When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop?then called Pete's Subway?proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number over 34,000 around the world?almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
Darina Restaurant's chefs specialize in Russian cuisine, as well as the artistry of plating it. They don't just serve lamb loin with vegetables and mashed potatoes?they arrange the vegetables into an elegant tower and carefully sculpt the mashed potatoes into the shape of a rose in bloom but without all the prickly potato thorns. Even pasta dishes such as the capellini with shrimp in white sauce feature elegantly placed ingredients that show off the dish's contrasting colors.
Over the past four decades, Seattle’s Best Coffee has built strong, ethical relationships with coffee farmers around the globe. Taste testers sample each coffee shipment a minimum of three times before putting it into rotation, which is an effective way to ensure quality flavor and to stay awake for five days straight without blinking. Other parts of their process are equally perfectionistic: once a blend joins the repertoire, it's classified into one of five levels of intensity—ranging from mild and light to dark and bold—so that customers can swiftly select the flavor profile they prefer. Before they're packaged for retail or ground and brewed in shops across the country, the beans take a long, slow tumble in a roaster whose heat is controlled via a carefully calibrated roasting curve. In store, the toasty base might be topped by hazelnut cream, caramel, or sprinkles and paired with quick-serve breakfast sandwiches and baked goods.
One minute, you're on the streets of Brooklyn, and the next, you're inside a Parisian café. One wall displays a massive painting of the Eiffel Tower, and the homey space is decked in francophile décor. But you soon realize that this isn't a standard French café—the menu is completely kosher, featuring distinctly Israeli salads and seafood dishes, and there isn't a mime in sight. This is Cafe Paris, which opened in 1991 as a gathering place for local families—Jewish and non-Jewish alike.
Cafe Paris' chef Shlomo Abramov, who honed his craft at the renowned Tadmor School in Israel, draws from the food culture of his native country and other regions around Europe and Asia to design his varied menus. His specialties span the globe—from raw Japanese sushi and sashimi to European-influenced spinach-stuffed sole to Asian grilled teriyaki salmon to Middle Eastern tuna shish kebabs. Rustic Italian pastas and healthy vegetarian souffles round out the worldly menu.
Each day, the staff at Bread Brothers set out chewy, freshly-baked bagels in 20 different flavors, ranging from classics such as cinnamon raisin to the fully-loaded pumpernickel-everything. And that's just the beginning?after choosing a doughy platform, customers can smear on one of more than 30 types of cream cheese, including jalapeno-bacon and red velvet. The shop also serves up sandwiches, burgers, soups, pastries, and coffee, as well as a salad bar filled with healthy options. All the while, free WiFi keeps guests up-to-date on emails, news, and mediocre cat memes.
Inside the transformative confines of Earth Wellness Cafe, spa services and healthy eats effortlessly dissipate stress. Therapists pair their Swedish and Thai massages with mud wraps and salt scrubs, while candlelit hot-tub dips effervesce with scents of lavender, eucalyptus, and patchouli. Unlike an encounter with a pin cushion, acupuncture is successful at using needles to relieve pain. In the caf?, tempeh sandwiches and kale smoothies treat the body's interior to a similar level of healthy decadence, while yoga and Pilates classes provide a challenge to physiques.