Readers Pick Seattle's Best Root Beer Floats
OK, so ice cream is an obvious choice, but how about toasting to the start of summer with a good old-fashioned root beer float? After polling local families, we found some very special spots where you are sure to have one extraordinary concoction.
Rachel's Ginger Beer at Pike Place Market and Capitol Hill offers five to seven rotating flavors of the locally loved alcohol-free ginger beer, including a most wonderful ginger beer float served with soft serve ice cream. The seasonal ginger beer flavors on tap alternate based on what farmers market produce they can get their hands on. 1530 Post Alley, Seattle, 98101 and 1610 12th Ave., Seattle, 98122
With more than 100 different varieties (yes, you read that right!), Chug's Root Beer & More is the place to go for root beer lovers. Grab a six-pack of the labels that catch your eye, or ask the knowledgeable staff what they recommend based on your tastes (do you like classic, sweet and smooth, or tart?). Then, have a killer root beer float party with your kids at home.
Or, try one of their extra-special floats; they have three root beers on tap and their floats are served with a waffle cookie, striped straw and a smile. 20015 Hwy. 99 Suite G, Lynnwood. 425-673-9999.
It sure brings back memories, pulling into one of only two XXX drive-ins left in the country. This visit to Issaquah is good for the float as well as the experience. Their frothy goodness comes in heavy, frosted mugs, using the original 1930 XXX root beer recipe. They are also known for their messy burgers ("Don't you dare ask for a fork or knife!" is written on the menu). If you have a car buff in the family, or two in my case, enjoy the classic car paraphernalia that covers every inch of the inside or visit during one of the many car shows in the XXX parking lot during the year. They have a car show every Sunday this summer, from Chevys to Classy Chassis to Corvettes. 98 NE Gilman Blvd
Elliott Bay Brewing Co., with pubs in West Seattle, Burien and on Lake City Way in Seattle, offers a tasty float with Crater Lake Root Beer and Husky Stout Ice Cream, which is produced exclusively for the brewery and is made with chocolate flakes and stout (a byproduct of the brewing process that is non-alcoholic). Adults are not forgotten here: Elliott Bay offers a scrumptious stout float for dark beer-lovers. And from what I hear, the brownie sundae is too good to be true. 255 SW 152nd St, Burien, 98166; 12537 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, 98125; 4720 California Ave SW Seattle, 98116
Editor's Note: This updated article was originally published in August of 2014.