Now that the weather is heating up, I am mainly thinking about two things: 1) getting in the water somewhere and 2) ice cream! As I researched this article, I was blown away by the variety of ice cream shops here in Portland. We have healthy-ish options like Gluten-Free, plant-based, and Vegan ice cream. We have the option to embrace unique ice cream through homemade, customized flavors. We also have the ever-popular “build your own” places where you can load up your ice cream with toppings. The cool thing is, there are many family-owned, local businesses to support when we head out to grab some ice cream. Here is a list of local ice cream shops that are sure to please.
Salt and Straw-
I must start the list with Salt and Straw. There are 4 locations: Lake Oswego, NW 23rd in Portland, Division St. in Portland, and NE Alberta St. in Portland. Although Salt and Straw now exist in California, Washington, and even Florida: the company was founded right here in Portland, Oregon. This place is so special. They offer delicious typical features of ice cream like caramel, chocolate chip cookie dough, and fudge: but they also offer unique flavors like pear and blue cheese, olive oil, and cold brew cashew praline. Choosing a flavor through Salt and Straw could take a while, as they have many offers. I was floored when I first experienced this place, and my friend said, “You have to try the lavender…”. A very cool and yummy place. Here is their link: https://saltandstraw.com/.
This is our family go-to place. If we’ve had a hard day, we go to EZ Freezy. If we’ve had a celebratory day, we go to EZ Freezy. It doesn’t take much prompting for us to get up and go there. It is a frozen yogurt shop where you can pile up toppings in a cup with frozen yogurt. They charge $0.59 an ounce. The toppings are delicious: cheesecake bites, brownies, fresh fruit, a huge variety of candy, and the list goes on. They also have great sauce choices like hot fudge, marshmallow, caramel, etc. It’s hard to limit my kids’ toppings when my cup is just as full as theirs, ha-ha. I also recommend this place because they were founded in Oregon and are a family business. Here is the link: https://ezfreezyfroyo.com/.
This company got its start at Portland Farmer’s Market and has now grown 3 locations: N. Mississippi, NW 23rd, and Downtown Portland. They have also been praised by “The Food Network.” Ruby Jewel is special because of their all-natural ingredients and their combination of cookies and ice cream to create their wonderful ice cream sandwiches. The flavors are amazing. Examples include chocolate and salted caramel, brown sugar and NW strawberry, dark chocolate and fresh mint, and oatmeal chocolate chip and butterscotch. They also have unique flavors like lemon and honey lavender. They have a great shop online to order variety packs as well. Here is a link: https://www.rubyjewel.com/.
I have never heard of this business until today. Their menu is amazingly impressive! Many of their ice cream flavors are based with coconut milk. Not only do their flavors sound delicious, but very health conscious (in a good way). Healthy options are unique options like “Thai rice” and “mango sticky rice” flavors! Other interesting flavors include French toast, blood orange creamsicle, and coconut lemon saffron. There are three locations in Portland: Clinton Street, E. Burnside, or NW 21st St. They also do delivery through Caviar, Postmates, and Grub Hub. Here is the link: https://www.fifty-licks.com/.
Nectar Frozen Yogurt Lounge-
This business has differentiated itself from a typical ice cream parlor. Offering free wi-fi and striving for a “lounge vibe”, Nectar aims to provide a serene atmosphere where people can work or chill while enjoying quality frozen yogurt and toppings. Their menu is crazy impressive. It looks like there are over 50 flavors of ice cream and just as many topping choices. Whoa. This is definitely somewhere that I will have to try. There are two locations 1) Sellwood 2) Multnomah Village. Keeping consistent with the lounge vibe, these locations are open until 10 p.m.-midnight depending on the day! Here is their link: http://www.nectarfroyo.com/.
Okay. So, this is a restaurant, not an exclusive ice cream place. But when I looked up ice cream sundaes, it was featured. They have a few different basic flavors (dairy or vegan) and toppings, but the special offering is their ice cream sundaes: The Larch Mountain and Rosie the Rhubarb. Both sundaes have awesome ingredients such as brown butter blondies, marionberry cobbler bars, and pine nut honeycomb crunch. Yum! They also have a seasonal sundae special on their menu—this restaurant in Troutdale, Oregon. I can’t wait to give it a try! Here is the link: https://sugarpinedrivein.com/.
Cool Moon Ice Cream-
Here we have another location that caters to a dairy-free, health-conscious crowd. This place boasts that they have around 200 flavors, although around 26 are regularly featured at any given time. One of their most popular and interesting is the Kulfi flavor. Kulfi consists of pistachio, cardamom, and rosewater. Another interesting offering is their “moon pops,” which are all-natural fruit popsicles. Besides scoops of ice cream, they offer milkshakes, espresso drinks, sundaes, and floats. If you’re looking for traditional flavors, they also have vanilla, chocolate, local berry flavors, and other favorites. They are located in NW Portland. Here is a link: http://coolmoonicecream.com/.
The good news is this list goes on and on. There are many more small-business ice cream shops that I haven’t listed here. It seems Portland as a whole is definitely full of ice cream lovers by the array of ice cream availabilities we have here. More good news is that many of these places offer pints to go and deliver. Whether you are dining in for a good ole’ parlor visit or selecting a new, exciting ice cream choice for delivery for a movie night at home, you are in good hands here in Portland. Best of luck to you all in embracing the many choices of ice cream we have available to us locally.