The Depot’s baristas percolate an array of organic beverages and serve up tasty treats in a friendly environment. A beverage menu replete with brewed delights sates caffeine cravings with coffeehouse mainstays such as espresso ($2.20+) and cappuccino ($3.25+), as well as specialties such as the Orange Blossom Depoccino, a fusion of orange, white chocolate, and espresso ($3.89+). Sippers who believe beans are for eating, counting, or bronzing can slake their thirsts with a freshly chocolized hot cocoa ($3.09+) or one of The Depot’s Minnesota blended loose-leaf teas ($1.89+). An assortment of locally produced café fare quiets bellicose bellies with offerings of various pastries ($1–$2.45), soups ($2.50 for a cup; $4 for a bowl), and mouthwatering Pumphouse Creamery ice cream ($3.50 for a single scoop; $5 for a double scoop), the envy of ice cows near and far.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smoothiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.
A family-owned-and-operated local business, JJ’s energetic rush of finely roasted coffee beans and the poised sophistication of its taste bud–massaging wines create optimum conditions for actually enjoying a reading of the Principia Mathematica. Even if you don't have time to fully unwind in front of the stone fireplace in JJ's charming, wood-drenched domain, swing through the drive-through on your flying fortress airship for a fresh-roasted coffee made from custom-created bean blends. Hot or iced espressos such as the white mocha ($2.95–$3.80) and the café JJ with vanilla, caramel, and milk ($3–$3.85) are a game-changing way to either start the day or jolt the senses out of a fluorescent light–induced flatline. No-frills traditionalists, on the other hand, can head straight for JJ’s dark-brewed coffee ($1.55–$1.90) and hot tea ($1.40–$1.80).
Following a fine-tuned recipe calling for the freshest ingredients, careful mixing, and imported baby's giggle, Sweet Retreat expertly whips up batches of joy-inducing indulgences. Cakes and cupcakes are baked daily to ensure maximum freshness, and then hand-slathered with homemade butter-cream frosting to ensure maximum deliciousness. With today's Groupon, your very own batch of gourmet treats will be made to order in one or more of the flavors of your choice from the daily selection (e.g. red velvet, peanut-butter cup, banana, coconut, and more). Pick up a s'mores-flavored cupcake to celebrate the summertime camping season, or pay homage to your favorite shade of chocolate with a chocolate-on-chocolate.
On an unassuming street just southwest of Minneapolis, someone discovered the secret to time travel. The formula: red stools, a checkered black-and-white floor, and a giant ice cream cone sculpture surrounded in neon lights that spell the name Edina Creamery. The shop transports its visitors back to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor circa the 1950's, long before you could download hot fudge sundaes from the internet. Inside, an ice cream case displays choices from more than 50 homemade flavors. Cups and waffle cones carry classic chocolate cookie dough, adventurous choices such as pumpkin pie, or signature creations like butter chocolate almond crunch. Alternatively, these flavors can turn into malts and milkshakes, which make sweet accompaniments to the shop's more modern menu of Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwiches. These homemade creations have garnered many fans, including glowing press from outlets such as the local CBS News.
Snuffy's Malt Shop is like stepping into the 1950s: there's a red-and-white candy stripe motif, and the chocolate malts get poured into tall glasses. The sweet scoops of nostalgia come courtesy of founder Mike Mueller. In the early eighties, he found himself pining for the evenings of his youth spent at drive-ins and diners, a malt in one hand and cheeseburger in the other. In 1983, he opened Snuffy's Malt Shop in tribute. Cooks here grill up cheeseburgers and hotdogs and serve them up alongside classic treats: floats, phosphates, sundaes and, of course, malts.
With 2013 marking their 30th anniversary, Snuffy's has added a few updated menu items. They now make their famed burgers with bison or veggie patties, and malts come in inventive flavors such as Snuffy Colada. These particular takes on the good old days are now found at four locations, spread evenly across Twin Cities neighborhoods like chili over cheese fries.