The straws are wide by design at Bubble Tea Cafe, where the staff cooks chewy balls of tapioca daily to plunk into their customers' cups. These "bobas" add an interactive element to the Taiwanese beverages. Available in more than 40 flavors, including blueberry, avocado, spiced chai, and peanut butter, the frosty drinks comprise the bulk of the cafe's menu, but share space with hot and iced tea variants such as mojito mint-lime. Guests can even mix their bubble tea types to create creamy combinations—the Bananas Foster mixes banana and caramel, whereas the Boba Loca blends honeydew and almond—and pair their personalized sips with one of many rotating desserts.
Creamy frozen yogurt, fresh-fruit mix-ins, and healthy toppings such as almonds, granola, and shredded coconut make Yogen Früz a source of unlimited fresh flavors. Yogurt artists mix customers’ custom creations—such as piña colada mixed with smooth-blended pineapple yogurt, or apple pie sprinkled with graham-cracker crumbs—before their very eyes. Along with such quasi-decadent options, the company’s 1,300 worldwide outposts offer low-fat varieties, nonfat probiotic yogurts, and fresh-fruit sorbets. Every mix is low in fat, a good source of vitamins and fiber, and one of the only known sources of the essential nutrient frostiness.
Rock 'n' roll of the '60s and '70s floats out from the sound system at Peace Love & Rocky Roast as people sip freshly brewed java among walls bedecked with Woodstock memorabilia, a colorful hand-painted mural, and several flat screen TVs. Owners and reunited high school sweethearts Butch Allen and Desa Ballard recently opened Peace Love & Rocky Roast's doors to share the aromas of freshly roasted coffee and tales of a romance more enduring than the love between child and his brother's train set. An enormous coffee roaster takes center stage behind the café counter, where beans are heated to build flavor for large cups of the house blend. Patrons can chat up a friendly barista while sitting in a tall-legged chair at the bar or unwind in one of several cushy armchairs made with real arms. Though not included with today's deal, Peace also offers a menu of breakfast and dinner munchables and showcases casefuls of cakes, cookies, and more than 15 flavors of gelato.
Bruster's stimulates salivation with its brain-freezingly broad menu of ice-cream flavors served alongside the classic Coney Island appeal of Nathan's Famous hot dogs. The classic New York hot dog traps an all-beef cylinder and its toppings in a fluffy, edible maximum-security prison ($2.99), strong enough to contain both chili and cheese at once ($3.69). Bacon-ranch krinkle-cut fries ($3.69) and corn-dog nuggets ($2.99 for six) supply ample ammunition for tongue target practice. To prevent oral overheating, visitors can apply a waffle cone stacked with any of Bruster's rotating ice-cream flavors, such as white-raspberry truffle or turtle cheesecake ($3.99). Sundaes ($4.29), fudge-covered banana splits ($5.59), and shakes ($4.29) provide more elaborate accouterments to the chilly treats.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat that emanates from the floorboards. Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry, $4.99) harnesses the nutritious hunger-fighting power of superfruit, and delectable low-fat elixirs such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapples, nonfat yogurt, $4.29) hoodwink gullible taste buds into believing they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops.