The Root Cafe

You might find yourself in The Root Cafe seeking a Starbucks-alternative caffeine fix. But the coffee-shop-turned-vegetarian-cafe also offers a menu alongside live music, free Wi-Fi and community art that draws hipsters, locavores, folkies and business types alike. Many ingredients are plucked from nearby gardens for fresh vegetarian salads, sandwiches and entrees such as bean burritos and stir fry. But the pizzas, with homemade whole wheat and organic white crust, stand out. The brilliant orange Root pizza ($11) quite literally does so with carrots, turnips and hefty chunks of sweet potatoes generously sprinkled over tangy yet sweet house red sauce. (Though good as is, add hot sauce to intensify your slices.) Don't skip the dessert case filled with organic, and some vegan, baked goodies. We'd pass up the cookies for the espresso cream cheese brownies ($3). They're dense, silky, rich and large enough to share. If you do visit to simply linger over warm drinks, the extensive tea menu offers black, white, green and herbal. To soothe an upset stomach, try Happy Belly, a minty mixture. Or go for Jorma's Rhythm Tonic. Named for the Jefferson Airplane guitarist, the sweet-smelling rooibos-like tea with rosemary and rose petals is perfect for an evening of live music.

The Root Cafe, 15118 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-4401,
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