From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon a frosty foundation of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirls idyllically into cones, cups, overturned top hats, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal a surprise filling of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
The blender operators at Juice Stop power bodies and please taste buds with a menu of smoothies and juices made from real fruits and vegetables. Blades slice through pineapple bits, blending in sherbet, yogurt, and coconut to create the Double Dribble smoothie, and the 4x8 smoothie combines skim milk, yogurt, honey, peanut butter, and bananas for liquid sustenance ($3.44–$4.44). Each thick beverage includes a free nutrient boost such as the daily blend, with 51 vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that supplement nutrition, or the intensity blend, with creatine, potassium, and phosphates to power trips to Europe via row boat. Drinkable salads in the form of veggie-combo juices combine carrots with other healthy options such as parsley, apples, and spinach ($3.69–$4.91), and just-crushed oranges tickle tongues with a sweet juicy tang ($3.97–$5.14). Hands grip hot drinks, warming fingers with the Top Shelf—apple and cranberry juice brewed with cloves and cinnamon—or the Alpine Slide, a cascade of mint and hot chocolate pouring over a scoop of vanilla yogurt ($2.80–$2.95).
The Bakery on 41st serves a variety of different baked goods daily. Using only the freshest of ingredients, the purest of innocence, and the most refined elbow grease available, The Bakery on 41st's skilled bakers churn out a variety of carby goodies every day. Individual baked goods are $1.85, so stop to sweeten your morning with a few a.m. treats such as muffins, baked breakfast bars, and sweet rolls. Afternoon delights are priced just like their early rising counterparts, so have a scone or a freshly baked donut before returning to your sugar-free job. For a multi-mouthed special occasion, order one-dozen wild whoopee pies with a filling of your choice ($18) or supplant unpalatable flowers with a personalized bouquet of seven cookies ($49.99).
Tonna's Cakes specializes in sculpting custom cake-based masterpieces that are decorated to suit any occasion. Each handmade cake is a completely unique world of flavor, and no two cakes are alike. Tonna's frostings, ganaches, sugary sponges, and moist, made-from-scratch layers are all homemade and baked fresh, no matter which combination of the 22 flavors, eight fillings, and 10 types of frosting you request (see the sidebar for available options). Buttercream your way to glory over rolling red-velvet cakehills with green-fondant trees, or fill a spice cake with chocolate mousse and request a moose topper. If your artful imagination is clouded by your stomach's imagination, draw inspiration from Tonna's photo galleries. Each cake is as delicious as it is decorative, as Tonna designs and bakes her cakes to be lustily devoured, not propped up with sticks or made into cake puppets. Tonna also happily accepts special orders, such as dairy-free or gluten-free delights.
Located inside South Dakota Achieve, this charming purveyor of oven yum spreads its sweetness throughout patrons' torsos from belly and spleen to compassionate heart pump. In addition to making morning meetings bearable with muffins ($0.55 for regular sized), Cookie Cutter provides meaningful employment to people with disabilities, and its proceeds support the services of South Dakota Achieve’s mission to help people with disabilities achieve their dreams, such as living independently, making new friends, or communicating. Friendly and professional, the cookie makers churn out the sweet old-fashioned cookie discs in flavors such as peanut butter, oatmeal chocolate chip, gingersnap, scotchies, M&M, and more ($4.29–$4.49/dozen). If you prefer baked goods from Brobdingnag instead of Lilliput, you can get a 12" cookie cake decorated to order ($13.99), or avoid the selfish act of solo cupcake eating with a giant cupcake cake that serves 16–20 people ($14.99).
The Cookie Jar makes all the circular creations on its cookie menu from a delicious, deweaponized plastic explosive known as "scratch." In the Monster, this scratch takes the form of peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&Ms, and oatmeal. The Rice Krispies chocolate-chip coconut cookie, meanwhile, doubles as both a milk sponge and frolf Frisbee (all 6-inch circular cookies are $1.78 each or $21.36 per dozen). Dress a cookie to impress a foodie fashionista with 3-inch decorated cookies ($12.50 per dozen) or relate to any old square with a mutual admiration for pumpkin, brownie, or other specialty bars ($10.50 per dozen).