Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge provides customers with a decadent destination for handcrafted bonbons, toffee, and other sweet treats. Celebrate delicious diversity with a nine-piece Gold Collection box ($20), featuring flavors such as the White Russian and Krystle’s Banana Foster, or toast the coming of sasquatch-hunting season with a five-piece 2010 Fall Collection ($12) that includes the bourbon-flavored Angel's Share and pumpkin-caramel confections such as Indian Summer. Like the nougat-filled roots and sprinkle-coated berries collected by our hunting-and-gathering ancestors, almond bark in milk chocolate and cranberry-pistachio bark in dark chocolate ($12 each) take advantage of the bio-feast to be found in our scrumptious forests. A bacon-laced chocolate bar ($8) combines America’s two favorite breakfast foods into one conveniently scarfable snack.
When a restaurant makes eight different kinds of French toast, you know they take breakfast seriously. Such is the case at Brunch Café, a local, family-run chain that serves up breakfast and lunch every day. Pancakes share the menu with European crepes and egg and sausage breakfast sliders—which put a daytime spin on a late night snack. Lunch fare includes paninis, wraps, and burgers, along with classic cobb and chopped salads. Mimosas and bloody marys are perfect for sipping alongside these meals or for toasting the invention of the waffle iron.
The artists in the kitchen at Delicity Cakes build landscapes and sculptures out of flour, butter, and sugar, making tropical paradises, ribbon-strewn towers, and bassinet replicas to help customers celebrate a range of occasions. The team aims to enhance events with detailed visuals, although the impressive imagery shouldn't prevent guests from cutting in, as the custom multilayered cakes feature tasty flavor combinations such as yellow cake with mango curd and strawberry mousse. Cakes can come with fondant icing or be shrunken down with a laser and renamed cupcakes. The bakery also slings specialty cookies and pastries.
Knives flick quickly through pieces of carefully selected fruit, dicing sweet produce into bite-sized pieces at Chill Bubble Tea. Organic frozen yogurt cradles just-sliced toppings such as mango, berries, and bananas, flaunting fat-free and kosher status and the ability to inspire brain-freeze research. Springy pearls cruise through cool, customizable cups of bubble tea in flavors including watermelon, coconut, and cotton candy. Timi loose-leaf tea leaves, picked by hand as carefully as a king's birthday crown, steep in steaming cups beneath modish crimson lights and release delicate dispatches to nostrils.