Coffee & Treats in Freeport

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Set in a quaint, late 19th-century building in downtown Freeport, 9 East Coffee pays homage to its vintage surrounds by doing things the old-fashioned way. That means that, in addition to treating guests to rich Intelligentsia coffee, the staff here take the time and care to craft all their delicious pastries, pies, and savory wraps and sandwiches from scratch. That same attention to detail extends right down to the smoothies, which are blended using fresh, plump berries, and to the fresh soups and salads, for which the staff hand-chop vegetables each day. The atmosphere, meanwhile, is just as charming, complete with chalkboard menus, a sunny outdoor patio, and steam-powered Wi-Fi.

9 E Stephenson St.
Freeport,
IL
US

As early as age 11, Joanne Weeden was baking treats for her mother to bring to patients at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. Years later, Weeden is still at it, making fresh cookies, cupcakes, dessert bars, and breads at Boomerang Bakery (the name is a tribute to her Australian roots). In addition to offering these goodies, Boomerang is dedicated to making a positive impact on the community in large and small ways, whether that means donating to local charities or teaching customers useful magic tricks such as how to make a cupcake disappear.

1117 16th Ave
Monroe,
WI
US

When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.

The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.

7200 Harrison Ave., Unit PC3
Rockford,
IL
US

Synthesizing favorite American pastimes and biological necessities such as eating, drinking, and taking in live jazz music, Garrett’s boasts a large fare menu as well as an expansive selection of wine, beer, and spirits. Diners can savor starters such as dynamite shrimp ($8.99), or save them to blast their way into the car later in case they lose their keys. Entrees include the fresh veggie-jammed jambalaya ($16.99) and the grilled lemon-basil chicken breast ($16.99), whose subtle spices are equally effective at taming tongues and agitating eyeballs. Many draft beers are served in brewer-created glassware so that hops-chasers don’t have to sip from suds-dispensing helmets, and a few glasses of Mexican red Valmar Tempranillo ($10/glass; $39/bottle) work great for loosening up mouth muscles before meaty main events.

1631 N Bell School Rd
Rockford,
IL
US

Dandy Donuts Coffee Cafe and Lunch Spot offers a wide variety of options for Breakfast and Lunch. New England Coffees, Frozen Hot Chocolate and blended drinks, Fruit Smoothies, fresh oatmeal, Uncle Muggs Biscuits and Gravy-served all day! Fresh Bagels and Spreads. Boar's Head soups, fresh salads, Cheesecake Factory & more!

6551 E Riverside Blvd
Rockford,
IL
US

As a fun slideshow demonstrates, The Little Chocolatier’s staff hand makes an array of treats that fall into four categories: candy, chocolates, nuts, and popcorn. Their handmade chocolates pack white boxes with slabs of english toffee, nut clusters, and mint fluffs spread across trays of assorted chocolates. The team also fills bags with fresh-popped popcorn covered in caramel and cheddar.

1262 S Alpine Rd
Rockford,
IL
US