Cafe Bella’s powder-blue and hot-pink storefront and walk-up window seem to disagree with the ultra-classy decor of some other cafés, announcing the establishment, instead, as a café with fewer rules. This laid-back approach manifests itself in the form of both light and dark coffees that steam alongside a menu of scones, muffins, and cookies. Patrons can customize their americanos, lattes, and mochas with their choice of milk, including dairy, hemp, almond, or soy.
Each morning starting at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends, City Espresso's baristas begin brewing batches of premium coffee and concocting specialty drinks. They also serve up breakfast items, giving patrons fuel to power through the day.
The sunset-orange hues of a neon sign reflect off mirrored walls, the cursive letters spelling out “Crossroads Cafe.” Husband and wife Dana and Cindy Nielson stand beneath, presiding over the restaurant they opened more than two decades ago.
In the rippling-hot air rising from a griddle, cooks grill bacon to top hot dogs and flip quarter-pound beef patties before coating them with housemade thousand-island dressing. Blenders full of malt milk shakes and smoothies purr. Expanses of black-and-white-checkered counters and glittering red chairs give one the pleasant feeling of stepping back into the ‘50s without ever having to see John Wayne cry.
Cold Stone Creamery's ice cream, which is made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as irish cream and butter pecan. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola, black licorice, and pieces from magnetic poetry sets. Sufferers of premature brain freeze who are unable to invent a creamy concoction can try a Cold Stone Signature creation ($3–$5), such as the almond-studded and caramel-slathered Coffee Lovers Only or the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection with Reese's peanut-butter cups and fudge. The Frankencream you desire will be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Ice-cream creations are priced from $3.50 to $4.50, depending on size.
A cozy boutique bakery, New York Cupcakes whips up house-made cupcakes in small batches throughout the day, topping each petite treat with signature buttercream frosting made with fresh butter from a nearby dairy farm. Like a sugary maelstrom, a rotating array of daily flavors widens the eyes of toddlers and grownups alike, tempting tongues with such varieties as East Village vanilla latte, royal red velvet, and orange dreamsicle. Orders must be placed by noon at least 24 hours in advance, and an additional charge will apply for filled, specialty, seasonal, and breakfast cupcakes.
The vibrant lime walls at Peaks Frozen Yogurt Bar merely hint at the intense flavors hidden beneath the folds and swirls of its frozen treats. A set of 15–18 dispensers dishes out low-fat, non-fat, and tart frozen yogurt, as well as sorbet, in a variety of rotating flavors. That flavor roster includes Hawaiian pineapple, pomegranate raspberry tart, and sweet coconut. After making their selection, patrons of the sweeteries' three locations—including the newest location, in Issaquah Commons—peruse the toppings bar for any combination of the 40 available treats, such as M&Ms, fresh fruit, and pecan chunks.