It's not a rarity to hear "I feel like a kid in a candy store!" at Powell's Sweet Shoppe, an old-fashioned, nostalgic re-creation of candy stores, that's goal is to take customers for a walk down memory lane. Adults of all ages revert to a child-like state when presented with jars, shelves, and boxes of the candy of their childhood, including early 1900s classics such as Charleston Chews to later favorites such as mallo cups and candy necklaces. But just because the staff stocks nostalgic candies, it doesn't mean they ignore 21st-century concerns. They keep handy comprehensive lists of which candies are free from allergens and unwanted products. These lists include options free of high-fructose corn syrup, animal products, or gluten, which can help guests treat themselves without fear of dietary restrictions or accidentally starting a five-day candy bender.
Ice cream with a side of science. That's the specialty at Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt, where the treat-makers use -321-degree nitrogen to instantly freeze liquid into frosty scoops of ice cream or misshapen snowmen.
Each Sub Zero location specializes in completely customizable treats. Guests start by picking their premium and low fat ice cream base, custard, yogurt, non-dairy, or vegan?and then move onto flavors. Visitors choose from multiple flavors to blend together like hazelnut, Irish cream, and coffee, though specialty flavors rotate in each month as well, with mix-ins such as fresh fruit, nuts, and candy. Finally, Sub Zero makes your treat as soft or hard you please, thanks to its hand-freezing method using liquid nitrogen.
Helmed by Susan Vollmer, the culinary shop equips patrons with the goods and know-how with which to assemble delicious meals. Guests can peruse the cozy shop's selection of cookware, kitchen gadgets, and kitchen décor, picking out funky Venus flytrap–shaped tongs or kitchen mops that double as sous chefs. To learn how to put their new tools to work, gourmet cooking classes teach students to whip up meals such as Iranian mushroom patties in whole-wheat pitas or five-course brunch feasts. The classes run in 50-minute, 60-minute, or two-hour spurts, and are taught by local teachers, chefs, and cookbook authors.
Every morning, thousands of Californians wake up with a little help from Donut Star. While menu items vary slightly between locations, Star guests typically stock up on the shop's eponymous, glazed treats (available in raised yeast and cake varieties), along with bear claws, croissants, and maple bacon bars. Meanwhile, after dinner, many spots clasp big dollops of ice cream between two donut halves, creating a treat called the I Scream! Donut. Still, some fans favor the eateries' more savory items, which include bagels with lox or eggs, croissants with tuna salad, and chicken panini sandwiches.
The ovens at Donna B's Bakery serve 14 flavors of freshly baked cookies and vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet cupcakes with myriad of iced-top flavors. Dig into warm, gooey classic chocolate chip, chewy oatmeal raisin, and crumbly peanut butter cookies. Taste buds can also embark on a campout with the fudgy trail-mix cookie, packed with almonds, cashews, m&m's, and knot-tying manuals. Gourmet cupcakes coat tongues with the sweet flavors of the decadent peanut butter cup, maraschino cherry, or the chocolate cupcake topped with creamy frosting and dark chocolate drizzle.