With a wire whisk and passion for confection, Bonnie and her daughters Rachelle and Michelle whip up more than 10 styles of plump specialty cupcakes ranging from french toast and cherry cola to gingerbread. Maple and vanilla whipped icings sweep effortlessly across cake tops before being drizzled with caramel, or capped with crispy crumbled bacon. The café's wafting aromas of freshly baked blueberry muffins are joined by brewing coffee, steaming espresso drinks, and slowly steeping teas. Patrons may also peruse Magic City's hand-painted crafts such as candles, notepads, and crocheted wire jewelry.
Jack and June Durbin, who opened the Magic Freeze in 1953, served up frosty treats to the community for years before retiring and selling off the business to their son, Dan. Today, the spot's ice cream, soft serve, and custard are as popular as ever, winning the top spot for the ice-cream shop category on Fox 8's 2013 Hot List. In addition to cups, cones, sundaes, cyclones, and shakes, patrons can order handmade ice-cream cakes for special occasions.
For more than 25 years, the master confectioners at Deliciously Different Fudge have been handcrafting gooey slabs of sweetness in more than 30 different varieties, each conjured from scratch in a traditional copper kettle. Calm cravings with flavorful favorites such as peanut butter, coconut, chocolate nut, or maple nut. Classicists will find rich memories in mouthfuls of classic chocolate fudge, and thrill-seeking tongues find blended bliss in taste combinations including strawberry cheesecake, recognized by its pink marbling; cin-a-bun, sweet-roll inspired and swirled with pecans; or chocolate mint madness, known for its creamy-cool taste and ownership of at least 16 copies of Catcher in the Rye.
Once a ramshackle ice-cream store with a loyal Akron following, today Zack's Fire and Ice serves barbecue along with its cones with help from new owner and former pastor Randy Stewart and his wife, Kathy. The Stewarts have lived in the Southwest and up and down the East Coast, so rather than adhere strictly to any one regional barbecue style, they synthesize their favorite elements from a number of traditions to create an eatery with the welcoming spirit of a backyard cookout. The kitchen slow smokes brisket, ribs, pork, and turkey breast and slathers them with sauces such as honey and apple bourbon. Frozen treats such as sorbet and frozen yogurt stay chilly at the ice-cream counter alongside hard-packed ice cream in flavors such as pumpkin pecan, oatmeal cookie, and Superman, designed to freeze enemies’ brains faster than a speeding bullet.
At each of its international locations, Fresh Healthy Café delivers—as its name implies—a fresh and healthy alternative to fast food. More than a dozen creations take form as wraps, panini, or salads, such as the Mediterranean packed with roasted chicken, olives, and feta cheese, or the Mexican Fiesta teeming with black beans, spicy mayo, and corn salsa. At the juice bar, a friendly staffer fills biodegradable cups with fresh-squeezed juices or blends whole fruit and non-fat yogurt into hearty smoothies. Beyond lunch, Fresh Healthy Café caters to the morning crowd with oatmeal bowls and parfaits layered with fruit and yogurt. They also do their part for the community by sponsoring school programs and picking up the gold coins that reckless people litter.
Beginning with nothing more than a modest storefront equipped with a set of custard machines built in 1910, Pav’s Creamery has anointed a bevy of cups and cones with sweet scoops throughout its more than 45-year history. The shop still churns out the old-timey confections with the same machines, and staffers carry on the tradition by scooping loads of flavors into brownie bowls, banana splits, and milk shakes, which travel up straws and human-size hummingbird beaks in a range of creative flavors. Its decadent creations have earned Pav's Creamery multiple awards, including Best Ice Cream 2011–2013, Akron Beacon Journal, and Best Ice Cream 2013, Akron Canton Hot List.