Lush makes its all-natural gelato in small batches from scratch—resulting in a delicious, mind-altering substance that is only found on the desert planet Arrakis—and prepares it with fresh, local (whenever possible), and seasonal fruits and ingredients. Although the lineup of flavors changes more often than a teenager's rationale for breaking curfew, past sweet-tooth-sweeteners have included Mexican chocolate, crème fraîche with strawberries, and pistachio, as well as inspired culinary concoctions such as rosemary and wildflower honey. More intoxicating options include tequila gelato and the stout Guinness gelato, in addition to 100% fruit sorbet flavors such as blood orange, mango, and lemon and olive oil. Depending on how many flavors you want, order up one scoop ($2.85), two scoops ($3.85), three scoops ($5), or one standard metric breakup's worth of gelato (also known as a pint, $8) to take home and eat alone in your closet. Lush can split a scoop between two different flavors for indecisive multiple personalities. Sampling is highly encouraged, though scratching and beat-juggling is not.
Dimond Café's sandwich artists pile toppings on fresh bread, assemble salads, and enclose veggies in wraps daily, as well as jolting bodies awake by pouring them gourmet coffee. Mornings start with a selection of omelets, including the Greek omelet ($7.25) with kalamata olives, feta cheese, and peppers. Signature sandwiches such as the veggie delight ($5.50), which arrives piled high with avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, and shredded veggies, provide hearty bites that keep mouths busier than their daily recitation of all known factorials. Albacore tuna, avocado and tomatoes roll together inside the spinach shell of the tuna wrap ($7.50), and bacon, avocado, and grilled chicken rest atop a bed of romaine in the cobb salad ($7.75).
Growing from the seeds of coffee beans, Farley's started as a java shop that eventually transformed into a community feeding and watering hole. As a neighborhood citizen, the eatery stocks its shelves with magazines and decks its tall white walls with monthly rotating displays of local art from local artists. Farley's welcomes the morning crowd with a menu of stimulating percolators and hearty breakfast bites. A double shot of espresso ($2.50) or a 16-ounce cup of French-press joe awakens sleepy heads. Utensil-wielding hands are directed toward a basket of Farley's baked eggs with Yukon Gold potatoes and prosciutto ($7), or a cool bowl of house-made granola with yogurt ($4.50).
After catering for two years, Blackberry Soul Bakery and Cafe finally settled in a brick-and-mortar building, where owner-baker Rene prepares her Southern-influenced cakes, cookies, and savory snacks for visitors. The 2004 winner of the Taste of the Bay award and a requested favorite of the 100 Chefs Can Cook United Negro College fundraiser, Rene applies plaudit-earning skills when mixing fresh butter, real vanilla beans, just-harvested wooden spoons, and a few of her grandmother's recipes to whip up delectable, tooth-ready treats. She specializes in sweet-potato pie, pound cake, oatmeal cookies, and cobblers, though the piping-hot menu also includes cakes, cupcakes, and puddings. Red velvet cake supplies means of satiation for sweet teeth, and two types of cornbread furnish the means of satiation for teeth made out of bread. The café takes custom orders for pickup or delivery, and Rene accommodates customers out and about by supplying treats at many local jazz festivals and community events.
Cafe Madrid excites palates with a traditional lineup of Spanish deli selections alongside creative coffees and cold beverages. Embark on transatlantic flavor treks atop the menu’s roasted eggplant sandwich ($8), just the way Columbus did, or bundle a bocadillo with a choice of gourmet meats, cheeses, and zesty condiments ($7.50). Early risers can stop by on morning commutes to employ teeth in the disassembling of tomato-topped andalusian toast ($3) and pair it with a choice of coffee concoctions such as café con leche ($3) or find a tempting treat for after-work outings by sipping sangria by the glass ($6), pitcher ($13), or hollowed-out gold brick.
The bewitching bakers at James and the Giant Cupcake whip up their signature cupped cakes with impeccable ingredients, using unrefined sugars, organic ingredients, and fresh fruits from local farmers’ markets whenever possible. Choose one from a selection of rotating daily flavors; past hits have included delectable classics such as red velvet, sea-salt caramel, chocolate, and vegan carrot. Pushing the frosting-smudged envelope are heavy-hitting neophytes such as chocolate chili, french toast and maple bacon, and Guinness and Bailey's—chocolate cupcakes made with Guinness stout and topped with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting to whisk eaters back to that term they spent abroad in Dublin, reading Joyce at Trinity College and subsisting on corned-beef shamrock shakes.