Residing in the historic building that was once the Taft Hotel, Richter's Café invites locals to revel in old-fashioned charm. Sate a thirsty throat by sipping a glass of high-end bourbon or scotch as you chat with friends, or sample some of Richter's 13 beers on draft, available in a half pints, pints, and signature 32-ounce half yards, which are served in 18-inch glasses. The food menu sports an array of crisp salads, tasty sandwiches, fresh-grilled burgers, and handcrafted soups to prevent unused teeth from retracting further into the mouth to write sad songs with tonsils.
Book Trader Café stacks more than 16,000 titles of gently used books on its shelves, combined with second-hand DVDs and CDs that transform the inventory into multimedia brain food. Literary works and academic books on art, architecture, and paper towels line the store, their spines inviting readers to sink into their vivid and educational worlds. A cult-fiction section assembles an apocrypha of fringe scribes, photography books tempt eyes with their luscious pages, and a children's-book section tempts kids to burrow into a fort of words. Most titles average $4.95, and staff carefully curates each one to ensure a quality recycled collection sans fraying bindings or torn pages. While Book Trader Café's inventory rotates frequently, the online store lists troves of its selections and lets bibliophiles reserve books by phone. With new old books in hand, patrons can stroll over to the café to enjoy them and further sate their appetites for letters by reading the menu.
Though Johnny Prete's dream of a gourmet deli full of go-go dancers didn't quite come to fruition, he reached his goal all the same. More than 30 years ago, Prete conjured up an idea: a place with great food that was both gourmet and un-intimidating. The result was his quaint deli, where daily specials are served alongside hot sandwiches, subs, burgers, and deli classics.
Jamba Juice blenders whirl together fresh fruit for healthy smoothies liberated from artificial flavors, preservatives, and high-fructose corn syrup. From the classic menu, the Aloha Pineapple thickens straws with pineapple sherbet and bananas or, with a different inflection, bananas and pineapple sherbet. All Fruit smoothies invite just 250 calories of Peach Perfection or Pomegranate Paradise into a fruit-exclusive clubhouse, while Pre-Boosted creations introduce natural supplements. The immune-boosting Açai Super-Antioxidant. Light smoothies bear fewer than one-third of the calories and half of the sugar of a Jamba classic, so mango-, orange-, and peach-infused sips of Mango Mantra cause less guilt than forgetting your mailman's birthday.
Darlene Delaney and Sue Bisesi are best friends and cousins who also describe themselves as the Lucy and Ethel of the cupcake industry. That's because they each bring a special skill set to SuzieCakes, the bakery they opened together after months of planning from opposite coasts. Darlene pilots the business side of the operation and researches new products, and Sue expertly mixes the batter and buttercream frosting for the shop’s signature cakes and cupcakes. Today, the team is united in their “neighborhood boutique cupcakery,” where customers can peruse a menu of nearly 100 flavors with deliciously creative twists. Examples include a chinese-five-spice cake with brown-butter frosting, and the Balsamic Blast, a cake that melds sweet strawberries and strawberry-balsamic buttercream with the gentle bite of a balsamic-reduction glaze. Cake pops, whoopee pies, and buttercream truffles are also ideal for commemorating special occasions, and frosting shots deliver sweet buttercream pick-me-ups perfect after hard days spent stealing John Wayne’s footprints.
Stockbridge's Gourmet Cheesecakes & Café's more than 45 varieties of cheesecake have won Connecticut Magazine's Best Cheesecake in Connecticut award for nine consecutive years and been featured in The New York Times. But even though its vast number of cheesecake and its selection of scones, cookies, and pastries would suggest otherwise, Stockbridge's is not just a bakery. The eatery also offers dishes to sate appetites for every meal, such as omelets, sandwiches, salads, and burgers. And unlike traditional bakeries and DMVs, Stockbridge's has a BYOB policy.