Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice (around $1.89–$2.89) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, vanilla, key lime, and the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice). Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard (around $2.49–$3.59), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts a higher egg to yolk ratio, for a creamy texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati (around $3.45–$4.39), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.49–$3.99), fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.49–$3.49), and frozen-coffee Ritaccinos ($4.25), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.
At The Juice Box, LLC., delicious and nutritious cross paths as servers dish out smoothies packed with fresh, local, organic fruits and vegetables. Wholesome snacks made in house enhance the health-conscious experience, as do postworkout creations such as protein shakes, energy bars, and invigorating shots. Instead of relying on a magic 8 ball to make well-balanced decisions, visitors can tap into the knowledge of The Juice Box staff for advice on nourishing benefits and how to make beneficial lifestyle choices.
At ZenTea, the staff is eager to share their knowledge, presenting their menu much like a serious café or craft-cocktail bar would. To that end, owner Connie Miller has collected more than 140 teas from around the world, and more than just water goes into brewing each pot. Her time spent studying tea in Sri Lanka allows her to steep each glass with knowledge, whether it's about the tea's creation process or the ways that climate and altitude can impact its flavor. Though guests can grab a hot tea by the cup or in pots for one, two, or three, the tea tastings are where the shop shines.
They start with mini tea flights, which feature three 9-ounce pots filled with your choice of tea, and weekly tastings cover a new variety each session, in which guest sip five or six teas complemented by a dessert. Servers also up the theatrics with their iced matcha lattes, which are blended from green-tea powder, organic milk, and agave sweetener. Servers then vigorously chill the concoctions in martini shakers with the expertise of Coyote Ugly stunt women. And the café counter serves light fare such as quiche, salads, soup, and baked goods to pair with brews.
Considering that ZenTea’s century-old building once housed Chamblee’s town hall, it’s not surprising that the shop has become something of a community hangout—patrons explore the distinctive nuances of each varietal in tasting classes and afternoon high teas. Further inspiring relaxation, instructors host on-site zen-inspired classes in meditation, reiki, yoga, and reflexology.
The Grande is often booked for weddings thanks to its elegant ballroom, scenic courtyard, and talented staff of chefs and florists. However, the venue also welcomes everyday visitors to a tearoom to partake in the British tradition of parlor teatime. Servers embellish tiered trays with fresh scones and pressed sandwiches with pimiento cheese, braised pork, and other savory ingredients. They also steep leaves of varieties such as oolong or vanilla rooibos in teapots. Guests can dress up in traditional hats and gloves or classic American garb such as prom dresses.
Sweet Tooth founder Chalandra "Missy" Strickland discovered her talent for baking and pastry decorating in 2004, just before her daughter's seventh birthday. With little money to spare, she baked a cake shaped like SpongeBob SquarePants, and the rest was history: her daughter's delight upon seeing it gave her the inspiration to continue perfecting her trade.
Sweet Tooth's selection of cupcake flavors runs the gamut from traditional red velvet to unconventional Bacon-licious, and several of each occupy a gleaming glass case at the café's entrance. During the day, sunlight illuminates the playful lime ceiling and cushy detached backboards of the café as patrons sip espresso drinks, trawl the Internet, and nibble on sandwiches or pastries. As night falls, the café slips on a more glamorous feel as Sweet Tooth's plated dessert menu becomes available. Adult taste buds delight in alcohol-infused cupcakes ¬and the more complex flavors of the Turtle Delight, a caramel-and-pecan brownie supporting a generous scoop of ice cream.
Sweet Tooth's baking sages also educate blossoming bakers on decorating and desserts. Dessert-tasting sessions delight with 8–10 bite-size confections, and decorating lessons help finesse frosting dexterity as students drape cake stand-ins in fondant and adorn cupcakes with tiny flowers or weekend to-do lists.
As the bread-filled ovens in Our Place Bakery Café exude a gentle heat, the dining room’s similarly warm, cozy decor puts guests at ease. The cooks diligently craft the café’s menu of baked goods and familiar soul-food staples, such as vegan pastries, free-trade coffee, and golden-fried chicken. Following a spiral staircase, patrons descend into an underground cellar, where the lounge-like ambiance includes intimate lighting and cotton-candy-stuffed armchairs. Exposed brickwork encircles the space’s stool-lined bar and fully equipped sound stage, upon which musicians perform regularly throughout the week.