Songs from the 1940s drift through the air inside Taste, a café whose hip, inviting interior is illuminated by lights salvaged from old factories and whose exterior is adorned with a steaming coffee cup statue. At a counter crafted from a repurposed bowling lane, baristas take orders for fragrant ciders and teas, steamy mochas, and dishes such as tiramisu french toast with mascarpone-espresso cream. Guests can also munch on gourmet sandwiches layered with smoked meats and cheeses or fresh tuna salad or order s'mores to prepare at their own tables.
Ever since Cindy Barrett opened Comfort Zone Cafe in 1997, she and her family have worked tirelessly to meet her vision of what a coffee house should be. From the fair-trade Arabica coffee to the free WiFi, everything is geared to make patrons feel welcome.
In the mornings, cooks prepare sandwiches and toast bagels for breakfast served all day. They then begin grilling paninis and simmering made-from-scratch soups as morning ages into afternoon. Guests can sip caf? drinks such as the Almond Joy latte or the Emerald Champagne?a medley of pineapple, celery, and fruit juice served over ice.
The welcoming interior of Two Sisters Cafe is dressed in cozy earth tones that invite leisurely eating. Diners can stop in for breakfast or lunch at an indoor table or scoot under the patio awning for alfresco eats. Choose from pancakes and omelets or breakfast specials, such as the mediterranean quiche with black olives and feta. At lunch, the kitchen whips up reubens, leafy salads, and paninis with Virginia baked ham.
Delish! Cooking School, whose classes were voted as some of the Best of WNY by Buffalo Spree, is known for its quality instruction and taste. Within a comfortable urban space, customers can pick up sweet selections such as fresh fudge, scones, bar cookies, and hand-dipped chocolate. Fresh-brewed espresso drinks accompanied by baked goods or housemade ice-cream sandwiches tempt tongues, while a range of cooking tools, sauces, and spices line shelves for at-home chefs to use in their own kitchens.
Experienced chefs lead cooking classes geared toward the home cook looking to hone skills without memorizing transcripts of the Food Network’s full broadcast. Students sip wine during classes such as The Exciting Foods of Thailand, Casual Italian Supper Party, or The New Vegetarian Cuisine.
For the founders of Kung Fu Tea, kung fu isn't just a martial art?it's a way of life, a drive to constantly better oneself and push limits. Though this might seem like a lofty inspiration for a tea company, it's a testament to the staff's passion for their craft and dedication to creating drinks based in authentic Taiwanese recipes. Perhaps that's why, since being founded in New York, the franchise has spread to more than 40 locations in North America alone?not to mention branches in Southeast Asia and on all 62 of Saturn's moons. At each location, fresh fruit and teas form the base of frozen and chilled drinks?from a red bean-herbal jelly milk tea to a taro slush to a frozen caramel macchiato.
Genga Ponnampalam wanted to make it easier for people to eat healthy food, so after a long stint as a computer programmer, he founded Go Veggies?a vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan outfit that culls local produce and morphs it into hearty dishes, some of which hail from his native Sri Lanka. At farmers markets, grocery stores, and a caf? space, he and his staff delight taste buds with healthy cuisine that?s good for the environment, like carpooling or bikepooling to work. They also positively impact the community by composting their food waste and recycling their packaging.