventurous varieties such as sweet-potato-pie or pineapple-upside-down cheesecake. The bakers are happy to collaborate with clients on custom cakes that look and taste just how the client envisioned them, be it for a special occasion or for a clown in search of a specific flavor to take to the face. In addition to the many sweet recipes, the duo can also prepare sugar-free cakes for an additional fee. The cozy neighborhood spot's sugar-scented air provides an ideal spot for sampling a decadent slice, with dine-in seating available and free WiFi.
Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.
Byblos Cafe & Grill pays homage to its namesake – the city of Byblos, Lebanon –
with Lebanese dishes served beneath arched doorways that recall Lebanese architecture. Ornate chandeliers, blush-hued pillars, and walls painted with faux stone surround guests as they dine on the same Mediterranean fare at both of the eatery’s two locations. Skewers hold marinated chicken and lamb while the grill leaves its imprint. Falafel is served with a side of hummus, either wrapped in a pita or stuffed, like a love letter from a short-order cook, inside a burger bun. Classic Lebanese dishes, from meat shawarma to grape leaves, also arrive in the form of a toasted wrap.
TCBY (a.k.a. The Country's Best Yogurt) serves low-fat and fat-free yogurt that contains benevolent bacterial cultures that assist the body with digestion and nutrient absorption. All locations tout silky soft-serve in flavors such as golden vanilla and white-chocolate mousse ($1.79–$3.89). Top your probiotic-packed treat with strawberries, gummy bears, coconuts, or a host of other toppings (+$0.85 each). TCBY's Beriyo smoothies—potent potions such as Strawberry Bananza and Berrylicious—contain real-dairy frozen yogurt blended with bushels of fresh fruit ($4.39–$5.39). Celebrate successfully evading a baby raincloud with a waffle cone (additional $.60). Prices and selection vary from store to store.
Sanders was established in 1875 when Fred Sanders opened his first store in Downtown Detroit. The premium ingredients used to make Sanders famous cakes, ice cream, toppings, chocolates, and caramel continues today. Sanders products can be found in multiple retailers across Michigan and the United States, online, or in any
Sunflower Organic Cafe is committed to offering its customers nutritious and 100-percent organic meals. The cafe dishes out breakfast, lunch, and desserts completely free of hormones, pesticides, and additives, with many vegetarian and gluten-free options available as well. Seating roughly 22 people in-house, Sunflower Organic Cafe also offers a quaint, cozy atmosphere for enjoying organic cuisine.
An offshoot of the Innate Healing Arts Center, the Golden Gate Cafe nourishes the body with a menu of meat-free tempeh burgers, mushroom stir-fry dishes, soups, and fresh fruit smoothies. Guests feed their cells vital nutrients with salads made from kale, house-pickled beets, and lentils, or snack on handmade hummus and citrus-splashed guacamole. Far more than a mere restaurant, Golden Gate Vegetarian Cafe aims to foster a sense of community, with new friends getting to know each other over cups of organic tea and coffee, with live music in the background to provide a soundtrack for intense vegetable chewing.
In the kitchen of Half Time Cafe, you won't find a fryer, or even a freezer. That's because everything on the menu is made fresh and to-order, from the melty chicken quesadilla to a cool quinoa salad mixed with fresh veggies. Freshly brewed coffee is available all day, alongside espresso drinks such as americanos and lattes, as well as wraps and sandwiches lined with just-cracked eggs, tomato, crisp spinach, and feta cheese.
A southern Lebanese village was the first site of Hashems Nuts and Coffee Gallery, started by the current owners' grandfather—Abu Ali Sheik Theeb—in 1959. He roasted coffee and nuts fresh daily, blending spices and cooking falafel by hand that lured patrons from as far as Beirut. While the Dearborn stores are far removed from Lebanon, the Hashem family still mimics the original store's wares with daily roasted Turkish coffee, authentic recipes, and a wealth of Middle Eastern goods. Cooks can stock their pantries with Lebanese olive oil or pickled pepperoncini, and fill their spice racks with Spanish saffron and hand-mixed kibbeh spice blends. Dry-roasted or raw nuts mingle with dates and Turkish dried apricots to create a customizable trail mix. The staff also makes hookahs available for sale—like the art at museums if you bring your art to the museum and start selling it.
Since 1996, City Coffeehouse has drawn in guests with the scents of freshly brewed arabica coffee, simmering specialty drinks, and ambrosial baked gourmet desserts. Organic and fair-trade beans percolate into cups of specialty Almond Joy lattes and seasonal Mudslide cappuccinos with irish cream after thorough grounding, and 13 types of hot chocolate warm esophagi. The café strives to emulate the communal atmosphere of the traditional coffeehouse, hosting local chess and book-club meetings—as well as confused Edinburgh intellectuals imported straight from the 18th century—amid the vibrant red walls and framed artwork that surround clusters of tables and cushy couches. A 5:30 a.m. opening time accommodates early risers, and free WiFi encourages Internet exploration. Special events and regular open-mic nights give visitors the chance to perform yodel covers of Prince hits before a respectful audience.
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
Everybody’s dream sundae is different, which is why Chocolate Bar Cafe named its most customizable ice-cream treat The Fantasy. In its massive bowl, bananas, whipped cream, nuts, cherries, and six toppings of your choice smother six scoops of your favorite ice-cream flavors. With more than 30 ice-cream flavors—from burgundy cherry to maple walnut—the staff is confident that Chocolate Bar Cafe can meet your taste buds’ needs.
The shop was originally opened in 1921 by Louis Alinosi, whose recipes still grace the ice-cream cases. Though current owner Lisa Corbin keeps Alinosi’s traditions alive, she’s also expanded the café to incorporate a greater range of sweets. Each morning, bakers top gourmet cupcakes—whose 30 flavors include orange creamsicle, double chocolate, and boston cream—with housemade icing. Similar flavors and designs can be incorporated into custom cakes to celebrate birthdays or your puppy’s first steps. Boxed chocolates and truffles round out the café’s edibles, which can be complemented with an extensive selection of sodas, coffees, and hot chocolates.