Water Shack may be small, but it has all the technology of an industrial-sized water plant. The shop specializes in pure drinking water, created using a 12-step reverse osmosis process that removes all traces of chlorine, lead, and other contaminants. What's more, they also produce alkaline water, which is infused with trace minerals to achieve an approximate pH of 9.9. Because customers fetch water in their own refillable bottles or over-turned top hats, Water Shack doesn't have to store any containers of its own, making it a cheaper alternative to costly water delivery services.
Of course, pure water isn't the only form of refreshment available at Water Shack. The shop also keeps customers cool with a full menu of specialty drinks and treats. Spiced chai teas and lattes are available ices or hot and fruit smoothies blend together real mangoes and strawberries. The shop's shave ices, though, really hit the spot on a hot day; customers can choose any three flavors from a list that includes options like cherry, coconut, cotton candy, green apple, and sweetened condensed milk, and they can even top their frozen concoction with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Helmed by a French pastry chef, Vista French Bakery Cafe imbues its breakfast cuisine with an authentic Parisian touch, rendered fresh by the use of locally acquired ingredients. House-made quiches warm plates, and a ratatouille of zucchini, eggplant, onion, and tomato gets wrapped up in the South of France omelet, which comes packed with feta cheese and adorned with a swanky scarf. With spacious, indoor seating and a cozy spot for outdoor dining, the café invites diners into an atmosphere where local art and rejected omelets hang on the walls while jazz gently plays. The affable staff welcomes guests to cap off their dining and music-absorbing experiences by enjoying fresh pastries such as fruit tarts, coconut macaroons, and mini vanilla custard eclairs.
The chic, simple interior of Skybound Coffee + Dessert Lounge keeps the focus on what's most important: colorful, creamy gelato, fresh-baked pastries, and espresso. Topped with regular, organic, or dairy-free milk, espresso transforms into foamy lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos at the hands of expert baristas. Meanwhile, loose-leaf teas from around the world come to life with a touch of hot water, often served up alongside a flaky, fresh-baked croissant or a slice of rich, chocolate cake. Some gluten-free options are also available.
At CB’s Cupcakes, the customer has complete and total control, and founder and owner Connie Barham wouldn’t have it any other way. The cupcake connoisseur opened the shop under the premise of why not let the customer choose—even for walk-in orders—and she’s been operating that way ever since. She spirals five frostings, such as chocolate buttercream or peanut butter, across the top of five types of cake: vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, key lime, and the flavor of the month, such as blueberry or cran-orange. Then, she tops off the mini or muffin-sized cakes with an array of fixings, such as sprinkles, graham-cracker crumbs, or mini M&Ms.
Connie, who sells the handheld treats at her two storefront locations and at various fairs around the state, doesn’t mind feeding furry companions either. She welcomes dogs to wait outside her colorful Victorian-themed shops, offering them water bowls and even bakeing them canine-friendly cupcakes made from healthy ingredients.
The team at Big Apple Bagels builds chewy, ring-shaped bread bites from scratch and wakes palates with steaming cups of Brewster's coffee. The menu teems with eats inspired by New York City deli food, such as bagel-based club sandwiches and nearly a dozen styles of cream cheese—including three whipped varieties and one milked directly from a somersaulting cow. Bagel flavors include plain and sesame, and gourmet muffins introduce mouths to fluffy, cake-like texture kept moist—yet low in cholesterol—with soybean oil.
Red velvet bundt cakes, M&M's cupcakes frosted with vanilla mousse, and dozens of other customized creations beckon from the glass cases at BC Cakes and Bakery. Along with sweet treats for everyday occasions, the bakery also creates special cakes for weddings and birthdays.