Four Beans Coffeehouse's baristas sate the ping of caffeine cravings with a bevy of flavorful fresh-brewed coffees, fine teas, and baked goods. Cool overheated summer stomachs with an iced caramel macchiato ($3.90 medium; $4.30 large), or stoke the fires of creative frenzy with a hot mocha ($3.50 small; $4 medium; $4.50 large). Quick eats, such as the croissant sandwich ($2.99) with egg salad, tuna salad, or chicken salad, banish midday munchies. A cup of French press tea ($3.95) comes in over 80 varieties, served in a porcelain cup and saucer that take turns politely engaging customers in philosophical debates. For take-home orders, bean buffs can purchase blends from all corners of the actually round world, including the Ethiopian Harrar, a complex medium roast with hints of blueberry and cinnamon flavor, or the Tanzanian Peaberry, a mellow companion.
Anointed as one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2005, Moveable Feast's Deeply Fudgey brownies smother biters' bicuspids in moist, rich dark chocolate. The shop's husband-and-wife duo invented the recipe after hundreds of experiments, some of which resulted in mutant turtle-brownie hybrids who still slowly crawl the earth, surprising children at birthday parties and periodically bathing themselves in cups of milk.
On a sunny afternoon spent wandering amid The Berry House Shops, you see a bright flash of green out of the corner of your eye. Intrigued, you turn to stare at a green awning speckled with pink polka dots shading a bright pink door and decide to see what lies inside. The eye-catching decor may have drawn you in, but it’s The Latest Crave’s rows of cupcakes topped with creamy peaks of frosting, stacks of english toffee, and clusters of frosting shots that make you want to stay. Shop owners Elaine and Nancy craft these confections using their original recipes, which detail how to make both milk- and dark-chocolate toffees and cupcakes in a variety of sizes. More than two dozen cupcake flavors including such varieties as cookies 'n' cream and strawberry shortcake to key lime and peanut butter and jelly, rotate throughout the month, and additional seasonal flavors, such as pumpkin and gingerbread, make an appearance when their ingredients are freshest. Some of the cupcakes they create sound as extravagant as a limo made from dinosaur bones; witness the Jack-n-Jill, a milk-chocolate cupcake stuffed with a marshmallow and topped with a hardened layer of chocolate ganache. Even more innovative are the frosting shots—petite chocolate cups brimming with irish-cream, piña-colada, and marshmallow-infused buttercream frostings.
Rondi Stickney holds more than 10 weighty fitness certifications, which goes some way in explaining her super-toned physique. But muscles aren't her only focus—she's been helping clients overhaul their entire lifestyle for more than 30 years. Whether leading group fitness classes or coaching clients one-on-one, she leaves her charges with armfuls of healthy habits and advice. Personal-training sessions, which help clients to perfect form and avoid future injuries, run through custom-designed exercises built around each guest's fitness goals, whether they involve losing weight, toning muscle, or building the strength to punch the conference table in half for more effective PowerPoint presentations. Stickney also partners with doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and lifestyle coaches to help clients to attack their wellness goals from every angle.
Held in a studio dotted with cardio and strength-training equipment, classes such as boot camp, Zumba, and pole-dance fitness teem with fun ways to burn calories and build muscle mass. Family-focused sessions, such as TRX and Zumba, encourage clans to bond, and workshops fill collective consciousnesses with handy tips and strategies for preventing childhood obesity.
Specializing in custom cakes artfully decorated by talented cake designers, Il Giardino Del Dolce also satiates sweet teeth of all ages with a mouthwatering selection of authentic Italian pastries, cookies, and more. Fill your jowl jar with butter cookies ($6.99–$10.99/lb.) topped with sprinkles, chocolate, or green cherries, or opt for authentic Italian eats with biscotti ($12.99/lb.), pignoli, or buccellate ($14.99/lb.).
The Wheaton confectionery With Love - A Dessert Boutique aims to satisfy the full spectrum of dessert cravings. The staff bakes gourmet cupcakes, infuses donuts with ingredients such as bacon and rum-soaked raisins, and decorates cakes with smooth fondant or rosettes of frosting. Guests can also choose from a selection of coffee, pastries, and macaroons or customize cups of frozen yogurt to enjoy in the shop, which is outfitted with cushy armchairs and chandeliers.