Selim Oztalay had been having sweet dreams of opening his own Italian gelato shop for many years. Growing up in Germany allowed him to not only be exposed to a variety of cultures, but also a variety of artisan gelato flavors that he missed when he moved to the United States. Hoping to expose American tongues to fine Italian flavors, he opened Gnam Gnam Gelato & Bistro. Named after the Italian saying for "delicious," Gnam Gnam makes visitors say just that with a rotating selection of more than 80 inventive gelato flavors made fresh and onsite daily. Servers heap scoops of the bistro’s namesake treat disguised as eggnog, tiramisu, and Nutella, and the spaghetti gelato reimagines its savory counterpart with vanilla gelato, strawberry syrup, white-chocolate shavings, and a longing for the old country. Those with larger hankerings can be sated with entrees from the full menu which features made-to-order artisan paninis, fresh salads, and combo meals.
Toshi's Café's chefs slice up rolls of fusion-style sushi to tuck into carryout dinners alongside edamame soybean starters. Diners can select any of the cafe's 26 rolls, including the Flying Dragon—a shrimp tempura and avocado roll capped with eel, spicy crab, and a drizzle of sweet soy sauce. To create the Katie's Delight roll, nimble fingers wrap up spicy crab, shrimp, and bacon with a cooling cream cheese and avocado combo, before chefs deep-fry each morsel and fashion it an edible party hat of sweet soy and scallions. A selection of vegetarian rolls are crammed with meatless savories, while the BLT nigiri roll adds avocado to the classic combination before being doused with spicy or wasabi mayo. Takeout dinners allow twosomes and families to dine at home or inside a library's reference section, while the party option—which should be ordered a day in advance—provides hosts and hostesses enough fare to feed a large group of friends or a single oil baron.
Tate Street Coffee grinds and brews only the noblest of beans, the fair-trade coffees of Larry's Beans, and serves up classic coffeehouse fare including sandwiches, baked treats, and specialty beverages. If you opt for the $5 deal, pop in any time and grab a steamy mug of fresh-brewed bean juice ($1.35) with a bagel and cream cheese ($2), one of the day's selected muffin flavors ($2), or a glass of locally brewed beer ($2.95). The 334, Tate Street's popular ciabatta sandwich piled with turkey, ham, pepper jack, and baby spinach with a sweet Vidalia onion spread, is served with salsa and chips ($4.95).
Café Roche is a locally owned and independently operated coffee shop devoted to delicious café fare and sustainable business practices. The coffee is organic, shade-grown, and direct trade whenever possible, and the ice cream is all-natural and sourced from grass-fed cows at Homeland Creamery in Julian. Wake up sweetly with an espresso-anchored crème brûlée cortado, glazed with raw sugar and caramelized with a blow torch ($2.99), rise simply with a large drip coffee ($2.04), or jolt awake briskly with an iced beverage. Ice cream ($2.99 for one scoop, $3.99 for three) comes in a variety of flavors, such as blueberry, butter pecan, and vanilla, and a java milkshake caffeinates a sweet tooth with a shot of espresso ($4.99–$5.99).
The staff at Ziggy's Juice Bar blends real-fruit smoothies in 10 refreshing flavors with optional health-bolstering add-ins. Enjoy the blueberry bombshell, savor the orangey zestiness of the crazy citrus, or quench thirsts with the monster-mango smoothie. Guests have the option of augmenting any beverage with healthy add-ins, such as multivitamins, protein, or fat burners. No matter what the flavor or add-in, Ziggy’s staff will seek to sate patrons with drinks as healthy as Carrot Top's trainer.