When they’re not blending imported leaves into 120 tea varieties, the tea gurus at Tea Time lead tasting classes that empower sippers to explore the 3,000-year-old beverage’s origins, aromas, and health benefits. The classes reflect Tea Time’s mission to make its tea room a welcoming community hub. In the shop’s “sniffing corner,” staff members help customers sift through 150 glass jars of tealeaves in search of their ideal blend. Free WiFi, bamboo tables, and a menu of French-style pastries and English-style sandwiches furnish tranquil afternoons, and a slew of teatime accessories line solid oak shelves.
At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That?s because the business?s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media?and even prank called by Justin Bieber?each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for up to 30 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company’s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets. Blended drinks dominate the menu, with options including fruit refreshers—made with naturally hydrating, electrolytic coconut water—and pre-boosted smoothies that can fill nutritional gaps with infusions of protein, immunity boosters, or antioxidants that neutralize accidentally swallowed pool water. The drink list also includes organic house-blend coffee and Mighty Leaf teas flavored with hibiscus flowers or peppermint. For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents a trio of california flatbreads, each packing only about 320–420 calories, which can be pleasantly capped off with cups of Whirl’ns frozen yogurt.
For more than two decades, Yogurt Stop has satiated sweet cravings with more than 15 alternating flavors of frozen yogurt to festoon with fresh fruit, candy, and nuts. The shop's menu encompasses a tongue-chilling collection of frosty fare, including sorbet, ice cream, smoothies, and frozen yogurt available in fat-free, low-fat, sugar-free, low-lactose, and soy varieties that bear the signature swirl and creamy texture of classic fro-yo. Friendly staffers, some of whom were loyal Yogurt Stop patrons as children, fill homemade waffle cones with custom confections and advise customers on fail-proof combinations of toppings or numbers to unlock any bank vault.
Voted Best Bakery in 2010 by Palo Alto Weekly, Douce France Cafe and Bakery caters to sweet teeth with palate-pleasing pastries made from scratch. The bakery upholds classic traditions by preparing patisseries derived from fresh ingredients and Alsatian recipes. The signature mini fruit tart boasts a lavish arrangement of succulent berries atop a bed of savory pie crust ($1.65), a chummy companion to a hot cup of bolstering brew ($1.25+). Impress dates and fellow diners with an impeccable French glottal stop when ordering a moist croissant ($1.85) or chocolate muffin ($2.50). Douce France offers a number of other delectable delights, including cakes, danishes, and scones.
Tablecloths, fine china, and finger sandwiches speak of refinement during high tea or tea parties at Lisa’s Tea Treasures Menlo Park. During afternoon tea services, guests sip a selection of 23 loose-leaf teas—such as strawberry darjeeling, lemon mint, and Winter Solstice—and nibble on scones and sandwiches inspired by the food of Europe’s culinary capitals. The menu lists bites from Greece, Italy, and France, including Chicken Parisian croissants, salmon mousse, and cucumber-mint cream cheese. A fresh scone with devonshire cream completes any tea party, and evoke thoughts of England other than your recurring dream of building a cricket pitch in your backyard. In addition to the fine fare, the tearoom itself oozes class with delicate trinkets on display, floral wallpaper, and small chandeliers gently lighting the space.