Before they scoop ice cream into a waffle cone, whip it into a smooth chocolate shake, or pack it in pints, quarts, or half-gallons to carry home, the dessert masters at Ashby's Sterling Ice Cream Parlor have to craft the ice cream from a 14% butter fat ice cream mix. This mix is what gives the old-fashioned ice cream its smooth and creamy texture—an ideal canvas to cover with whole nuts, real fruit chunks, and fudge caramel, much like any canvas hanging in a museum. The scoop-wielders dole out 44 flavors in all, including exotic recipes such as Majestic Milky Way and maple-walnut alongside the old standbys of chocolate, vanilla, and butter pecan.
Drizzled Café's confectionary wizards silence chattering sweet teeth with deftly assembled gourmet gift boxes brimming with treats handmade in-house daily. Dispense with decorum and candy-grab a fistful of truffles forged from top-notch Belgian chocolate, or nosh on chocolate-covered Drizzled cherries to fulfill the food pyramid’s recommended 16 servings of chocolate per day. Sea-salted caramels tease palates with a flavorful marriage of complementary tastes, sprinkling terrestrial sugar with aquatic salt extracted from mermaid tears. Desserts can be washed down with sips of bean-based libations brewed from a bag of gourmet coffee.
As an art gallery, concert venue, and meeting place, The Kewl Beans Cafe provides locals with a place for creativity and conversation over cups of hot coffee. Baristas grind up organic, fair-trade beans daily, transforming the bitter confetti into traditional beverages and uncommon drinks such as frozen mocha madness. Fresh slices of bread from Knickerbocker Baking Co bookend meats and cheeses for made-to-order sandwiches, and Hershey’s premium ice cream piles into sundaes and shakes. During weekend concerts, live musicians play acoustic guitar or accordion as patrons snuggle into comfy chairs and auto-tune performances on free WiFi.
The team at Big Apple Bagels builds chewy, ring-shaped bread bites from scratch and wakes palates with steaming cups of Brewster's coffee. The menu teems with eats inspired by New York City deli fare, such as bagel-based club sandwiches and nearly a dozen styles of cream cheese, including three whipped varieties and one milked directly from a somersaulting cow. Bagel flavors range from plain and sesame to decadent inventions such as blueberry cobbler and quiche lorraine, and gourmet muffins introduce mouths to fluffy, cake-like texture kept moist—yet low in cholesterol—with soybean oil. Many locations also serve Freshëns smoothies, which brim with ripe fruit and healthy vitamins.
The Leason family, which first opened the doors to its vintage diner four decades ago, serves up a menu of made-to-order frozen and grilled classics marinated in friendly service. Live life on the edge of an arctic avalanche and start meals with a frosty dessert churned from real dairy products, such as a frozen yogurt sundae ($2.19–$3.85), or a glacier blended with soft-serve ice cream and customized with a bevy of toppings that range from Oreos to apple crisps ($3.36–$5.46). The large soft-serve banana split ($5.39) encourages couples to share their goods and face their fear of random monkey attacks head on.
Insalata owner Mickey Mardirosian is no stranger to the local restaurant industry, having spent more than a decade running eateries in Detroit. As he told the Oakland Press, it was his reminiscences of seeing health-conscious diners ordering salads at another restaurant that sparked his desire to open Insalata.
Offering self-serve salads with made-to-order paninis and sandwiches, Insalata marries customization with healthy food, like a smartphone carved out of an apple. At the salad bar, patrons choose from four types of greens before making selections from more than 40 toppings and 15 dressings. Guests can also clasp fingers around the panini Insalata, with salami, ham, capicola, and pesto mayo, or sweetly cap off meals as they dig spoons or straws into frozen yogurt or fresh-fruit smoothies.
With scrumptious baked goods and a tempting lineup of chilled beverages, Cinnabon provides a hearty snack after a long day of shopping, working, or workshopping. Munch on variety of cinnamon-infused treats, from the Cinnabon classic roll, temptingly filled with Cinnabon’s famous Makara cinnamon ($3.49), to the Caramel Pecanbon, topped with a indulgent potpourri of luscious caramel and tasty pecans ($3.99). Take home an assortment of goodies with one of the stores’ Cinnapacks, good for at least four classic rolls or nine minibons ($10.99–$11.99, combo packs add $1, Pecanbons add $2). If your parched lips yearn for a cool beverage, revitalize the taste buds with a Chillatta, a frozen drink available in chocolate mocha, strawberry, strawberry banana, and Tropical Blast ($3.69–$4.39). Caffeine connoisseurs can sip on a cup of Cinnabon’s rich coffee for a satisfying pick-me-up ($1.69–$1.99).