At Nubi Yogurt, customers decorate blends of self-serve frozen yogurt with seasonal fruit slices and slivers of chopped-up candy. Georgia-peach- or pineapple-flavored yogurt waits for a complimentary showering of kiwi slices and mocha beads, while café-latte yogurt perks up customers with caffeinating chunks of Snickers or Kit-Kat. Most of the shops’ smooth, sinful flavors are fat-free, and are made with live-cultured probiotics that can help improve digestion. Each Nubi location boasts a bright, contemporary atmosphere with wireless internet, satellite radio tunes, and sleek tables polished enough to admire your new fro-yo moustache in.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Locally situated and independently owned, Sips Coffee clears bleary eyes with an assortment of caffeinated concoctions and savory pastries. Shake off nightmares of coffee bean uprisings with a tea latte, which melds milk and sugar with a selection of aromatic teas that include passion fruit, earl grey, jasmine, and more ($3.35–$3.95). Try dousing steamy maws with an iced coffee ($2.35–$2.70) or creamy blended smoothie ($3.90–$4.35) before indulging in flaky pastries ($1.95–$2.15), fruit cups ($4.75), and sandwiches ($5.55). Sips Coffee's amicable gang of bean barons also trade their blends in bulk, which can double as paperweights when penning a voluminous coming-of-age tome about a free-spirited West Coast coffee bean ($5.75–$12). Sips Coffee hosts live, local music on weekends, and spirited patrons can utilize free WiFi to stream live videos of their own interpretive dances during each song.
Extreme Pita's sandwiches serve as a healthier, tastier alternative to fast-food options. Pitas are filled with meats, veggies, and flavorful sauces in inventive combinations. Chef-inspired sandwiches are inspired by various cuisines, with bourbon chipotle sauce giving grilled chicken a Big Easy kick and sweet chili sauce lending a Thai-inspired spin to the philly steak. Nutritional information for each sandwich is readily available on the website, and diners can eat with a clearer conscience and smaller carbon footprint knowing that Extreme Pita partakes in a number of green initiatives, such as recycling whenever possible and using tankless water heaters and Energy-Star-rated refrigerators.
Sandwiches rarely outlive football teams. But consider The Sub Station an exception, as it was founded in 1972, when UCR's football team was still charging the field and shipping its players off to the pros. Founded by Richard Munio right after he returned from service in Vietnam, the 40-year old eatery boasts a long, proud tradition as a collegiate staple that has endured alongside the shop's chairs, benches, and patio, which were all handcrafted by the owner and his carpenter dad, and remain in the eatery to this very day.
Tradition plays a big role in the menu as well, as the years have overseen generations of "subbers" stuffing bread with capicola, salami, and ham, lining the creations with slices of provolone cheese and topping them all off with their secret Italian-style sauce. Alongside hot and cold subs, vegetarian sandwiches pair marinated cucumbers with avocados and melted cheeses, and salads and soups hover at the periphery of the menu, keeping company with sides such as garlic cheese bread. As diners feast in the original furnishings or gather on the outdoor patio, they can toast bottled and tap beers to the eatery's storied history or ponder a new menu of coffee drinks, available with or without cheese.