A stash of more than 65 teas from around the world complements Emma's elegant atmosphere and flavorful menu, which features sandwiches, soups, salads, and a variety of delectable desserts. Pair the chicken-salad sandwich with a side of fresh fruit ($8.75), or indulge your inner herbivore with the fruit salad—a citrusy mixture of mixed greens, mandarin oranges, strawberries, kiwis, and pecans, drizzled and dressed with an orange poppy-seed dressing ($8.95). For steeped drink savants interested in the quintessential afternoon teatime experience, the cozy teahouse features four tea party options ($12.50–$22.50 per person), available from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Gather any available friends or hire some unoccupied acquaintances and enjoy a leisurely afternoon of sipping and socializing over a medley of tea-completing noshables, including finger sandwiches, scrumptious scones, and a flowing chocolate fountain—all accompanied by a pot of the teahouse's leafy brew.
Gleaning her baking skills from her mother and grandmother, Gigi's Cupcakes' eponymous owner opened her first cupcake hub in 2008, drawing upon her entrepreneurial spirit and gift for crafting beautifully topped cupcakes. The franchised cupcakery now has 50 locations, each of which churns out 12 daily-rotating flavors that are made fresh every morning. The shop's selection of more than 40 flavors includes Canadian Maple, Southern Comfort, and Champagne—a bubbly-flavored base topped with an edible pearl. Patrons can pick out sweet treats from the daily selection or preorder them at least one day in advance online, by phone, or via singing telegram.
On any night of the week, customers at The Foyer might hear a standup comedy show, live music performance, or poetry slam. The café strives to stay plugged into the community by posting local artwork and hosting open-mic nights. This way, it encourages community members to showcase their musical or verbal gifts or a talent most people never discover in themselves: balancing on one leg for 45—maybe even 50—minutes. It’s also a casual place for friends to relax with a Kaffeeklatsch specialty coffee or chai tea and a slice of housemade cheesecake.
Yogurt Twists opens its frozen-yogurt vault and well-stocked toppings bar to visitors, who swirl and decorate their own custom healthy treats. A bank of eight machines churn 16 flavors of the sweet semi-solid, whose creamy peaks of white chocolate mousse or York Peppermint Patty contain active cultures that the National Yogurt Association asserts will boost the immune system and brain-freeze resistance. Drizzle a deep cup of rocky road with liquid marshmallow and chopped pecans, or bombard it with a hail of nuts, fresh-cut fruit, and candy-bar crumbles ($0.45/oz.). Sorbet flavors such as watermelon and key lime pie invite sampling from dairy-free diners and lactose-intolerant DJs. In addition to determining their portions, patrons may whittle down their treat's calorie profile with low-fat or nonfat yogurt and perk up palates with two rich, no-sugar-added flavors. Painted in sherbet orange and pastel aqua, the airy shop boasts shiny tables and bright-orange chairs for up to 40 sets of sweet teeth.
Founded by ice cream enthusiasts Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in 1945, Baskin-Robbins now serves tasty cold treats at more than 6,700 retail shops spread out over 50 countries. Customers glance through the glass at flavors of all color and texture, including standard bearers as well as the always-changing flavor of the month. Servers transform scoops into the classic banana split or a towering peanut-butter-cup sundae, decorated with hot fudge and Reese's peanut-butter sauce. Soft serve takes the form of cakes, parfaits, and 31 Below mix-in treats, while drinks such as strawberry-citrus Fruit Blast cools down mouths with a sweet yet icy embrace. Baskin-Robbins also offers ornate ice-cream cakes to celebrate an anniversary or successfully forging a college diploma.
In 1997, friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz set out to create a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth bundt cake. What began as an endeavor in their own home kitchens soon blossomed into a bustling business with bakeries in 13 states. Rich cocoa browns and soft pastels lend a nostalgic feel to each bakery, where every day lava-powered ovens warm up batter made from fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese. Flavors such as chocolate chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry remain constants on the menu, and a new flavor makes a guest appearance each month. Cakes come in several sizes, from the standard 8- or 10-inch bundt to the single-serving bundtlet and the bite-size bundtini, all frosted with a signature blend of cream cheese and butter.
Each Nothing Bundt Cakes location also houses its own stock of gifts. Patrons may come across the brightly hued handle of a confetti cake knife or opt to take home an old-fashioned tin, perfect for stowing coffee and imprisoning gingerbread men who have tried to run away. Contact the location of your choice for gift pricing and availability.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop’s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M’s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.