At all of Menchie's locations—scattered around the world—patrons do the same three things: mix, weigh, and pay. They mix an extensive selection of rotating toppings and frozen-yogurt flavors, which are made exclusively by Menchie's private label and contain live and active cultures. Then they weigh their concoction and pay for what they've put in their cup or repurposed wizard's hat. After discovering their shared passion for crafting the perfect cup of frozen yogurt, founders Danna and Adam opened Menchie's to introduce the frozen phenomenon to the masses or to melting glaciers in need of sympathy sprinkles.
At Yogurt Lounge, stainless-steel soft-serve machines dispense frozen yogurt in 15 flavors. Above each machine, a placard denotes the flavor, be it chocolate cheesecake, fruit punch, or ham hock. The rotating lineup includes nonfat, low-fat, and nondairy options that swirl into cups at the touch of a lever. After dishing up a portion of frozen yogurt, customers can accessorize it with more than 40 toppings such as gummies, cereal, and fresh fruit. Although Yogurt Lounge is primarily a self-serve operation, staffers can blend smoothies, steep green and thai teas, and dispense batches of shaved ice. True to its name, Yogurt Lounge opens up to a seating area with overstuffed brown couches and a flat-screen TV.
Froots has some of the marks of fast food—the quick service, the expanding franchising—but there's one glaring difference: the healthiness of the menu. The eatery's smoothies mix 100% juice with fat-free vanilla yogurt, and each 16-ounce cup contains three servings of fruit. The eats are nutritious, too, forgoing greasy burgers in favor of albacore tuna salads and wasabi chicken paninis. But all that isn't to say the menu lacks ways to treat yourself. Indulgent shakes blend together ingredients such as chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas, and Energize smoothies work Red Bull into the mix so that diners have the stamina they need to back-flip a marathon.
Since 1910, Mikawaya has satiated sweet teeth with myriad mouthwatering Japanese pastries, including mochi, a rich dollop of ice cream swaddled in a sweet-rice dough cocoon. Tickle your taste buds with seven mochi ice cream flavors ($6 for five mochi balls), including tangy mango and soothing green tea, a zenful dessert experience akin to splitting a hot-fudge sundae with an enlightened butterfly. Indulge cocoa cravings with chewy chocolate mochi mouthfuls, nibble on scrumptious strawberry spheres, or bestow boxes upon friends or passersby, a perfect treat to win over the meter maid whose only weakness is rice dough.