From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
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.
Toshi's Café's chefs slice up rolls of fusion-style sushi to tuck into carryout dinners alongside edamame soybean starters. Diners can select any of the cafe's 26 rolls, including the Flying Dragon—a shrimp tempura and avocado roll capped with eel, spicy crab, and a drizzle of sweet soy sauce. To create the Katie's Delight roll, nimble fingers wrap up spicy crab, shrimp, and bacon with a cooling cream cheese and avocado combo, before chefs deep-fry each morsel and fashion it an edible party hat of sweet soy and scallions. A selection of vegetarian rolls are crammed with meatless savories, while the BLT nigiri roll adds avocado to the classic combination before being doused with spicy or wasabi mayo. Takeout dinners allow twosomes and families to dine at home or inside a library's reference section, while the party option—which should be ordered a day in advance—provides hosts and hostesses enough fare to feed a large group of friends or a single oil baron.
Dairy Queen offers a cool, frosty respite from harsh summer heat with a variety of frozen ice-cream delicacies. The signature Blizzard's chunky charms dissolve flavor lockouts with classic candies, cookies, or fruits blended to unmatched thickness with soft serve ($3.59 for a medium) spun in a specialty centrifuge for maximum creaminess. The waffle-bowl sundae delivers vanilla ice cream nestled in a chocolate-bedecked waffle-cone bowl with a choice of tempting toppings ($3.95), and the milkshake ($2.59 for a medium) puts spoons to shame with its refreshing strawability and willingness to fit into cup holders and miniature siege cannons.
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.
The ancients spoke of a day when a fellowship of highly intelligent strangers would journey to Earth to discover the magical coffee fields of middle earth. Together they would harvest this crop and forever break the decades-old curse of the evil mermaid! That day is now, and that coffee can be found at Brew Nerds!!