The batter jockeys at the Sweet Spot Cupcakery and Bake Shop bake up six classic and seven premium flavors of butter-cream-frosted Lilliputian cakes. The classic confections range from chocolate on chocolate to a 10 Carrot creation whose chopped pecans and vanilla butter cream rest atop fluffy cake. Classic vanilla bean, red velvet, and marble cake also preen beneath fascinators of vanilla butter cream. For more lavish licks, premium cupcakes tempt taste buds with chunky pistachio frosting slathered on pistachio cake or rich chocolate cake capped with crushed-Oreo butter cream. Premium rum-raisin cakelets slur songs through their rum-flavored frosting, and neapolitan marble cupcakes maintain dignified poise beneath strawberry butter cream.
Steeping each of its locations in colonial Boston-style interior design, Boston Coffeehouse serves a modern slew of specialty drinks, deli-fresh fare, and all-day breakfast items. For starters, munch on mango salsa salad, a leafy medley of mango salsa, dried cranberries, almonds, onions, and cucumbers slathered with mandarin ginger dressing ($5.89). Tender rotisserie chicken—served with baby arugula greens, red onions, and sun-dried tomato mayo on a pretzel bun—mollycoddles midday masticators ($6.50), and a french toast breakfast panini eases groggy taste buds awake after a long night or an afternoon nap with fresh egg, cheese, and ham sandwiched between slices of french toast ($3.50). Pair your choice of various Danish pastries, muffins, or croissants ($1.75) with a 12-ounce espresso ($1) or a specialty drink such as the Yankeedoodle, a mocha-based coffee concoction that features caramel, hazelnut, and macaroni feathers ($2.75/12-ounce), or the Nutty Irish Lady, which starts with espresso and expands into a whipped cream-topped comfort drink with flavors of cherry, Irish crème, and hazelnut ($2.75/12-ounce).
The team of fruit mixologists at Planet Smoothie has nothing to hide when it comes to making its cold creations. Whether blending a weight-loss smoothie or a protein shake, the team knows exactly what's going into each of its concoctions—which consist primarily of fresh fruit and yogurt. They’ll even happily recite the all-natural ingredients list at customers' behest or unprompted in the middle of the night as they try in vain for slumber. Customers can choose from the shop’s list of smoothie combinations or come up with their own custom mixes with ingredients such as mango and açaí or add-ins such as oatmeal or super greens.
This commitment to healthy, no-nonsense smoothies started at a single store in Atlanta in 1995 and has fueled Planet Smoothie's constant pursuit of healthier and tastier ingredients to add to its list, which includes the newer addition of a low-calorie sweetener made from the extracts of stevia, agave, and the tears of Strawberry Shortcake.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.