The Orange Leaf frozen-yogurt enterprise boasts nearly 200 locations, cooling tongues everywhere from Mississippi to Australia. At each colorful shop, customers have total control over their cups, first selecting a combination of yogurt flavors from dozens of low-calorie options and then swinging by the toppings bar to pile on pieces of fruit, sprinkles of granola, crumbles of brownie, or an entire family of gummy bears. Yogurt flavors range from pineapple, chocolate, and no-sugar-added vanilla, to more complex blends, such as strawberry cheesecake and Oreo cookie cake.
Each Candyopolis is home to over 1,000 different varieties of sweets, with everything from old-fashioned Depression-era favorites such as licorice Herbert Hoovers and "chewing dirt" to the latest wave of sugary and sour confections (Toxic Waste sour candy, $1.99). Retro sweet teeth will delight at the sight of Abba Zabba candy bars ($1.49), Big Hunk ($1.49), and the Holy Trinity for chewing connoisseurs: Beeman's, Blackjack, and Clove Gum ($1.50 each). Imported and domestic chocolates cohabitate peacefully in neighboring bulk bins, while insurgent bands of gummy worms build IEDs out of Pop Rocks ($0.89) and plot a military coup over Candyopolis's ruling class of imported Haribo gummy bears ($3.99/half pound), which also come dipped in chocolate ($4.99/half pound). With 48 flavors of Jelly Bellies ($5.99/half pound), 50 unique PEZ dispensers ($2.49 each), and 21 colors of M&Ms ($5.99/half pound), each year Candyopolis exports a colorful crop of treats directly to the bellies of local children, children-at-heart, and hopelessly misinformed health nuts everywhere.
As evidenced by their shop’s name, the staff at Pioneer Dream Cheesecakery loves making good, creamy cheesecake. But the pastry chefs also have other baking tricks up their sleeves, using their skills to create decadently frosted cupcakes, fudgy brownies, and spicy jars of habanero jelly in festive mason jars. Most of their menu is made up of cupcake flavors, with the rotating weekly selection often including options such as cherry limeade, black forest, and cappuccino with espresso-infused caramel. Alongside their treats, the staff offers a range of teas and Soda Steve’s mission blend coffee.
While the walls’ crimson mosaic tiles glitter in the sunlight that filters in through large windows, CherryBerry’s guests pump out rotating flavors of frozen yogurt and lounge on puffy, mod-style furniture. With each creamy bite, it becomes more evident that the yogurt was made from all-natural ingredients: the strawberry contains tiny chunks of fruit, and the chocolate’s rich flavor could never have come from a powdered mix.
With more than 50 fruit, nut, and candy options overflowing from its bins and canisters, the topping bar plays home to fresh berries and healthful granola as well as candy-coated chocolates and sprinkles. Like a tag-team dance-off at the U.N., the yogurt itself features four types of live and active cultures, all of which aid in digestion. Low-fat, fat-free, and gluten-free flavors abound, as do sorbet options with no dairy and Splenda-sweetened yogurts with no added sugar.
LuSh Berries specializes in a smorgasbord of creamy frozen yogurt treats and fresh, delicious crêpes to delight dessert-friendly palates. A wide variety of constantly changing flavors can be Slip N' Slided across the taste buds, including chocolate, watermelon, pineapple, lemon raspberry, and lychee. The rich, tart flavors of LuSh Berries’ probiotic fro-yos ($0.39/oz.) can be self-served in 16 oz. or 24 oz. sizes, then garnished with a selection of more than 40 different toppings, ranging from nature's candy (strawberry, blueberry, and banana) to mad scientist's candy (caramel, Cap'n Crunch cereal, Butterfingers, and sprinkles). If cold and sweet things remind you of the beautiful snow woman who left you last spring, stick to warm and equally decadent dessert crêpes such as the LuSh Berry Heaven crêpe ($5.50) and the cheesecake crêpe ($5.75). Lunchtime office escapees can also order savory entree crêpes (served with chips) such as the club crêpe ($7.85), which comes with bacon, ham, smoked turkey, and American cheese, or transform it into the smokin’ strip crêpe ($6.75), which subtracts the ham and exchanges the American cheese for a slice of something that doesn’t conjure up images of Uncle Sam diving into a butter churn.