The Daily Grind’s cozy, earth-toned café houses a lengthy menu of fragrant beverages and a wall of packed bookshelves. Guests can chitchat on barstools or cuddle in cozy armchairs, fingers or ankles encircling freshly brewed café mochas ($2.75) or grasping wine stems supporting savory doses of merlot ($5; not included in today's deal). Nine flavors of hot chocolate ($2.85–$3.35) sate taste buds, including salted caramel and spicy hot chocolate. Gently used books for sale, scanning, or using to build impenetrable forts line the walls, inviting readers to dive into their lightly weathered pages, and ear drums can engage in the occasional live concert.
When their daughter, Kai, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Tracy and Patrick Watkins knew they needed to provide her with as much love and care as possible. They quit their jobs as engineers and launched a bakery named after their little girl and her favorite treats. In the kitchen at Kai’s Kookies and More, the couple ices custom sugar cookies by hand, transforming circles into edible basketballs and rectangles into festive American flags, all of which can be dipped into house-brewed coffee or bundled into baskets, boxes, or bouquets. Sweeter than a kiss from Cap’n Crunch, mangoes and strawberries fill several varieties of cupcakes and 3-inch cheesecakes.
In addition to packing their display case with handcrafted confections, Tracy and Patrick supply desserts to eight local restaurants and four Monkey Joe's bounce playgrounds. Visitors can also book Kai's for special events such as tea parties and international summits disguised as children's birthday bashes.
The idea of a sweet sixteen takes on a whole new meaning at YoFruitty, where the staff keeps a rotating selection of 16 flavors of frozen yogurt—such as watermelon, tiramisu, peanut butter, and pomegranate—on tap at all times. Customers grab a 32-ounce cup and swirl together any combination of these flavors before crowning them in toppings that range from fresh fruit and candy to cereal and globs of cookie dough. The staffers, who also mix fruit smoothies, weigh each creation to determine its price. YoFruitty’s blend of yogurt is replete with live and active cultures that help boost the immune and digestive systems so that they can advise taste buds to reject paper as sustenance.
Ben & Jerry's came from humble beginnings—in 1978, its eponymous founders served ice cream out of a renovated Burlington gas station, and delivered pints of their now-classic flavors to grocery stores out of the back of Ben's VW Squareback wagon. Today, its myriad shops dispense cups, cones, shakes, and smoothies brimming with a variety of quirky flavors, including Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, named for famous revolutionary Cherry Garcia. The duo is also famous for their social responsibility, which is evident in their community activism and in their use of fair-trade products, such as cage-free eggs and sustainable, growth-hormone-free dairy.
Patrons who pass beneath Cafe Monte French Bakery and Bistro's bold red awning seemingly zoom across the Atlantic into a Parisian bistro hung with French artwork and vintage photographs. Platters of mussels arrived drenched in white wine and butter, and pommes frites proudly share the spotlight with steak and french green beans. In the kitchen, chefs sizzle crêpes to a golden brown for breakfast, or fill them with savory lobster and crab for lunch and dinner. Patrons can dine alfresco on an outdoor patio or linger inside the eatery's canary-hued walls, where satisfied customers gather around a piano to sing odes to their favorite French pastry chefs.
To present a revolving ensemble of more than 100 gourmet, organic, loose-leaf varieties, Urbàna Teas & Tonics vigilantly combs through more than 3,000 teas worldwide. The Macaroon Oolong decadently complements vanilla and chocolate desserts with its zesty balance of coconut and floral flavors ($11.40 for 4 oz.). Spicy and sweet flavors blend like an amorous rendition of the “Macarena” with Ginger Pu-erh, a mild and medicinal herbal tea ($17.10 for 4 oz.). Individuals craving fruits, flowers, and earth tones can feel satiated with Urbàna's selection of black, green, white, chai, rooibos, and other teas. Tea cravers can use this Groupon online or at Urbàna Cityspa & Teabar’s New York-style lounge, where beverage-sippers can relax with soothing music and heal their wounds from losing the World Series of snowball fights in Antarctica.