When Jim and Mary Ann Whitesell set out to open Hot Shots Coffeehouse, they had more than just coffee in mind. They wanted their cozy coffee joint to be a place where the community would gather to dig into frozen yogurt, smoothies, fresh-baked pastries, and hearty sandwiches, as well as to sip handcrafted espresso and artisanal tea and tisanes.
The coffeehouse stays open late for night owls and study-sessions, and from time to time, live acoustic tunes add to the festive atmosphere. Hot Shots has even been known to host game nights, where locals gather to play chess, Scrabble, and Red Rover.
At more than 2,600 stores in more than 30 countries, Dunkin' Donuts serves coffee and iced beverages, fresh-baked donuts and desserts, and savory breakfast sandwiches. Since Bill Rosenberg opened the first location in Quincy, MA, in 1950, the donut shop has blossomed into a one-stop coffee and breakfast restaurant familiar to millions of morning rushers and afternoon sippers.
Behind the counter of each location, glazed french crullers twist and curve like Parisian city streets, and Bavarian Kreme donuts are filled with a sweet, golden custard. A cavalcade of meats is available for piling onto breakfast sandwiches, such as sausage, cherrywood-smoked bacon, or ham enveloped with fluffy eggs and melty cheese between a choice of crisp crusts. Health-conscious risers can fuel strenuous bouts of lifting cars in the drive-thru line with a Wake-Up wrap, which offers options such as egg whites with turkey sausage or veggies that add up to as few as 150 calories. Both sweet and savory selections pair well with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a creamy, frozen Coolatta drink.
Though commuters can snag a quick pick-me-up within minutes, the wafting aromas of baking confections invite patrons to sit inside and embark on nostalgic reminiscences of syrup-coated playground slides. Beyond the bakery walls, the company aims for social responsibility with its support of community volunteer efforts and use of 100% fair-trade-certified espresso beans.
Though the name conjures images of rural American comfort food, there's a lot more than four-egg omelets and charbroiled steaks on the menu at Chef's Country Cafe. In fact, there's a discernible international vibe here, thanks to dishes such as the breakfast crepes and the European-inspired deli sandwiches. The one thing these dishes have in common? They're all crafted in-house and served with a smile. Don't leave before sampling a slice of fruit pie or tripping comically into a cream pie.
Locally situated and independently owned, Sips Coffee clears bleary eyes with an assortment of caffeinated concoctions and savory pastries. Shake off nightmares of coffee bean uprisings with a tea latte, which melds milk and sugar with a selection of aromatic teas that include passion fruit, earl grey, jasmine, and more ($3.35–$3.95). Try dousing steamy maws with an iced coffee ($2.35–$2.70) or creamy blended smoothie ($3.90–$4.35) before indulging in flaky pastries ($1.95–$2.15), fruit cups ($4.75), and sandwiches ($5.55). Sips Coffee's amicable gang of bean barons also trade their blends in bulk, which can double as paperweights when penning a voluminous coming-of-age tome about a free-spirited West Coast coffee bean ($5.75–$12). Sips Coffee hosts live, local music on weekends, and spirited patrons can utilize free WiFi to stream live videos of their own interpretive dances during each song.
Drawing inspiration from local craft beers, the bakers at Brewcakes combine those same suds with local ingredients to handcraft alcohol-infused cupcakes with flavors that rotate monthly. Boozy creations include the stout beer base, whiskey, and Bailey’s frosting blend of the Irish Cake Bomb, as well as the chocolate-porter base and chipotle-chocolate frosting of the aptly named Chipotle Porter.
Beyond cupcakes, spirits find their way into other offerings—such as the Black & White Russian, an espresso-chocolate brownie topped with Kahlua-spiked chocolate cream, and the beer-braised beef that fills panini-style short-rib sliders at Brewcakes' café. In addition to alcohol-infused eats, café diners can also enjoy plenty of alcohol-free treats, such as veggie flatbreads, hot- and iced-coffee drinks, or water served in shot glasses.
Named 2009 Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine, Klatch Coffee's casual coffeterias celebrate some of the world's highest quality coffee, carefully sourced to international farmers under direct trade ethics. Roasted in small batches for maximum freshness and minimum inter-bean squabbling, Klatch's java pleases patrons with a drip coffee of the day ($1.95–$2.20), as well as designer drinks such as the Mexican mocha ($3.40–$4.30), infused with spicy Ibarra chocolate. Discerning slurpers can also sate barking bellies with a hammy, cheesy eggel sandwich ($3.99) from the breakfast menu, or train teeth on heartier lunch fare such as a cranberry walnut salad ($3.75) or turkey pesto panini ($5.95).