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Ice cream, etc.: Family guide to frozen treats around Seattle



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Updated for Summer 2019

On a hot day, eating something sweet and frozen is a pure pleasure. Seattle doesn't have that many hot days, but it does have a delightful array of frozen treat options to enjoy when the sun does start beating down. Whether you are reconnecting with your kids after picking them up from day camp, or taking a pit stop between weekend play activities, these times over ice cream are great moments to bond and chat with older kids. With little kids, it's just fun to watch them get blissfully sticky. Here are some favorite spots in different neighborhoods.

Things to keep in mind: It might be helpful to pack wet wipes, particularly if the day is hot and/or the kids are young. If there is someone in your party who doesn't eat dairy, you should call ahead to find out what the day's dairy-free options are. My lactose-intolerant son is never going to forget the time he was 9 and he went with a friend's family to a fancy ice cream place, only to find the only flavor he could have was cucumber. When kids walk into an ice cream place, their expectations are high, and disappointment really stings.

 

Downtown area

Gelatiamo

1400 Third Ave, 206-467-9563

 Gelato is lower fat than conventional ice cream – it is made with a greater proportion of milk. It also has less air pumped into it. The result is a dense, intensely flavored and often vividly colored treat. Gelatiamo makes its own gelatos and sorbets from scratch in its downtown shop.

 

Bottega Italiana

1425 First Ave, 206-343-0200

This Pike Place Market business offers more than 20 flavors of freshly made gelato and sorbet. Gelato is denser than conventional American ice cream and has lower fat. The flavors are intense.

 

Shy Giant Frozen Yogurt

 1500 Pike Place #16, 206-743-6777

Also in Pike Place Market, Shy Giant serves both ice cream and frozen yogurt, and boasts an eccentric range of flavors, including such concoctions as salted popcorn and black licorice. They offer multiple vegan options.

 

Cupcake Royale

108 Pine St, 206-443-8674

Best known for its cupcakes, this local chain makes nine flavors of ice cream, all with dairy. There is always at least one sorbet available.

 

Baskin-Robbins

660 Elliott Ave W, 206-284-3372

A global chain with many flavors on offer, including frozen yogurt and sorbet.

 

Capitol Hill and Central District

Kurt Farm Shop

1424 11th Ave

This small shop in Capitol Hill's Chophouse Row building sells ice cream made using ingredients from Vashon Island's Kurtwood Farm and local creameries. Most of the time, it's just dairy.

 

Central District Ice Cream Company

509 13th Ave, (206) 519-1529

Each month, this shop offers eight different flavors, including one non-dairy. They post the lineup on their website. The July 2018 lineup includes a brilliant purple ube queso ice cream, blackberry and molasses ice cream and Turkish spiced chocolate ice cream. Some children (and adults) are likely to be too conservative for this place, so be sure to run the menu by your party in advance.

 

Old School Frozen Custard

1316 E Pike St, (206) 324-2586

Frozen custard is like ice cream, but with eggs as well as sugar, milk and cream. Old School makes its own fresh daily, with a handful of flavors, including vanilla and chocolate. All are most definitely dairy.

 

Scoop du Jour Ice Creamery

4029 E Madison St, (206) 325-9562

This Madison Park neighborhood landmark has a range of ice cream and several flavors of sorbet.

 

Salt & Straw

714 E Pike St A, (206) 258-4574

The arrival of this Portland export in Seattle excited local foodies. The menu includes familiar flavors and a rotating repertoire of concoctions based on seasonal local products, and there are some tasty non-dairy options. More details here.

 

Molly Moon's

917 E Pine St, (206) 708-7947
1408 34th Ave, (206) 324-0753

This local favorite has an ethos of community involvement.  Three examples: they give 1 percent of their sales away to charities, they host culinary classes for Seattle Public Schools, and they buy the cookies they use to make their Scout Mint ice cream directly from local girl scouts. The menu includes both standard and unorthodox flavors (Earl Grey, anyone?), and 90 percent of the ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest. There are non-dairy options.

 

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

507 Broadway E, (206) 743-8510

Load your cup with any combination of soft-serve frozen yogurts or sorbets, say, boysenberry and dulce de leche, decorate with a whimsical array of toppings, say, raspberries and gummy worms,  and pay for your cool treat by weight.

 

Full Tilt Ice Cream

328 15th Ave E, (206) 329-1206

A wide range of house-made flavors, for both the adventurous and the conservative, plus a room full of pinball and arcade games. For a certain kind of kid, it's a perfect outing. There are excellent non-dairy options, including multiple flavors of chocolate. More details here.

 

Frankie and Jo's

1010 E Union St, (206) 557-4603

None of the flavors have any dairy whatsoever. Everything is gluten-free, too, including the waffle cones.

 

Cupcake Royale

1111 E Pike St, (206) 701-9579
1101 34th Ave, (206) 701-6240

Best known for its cupcakes, this local chain makes its own ice cream. There is always at least one sorbet available.

