Pure Magic dazzles palates and bulbus oculi alike with flash-frozen ice cream created fresh in front of its customers. Cream cravers commence their culinary quest by selecting one of five base flavors, including vanilla and honey cinnamon. Next, dessert sculptors can draft either three or unlimited toss-ins, such as butterscotch, cookie dough, and coconut ($5/three, $6/unlimited). The ice cream is then flash frozen with the fifth major food group—liquid nitrogen—to create a smooth and creamy texture that tantalizes taste-happy tongues. Like epicurean compasses and pocket-size Ouija boards, Pure Magic's popular-combinations list helps steer choice-smothered consumers toward a smile-inducing synergy of flavors, sporting treat titles such as cinnamon and pecans, Almond Joy, and raspberry fudge.
On weekdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., cooks at Better Lunch stack sandwiches with sumptuous ingredients: chicken spread with cranberries and almonds, salami with carrots and Italian sauce, and signature egg and pickle salad are just a few examples. Diners can also opt for the soup of the day, or for a crisp salad with all the fixings.
Answering humanity's unwavering call for hearty, unprocessed desserts and ice cream, Simka’s boasts a menu full of timeless tongue delighters and inventive after-dinner sweets. The old-timey ice cream shop—which offers kosher varieties of its signature treat—scoops up 12 flavors of Blue Bunny ice cream ($2.58–$3.69), including vanilla, coffee, and rainbow sherbet flecked with gold from Simka's leprechaun confectioners. Singular sundaes such as the Kookie Cookie top two scoops of cookies 'n cream with a light Oreo dusting ($5.97) and blended fruit smoothies are packed with the energy needed to navigate treacherous commute or outrun bullies on horseback ($3.49).
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
Rita's chills tongues and satisfies cravings with a selection of frozen treats including italian ice, sundaes, and shakes. Gelati layers italian ice in a variety of fruity flavors on top of creamy frozen custard, whereas mistos blend the two so that they can be sipped through a straw. And for those looking for a healthy option, the shop serves sugar-free italian ice.