Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice (around $1.89–$2.89) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, vanilla, key lime, and the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice). Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard (around $2.49–$3.59), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts a higher egg to yolk ratio, for a creamy texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati (around $3.45–$4.39), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.49–$3.99), fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.49–$3.49), and frozen-coffee Ritaccinos ($4.25), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.
Craft a rope made of straws and climb the food pyramid with Planet Smoothie's menu as a trusty, yet tasty Sherpa. Thirst quenchers are grouped according to blasts, which range from the protein-rich workout blast to the vitamin-C-loaded immunity blast. For post-gym Planet Smoothie consumption, wrap your muscled eyebrows around a Big Bang, loaded with strawberries, bananas, vanilla, and your choice of protein or workout blast. If you catch a tickle in your throat, breeze through an anti-sick sampling of the Screamsicle, a pineapple-peach concoction with orange juice, yogurt, orange sherbet, and 230 percent of your daily vitamin C. To simultaneously support breast-cancer research and taste buds, sip on the Pink Promise smoothie, a blend high in antioxidants. Smoothies range in size from the after-jog-appropriate 22-ounce ($4.49) to the meal-substituting 44-ounce large ($6.55), and all drinks may be customized or supplemented upon request (try a Merlin's Mix—a protein-packed powder that turns your smoothie into a meal replacement, $2.99 additional). Planet Smoothie uses Pro-Yo, a frozen yogurt that is naturally fat free, low calorie, a friend to the digestive system, and sweetened with Stevia. The Vinings and Midtown locations also offer wheatgrass shots ($1.75–$3.25 for a 1- to 2-ounce shot).
Cold Stone's ice cream inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and the creamerie also offers sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $3.79 and $5.29, depending on size and location.
Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters roasts more than 20 premium coffees, benevolently sharing the secrets of a superb cup during the Coffee 101 tour. The two-hour trip fills heads with factoids on coffee's history, geographical spread, and how taste translates across areas. Eager eyeballs get a tour of the roastery, including a demo of how to craft flavorful at-home brews without having to bribe the coffee beans. The tour also includes several samples of Batdorf & Bronson's best blends, with possible tastes including the chocolaty Nicaragua Isabelia and the blueberry-hinted Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. Along with trivia tidbits, caffeinated Joes and Janes can walk out with a mug and a quarter-pound of their favorite blend.