With a multifarious menu, heated outdoor patio, and nightly entertainment, Maxwells Brew provides a dynamic atmosphere for caffeine and comestible consumption. Patrons can moisten their dried jugulars with a splash of macchiato espresso ($1.80–$2.25) or pacify monstrous hunger pangs with the Mediterranean combo, featuring stuffed grape leaves, hummus, tabbouleh, and pita bread ($6.35). After noshing on nourishments, guests can create tongue hula hoops and engagement rings out of puffs of flavored hookah from a Turkish pipe ($11).
Flying Rhino floods taste sensors with a sumptuous selection of fresh-roasted coffees, handmade chocolates, and natural fruit-smoothie purees. Flown in from all over the world, Flying Rhino's specialty coffees feature arabica beans that are grown in high-elevation areas, imbuing them with deep flavor and fearlessness of roller coasters. Roasted in-house, the bounty of brews includes the popular, rich, and velvety Rockin’ Rhino blend ($9.25/8 oz.), the nutty, chocolatey, and citrusy organic Bobolink ($7.25/8 oz.), the sweet, northern Italian-style Jungle Jive ($9/8 oz.), and more. Caffeinated-beverage sippers enjoy specialty drinks such as lattes, espresso, and chai tea. Flying Rhino also harnesses a variety of smooth and creamy chocolates from Guittard, a company that works directly with cacao-bean farms and disgruntled Wonka employees, to create a selection of high-quality, preservative- and wax- free chocolate made with fresh cream from a local dairy. Sink teeth into the gooey goodness of handmade chocolate salted caramels ($5/fourpack) or mellow in the mouth-melting flavors of lush aztec truffles ($1.75), coated with a chocolaty shell, stuffed with a rich, dark chocolate ganache, and tinged with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ancho chili powder ($1.75 each). Sandwiched between a cocoon of dark, milk, or white chocolate, turtles are infused with toasted pecans nesting amid a sweet bed of viscous caramel ($2.50 each), and handmade english toffee ($9.95/half-pound) makes for a satisfyingly crunchy, chocolaty treat for any Easter or Boxing Day-in-July celebration.
Once fresh catches arrive to Cafe West, it's up to you how they're made. Diners can choose from 10 preparation styles for 6 seafood classics, from deep-frying mahi-mahi to stirring perch into scampi. Of course, the chefs whip up their own creations, too, such as mac and cheese made from cavatappi pasta, succulent scallops and shrimp, and house alfredo sauce.
Besides maritime options, Cafe West spotlights plenty of land-based proteins, including chargrilled 1-pound ribeyes and blackened chicken smothered in housemade pineapple salsa. Bartenders complement meals with an extensive selection of wine and brews both imported and local, some of which they showcase at frequent tasting events.
Circular mirrors back the bar, while the windowpanes in the casual dining room sport ocean-themed decorations, including diagrams explaining the differences between public and private schools of fish. Outdoor seating sets a relaxed mood during warm months.
Dragonfly Artisan Tea Cottage’s tearoom wouldn’t be out of place in a Victorian dollhouse: delicate fine china teapots, fresh flowers, and doilies dot lace-covered pink tablecloths. Vines creep up mint-green walls and heavy wooden columns, and sunlight pours through picture windows. This ultra-dainty tearoom is ideal for afternoons spent sipping black, green, and herbal teas and nibbling freshly baked scones and finger sandwiches. It also serves up heartier housemade dishes that often feature organic, local ingredients, including vegetarian black-bean burgers and gluten-free fig, spinach, and gorgonzola pizzas.
In addition to hosting daily tea parties, Dragonfly Artisan Tea Cottage serves as a welcoming community hub where acoustic musicians gather to serenade patrons. Local artists display jewelry and paintings in the front room and, on some evenings, even attract craftsters and lost kittens by teaching knitting classes on the front porch.
Transylvania, Romania, may be Dracula's hometown, but it's also the hometown of something much sweeter—chimney cakes. The cylindrical cakes, which were originally baked on hot coals by the area's Hungarian residents, look a little like ribbon wrapped around a spool. To make them, bakers roll special dough by hand into an even strip, and then wrap the dough around a wooden or steel cooking roll. Next, they coat the dough in sugar and bake it. The result is a fully, soft inside and a crispy outside that is quickly coated in sweet toppings while it's still hot.
They used to be made only for special occasions in Romania and Hungary, but they've become quite popular and are slowly spreading across the world. In 1985, when the Chimney Cake Café opened, they officially touched down in Ann Arbor.
In the decades since then, the cafe team has added flair to the traditional pastry. They've started stuffing savory, garlic-and-cheese-covered chimney cakes with fillings such as chicken and feta cheese, and they've improved upon hot coals as their cooking method, upgrading to modern ovens and lasers. They also specialize in chicken and lamb shawarma. However, they still create the popular sweet cakes coated with such toppings as Nutella, Oreos, and coconut.
Since 1996, City Coffeehouse has drawn in guests with the scents of freshly brewed arabica coffee, simmering specialty drinks, and ambrosial baked gourmet desserts. Organic and fair-trade beans percolate into cups of specialty Almond Joy lattes and seasonal Mudslide cappuccinos with irish cream after thorough grounding, and 13 types of hot chocolate warm esophagi. The café strives to emulate the communal atmosphere of the traditional coffeehouse, hosting local chess and book-club meetings—as well as confused Edinburgh intellectuals imported straight from the 18th century—amid the vibrant red walls and framed artwork that surround clusters of tables and cushy couches. A 5:30 a.m. opening time accommodates early risers, and free WiFi encourages Internet exploration. Special events and regular open-mic nights give visitors the chance to perform yodel covers of Prince hits before a respectful audience.