Local Highlights Staff Picks

The Food in Our Hood: Junk Food

Americans all have one kind of food in common, no matter where you go: junk food. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up in any corner of this country, you’ll find one. Whether it’s cold, hot, greasy, fried, or cheesy, here are some of our favorite places to pig out. Sorry, Michelle Obama.

Alfred Coffee In The Alley

8509 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
alfredcoffee.com

Out of Alfred’s six locations, this one has the cutest and most Instagrammable neon and decor. Oh, and the coffee is quality too. They have Stumptown cold brew on tap and serve Yeastie Boys bagels. The baristas say their $10 latte is their best drink, which is barely at the top of their menu’s price range. I suggest just a normal latte, because their house brew is good. It really is in a nice little WeHo alley, so park on the street and walk.

Sidecar Doughnuts

Costa Mesa – 270 E 17th St #18, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Santa Monica – 631 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
sidecardoughnuts.com

Sidecar Doughnuts is a gourmet doughnut and coffee shop with two locations in Southern California. The company began in 2012 and is committed to creating excellent and innovative hand-crafted pastries and beverages. Sidecar Doughnuts builds a strong relationship with their customers through social media and the “local doughnut shop” vibe of friendliness surrounding each storefront.

&pizza

1375 Kenyon St NW
Washington, DC 20010
andpizza.com

It’s not uncommon to walk past an &pizza in DC at 2 in the morning to find the line all the way at the door—that was my first encounter with one of my favorite pizza places. Based in the DC area, &pizza creates customizable pizzas, with 3 different types of dough, 5 sauces and 3 kinds of cheese (the house mozzarella is gold). And they even make their own sodas (no Pepsi/Coke here), my favorite is the Pear + Fig Elixir flavor. Their staff create your pizza in front of you a la a Chipotle-style line and then slide your pizza into a rotating oven that takes you to the cashier for pick up. What I love about this place is that my taste for pizza has evolved from the regular cheese and pepperoni.  When I go to &pizza, I get a chicken pesto, chickpea and broccoli pizza with garlic sauce and house mozzarella, crazy good. Stop by next time in your the DC area!

Cauldron Ice Cream

1421 W. MacArthur Blvd. Suite F
Santa Ana, CA 92704
cauldronicecream.com

Cauldron Ice Cream is a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop which has an important claim to fame: the store created the first “puffle” ice cream cone to hold their delicious frozen flavors. Cauldron is located in Costa Mesa, California. The ice cream store provides a variety of flavors with a multitude of toppings for their customers to consume along with several recommendations of popular combinations. A signature dessert for Cauldron is the “H2O Rose” — a pink ice cream scoop shaped into a flower.

Milk

7290 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
themilkshop.com

Milk is an ice cream and baked goods stop that reflects LA’s style: take what’s good, and do it better. Milk’s signature treats are giant macaron ice cream sandwiches, which are high quality in both of its ingredients and all of its flavor combos. Parking is difficult, but it’s worth a little walk. Pictured are the strawberry shortcake bar, and the strawberry and red velvet macaron ice cream sandwiches.

Z Cioccolato

474 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
zcioccolato.com

In North Beach, San Francisco, just on the outskirts of what some call “Little Italy”, Z Cioccolato is a candy store specializing in authentic Italian sweets like fudge, caramel, gelato, salt water taffy and other candy. This place is heaven if you have a sweet tooth that can’t be satisfied. The fun appearance of the small shop combined with the genuine deliciousness of the sweets makes Z Cioccolato truly the sweetest spot in North Beach.

Milkcraft

Brick Walk, 1215 Post Rd
Fairfield, CT 06824
milkcraftca.com

Milkcraft is a small batch creamery located on the Brick Walk in Fairfield, CT. I find myself driving an hour and waiting in the long lines all too often because I just can’t get enough of this stuff. Milkcraft offers unique, rich flavors of ice cream served in either a “bubblecone” (a literal waffle cone) or injected into a glazed donut (yes, it’s as good as it sounds). Then you can choose to add extra toppings ranging from pocky sticks to toasted marshmallows. Once your order is in, you can watch them make your scoop right in front of you using liquid nitrogen! Once you bite into the creamy ice cream and warm waffle, you’ll never want any other ice cream again. Milkcraft is definitely a must-visit destination if you find yourself in the area!

This article is featured in Acentric Magazine’s second issue.

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