After a decade of researching and perfecting cookie recipes, Larry and Shelly Pearson opened Pacific Cookie Company in 1980. Their cookie operation has expanded since those early days, when they focused on just five flavors. They now whip together 13 flavors of cookies, each consisting of simple, quality ingredients, such as Guittard chocolate, pure vanilla extract, cane sugar, and unbleached flour. Cookies are dished out alongside scoops of locally-sourced favorite, Marianne's Ice Cream. If you can't make it to Pacific Cookie Company's Berkeley or Santa Cruz shops, don't fret. The company ships its cookies?along with gift baskets, cookie tins, and gift boxes?to customers around the solar system.
A massive selection of frosting, toppings, and gourmet cinnamon rolls await treat-seeking shoppers at Cinnaholic, where everything is 100% vegan and made with soy, beet sugar, and nonhydrogenated oils. The menu features specialty rolls?including fudge-brownie chunk, mocha almond, and rocky road? or customers can design their own. Starting with a freshly baked cinnamon roll, they can adorn it with frosting available in flavors such as lemon, orange, raspberry, or hazelnut. Then they can pick out toppings such as gingersnaps, jam, apples, or pecans before sampling their creations.
Teance bags a dizzying array of 65 tea varieties from countless countries on any given day, which means your three-tea flight will move across your tongue's chessboard with an eclectic gambit of flavor. Before you and your guest commit to specific blends, the veteran tea teachers at Teance will happily provide you with a breakdown of each varietal's origins, ingredients, benefits, and likelihood of it causing one's Beanie Baby collection to appreciate in value. A theoretical flight can start with a floral-scented sip of the year's first flush of Darjeeling before plunging into the smooth, creamy depths of wako matcha, which is made by stone-grinding green tea leaves into a fine powder, then whipping it into a thick, frothy, healthy soup. Cap your taste buds' heavenly ascent with the honey-like, chocolate-infused, monkey-picked tikuanyin medium roast, which only grows on the steep, misty slopes of Treasure Mountain. With so many white, green, oolong, red, black, premium, herbal, and loose-leaf teas, the possible combinations are as endless as a drive across Nebraska. And if you stop in on a weekend or lucky weekday, your tasting will also be paired with a complimentary, handmade, seasonal treat
A Time Out San Francisco Critics' choice, Imperial Tea Court provides leaf lovers with access to some of the world's most desirable teas as well as unrivaled expertise in the ways of steepery. Park your carcass in one of its highly regarded teahouses for a 45- to 60-minute primer on the world's most popular beverage and its steamy history, including its medicinal roots in ancient times as an alternative to Tommy John surgery. Pouring hot cups of tea and tepid earfuls of facts, the teahouses' resident sip savants will help guests understand tea's various categories and acquaint them with the traditional Chinese gaiwan, a covered teacup developed for use on turbulent dragon flights and birthday party bounce houses. The tasting includes two samples of your choice of teas, leaving you with a pleasant aftertaste as well as a fully brewed headpot of knowledge with which to douse tea-loving coworkers at the dream factory.
Lush makes its all-natural gelato in small batches from scratch—resulting in a delicious, mind-altering substance that is only found on the desert planet Arrakis—and prepares it with fresh, local (whenever possible), and seasonal fruits and ingredients. Although the lineup of flavors changes more often than a teenager's rationale for breaking curfew, past sweet-tooth-sweeteners have included Mexican chocolate, crème fraîche with strawberries, and pistachio, as well as inspired culinary concoctions such as rosemary and wildflower honey. More intoxicating options include tequila gelato and the stout Guinness gelato, in addition to 100% fruit sorbet flavors such as blood orange, mango, and lemon and olive oil. Depending on how many flavors you want, order up one scoop ($2.85), two scoops ($3.85), three scoops ($5), or one standard metric breakup's worth of gelato (also known as a pint, $8) to take home and eat alone in your closet. Lush can split a scoop between two different flavors for indecisive multiple personalities. Sampling is highly encouraged, though scratching and beat-juggling is not.
Zazou's simple but powerful selection of café fare includes savory eats and fresh sweets. Stumble out of an ear-buzzing alarm-clock stupor with an Italian dark-roast or an organic, fair-trade medium-roast coffee before diving into a classic Nutella, chocolate, and banana crêpe ($6) or a hearty vegetarian crêpe stuffed with roasted red pepper, tomato, pesto, and monterey jack ($6.95). The hot pressed sandwiches see that cuts of pastrami, ham, turkey, or grilled chicken are lovingly squished between ciabatta or baguette halves with grandmotherly intensity, after receiving a number of pinches on the cheek and savory fillings, such as roasted red pepper, pesto, and swiss cheese ($7.50¬–$7.75). The meal-worthy Lebanese salad woos ravenous leaf-loving appetites with organic mixed greens, fresh tomatoes, and kalamata olives topped with feta cheese and pomegranate dressing ($7.25). Zazou’s also features a fresh soup du jour, with past offerings that include North African lentil ($3.50 for cup, $5 for bowl).