 

Georgetown

Seattle Freeze

6014 12th Ave S

Just opened in June 2018, this shop serves donuts and soft-serve ice cream. But it's a new take on soft serve. There are six flavors, all dairy, all made in the shop: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, black sesame, ube and matcha. You pick flavors, plus accessories such as fruity pebbles to mix  in or use as a topping.

 

Southeast Seattle

12 Scoops

4267 S Orcas St, (206) 723-3190

This Hillman City store serves the usual flavors and some unusual. (Fried vanilla is an option.) They try to have one or two dairy-free options available.

 

Molly Moon's

4822 Rainier Ave S, (206) 397-3360

This local favorite has an ethos of community involvement.  Three examples: they give 1 percent of their sales away to charities, they host culinary classes for Seattle Public Schools, and they buy the cookies they use to make their Scout Mint ice cream directly from local girl scouts. The menu includes both standard and unorthodox flavors (Earl Grey, anyone?), and 90 percent of the ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest. There are non-dairy options.

 

Full Tilt Ice Cream

5041 Rainier Ave S‎, (206) 226-2740

A wide range of house-made flavors for both the adventurous and the conservative, plus a room full of pinball and arcade games. For a certain kind of kid, it's a perfect outing. There are excellent non-dairy options, including multiple flavors of chocolate. More details here.

 

Baskin-Robbins

2001 Rainier Ave S, (206) 324-0031

A global chain with many flavors on offer, including frozen yogurt and sorbet.

 

West Seattle

Husky Deli

4721 California Ave SW, (206) 937-2810

This landmark family business in West Seattle (since 1932) serves up 40 or so flavors of ice cream, including its own originals. There are no non-dairy flavors available for scooping.

 

Full Tilt Ice Cream

9629 16th Ave SW, (206) 767-4811

A wide range of house-made flavors for both the adventurous and the conservative, plus a room full of pinball and arcade games. For a certain kind of kid, it's a perfect outing. There are excellent non-dairy options, including multiple flavors of chocolate. More details here.

 

Frankie and Jo's Pop-Up

2758 Alki Ave SW Suite B , (206) 257-1676

This Alki Beach location is open May 30 through Labor Day only. None of the flavors have any dairy whatsoever. Everything is gluten-free, too, including the waffle cones.

 

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

2620 California Ave SW, (206) 935-3816

Load your cup with any combination of soft-serve frozen yogurts or sorbets, say, boysenberry and dulce de leche, decorate with a whimsical array of toppings, say, raspberries and gummy worms,  and pay for your cool treat by weight.

 

Cupcake Royale

4556 California Ave SW, (206) 701-6266

Best known for its cupcakes, this local chain makes its own ice cream. There is always at least one sorbet available.

 

Queen Anne

Molly Moon's

321 W Galer St, (206) 457-8854

This local favorite has an ethos of community involvement.  Three examples: they give 1 percent of their sales away to charities, they host culinary classes for Seattle Public Schools, and they buy the cookies they use to make their Scout Mint ice cream directly from local girl scouts. The menu includes both standard and unorthodox flavors (Earl Grey, anyone?), and 90 percent of the ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest. There are non-dairy options.

 

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

2101 Queen Anne Ave N, (206) 216-1650

Load your cup with any combination of soft-serve frozen yogurts or sorbets, say, boysenberry and dulce de leche, decorate with a whimsical array of toppings, say, raspberries and gummy worms,  and pay for your cool treat by weight.

 

Magnolia

Nutty Squirrel Gelato

2425 33rd Ave W Unit B, (877) 738-7696

Nutty Squirrel makes ice cream the Italian way, using less air and cream and more milk. The list of flavorful confections they have for sale is available on their website. There are three different vegan options.

 

Northwest

Parfait Ice Cream

2034 NW 56th St, (206) 258-3066

Ice Cream made from scratch in this Ballard store, using local ingredients. Many flavors vary by season, but there's always chocolate, vanilla and several other favorites, including mint stracciatella, which is mint made of spearmint from the Parfait garden and local farms, along with slivers of Theo chocolate. Fans of mint chocolate chip should definitely sample it. There are several vegan options on offer.

 

Bluebird Ice Cream

7400 Greenwood Ave N, (206) 659-8154

 This company makes ice cream from scratch and soda from scratch.  If floats are your thing, this is the place for you. They reliably have at least two options without dairy.  And even if you can eat milk products at will, you'll likely be tempted by their Horchata vegan ice cream.

 

Seattle Pops

1401 N 45th St, (206) 547-9850

Well known at farmers markets around town, this company now makes and sells its popsicles at this Wallingford store, which offers popsicle fans a greater selection, plus the option of chocolate embellishments. The menu is about evenly split between dairy and non-dairy options.

 

The Cookie Counter

7415 Greenwood Ave N

This Phinney Ridge bakery and ice creamery makes exclusively vegan food. So: vegan ice cream, vegan cones,  and vegan ice cream sandwiches.

