Espresso 77 is a convivial independent coffeehouse, serving its loyal clientele strong, full-flavored espresso in a bright, art-friendly space. Brewing beans from popular Ithaca-based Gimme! Coffee, the café's baristas place warm mugs of deeply aromatic cappuccinos ($3.60) and espressos ($2) into caffeine-craving hands. Complement bold java with a delicately sweet scone ($3) from Alice's Tea Cup or a Mom's-not-watching breakfast of frozen custard ($3.75) from Timmy O's. If the cafe's menu of coffees and teas gives your stomach the energy to draft a formal request for nourishment, order up one of the eatery's light and filling wraps ($6.50). For sweltering, mercury-rising days, the New Orleans–style iced coffee ($2.75–$4.50) will cool off foreheads faster than stepping into Mr. Freeze's cryogenic suit.
When Palermo?s Bakery opened nearly three decades ago, it was a small storefront affair. Husband and wife team, Joanne and Jerry Bruno, baked small-scale confections at first, but over the years, Jerry became adventurous, constructing elaborate designer cakes that grew more intricate over the years. Twenty-five years later, thanks in part to those same creations, the small Italian bakery has grown into two custom cake shops with more than 50 staff members.
Still helmed by the Bruno family, Palermo's Bakery creates lavish wedding cakes bursting with fondant flowers, and specialty cakes sculpted into an array of improbable shapes, such as 3D champagne bottles. Though baked goods and pastries vary by location, they often include more than 20 flavors of cookies, Italian treats such as cannoli, and kosher desserts such as rugalech. All of the duo?s whimsical creations are available for pick-up or delivery.
An innovator in cupcake design, I Am Cupcakes offers nearly 50 varieties of the hand-held treats, from simple vanilla and chocolate creations to more intricate flavors, such a mr. good bar or peanut butter & jelly. Stop by I Am Cupcake?s Little Ferry storefront to pick up 1 or 12 carrot cake cupcakes, filled with bits of pineapple, and coconut or walk out with moist, cream-cheese topped red velvet cakes. You can also preorder a full size couture cake for birthday parties, weddings, or to bring to any event. I Am Cupcakes can even host cupcake-decorating parties on-location for special events.
Tom Carvel personified the American dream. Born in Greece in 1906 as Athanassios Karvelas, he began dishing out ice cream from a beat-up vending truck that, in 1934, suffered a flat tire in Hartsdale, New York. Two years later—in the same spot where his truck broke down and took up bird watching—Carvel opened his first roadside ice-cream stand, which the company stakes as the first retail ice-cream franchise to ever swirl onto the American marketplace. Today, Carvel’s creamy products serve up sweet reprieve from 500 stores and more than 8,000 supermarkets across the nation. Daily-made ice creams continue to headline a menu that now includes sundaes, shakes, and novelty items such as the Flying Saucer and the Banana Barge. Ice-cream cakes layered with chocolate crunchies have also evolved into one of Carvel’s calling cards, and, like piñatas that stock their wardrobes with an assortment of fake mustaches, are customizable to specific celebrations, including birthdays and holidays.
Tropical Juice Bar's menu places the emphasis on healthy, nonprocessed foods, but never at the expense of flavor. Dishes such the Cuban sandwich and the mofongo with garlicky plantains and fried pork skin showcase the essence of the tropics. Ditto on the empanadas, their crispy shells concealing pockets of chicken, beef, or cheese that bulge like the eyes of a surprised cartoon character. And then there are the drinks?juices and smoothies made from 100% freshly squeezed fruits, including passion fruit, tamarind, and orange.
the scent of cumin, curry, and chilies immediately meets the nose when the doors open to Clove Indian Cuisine. Chefs cook up the traditional dishes of cuisines throughout India, from lamb chops sprinkled with black cumin and nutmeg sizzling in the tandoori oven to biryanis tossed with a choice of meats. The menu features vegetarian-friendly options, as well as exotic meats that are used to create dishes such as savory fish tikka and spicy goat vindaloo. To cool down the spice of these dishes without mapping out the nearest fire hydrants, guests can snack on syrupy gulab jaman or glasses of mango lassi.