Opening at 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday and at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, Shakespeare and Company's bookworm baristas infuse steamy espresso drinks and signature beverages with more than 40 flavors. A quintet of foamy medium lattes allows ample opportunity to sample sweet infusions individually, or opt for preselected concoctions, such as Juliet's Cup with a chocolate-cherry-amaretto kick or the caramel and cinnamon of a mug filled with Midsummer Night's Dream. Espresso shots, like the container of cotton balls at the doctor's office, are also yours for the taking at no additional charge.
For more than 75 years, Carvel Ice Cream has been perfecting the art of generating smiles by handing out hand-dipped soft-serve and frosted ice-cream cakes. Ice cream resides in a number of homes, from a standard cup or cone ($1.79–$4.84 each) to a drink-size receptacle with a thick shake ($3.39–$4.70).
Brick columns topped with ivory triangles ascend over the Greensboro Scoop Shop's sprawling outdoor patio, a spread the eponymous Ben and Jerry could never have imagined when they slung their first scoop from a ramshackle gas station in 1978. Although renowned for flagship flavors such as Chunky Monkey and chocolate fudge brownie, Ben & Jerry's vaulted itself into the upper echelon of ice cream with playful, candy-studded concoctions named after celebrities, such as Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, and Jerry Garcia. Velvety scoops can be reimagined as ice-cream cakes or drizzled in fudge and nuts to forge towering sundaes that patrons can chase with strawberry-cheesecake milkshakes, an ideal treat for those born with a straw proboscis.
Taste Yogurt Bar's 10 self-serve frozen-yogurt dispensers dish out low- and nonfat treats from a rotating lineup of flavors. With its active cultures, which can aid the immune system, frozen yogurt is a calcium-rich, healthy alternative to ice cream. Taste's 10 stations include tarts and sorbets, and guests can blend flavors such as cookies and cream, sea salt caramel pretzel, and moon pie in any combination they like. After the yogurt decisions have been made, it's all about the toppings: there are more than 60 options for fresh fruits, candy, and cereals, the same number of senators needed to break a filibuster—which might just be a senator eating fro-yo at the podium.