Today, Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream may have seven full-service family-friendly restaurants, but when it started in 1901, it was only a single small ice cream and dairy store. Now guests can settle into breakfast, lunch, and dinner at each of the eateries –and still enjoy the ice cream that put them on the map. They have garnered particular attention for their signature dish, the Kitchen Sink Sundae, which features two whole bananas, six scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry), whipped cream, chocolate, and chopped almonds with a cherry topper. It’s served in a large dish shaped like a kitchen sink with a S-pipe as the handle. And when diners finish it, they receive a bumper sticker that reads, “I Ate a Colonial Kitchen Sink.”
While ice cream reigns supreme, their breakfasts have also earned praise. They were voted “Best Breakfast” by the Elgin Courier News, Aurora Beacon News, and Naperville Sun. Favorites among the regulars include the stuffed very berry French toast and cinnamon roll French toast. Come dinnertime, they continue serving comfort foods including fresh baked meatloaf and a mac and cheese bacon melt, as well as sandwiches such as the pot roast French dip. The restaurant has also earned plaudits for its popularity with its littlest diners, grabbing the "Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant" designation in the Kane County Chronicle Reader's Choice awards.
Featured on the Food Network for a revolutionary sandwich composed of two freshly baked cookies surrounding edible, raw cookie dough, Cookie Dough Creations spares no calorie in whipping up buttery, sugary batters. In 1994, founder and dough aficionado Jim Bewersdorf began selling raw-cookie-filled creations to local restaurants, winning them over with specialties such as the cookie-dough ice-cream pie, which, like a mouth guard crafted from spun sugar, subdues sweet teeth with one use. Eight distinct flavors of all-natural, egg- and preservative-free dough top sundaes, grace shakes, and participate in the gentrification of dilapidated gingerbread communities. Dough devourers can also explore 24 flavors of ice cream in the black-and-white-tiled, dine-in dough haven, which is located near the Riverwalk.
From Häagen-Dazs' Belgian dark chocolate and Madagascan vanilla beans to Popcorn Palace's U.S.-grade-AA butter and whole macadamia nuts, both companies use top-quality ingredients to craft their signature goodies. Popcorn Palace's 27 popcorn varieties fall into four flavor categories—Supreme, Sweet, Savory, and Simple—and are cooked in small batches to ensure that each kernel has a sense of its own self-worth. Supreme flavors, such as white-chocolate peanut butter, treat palates to a salty symphony of flavors, and Simple kernels take taste buds back to childhood cinema outings. Häagen-Dazs's numerous, diverse flavors of ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet fill cups, cones, and milk shakes with the sweet, frosty essence of coffee or mint chip.
The staff at Gelati serves frosty scoops of more than 70 flavors of creamy house-made gelato, each containing less fat than ice cream. The flavors rotate more frequently than a rotisserie chicken with a time-share vacation home, with 20 saccharine varieties available at a time, including lemon, pistachio, and chocolate. Warm cups of coffee and espresso complement cold treats and cakes amid salmon-colored walls adorned with framed scenic paintings.
There's a place in Naperville where the train station resides just down the street from a medieval castle, inhabited by a society of young pirates and princesses. In a nearby oasis, a council of giants confers over bitter potions and sweet nectars until, at their leisure, they scoop up their diminutive wards and carry them off to their home kingdoms. This haven, Cafe N Play, maintains the balance between playtime and parenthood with a vast tract filled with toys and play structures, all adjacent to a WiFi-equipped lounge serving fair-trade coffee, organic drinks, and foodstuffs friendly to any diet. Kids 6 and younger hone their imaginations on wooden trains and a town of intricately detailed buildings. The kid-friendly staff also hosts birthday parties, furnishing private rooms and necessities such as pizza, invites, and utensils.
Since its inception in 1999, Adagio Teas has filled the cups of its ever-growing customer base with farm-fresh gourmet teas harvested from across the globe. Seasoned sippers and new tea drinkers alike gather around the fragrant vapors of Adagio's expansive selection, which includes thousands of unique green, chai, and herbal teas. In addition to its stockpile of potables, Adagio Teas puts an innovative spin on tea ware with a varied collection of ceramic sets, Asian-inspired pots, and electric kettles that purr when plugged in or tickled gently with unused leaves. Adagio Teas' products fill the virtual shelves of its online store, and can also be found in many gourmet and health-food shops.