Delicate rose floral arrangements and lemon hues surround the country tearoom at SweeTea's, which pairs guests with elegant midday tea breaks replete with fresh homemade treats. Julita, the creator of SweeTea's, adorns the dining area with pieces gathered during her 10 years of collecting teacups, exploring English tearooms, and growing teacup bushes in her backyard. Cream teas, dessert teas, and full afternoon teas sit before sippers in gold-rimmed teacups and saucers, and fresh meals can accompany piping cups. In order to arrange sweet and savory items such as lavender-white-chocolate scones and artichoke Parmesan sandwiches, the chefs at SweeTea's use fresh, in-season ingredients and ancient scone-hunting techniques. Julita can reserve her tearoom for private parties of 16–24 and breakfast meetings, and takes her tea, sandwiches, and desserts on the road to cater gatherings of up to 12.
Tuttimelon—a name derived from an Italian portmanteau referring to combining fruits—cloaks a variety of nonfat frozen yogurts with fistfuls of fresh berries, kiwi, and mango. Swirl architects dispense cool towers of eight gluten-free frozen yogurts in flavors such as peach and sugar-free chocolate. To protect themselves from spoons and vengeful arctic explorers, yogurts don cloaks of toppings including graham-cracker crumbs and rainbow sprinkles. Tuttimelon's icy concoctions contain eight times the National Yogurt Association's requirements for live and active cultures, which aid in boosting immune systems and joint health.
At Nubi Yogurt, customers decorate blends of self-serve frozen yogurt with seasonal fruit slices and slivers of chopped-up candy. Georgia-peach- or pineapple-flavored yogurt waits for a complimentary showering of kiwi slices and mocha beads, while café-latte yogurt perks up customers with caffeinating chunks of Snickers or Kit-Kat. Most of the shops’ smooth, sinful flavors are fat-free, and are made with live-cultured probiotics that can help improve digestion. Each Nubi location boasts a bright, contemporary atmosphere with wireless internet, satellite radio tunes, and sleek tables polished enough to admire your new fro-yo moustache in.
Faded blue starbursts top each table within San Mateo Coffee Company, each explosion of color emanating from the stylized cup of coffee printed at the middle. Here, patrons pull up a chair and sip hand-tempered espresso drinks, nibble on pastries that once resided in neat rows beneath glass countertops, and banish midday munchies with loaded deli sandwiches. The shop also deals in beans by the bag, equipping customers with the raw material to make cappuccinos and coffee in the comfort of their own homes or inflatable bounce houses.
Sharona's Chocolate Shop counts both international and domestic sweet treats among its enticing inventory. Celebrate the season with chocolates in fall-themed designs, such as milk chocolate ganache in the shape of a pumpkin ($3) or an eyeball-shaped sweet ($3) boasting a 20/20 vision of peanut butter, strawberry preserves, caramelized rice puffs, and white chocolate. Chocoholics can binge on bulk orders of Sharona's treats, with toffee ($24), dark-chocolate sea-salt caramels ($30), and a pound of mixed offerings ($50) for marathon-masticating under the menacing moonlight.
It all began in 1928 with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, two old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, and a quick dip in dark chocolate. With these three simple ingredients, George Whitney created the first chocolate-covered IT'S-IT ice-cream sandwich. For the next several decades, he sold these treats exclusively to Playland at the Beach's passersby and seagull gourmands until the amusement park closed in the early 1970s.
This setback didn't deter Whitney, though. Instead, it inspired him to open a tiny shop and continue making ice-cream sandwiches by hand for the San Francisco area's small local stores. More and more stores began clamoring for the treats, so the company started to expand until IT'S-IT Ice Cream made its way into freezers across more than 15 states. "If you?re not from the Bay Area you might be tempted to call the IT'S-IT just another ice cream sandwich," wrote one Google employee according to The Wall Street Journal, "But you?d be oh, so wrong."
The traditional IT'S-IT sandwich with vanilla ice cream continues to be a staple, although chocolate, mint, pumpkin, strawberry, and cappuccino flavors can also be found. The company has expanded its selection to include a handful of other treats. Scoops of ice cream lie sandwiched between oversized chocolate-chip cookies, as well as dark-chocolate wafers. IT'S-IT's version of a sundae on a stick, meanwhile, features ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and then rolled in roasted peanuts.