Mojo Frozen Yogurt's decor plays to the colorful nature of its fruit toppings, from the paper lamps that hang above the main counter to the undulating waves of color that run along its back wall. Once you've gotten an eyeful, cups at the curved row of self-serve machines beg to be filled with frozen yogurt, stealling attention from attendants who hand-scoop ice cream sundaes and banana splits. The shop even creates custom ice cream cakes and cheesecakes that help send congratulations. There are goodies here for people with dietary restrictions too, as the shop fills out its menu with sugar-free frozen yogurts, dairy-free sorbets, and calorie-free empty cups.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers' market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex?s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. They also reach out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Cake Boss has left your television screen and turned into reality thanks to the Cake Boss Cafe. Fans of the TLC reality show will already be familiar with the work of master baker and renowned cake decorator Buddy Valastro. But at the Cake Boss Cafe, they can actually taste his confections instead of staring at them on the TV. Freshly baked cannolis, cookies, cupcakes, and tiramisu combine generations-old traditions with Buddy's signature style. Though the cafe is in the heart of Times Square, all of Buddy's pastries are delivered daily from Carlo's Bakery, his famous shop in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Located just one floor beneath his highly-acclaimed restaurant Per Se, Thomas Keller's casual French boulangerie-style café offers diners a taste of the back-to-back James Beard Award-winner's cuisine without the jaw-dropping price tag. Pastries that could have been plucked straight from Paris tempt from the glass display, among them pastel-hued macaroons, delicate madeleines, and savory ham and cheese croissants. There's heartier café fare as well, starting with country-style pate with cornichons or salmon rillettes, and progressing up to entrée-size portions of hanger steak with beurre rouge or gnocchi in brown butter. Another thing the bakery shares with its dearer upstairs cousin is the view out the front windows. Diners can sip a passionfruit mimosa while watching the traffic spin about Columbus Circle or ponder how many profiteroles it would take to span the distance from their table to nearby central park.