Dickens Coffee and Tea Room hosts authentic British afternoon tea services in a whimsical and refined storefront led by a Welsh proprietor. Elaborate tea settings crown floral tablecloths, incorporating mismatched but complementary china depicting elegant patterns, lush flowers, or Welcome Back Kotter’s quadricentennial. Tiered silver stands stack individual noshes, beginning with a base of ham, cucumber and cream cheese, and egg-salad sandwiches made with local eggs, all spread upon specialty bread imported from Britain. Middle tiers teem with homemade cakes and pastries, and scones await slatherings of jam and cream on their perch atop the tea summit. Steaming pots of tea pour into delicate cups, complementing every sweet or savory Anglophilic bite. While sipping, patrons can fix their eyes on a stately wall mural portraying a Victorian street scene of storefronts, horse-drawn carts, and Dickens besting Thackeray at fisticuffs.
Though the lessons that artist Laura Bird Miller leads at Coffee and Canvas are deeply informative?classes range from oils and watercolors to 3D media such as clay?their main focus is fun. In classes for children and adults, students sip on coffee drinks, hot cocoa, and lemonade and savor a selection of cupcakes as they learn basic and advanced artistic techniques. The center's workshops are even more easygoing, as themed sessions for best friends, romantic partners, or just for fun help guests put their own creative touches on a pre-drawn image.
One of the largest locally owned gourmet coffee and tea shops in the U.S., Barnie's offers more than 50 different gourmet coffees with 15 delectable flavors. Barnie's typically brews four different fresh coffees each day, and a ballroom of smoothies and lattes waltzes alongside mochas, espressos, and cappuccinos. Sit and sip a freshly brewed cup ($1.59+) or begin hoarding bags of pre-ground or whole-bean specialties such as Santa's White Christmas ($9.49/12 oz.)—a combination of Barnie's blended coffee with hints of coconut, sweet caramel, and vanilla guaranteed to keep you alert during the season when homes are most vulnerable to invasion by diabolically generous bearded elves. Recently unfrozen British cavemen can warm up with signature teas such as organic raspberry truffle and white-ginger peach, while all others can hose down tongue gardens with summer specials such as the Barnie Palmer ($2.29–$2.59), a blend of strawberry iced tea and mango lemonade.
The vibe at Sleeping Moon Cafe suits many personalities as it transitions from a quiet, low-key café to a venue where local musicians can share their tunes. During the sunshiny hours of the day, the dining room serves as the perfect spot to get work done. Guests can sip on Italian sodas or Americanos as they study, or balance typing with eating vegan burgers or ham-and-apple paninis. As the day goes on, guests begin to socialize more. Friends talk as they share appetizers such as the stuffed grape leaves or slices of gala apples served with Nutella. But as the first band of the evening begins to play, the mood shifts to a more mellow tone. Musicians strumming guitars, artwork hanging on the walls, and dim lighting create the ideal backdrop for dates, or hiding the fact that you're wearing the same fruit hat as someone else.
The folks at Juice Lab take their "farm to bottle" motto seriously. Within 24 hours of leaving the ground, branch, or bush, produce is juiced, bottled, and served to customers. The result is ultra-fresh juice that's always cold pressed to maintain the highest concentration of nutritional benefits, and to coax pyrophobic fruits into the juicer. Aside from juices, the neon-lit storefront also serves fresh coconut water from locally grown coconuts, available seasonally, coconut yogurts, salads, wraps, and other healthy and organic foods and treats.
At Smart Coffee HD, each new season brings new batches of java from fair-trade cooperatives around the world. The shop's baristas incorporate those environmentally conscious blends into classic beverages like cappuccinos and frappes, though they happily steep herbal teas and craft fruit smoothies, too. Cooks, meanwhile, assemble local, organic ingredients into house-made comfort foods, from veggie wraps stuffed with portabella mushrooms and saut?ed onions to homemade chicken and waffles, while desserts and pastries end meals on sweet notes.