From Yogurtology’s self-serve frozen-yogurt stations, customers dispense frozen treats in fun flavors such as strawberry milkshake, red velvet cake, PB&J, chocolate macaroon, and flan. Sugar-conscious patrons can even find several flavors with no added sugars. Using their choice of fro-yo as a base, customers can create a personalized treat by combining multiple flavors or dispensing a single flavor in the shape of their monogram. The last leg of the yogurt-treat creation process happens at the toppings bar, where customers find a selection of hand-cut candy bars and fruit that is sliced throughout the day to ensure freshness.
Founded by a husband-and-wife duo, Qachbal's Chocolatier draws on family recipes to whip up cupcakes, fudge, coffee, and sweet confections fresh onsite daily. Vanilla-bean cupcakes wear a crown of vanilla-buttercream icing adorned with white-chocolate embellishments, which creates an alabaster dessert more appetizing than a picket fence covered in whipped cream. Each bite of a chocolate-truffle cupcake unveils rivers of its eponymous filling, protected from a downpour of sprinkles by an umbrella of rich, dark ganache.
At Tropical Smoothie Café, blending baristas sling out healthful smoothies alongside a diverse menu of freshly prepped eats, including toasted wraps, grilled flatbreads, and gourmet salads. Combo meals afford feasting pairs the opportunity to corral breaded specialties such as a buffalo-chicken wrap or a wasabi-roast-beef sandwich, which tantalizes tasters with succulent cuts of roast beef wreathed in a wasabi caesar dressing. Like professional hitchhikers, gourmet salads pack as much as possible into their layers, including wontons and tides of peanut sauce that mingle under the greens of the thai chicken salad. Smoothies, crafted from real fruit and natural sugar, chase savory bites with decadent slurps of low-fat, coffee, and specialty blends. Refresh parched pipes with the rich swigs of a Blimey Limey—a fusion of strawberries, apples, and orange—or cull the antioxidant-packed gulps of a matcha green tea to help immune systems shut down viruses and perform better on game shows.
Since 1987, St. Pete Bagel Co.'s bakers have crafted New York–style bagels and both old-fashioned and yeast-raised donuts every morning. Rabbi Uriel Rivkin presides over each day's batch of certified-kosher dough rings bedecked with salt, onions, and poppy seeds, which share space with sandwiches and assorted spreads on the café menu. Fluffy and sweet specialty donuts such as PB&J, red velvet, and strawberry-glazed bike tire join coffee and espresso drinks for maximum donut slam-dunks. Around the shop, wood and leather stools seat diners, who can pass the time by admiring colorful flora and photos of bagels snapped at the food pyramid’s class reunion.
Considering Juan and Alvaro Gorrin studied medicine and business, and went on to forge careers in real estate and banking, it's probably surprising to many that they found their ultimate success in a totally unrelated field: baking. The Gorrins, who were born in Spain but moved to Venezuela in their youth, found there was a demand for European-inspired baked goods in South America. They developed the Don Pan brand in Venezuela in 1982, and eventually relocated to Miami, where they opened their first North American bakery in 1995.
Today, their menu maintains distinctly Spanish and South American accents. A bounty of pastries includes guava danish and tres leches, as well as brazo gitano, a sponge cake rolled with chocolate or cream that's popular in both Spain and Venezuela, as well as the section of Canada that uses cake as currency. There are also plenty of savory menu items, including cachapas—corn pancakes served with meat or cheese—and Venezuelan-style tamales bursting with pork, beef, chicken, and veggies.
One taste of the 24 rotating flavors of premium homemade gelato—including reliable standards of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and stracciatella, along with a bevy of other possibilities—and you will understand why public-service announcements insist that eating gelato is like tasting ice cream for the first time, every time. Unlike the black-market gelato dealers littering the streets with heaps of dishonorable fake frozens, the staff at Swirls uses the top-of-the-line Carpigiani equipment to make authentic, all-natural gelato with techniques learned from world-renowned gelato expert Luciano Ferrari. For an even-lighter frozen treat, the homemade soft-serve frozen yogurt is 98% fat free, and the sorbetto is fruitastically fresh.
After Sweet! By The Cake Factory’s bakers pull the day’s cupcakes out of the oven, they stop short of slathering them with swirls of buttercream frosting or sprinkling on M&M's or nuts. Instead, they invite guests to decorate their own confections at a cupcake bar stocked with cookie and candy toppings. This hands-on approach lends itself to lively birthday parties, wherein a photographer snaps children in aprons, chef’s hats, and rubber Julia Child masks as they decorate six cupcakes each. The bakery’s Sweet to Others campaign proffers a predesigned cupcake each month whose proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations.