Mildred's Corner Cafe welcomes regulars and new customers alike into a world of quaint Americana, piping-hot pots of coffee, and hearty feasts of homestyle breakfast food. The café’s decor charms first-time visitors with its chrome-lined barstools, chessboard floor, and walls covered in photographs of Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and other 1940s glamour girls. A cozy seating arrangement invites guests to settle in at a table or share laughs with old buddies and newfound friends at the diner counter. After ordering from the menu of classic dishes and innovative specials, diners dig their forks into pumpkin-infused pancakes, huevos rancheros, or southwest eggs benedict, which seats poached eggs and grilled chorizo atop a bed of crispy home fries sauteed with cactus. The beverage menu boasts 25 different flavors of loose-leaf tea and 16-ounce mugs of fresh coffee.
After their meal, patrons can stroll next door to the Old Soul Gift Shop, which memorializes visits with gifts such as vintage knickknacks and kitchenware. And true to its old-fashioned ambiance, Mildred's only accepts payment in the form of cash or barbershop-quartet routines.
Firing up the griddles as early as 6 a.m., Le Petit Cafe’s chefs grill up smoked and cured bacon, flip chocolate flapjacks, and lightly brown three-egg omelets. They serve breakfast all day long till closing time at 2 p.m., but in between, lunchers can gnaw into specialty sandwiches such as roast beef with swiss cheese and russian dressing or warm up with a cup of chowder and a coffee.
Ocean House Surf Shop and Cafe isn't just a place you get the latest surfing gear. It's a place where people go to experience the ocean in new ways. Staff lead group and individual surfing lessons in which they cover the basics of paddling, balancing, and turning on rental boards from top brands such as Rip Curl and Walden. For those looking for something more unique, they also have a yoga instructor on staff who teaches classes atop standup paddleboards afloat at sea. To help fuel surfers, SUPers, and yogis, staff also serve up cafe fare such as scones, coffee, and paninis. These confer a healthy boost of energy to surfers without the risks of wearing battery packs in the ocean.
The friendly staff at Kane's has dedicated 56 years to forging circular sweets out of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, drawing the attention of reputable magazines such as Bon Appétit and Travel + Leisure. Sink straws into donuts filled with black-raspberry jelly, apples, and blueberries, or grab Os dipped in a honey glaze to make fingers sticky enough to snatch falling napkins or letters from local wind tunnels ($1.50 each, $12.50/dozen). Guests can also fill empty stomach space with donuts decked with powdered sugar, coconut, or cinnamon. A gourmet cup of Sumatran coffee unleashes its spicy, earthy aromas to raise tired eyelids, and freshly baked muffins alight upon palates with the velveteen touch of a kitten juggler wearing silk gloves ($2.25 each, $12.50/half dozen).
Those who craft edible masterpieces find what they need at The Cake World. Part shop, part school, it outfits bakers of all experience levels with the stuff and skills they need to create towering, edible sculptures from Satin Ice fondant and gumpaste using special tips, cutters, veiners, modeling tools, and more. Rows of edible embellishments crowd shelves, shiny cookie cutters dangle from hooks, and stacks of diverse cake molds invite bakers to expand their imaginations. In the spacious cake-making studio, hands-on classes cover specific decoration topics, special guest artists lead themed workshops, and kids learn how to decorate cupcakes and cakes during birthday parties.
Within each of its quaint, cozy eateries, Café Polonia's hearty comfort food provides a flavorful foray into transatlantic treats. Whether perusing the Boston menu or the larger Salem menu, traditional starters such as borsch ($6) and herring filets in oil ($7–$8) act as a delectable lead-in to heartier fare, such as the giant potato gypsy pancake stuffed with hungarian goulash and topped with sour cream and bragging rights ($16). Fulfill meat-laden dreams with a variety of juicy sausage dishes including the kielbasa and cabbage stew ($12–$15), or effortlessly colonize a mouth with the Polish plate, populated with hunter's stew, stuffed cabbage, grilled kielbasa, and fluffy pierogi ($16–$18).