The Bagel Meister satisfies insistent stomachs by boasting fresh-baked bread, homemade cream cheeses, and filler-free meats throughout its modest menu. Exploring new avenues in bagel architecture, stacking buffs sling bagel breakfast sandwiches, including lox and egg with piquant trimmings ($4.09).
Chocolate Girl Cupcakes’ Nicole Turk—aka Chocolate Girl—pours a lifetime’s passion for baking and cooking into crafting gourmet cupcakes, cake pops, and baked goods. Without using any preservatives, she bakes her treats from scratch, in cupcake flavors such as Neapolitan, lemon, or chocolate, all topped with decadent icings. She also makes cake pops, brownies, and whoopee pies, as well as cocktail cupcakes—cupcakes infused with liquors.
Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice (around $1.89–$2.89) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, vanilla, key lime, and the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice). Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard (around $2.49–$3.59), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts a higher egg to yolk ratio, for a creamy texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati (around $3.45–$4.39), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.49–$3.99), fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.49–$3.49), and frozen-coffee Ritaccinos ($4.25), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.