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.
Every day at more than 770 locations, Jamba Juice proves that good nutrition can be both convenient and delicious. Since the beginning, the company has based its philosophy on choosing whole fruits and all-natural ingredients over artificial flavorings and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats, and it makes additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
Although Jamba Juice is serious about using wholesome ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate. Whole fruits and veggies can be blended into an extensive menu of great-tasting smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. But Jamba Juice?s commitment to keeping healthy eating simple informs its solid-food options, too. Customers can kick-start their morning with a steaming bowl of slow-cooked, steel-cut oatmeal, or stay energized throughout the day with six varieties of Energy Bowls: nutrient-rich blends of whole fruit, Greek yogurt or soymilk, and an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits.
In addition to nourishing and energizing the human body, Jamba Juice fights childhood obesity by sponsoring Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative encourages fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to getting kids active?which they can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
Though the name conjures images of rural American comfort food, there's a lot more than four-egg omelets and charbroiled steaks on the menu at Chef's Country Cafe. In fact, there's a discernible international vibe here, thanks to dishes such as the breakfast crepes and the European-inspired deli sandwiches. The one thing these dishes have in common? They're all crafted in-house and served with a smile. Don't leave before sampling a slice of fruit pie or tripping comically into a cream pie.
When Jim and Mary Ann Whitesell set out to open Hot Shots Coffeehouse & Frozen Yogurt, they had more than just coffee in mind. They wanted their cozy coffee joint to be a place where the community would gather to dig into frozen yogurt, smoothies, fresh-baked pastries, and hearty sandwiches, as well as to sip handcrafted espresso and artisanal tea and tisanes.
The coffeehouse stays open late for night owls and study-sessions. Hot Shots has even been known to host game nights, where locals gather to play chess, Scrabble, and Red Rover.
Drawing inspiration from local craft beers, the bakers at Brewcakes combine those same suds with local ingredients to handcraft alcohol-infused cupcakes with flavors that rotate monthly. Boozy creations include the stout beer base, whiskey, and Bailey’s frosting blend of the Irish Cake Bomb, as well as the chocolate-porter base and chipotle-chocolate frosting of the aptly named Chipotle Porter.
Beyond cupcakes, spirits find their way into other offerings—such as the Black & White Russian, an espresso-chocolate brownie topped with Kahlua-spiked chocolate cream, and the beer-braised beef that fills panini-style short-rib sliders at Brewcakes' café. In addition to alcohol-infused eats, café diners can also enjoy plenty of alcohol-free treats, such as veggie flatbreads, hot- and iced-coffee drinks, or water served in shot glasses.
Nearly 15 years ago, Lollicup Coffee & Tea founder Alan Yu helped introduce America to a drink popular in his native Taiwan: boba milk tea (a.k.a. bubble tea), named for the chewy tapioca balls known as boba that hang suspended in the beverage. These gummy treats make the drink something of a snack, too?people slurp them up using oversize straws, chewing them between sips or collecting them in their cheek pouches.
Lollicup's specialty is milk tea flavored with almond, jasmine, coconut, or other infusions, but boba can also be added to most of Lollicup's other colorful drinks, from grapefruit green tea to watermelon juice and signature soy pudding. There's food, too: shareable morsels of fried meats and veggies, or rice plates if a well-rounded meal is in order. Thanks to word of mouth and a spot on the Food Network's Unwrapped, Lollicup has expanded to dozens of locations across the country and has outposts opening soon in Europe and the Middle East.