The story of Cakes by Happy Eatery begins with a family who appreciates good food. Today, sisters and second-generation owners Victoria and Emily Wu continue to uphold the bakery's classic baking traditions while giving it a modern twist. It's here where a team of dedicated bakers and pastry chefs spend their days whipping up a staggering selection of pastries, cakes, and desserts. The baking gurus excel at showcasing both sweet and savory flavors; Chinese-style roast pork buns, hand-held chicken pot pies, and chicken salad sandwiches with seasonal champagne grapes rank among their most popular items. The bakery is best known, however, for its European genoise sponge cake, a light, never-cloying style of cake exuding a blend of signature sweetness. While Cakes by Happy Eatery prides itself on making old-fashioned creations using only real butter and sugar, those with restrictive diets will also find vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free delights.
To ensure farm-fresh ingredients for their East African dishes, the culinary team at Manna Bistro & Bakery goes a step beyond shopping at local farmers’ markets. They cull their meat and produce straight from their affiliate farm, Mena Farm, where lambs and goats graze freely and fresh vegetables sprout from the gardens, rather than from test tubes in the goats’ labs.
In a similar DIY spirit, bakers knead their own bread at an on-site bakery, in styles ranging from round loaves to injera, the slightly sour flatbread served with most Ethiopian stews and sautéed meat dishes. Diners also have the chance to try Manna's take on a menu of Mediterranean dishes: salads tossed with feta cheese, veggie sandwiches slathered with hummus, and paninis with a choice of three different pestos. There's also a full breakfast menu, introducing sweet and savory traditional dishes of spiced bread, buttery crushed wheat, and eggs given a kick from jalapenos, tomatoes, and onion.
Jireh Bakery Cafe specializes in traditional and Korean-style pastries, and the staff bakes more than a hundred of them fresh every day. They press custom paninis between freshly baked multigrain bread and dish them out with potato chips, which are what Mr. Potato Head uses during poker. The café offers a panoply of beverage options to accompany the food, from horchata and Korean tea to coffee drinks and bubble tea. Chilly treats of bingsoo ice balls combine shredded ice with fruits, syrups, and red-bean or green-tea ice cream. Jireh's bakers and cake artists even create custom cakes on request. The cozy dining room promotes a calm experience and sends out waves of free WiFi.
The Ice Cream Race's all-ages 5K course celebrates sweetness by alternating jogs with sundae-themed obstacles such as a chocolate-syrup slide, cherry-juice pit and foam-like whipped cream. Individuals or families can compete, not just to finish the race, but also to take titles such as Wildest Costume or Muddiest Runner. Race organizers also provide free ice cream at the end for participants to devour or smear all over each others' ankles in celebration. In keeping with the race's athletic spirit, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Special Olympics of Northern Virginia.
Chocolate bliss and vanilla divine might not seem like the most exciting flavors on a menu filled with all manner of decadent treats, but Cupcake Heaven and Caf? might make you rethink that assumption. The chocolate cupcake delivers unexpected richness with Ghirardelli dark chocolate and homemade buttercream icing, and the vanilla brings the ruckus with Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean. Along with these gourmet classics, the shop bakes vanilla almond and red velvet cupcakes, and a rotating selection of specials, such as butterscotch, maple bacon, or raspberry cocoa kiss. Cafe guests can pair sweet treats?that branch out from cupcakes in the form of muffins, cookies, brownies, and more?with iced and hot coffee drinks. For those who prefer a savory treat, lunches like quiche or sandwiches are also served.
Cheesecake Heaven Richmond’s head chef Jane Eckels first began baking her cheesecakes for local restaurants in 1994, and has since enticed the palates of such prestigious clients as Samuel L. Jackson. Today, she hands out selections by the slice or whole cake from an ever-changing menu with flavors ranging from traditional New York–style cheesecake to innovative espresso chocolate chip or raspberry lemonade. To satisfy as many patrons as possible, the pastry chef can create gluten-free alternatives of her creations upon request. In addition to the main bakery location, two brick drive-thrus allow customers to enjoy cheesecake without leaving the comforts of their car or Pope-mobile.