Gleaning her baking skills from her mother and grandmother, Gigi's Cupcakes' eponymous owner and founder opened her first cupcake hub in 2008, drawing upon her entrepreneurial spirit and gift for crafting beautifully topped cupcakes. The franchised cupcakery now has 80 locations, each of which churns out flavors that rotate daily and are made fresh every morning. The shop's selection of more than 30 flavors includes wedding cake, Scarlett’s red velvet, and Miss Princess. Patrons can pick out sweet treats from the daily selection or preorder them at least one day in advance online, by phone, or via singing telegram.
Freed's Bakery specializes in handsomely decorated delectables and customized cakes that range from festive Las Vegas–themed cakes to celebration-specific confections. Today's Groupon easily pays for a pound of Freed's fresh-baked cookies ($13.95 per pound); flavors include rocky-road bars, mint chocolate chip, and rainbow. Freed's also offers raspberry-rum cakes, strawberry shortcakes, and a Belgian-chocolate-and-whipped-cream piece of glory called Le Parisien by the slice ($3.75–$4.75). Or choose one of Freed's big and beautiful cupcakes ($2.25 each).
“You can’t be mad when you’re eating gelato,” says Gelato Café CEO and managing member Ronnie Lee, who counts on his scoops of creamy gelato and fruity sorbet to cheer everyone who visits his walkup stand on Las Vegas Boulevard. Inspired by more than a decade of living in Italy as an award-winning techno and dance pop star, Lee scoops more than 18 flavors of dense gelato into house-made waffle bowls. Each bite comes with rich flavor, as well as fewer calories and less butterfat than ice cream. Friendly staffers pour gourmet Illy coffee and European-style hot chocolate to complement each cone, bowl, and sundae. In addition to its location in the Fashion Show Mall, Gelato Café’s scoops also grace the Four Seasons, conventions for companies such as Yahoo, and dinner tables in several restaurants throughout the city.:
Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro chef and owner Mayra Trabulse has one goal: to create compassionate cuisine with a level of flavor that reflects her diverse cultural background. As she shared with Katherine Fernelius of Vegas Seven, Mayra is half Lebanese and half Cuban, and was born and raised in Mexico City. After moving to Las Vegas and attending community college, Mayra found herself unfulfilled. She decided to relocate to Florida, where she began to explore the politics of eating and her own relationship with food. She founded a catering business and became a private vegan chef before returning once more to Las Vegas to share her signature Caribbean- and Southwest-inspired dishes with Nevadans.
Mayra incorporated the Spanish phrase "pura vida" into the moniker of her eatery because it's a greeting or a farewell that can signify a sense of community and enjoying life slowly. That's exactly what she wants diners to feel at the restaurant, where she uses local, organic, fair-trade ingredients and incorporates macrobiotic, Ayurvedic, and raw-food principles in her low-temperature cooking. Mayra enhances her creations with unrefined oils and sweeteners and grinds whole spices for maximum flavor. Boasting a designated gluten-free area of her kitchen, she can cater to most any dietary restriction—Vanessa Meier of The Green Girl Next Door blog described how Mayra composed custom, on-the-fly dishes that were "beautiful and clearly prepared with so much love" for her and her husband.
And Meier isn't the only critic to take note of the blossoming restaurant: it earned Las Vegas Weekly’s 2012 Best Vegan Eating award and was named the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Dining Pick of the Week in October 2012. Mayra and her team also cater special events and bake custom vegan wedding cakes for couples being married by an Elvis wearing faux-blue-suede shoes.