With its TV, Xbox games, and free WiFi, Twirl Boulder is as appealing any neighborhood hangout as any you might see on television—and that's not taking into account the 50-plus flavors of locally sourced frozen yogurt on rotation. Here, guests can pile them high with dozens of other toppings, including several gluten and dairy-free options. The store understands its youth appeal, creating the Purple Lounge, which hosts game, karaoke, and dance nights. The lounge is also available for get-togethers via free reservation. As visitors kick back on the wraparound couch or warm themselves before the fireplace, they munch on slices of Nick-N-Willy's pizza, sliders, chicken nuggets, and sip cold drinks. Twirl also caters to its adult clientele, offering presentation-friendly meeting areas with a TV to banish boring office meetings.
Bright canvases hang over the counter at Boulder Creek Market, behind which the crew crafts a menu of signature sandwiches. You can order traditional cuts of ham, turkey, and roast beef, but it's worth trying some of the specialty game meats, such as ostrich, buffalo, and wild boar. Fresh, locally baked bread is included whether you're having salad or a gourmet sandwich. And the dressings are all made in-house, from basil pesto to spicy chipotle mayonnaise and balsamic vinaigrette. Sandwiches and salads can be prepared vegan or vegetarian upon request.
Cold Stone's ice cream 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. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4 and $6, depending on size.
The steady rhythm of a chopping knife can be heard from behind the counters at Spooners Frozen Yogurt, where toppings are freshly prepared every day. Customers can decorate their cups of all-natural yogurt with morsels of fresh fruit, chunks of cookies, or nuts. Every flavor of the locally-sourced yogurt is made with no artificial dyes or preservatives.
The frozen-dessert crafters of the award-winning Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato whip up a dizzying array of up to 80 distinct flavors, which rotate every two weeks. Fill a small dish ($2.99) with Peanut Butter Blast, or reward a small child for aging with a large dish ($4.75) of birthday-cake ice cream. Unconventional choices including Jack Daniels chocolate chip and Junior Mint tantalize sweet teeth with decadence, and low-fat frozen-yogurt helpings such as a regular-size black raspberry or chai ($3.92) add guilt-reduced options. The shop also outputs gelato ($3.32–$5.30) in flavors such as cantaloupe or green tea white chocolate, as well As fruit-infused sorbets such as blueberry zinfandel, forest berry, and guava strawberry.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company’s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
This naturalistic approach is fully realized in Jamba Juice's selection of smoothies. Made with 100% fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt, the frosty delights range from all-fruit smoothies such as peach perfection and strawberry whirl to more indulgent creamy treats, including peanut butter moo'd, an enticing blend of peanut butter, bananas, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, and milk chocolate.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320–420 calories each.