The family behind Plum Dandy created a caf?-like environment where friends and neighbors can relish fresh frozen yogurt, smoothies, floats, bubble tea, and each other. Passionate about their community, guests can play board games and twinkle among the flashy lights.
That passion extends to the health of the community, as crew members prepare all of their treats onsite daily, assuring that everything they dish out is nutritious. To complement the music and fine eats, the news stores in Troy and Malta have clean, whimsical modern decor with a swirly path in the floor that leads to the gleaming yogurt machines. The space in Saratoga Springs exudes a caf? atmosphere in which sleek wood floors and exposed-brick walls comprise the interior d?cor. Outside, benches provide sidewalk seating, where passersby are 80% more likely to compliment a patron?s yogurt selection or posture.
Ben & Jerry’s Saratoga Springs Scoop Shop, part of a nationwide franchise boasting more than 30 years of socially conscious sweets-making, gratifies the senses with a vast menu of frosty desserts. More than 25 flavors of ice cream, including classics such as the cherry- and chocolate-filled Cherry Garcia, bulge from freshly baked waffle cones or adorn freshly washed chins. Fill a chocolate-dipped cone with one scoop ($3.25) of chocolate low-fat frozen yogurt and thick fudge brownies, or fuel a late night with two scoops ($4) of Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz—coffee ice cream mingled with chunks of fair-trade-certified espresso-bean chocolate. Sweets-seekers can partake in an indulgent meal of sundaes and shakes ($5.14 each), watch waists with a sugar-free ice cream or fruity sorbet, or inquire about the store’s selection of ice-cream cakes, coolers, and sentient spoons.
Razzles, Sky Bars, Zotz, Bull’s Eyes. The sisters who co-own The Village Sweet Shoppe purposely stock a section of nostalgic candies whose names leave most contemporary youths scratching their heads. Nonetheless, visitors of all ages grow wide-eyed over rows and rows of bins filled with colorful gummy bears, sour watermelons, malt balls, nonpareils, espresso beans, and taffies, and many find themselves sneaking a bite the moment their self-served scoops are rung up. Like Proust's madeleine cake or George Washington's boyhood wig, the candies transport visitors back to their childhoods, which was the ultimate goal of proprietors Joie Smith and Kate Mayer. When they're not tracking down hard-to-find sweets, the sisters take their goods on the go, stocking candy buffets or chocolate fountains at local weddings and birthday parties.
A blue neon light illuminates the sushi bar at Izumi Sushi Asian Bistro & Lounge, its tint creating the illusion that the bar is floating atop a pool of azure water. Judging from the freshness of the octopus, tuna, and salmon, this might as well be the case. Sushi chefs slice these fish before delicately rolling them with sticky rice and seaweed and artfully presenting them on plates. Back in the kitchen, their counterparts sizzle steaks and lobster tails and deep-fry chicken and vegetables for crunchy tempura dishes. Their menu features a wide swath of pan-Asian cuisine, from Indian pancakes and general tso’s chicken to fortune cookies ensconced in Thai lettuce wraps.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
At Saratoga Coffee Traders, the nods to faraway lands begin at a counter decorated with burlap sacks from around the world and culminate with the freshly brewed coffee. The intimate caf? serves 10 coffees ranging from light to dark, including a handful of seasonal and flavored blends. Specialty hot and iced coffee drinks and an array of breakfast sandwiches with toppings such as avocado and meat or lox and cream cheese round out the menu. Weathered hardwood furnishings and board games lend the space a homey feel.