If they can peel their eyes away from the bright-orange walls and lime-green café chairs, first-time visitors to fave will be struck by the unusual flavors of yogurt that pump from the shop’s self-serve machines. Red velvet, blueberry acai, pumpkin, and peppermint are just some of the menu’s not-so-common selections. Fresh fruits, nuts, and candies such as Oreos and peanut-butter cups pile atop the swirled peaks, transforming each into a healthful snack or decadent dessert.
Innovative flavors are not all that sets fave apart from other yogurt shops: the café also stuffs hot crepes with sweet and savory fillings such as chocolate, bananas, and barbecued chicken. Guests seated in the lounge can enjoy smoothies and steamy coffee drinks, while those on the patio outside can garnish their bubble teas with one of the massive overhead umbrellas.
While the décor at HD Beans and Bottles Café may not change when the lunch hour comes to a close, the atmosphere certainly does. That’s because as the baristas file out after a long day of pouring coffee and crafting light sandwiches, the bar staff begins preparing for nightly activities. The chatter that fills the shop revolves around a range of activities and themes, which range from karaoke and UFC fights to hip-hop on vinyl and half-price wine nights. During these events, bartenders grab glasses to pour in one of more than 100 different beers and wines or whisper in reviews of popular films. Chefs keep preparing meals throughout it all, creating croissant sandwiches, veggie burgers, and flatbread pizzas.
You won’t find stale cookies and days-old cakes within the glass display case at Sugar Darlin’s Sweets and Such. In fact, you won’t even find a display case. That’s because Sugar Darlin’s is an online sweet shop, helmed by loving couple and resident bakers Candece and Greg. The duo makes each of their decadent treats to order, from batches of red velvet whoopee pies to signature 3-D cakes customized for special events. They use an old family recipe to craft their decadent pie crust and pour more than a dozen fillings, such as pumpkin, cherry, and blueberry, inside. Crust-less desserts also reign supreme at the shop in the form of cakes and cheesecakes in nearly 30 different flavors, such as carrot cake, banana pudding, and sweet-potato streusel. Because they make everything by scratch and by themselves, Candece and Greg require at least 48 hours notice or a time machine for most orders.
Though LaDawn has loved baking with her mother and grandmother since childhood, Sweets By LaDawn began as an accident. After LaDawn told her coworker that her (nonexistant) recipe for Italian cream cake was better than a local restaurant's, she then quickly cobbled together a cake to bring in. Surprisingly, all of LaDawn's coworkers agreed her cake was in fact better than the restaurant's, and the orders for cakes started coming in. After relocating to Cincinnati from Baton Rouge following Hurricane Katrina, she now creates custom cakes that she sculpts into 3-D shapes, tops with printed images, or frosts to a decorative finish. She starts with a choice of cake batter in flavors such as lemon, red velvet, or spice cake. From there, she can pipe cakes with a swirl of cherry, Oreo, or chocolate bavarian cream fillings. She then frosts the entire thing in a pristine layer of cream cheese, buttercream, chocolate ganache, or molded fondant. Outside of cakes, she also crafts cookies and cupcakes. Plenty of parking is available near Sweets by LaDawn, and customers may sit in the shop's outdoor seating area to enjoy treats from inside.
Aromas of roasting pine nuts, pesto sauces, and baking lasagna fill the air as chefs at Ferrari’s Little Italy and Bakery craft traditional Italian fare according to the owners' family recipes. They sprinkle the signature insalata Ferrari with cranberries, pine nuts, and gorgonzola cheese and top the pollo basilico's roasted chicken with rigatoni, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto cream sauce. Additionally, a pair of bakers slides around 150 loaves of fresh focaccia bread into their ovens each day, yielding slices topped with three colors of bell peppers, spinach, and gorgonzola cheese. These appear in glass bakery cases alongside pastries and artisan gelato from local dessert makers Madisono’s Gelato and Sorbet.
Inside Ferrari's multiple dining areas, gas fireplaces flicker among exposed-brick walls, and family photos help create a homey feel. On the outdoor patio, fragrant wisteria vines climb a wooden pergola, and a picturesque fountain quietly babbles recommendations from the wine list.
In 1589, Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria established a Hofbräuhaus, or "court brew house." Made in compliance with the Bavarian Beer Purity Law, pours for Wilhelm and his court were made with only three ingredients: hops, malt, and water. More than 400 years later, the brewers at the American Hofbräuhaus still abide by those rules and recipes. Wilhelm's ghost and a living German brewmaster supervise Hofbräuhaus' in-house production, which yields four year-round varieties, as well as seasonal specials such as an Oktoberfest beer.
To complement those classic quaffs, cooks craft traditional German cuisine from local and imported ingredients. House-made bier cheese smothers Bavarian-style nachos, bacon and mushroom sauce covers schnitzels, and red apple kraut pairs with sauerbraten's slow-braised beef. Diners can dig in and practice their best "Prost!" inside a traditional bier hall, where flat-screen TVs surround wooden communal tables and live accordion music frequently soars to the rafters. Hofbräuhaus also hosts guests inside a quieter dining room or on the bier garden, a shaded outdoor perch overlooking the Newport waterfront and Cincinnati skyline.