True collaborators, husband-and-wife team Deanna and Phil Watkins keep their brainchild, Sweet Dream Desserts, running smoothly from the early hours of the day until closing time. Each morning, Deanna gets kitchens hopping and flings open the doors to usher customers in for a Continental-style breakfast complete with scones and sweet breads. Meanwhile, Phil prepares homemade soups, and sandwiches for the deli-style station and salad bar. The two also work together to offer a catering menu and custom cakes for a variety of occasions, from simple sheet cakes to elaborately designed wedding cakes.
A combination frozen-yogurt and coffee shop, OozCafe invites patrons to craft their own frosty treats and customize steaming cups of Lavazza coffee. A rotating cast of 12 yogurt flavors such as peanut butter, cake batter, and eight types of vanilla pours forth from machines into cups quivering with excitement. Thirty-five toppings and syrups stand at the ready to top mounds of yogurt with mints, cookies, and candies. Nearby, coffee and tea drinks ranging from chilled oolong to pumpkin-spice chai lattes wash down bites of yogurt.
When Forever Yogurt claims that it has “literally trillions of possibilities” for combining frozen-yogurt flavors and toppings, it is literally not kidding. At each location, some 16 flavors and 40 toppings challenge self-serve artists to twirl, sprinkle, and festoon cups of fro-yo to their own taste buds' content. Frozen masterpieces can accommodate preferences for low-fat, nonfat, nondairy, and no-sugar-added diets, as well as daily food-pyramid requirements for fresh blueberries, kiwi, and caramel-turtle cups.
Today, Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream may have seven full-service family-friendly restaurants, but when it started in 1901, it was only a single small ice cream and dairy store. Now guests can settle into breakfast, lunch, and dinner at each of the eateries –and still enjoy the ice cream that put them on the map. They have garnered particular attention for their signature dish, the Kitchen Sink Sundae, which features two whole bananas, six scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry), whipped cream, chocolate, and chopped almonds with a cherry topper. It’s served in a large dish shaped like a kitchen sink with a S-pipe as the handle. And when diners finish it, they receive a bumper sticker that reads, “I Ate a Colonial Kitchen Sink.”
While ice cream reigns supreme, their breakfasts have also earned praise. They were voted “Best Breakfast” by the Elgin Courier News, Aurora Beacon News, and Naperville Sun. Favorites among the regulars include the stuffed very berry French toast and cinnamon roll French toast. Come dinnertime, they continue serving comfort foods including fresh baked meatloaf and a mac and cheese bacon melt, as well as sandwiches such as the pot roast French dip. The restaurant has also earned plaudits for its popularity with its littlest diners, grabbing the "Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant" designation in the Kane County Chronicle Reader's Choice awards.
On the bank of the Fox River sits Dolce Bakery & Cafe, a family-owned sanctuary of sweetness specializing in Italian pastries and desserts. Here, the tiramisu cake is soaked in coffee, filled with a creamy mousse, and surrounded by succulent ladyfingers. The profiterole, a classic Italian delicacy, is a tower of hazelnut cream puffs, topped with chocolate shavings and garnished with whipped cream and cherry buttons. Dolce also whips up soft, moist cupcakes slathered in a made-from-scratch buttercream frosting, and a host of cookies including macaroons, amaretti, and lemon taralli. On the savory side of things, Dolce's chefs prepare light Italian cafe fare such as paninis, flatbread pizza, and pasta.