Cheesecake Heaven Richmond’s head chef Jane Eckels first began baking her cheesecakes for local restaurants in 1994, and has since enticed the palates of such prestigious clients as Samuel L. Jackson. Today, she hands out selections by the slice or whole cake from an ever-changing menu with flavors ranging from traditional New York–style cheesecake to innovative espresso chocolate chip or raspberry lemonade. To satisfy as many patrons as possible, the pastry chef can create gluten-free alternatives of her creations upon request. In addition to the main bakery location, two brick drive-thrus allow customers to enjoy cheesecake without leaving the comforts of their car or Pope-mobile.
A family-owned online business, Bakery 129 bakes small-batch goodies to order. Chew on the classics with an order of chocolate chip cookies studded with decadent dark-chocolate chunks, with the option of adding pecans, walnuts, or roasted peanuts for further toothsome embellishment. Snag the head baker's favorite cookie variety, chocolate chip peanut butter, a meeting of nutty and sweet minds brainstorming flavor breakthroughs with an advisory panel of peanut butter batter, chocolate nuggets, and roasted peanuts. Adventure-seeking palates will be pleased with a nibble of molasses cookies, a feather-light update of a sugary standby tickled with accents of applesauce, ground ginger, and cloves.
Nestled in a frosting-pink house, this cozy bakery whips up creative confections to satisfy the sweetest of teeth. Easily handheld cupcakes are made fresh from scratch daily, trading out artificial ingredients and preservatives for delectable gourmet flavors. Choose from Lola standbys such as coconut, Belgian milk chocolate, and Madagascar vanilla, or sample a seasonal specialty such as gingerbread topped with lemon cream-cheese frosting or orange creamsicle filled with authentic ice-cream truck calliope music. Lola's flavor lab creates new tastes all the time, so call ahead or stop by to organize your own bountiful batch.
The staple of any coffee shop is the coffee. But at Dolce's bistro, the caffeinated bean shares the spotlight with freshly made sushi. From nigiri to specialty rolls, each handmade dish is stuffed with a variety of seafood—including Atlantic smoked salon, spicy jumbo lump crab, and tempura whitefish—before being paired with pineapple, avocado, and honey wasabi sauce. The staff keeps busy at a dark wood counter, brewing java and splashing in single, double, and triple shots. They serve noncaffeinated drinks in the form of fruit-based smoothies, and their italian sodas are authentically Italian, like Ferraris, Roberto Benigni, and objects that lean.
Eating smart doesn't have to mean eating boring. That's the view at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, where fresh fruits and vegetables take a starring role in a healthful menu of smoothies, salads, and sandwiches. Blended-to-order beverages range from the lighter Sunny Day, with mango, orange, banana, and kiwi, to the decadent Peanut Butter Cup, combining chocolate and peanut butter with creamy banana. For something heartier, diners can dig into wasabi-dressed roast beef sandwiches on toasted ciabatta, flatbreads filled with honey ham and swiss, or breakfast egg wraps served all day to satisfy slightly late birds.
Since opening their first location in 1996, Robeks' associates and franchise owners across the country have been passionate about the benefits of healthier eating, and what they can do to help guests maintain active and healthy lifestyles, all through portable smoothies. Customers can step up to the counter and order from a menu of fresh, premium ingredients in unique, made-to-order combinations. Robeks Premium Fruit Smoothies aims to create innovative ways to reach the daily recommended 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables without compromising on flavor. Each Robeks Premium Fruit Smoothies location makes a concerted effort to support the neighborhood it resides in, through local organizations, such as Save the Children.