At Cafe Lily, the vibrant, house-made fare mirrors the pastel storefronts of the Old Poway Village outside. The eatery was described by the Pomerado News as "an energetic hub brewing social interaction and creativity, as envisioned by owner Sean Sassani." A blend of Sean's artistic inclinations and his mother, Lily's, culinary talents, the café doles out steaming cups of Divine Madman coffee, a flavorful, organic java that's roasted in 1-pound batches via eco-friendly and socially responsible techniques. Loose-leaf black, green, chai, and herbal teas hail from global gardens, but breakfast and lunch menus claim roots in Lily's own kitchen. Cold sandwiches and colorful paninis, some stuffed with Boar's Head meats⎯like a deli owner's bed pillow⎯serve as savory precursors to pastries and cakes baked onsite.
Patrons can entertain themselves around a fragmented puzzle, or absorb euphonic sounds during open-mic sessions and sets by live musicians. Creativity continues to run abound in the form of colorful artwork by local artists. Coral walls and a fireplace add to the coffee shop's warm ambiance, which extends to an outdoor deck and induces a sneaking suspicion that you might secretly be on fire.
Variety may be the spice of life, but at Buttercream it's also the sweetness. Each day, co-owners Jeanette Dennis Eddery and Kathi Catania Jackson whip up a special cupcake flavor to go along with their regular offerings. Though each day's specialty varies by month—bringing with it everything from coconut lime to cherry almond—the staples are enough to entice any sweet tooth through the door. Chocolate mint's richness offsets the light, more delicate flavor of lemon mousse, which in turn bows to the signature neapolitan, a cake marbled with vanilla and Valrhona chocolate and topped with strawberry buttercream frosting. And even when they're not making cupcakes or signing autographs with icing, these confectioners are busy making other unexpected sweets: cannolis, cheesecake, brownies, cookies, and other desserts.
Starry Lane Bakery crafts vegan goodies baked free of the six most common allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, gluten, eggs, and soy. Free from all animal products, their treats range from fudge brownies and chocolate chip cookies to macaroons and chocolate-orange biscotti. With each baked treat, the founders strive to evoke their childhood memories of the comfort and warmth that can only come from a lovingly made sweet dessert.
Jungle Gym & Cafe combines children's activities, fitness classes, and a gourmet café complete with free WiFi and two flat-screen TVs that light up with NFL action on Saturdays and Sundays. Children can cavort across bounce houses and block pits or partake in basketball and badminton, while watchful parents dine on turkey wraps or Greek salads. Meanwhile, group fitness-classes practice cardio dance, yoga, and aerobics. Inside the medical spa suite, a doctor helps parents regain their youth with chemical peels, Botox, and vein repair treatments.