Mocha Magic has served up locally roasted coffee and homemade café fare in a sun-bathed modern space since 1994. Behind the café counter, sandwich makers layer sourdough and croissant with honey baked ham, smoked turkey, and fresh produce accompaniments. At breakfast, patrons can jumpstart the day with freshly baked scones and muffins, but are discouraged from jumpstarting a car by pouring espresso drinks directly into the gas tank.
The cooks at Velvet Grill & Creamery stay busy all day, whipping up breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes from scratch and churning out fresh batches of more than 20 ice-cream flavors throughout the day. For breakfast, the denver omelet throws diced ham, cheddar cheese, and bell peppers together with three eggs ($8.39), and Velvet's original pancakes, made with real oatmeal and buttermilk, soak up amber syrup ($4.99 for a full order). Smoked pork chops bask in a tangy apricot glaze alongside grilled vegetables ($11.99), and the mega grilled cheese ($7.39) combines four kinds of melted, gooey cheese between three slices of bread to form a sandwich hefty enough to knock over Mechagodzilla should he return from his semester abroad in Prague.
At Ice Cream Company, chilled cream serves as a stage for showcasing local and seasonal ingredients. Each day, the spotlight shines on more than 25 homemade flavors ranging from classic vanilla and chocolate to exotic varieties such as coconut, swiss-chip orange, and raspberry cheesecake. Scoops tango with mix-ins such as hot fudge and Heath bars to form 100 types of milkshakes, which can be thickened with malt powder or fresh bananas. In addition to building ice-cream masterpieces, visitors can construct sandwiches from a choice of breads, cheeses, meats, and more spreads than a 1,000-page magazine.
The modest size of Cheesecake Kitchen’s bakery stands at odds with its extensive menu of cheesecakes and cheesecake-flavored desserts, many of which include copious toppings of peanut butter, candy bars, and fruit. The 5-, 7-, and 10-inch cheesecakes nestle side-by-side within a display case that proudly exhibits more than 25 concoctions laced with flavors such as chocolate mocha and eggnog rum. In addition to traditional cake slices, the expert staff bakes their signature cheesecake tastes into brownies, cannoli, cupcakes, and elegant pillbox hats. Cheesecake Kitchen’s freezable cakes can also be slathered in customized decorations to celebrate a birthday party.
Family owned and operated, Oodles Frozen Yogurt offers a variety of yogurts ($0.39/oz.) made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and packed with a plethora of nutritional niceties. In addition to perennial palate-pleasers such as chocolate, vanilla, and original tart, internationally inspired flavorites include fancy french vanilla or Irish mint; Ty Cobb impersonators can slide tongue-first into the sweetly southern Georgia peach. Eight flavor options are available each week to satiate ever-evolving taste buds, in addition to no-sugar-added and nondairy sorbet alternatives. Top your twist with choices from more than 40 different toppings, or sidle up to the hot chocolate bar during Earth’s cooler months and order an espresso shot ($2) or a whipped-cream-covered cocoa beverage ($3 for small, $3.50 for tall).
TCBY (a.k.a. The Country's Best Yogurt) serves 98% fat-free yogurt, which contains benevolent bacterial cultures that assist the body with digestion and nutrient absorption. The menu touts silky soft serve in flavors such as cake batter and white chocolate mousse ($2.79–$3.99). Top your probiotic-packed treat with strawberries, gummy bears, candy bar bits, or a host of other toppings ($0.49–$0.89). TCBY's Beriyo smoothies—potent potions such as Strawberry Bananza and Berrylicious—contain frozen yogurt blended with bushels of fresh fruit ($3.99–$4.99).
When couple Jenna Harvey and Ryan Woods graduated from UC Davis, they decided to create their own jobs. "It's not in our character to throw up our hands and say, 'Well, we tried,'" Harvey says as she remembers doggedly planning a 400-square-foot shaved-ice shack with Woods and their friend Steffen Haro. Their dream quickly evolved into a shop nearly three times as large, complete with an espresso bar, a kettle-corn popper, and a drive-up window. Named Pura Vida for the Costa Rican phrase that captivated Harvey during a charitable trip in 2007—"Locals say to them it means 'live pure,' and we like that"—the affable staff douses fluffy curls of ice with sweet fruits, puckery sours, and an array of sugar-free flavors accented with ice cream or marshmallows. Hot and iced coffees, which Pura Vida hopes to someday source directly from Costa Rica, enliven palates in between bites of kettle corn, which Woods pops from whole-grain kernels. As soft music floats through the red-walled storefront, free WiFi ricochets across the hand-built bamboo counter and onto patio tables perched beneath a shady pitched awning.