Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek and frequented by celebrity parents from Gwen Stefani to Halle Berry, Giggles N' Hugs caters to kids' boundless energy with a spacious play area alongside a restaurant that fuels little bellies with healthful fare. On the colorful play space's pirate ship, mini swashbucklers can climb rope ladders to the deck, ascend the crow's nest, or swoop down the slide to sword-fight with imaginary narwhals. Elsewhere, a lavender castle protects princesses from the wall mural's cartoon dragons, as rocking horses and a jungle gym distract the kingdom's squires. All the while, friendly staffers, certified in CPR and first aid, supervise and play with children, ensuring their safety and full engagement. The play center also sates hungry tummies of all ages with a catering menu, brimming with fresh fare and rich cupcakes. Party hosts and their guests can tuck forks into salads featuring everything from beets to barbecue chicken, or snag sandwiches and wraps such as the Asian-inspired citrus tuna wrap cradled in whole-wheat lavash. Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes fulfill everyone's sweet cravings, salvaging the party when the magician accidentally saws the cake in half.
The Little Yoga Studio is an intimate studio that aims to help its students achieve and maintain physical, mental, and emotional health through yoga. The certified instructors are passionate about yoga and want to share their belief that yoga can transform lives. Walking in, clients feel as if they’ve entered a sacred space—big windows let the sun stream in on honey-colored wood floors and wall paneling, and calming Buddha shrines add to the feeling of openness and serenity. Students can unwind in a Yoga for Deep Rest class, an alignment-focused class that works with breath, or get an intense workout in the challenging Power Vinyasa class, where emphasis on creative, gymnastic vinyasas build lean muscles and increase flexibility.
Hello Desserts treats guests to a smorgasbord of sweet treats from all over the world. Diners dig their spoons into a creamy flan or waffle-bowl ice-cream sundaes, sip azuki red-bean milk shakes, or sink their teeth into tiramisu and fresh puff pastries. Desserts pair perfectly with tropical-fruit smoothies and boba drinks, or ice-cold frappes and piping-hot espressos and lattes.
In 1947, owners Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs assembled a staff of 14 carhops to serve passing motorists at the first Mel's Drive-In. For the next two decades, customers partial to automobile dining flocked to the chain’s 11 California locations, eager to wash down grass-fed half-pound burgers with thick milk shakes. As fast-food outlets outpaced the drive-in's once-speedy service, its popularity declined, and it was eventually scheduled for demolition. The building got a temporary reprieve, however, when filmmaker George Lucas decided to use the drive-in's original location on Lombard Street as the colorful backdrop for his film American Graffiti. As bulldozers destroyed the last remnants of the historic drive-in, American Graffiti opened in theaters.
A decade later, though, Mel's son Steven reopened Mel's Drive-In in an attempt to carry on his father's dream. Steven restored the drive-in's multiple locations to mirror their original motif by stocking each with midcentury must-haves such as illuminated marquees, jukeboxes, and Elvis-themed WiFi passwords. The drive-in’s menu, meanwhile, balances period-appropriate fare, such as hot dogs and burgers, with healthy options, such as the Haven’s Famous vegetarian sandwich, two slices of nine-grain bread topped with avocado, sprouts, and tomatoes.
Pancake Circus has dished out hearty breakfasts and lunches in Sacramento for more than 50 years. Veggie benedicts, california omelets, fruit pancakes, belgian waffles, and other breakfast foods are served all day with sides such as linguiça, biscuits, and sweet rolls. At lunchtime, california club and hot meatloaf sandwiches join the Circus burger, topped with ham, bacon, a special sauce, and onion rings. A Big Top gumball machine completes the restaurant's circus theme as it plays carnival music and sends gumballs careening down into the eager hands and mouths positioned just below the exit slot.
Though music can be inspired by many things, it's not often that you hear of an artist finding their muse in a food truck. But according to SF Weekly, New York City DJ King Shameek once crafted a 77-minute mix tape inspired by his love for Borinquen Soul, a mobile Puerto Rican restaurant. The music can often be heard pouring from the truck, only slightly louder than the sound of the rumbling tummies anticipating orders of carne guisa (stewed beef with veggies) or empanadas stuffed with beef, chicken, or shrimp. The pasteles?Puerto Rican-style tamales filled with pork or chicken and wrapped in a plantain leaf?are particularly popular though, and are even available frozen?along with the truck's empanadas and alcapurrias?for those who want to stock up at home.