A non-profit destination for fresh-brewed coffee and gourmet sandwiches, SkyTop Cafe is powered by Elevate Church, with all profits going toward community outreach programs. Each morning, the staff brews fresh batches of One Village Coffee served alongside a variety of breakfast options, including egg sandwiches and bagels. For the remainder of the day, they construct sandwiches lined with fresh ingredients such as zesty pesto, turkey, and sun-dried tomatoes. On Friday evenings, SkyTop stays open late to host open mic, karaoke, and live jazz.
As the bread-filled ovens in Our Place Bakery Café exude a gentle heat, the dining room’s similarly warm, cozy decor puts guests at ease. The cooks diligently craft the café’s menu of baked goods and familiar soul-food staples, such as vegan pastries, free-trade coffee, and golden-fried chicken. Following a spiral staircase, patrons descend into an underground cellar, where the lounge-like ambiance includes intimate lighting and cotton-candy-stuffed armchairs. Exposed brickwork encircles the space’s stool-lined bar and fully equipped sound stage, upon which musicians perform regularly throughout the week.
Deliteful Events may have the word "lite" in its name, but its menus have plenty of opportunity for indulgence. Bakers decorate and layer cakes for occasions ranging from kids' birthdays to weddings, each with a huge number of flavor, filling, and icing options. Those range from the homey—applesauce cake and cream-cheese frosting, for instance—to intriguing gourmet blends such as white-chocolate banana cake. Served in a cozy cafe and at catered events, the savory side of the menu holds juicy sandwiches, classic salads, and comfort cuisine such as meatloaf.
A cozy, red-brick neighborhood hotspot, Grant Park Coffeehouse serves up piping-hot or frosty iced cups of java alongside a packed menu of savory breakfast turnovers, healthy wraps, and freshly baked pastries. Stamp taste-bud passports with the piquant punch of European-inspired brews such as the espresso ($1.95–$2.25), or perform daring high dives into a frothy cappuccino ($2.75–$4.50). The homebrew ($1.50–$3.50) brims with classic flavors, and the pumpkin-spice latte ($3.50–$4.50) puts palates in mind of autumnal romps through raked leaves. Turn punches into lunch fare like a wizard during a boxing match with the three-cheese grilled-cheese sandwich ($4), welling with cheddar, swiss, and provolone, or keep lunch fare company with a chips and large drink combo for $2.
Sweet Tooth founder Chalandra "Missy" Strickland discovered her talent for baking and pastry decorating in 2004, just before her daughter's seventh birthday. With little money to spare, she baked a cake shaped like SpongeBob SquarePants, and the rest was history: her daughter's delight upon seeing it gave her the inspiration to continue perfecting her trade.
Sweet Tooth's selection of cupcake flavors runs the gamut from traditional red velvet to unconventional Bacon-licious, and several of each occupy a gleaming glass case at the café's entrance. During the day, sunlight illuminates the playful lime ceiling and cushy detached backboards of the café as patrons sip espresso drinks, trawl the Internet, and nibble on sandwiches or pastries. As night falls, the café slips on a more glamorous feel as Sweet Tooth's plated dessert menu becomes available. Adult taste buds delight in alcohol-infused cupcakes ¬and the more complex flavors of the Turtle Delight, a caramel-and-pecan brownie supporting a generous scoop of ice cream.
Sweet Tooth's baking sages also educate blossoming bakers on decorating and desserts. Dessert-tasting sessions delight with 8–10 bite-size confections, and decorating lessons help finesse frosting dexterity as students drape cake stand-ins in fondant and adorn cupcakes with tiny flowers or weekend to-do lists.