 

D'Ambrosio Gelato

5339 Ballard Ave NW, (206) 327-9175

This Ballard store serves dense, flavorful ice cream made the Italian way, with milk rather than cream and less air. There are a selection of sorbets, made using fruit that is in season.

 

Fainting Goat Gelato

1903 N 45th St, (206) 327-9459
3415A Fremont Ave N, (206) 257-5267

Fainting Goat serves gelato – ice cream made using Italian methods, with milk rather than cream – and sorbet, both made in its Wallingford store.  True to the name, some of the gelato is made with goat milk.

 

Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery

1555 NW Market St #A, (206) 858-0125

This store makes its own ice cream, aiming to use as many ingredients as possible from within 100 miles. It carries some rich non-dairy flavors, made with coconut cream.

 

Frankie and Jo's

1411 NW 70th St, (206) 257-1676

None of the flavors have any dairy whatsoever. Everything is gluten-free, too, including the waffle cones.

 

Nutty Squirrel Gelato

7212 Greenwood Ave N, (877) 738-7696

Nutty Squirrel makes ice cream the Italian way, using less air and cream and more milk. The list of flavorful confections they have for sale is available on their website. There are three different vegan options.

 

Molly Moon's

1622 1/2 N 45th St, (206) 547-5105

This local favorite has an ethos of community involvement.  Three examples: they give 1 percent of their sales away to charities, they host culinary classes for Seattle Public Schools, and they buy the cookies they use to make their Scout Mint ice cream directly from local girl scouts. The menu includes both standard and unorthodox flavors (Earl Grey, anyone?), and 90 percent of the ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest. There are non-dairy options.

 

Full Tilt Ice Cream

5453 Leary Ave NW, (206) 297-3000

A wide range of house-made flavors, for both the adventurous and the conservative, plus a room full of pinball and arcade games. For a certain kind of kid, it's a perfect outing. There are excellent non-dairy options, including multiple flavors of chocolate. More details here.

 

Salt & Straw

5420 Ballard Ave NW, (206) 294-5581

The arrival of this Portlandia export in Seattle excited local foodies. The menu includes familiar flavors and a rotating repertoire of concoctions based on seasonal local products. More details here.

 

Zoeyogurt

6900 East Green Lake Way N Suite E, (206) 829-8270

This Green Lake self-serve yogurt place is part of a chain of two (the other one is on the Eastside, in Newcastle).  You choose your flavors. (They rotate, and there is always at least one without dairy), add toppings at will and pay by the ounce.

 

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

424 NE 71st St, (206) 556-3184

Load your cup with any combination of soft-serve frozen yogurts or sorbets, say, boysenberry and dulce de leche, decorate with a whimsical array of toppings, say, raspberries and gummy worms,  and pay for your cool treat by weight.

 

Cupcake Royale

2052 NW Market St, (206) 701-6238

Best known for its cupcakes, this local chain makes ice cream too. There is always at least one sorbet available.

 

Ben and Jerry's

7900 East Green Lake Dr N Suite 104, (206) 400-7327

The one Seattle outpost of this famous ice cream chain is in Green Lake, across the street from the wading pool. They have some good non-dairy options.

 

Northeast

Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery

4301 University Way NE, (206) 632-0243

This store makes its ice cream on site, aiming to use as many ingredients as possible from within 100 miles. It carries some rich non-dairy flavors, made with coconut cream.

 

 Wann Yen

1313 NE 43rd St, (206) 432-5902

This University District cafe, open weekdays only, offers traditional Thai shaved ice, served with sweetened coconut milk and toppings such as coconut meat, herb jelly, or Pandanus green noodles.

 

Juicy Spot Cafe

5240 University Way NE

This chain opened in summer 2018, in the University District. They make Thai ice cream rolls, confections made by spreading a mix on a supercooled surface – an "antigriddle", they call it – then rolling it up and adding toppings. Watching how it's done is part of the fun.

 

Full Tilt Ice Cream

4759 Brooklyn Ave NE, (206) 524-4406

A wide range of house-made flavors for both the adventurous and the conservative, plus a room full of pinball and arcade games. For a certain kind of kid, it's a perfect outing. There are excellent non-dairy options, including multiple flavors of chocolate. More details here.

 

Molly Moon's

2615 NE 46th St, (206) 525-5140

This local favorite has an ethos of community involvement.  Three examples: they give 1 percent of their sales away to charities, they host culinary classes for Seattle Public Schools, and they buy the cookies they use to make their Scout Mint ice cream directly from local girl scouts. The menu includes both standard and unorthodox flavors (Earl Grey, anyone?), and 90 percent of the ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest. There are non-dairy options.

 

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

4609 Village Court NE, (206) 525-4445

Load your cup with any combination of soft-serve frozen yogurts or sorbets, say, boysenberry and dulce de leche, decorate with a whimsical array of toppings, say, raspberries and gummy worms,  and pay for your cool treat by weight.

 

 


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