Seattle's Child

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Diverse summer treats

Summertime is the best time for something cool. Photo courtesy Mike's Shave Ice Instagram

Diverse desserts: Go beyond ice cream this summer

Go on the hunt for treats from the many cultures that make up Seattle

Yes, ice cream is often the first treat that comes to mind with the word summer. But in Puget Sound, a region rich in cultural food choices, consider this season the chance to enrich your family’s treat palate. Below are just a few summer dessert options that go beyond the traditional cone to celebrate our area’s diverse tastes and heritages.

Diverse summer treats

Wojapi. Photo courtesy ʔálʔal Café Instagram

Tasty Indigenous treats 

Though ʔálʔal Café — which means “home” in Lushootseed — is not known as a dessert spot, it offers treats that reflect the café’s connection to the traditional foods of Indigenous people. Try a Wojapi parfait (Dakota berry sauce and honey-sweetened yogurt), wild rice coffee cake with maple syrup and made with Red Lake Nation wild rice, or blue corn bread made with Navajo Nation blue corn meal. Located at 122 2nd Ave., Ext. S, Seattle. @alalcafe

AntojitosT oxicos mangonada. Photo by Melody Ip

Mexican Mango medley

Antojitos — or “little cravings” — are traditional Mexican street fare and the sweet mother-daughter duo at Antojitos Toxicos is serving them up in Woodinville and Renton. With much of the menu centered on fresh fruit, the treats are perfect for summer refreshment.

Owner Cynthia suggests the mangonada—a customer favorite—a medley of mango sorbet, mango chunks, and tamarind candy seasoned with tajin and chamoy for a tangy kick. Kids’ favorites include ice cream, fruit paletas, or bionic, which is fruit with whipped cream and toppings. 

Located at 3219 NE Sunset Blvd., Suite B, Renton, and 12637 NE Woodinville Dr., Woodinville. @antojitos_toxicoss

Bløtkake. Photo courtesy Byen Bakeri Instagram

Light and refreshing from Norway

Byen Bakeri , which means “city bakery” in Norwegian, is a modern Nordic café that offers savory fare, but most people come for the sweets — pastries, artisan breads, and cakes.

Their two most popular items, and their recommendations to first-timers, are the princess cake and the kringle. While Byen Bakeri isn’t releasing anything new for the summer, their light and refreshing Bløtkake — a vanilla cake with strawberries and raspberry jam — is back for the season. Located at 15 Nickerson St., Suite D, Seattle @byen_bakeri

Bubble tea. Photo courtesy Seattle Best Tea Instagram

Terrific Taiwanese Boba

Seattle Best Tea is beloved by tea connoisseurs. The Taiwanese owners pride themselves on their high-quality organic teas, which serve as bases for their bubble teas.

The bestsellers are unassuming — oolong milk tea, jasmine milk tea, black milk tea, and taro milk tea — which indicate that customers come for the teas rather than the ambience or elaborate flavors. The best news of all, toppings are free! Located at 506 S King St and 4505 University Way NE in  Seattle. @seattlebesttea

Mike’s Shave Ice. Photo by Melody Ip

A chilly Hawaiian treat

On a sweltering summer day — or any day, really — Mike’s Shave Ice is worth tracking down. Their shave ice (as Hawaiians call it — not “shaved” ice) is sold out of a trailer and can be found at neighborhood pop-ups, farmers’ markets, and restaurants. The treats are so finely shaved that you can’t even hear your spoon cut through it. Choose from a set combo or create your own with flavors like strawberry, lilikoi, mango, or piña colada. 

Toppings include li hing mui powder (sweet and salty plum), mochi, fruit, and condensed milk.

My family of five was content sharing three orders (although we could’ve ordered a fourth). My only regret: not ordering more mochi. Find out where their truck will be. @mikesshaveice 

Ma & Pops icepops in Caribbean flavors. Photo courtesy Ma & Pops

Caribbean cool-off

The owners of Ma and Pops ice pops release several new flavors each year, all stemming from the owners’ Caribbean and Southern roots. This year: coco mango and aromatic lime (lime with bitters) inspired by Trinidadian drinks. These will join favorites like guava, spicy watermelon, and apricot chamomile. Look for the debut of Pops Jr. Pup Pops — ice pops for dogs created by the owners’ 9-year-old son. In Seattle: Cone and Steiner (two locations), Leschi Market, Moon Village Bakery; Renton: Rain City Market; and local farmers markets and events @maandpops

Spiced ice creams. Photo courtesy Kwality Ice Cream Instagram

Still want ice cream? Go beyond the regulars!

For kids and parents dreaming of an ice cream flavor from their own Indian heritage or those who are gastronomically adventurous, Kwality Ice Cream is the place. It specializes in Indian desserts and flavors — like rose petal, kesar pista (saffron and pistachio), and rajbhog (cardamom, saffron, and rose) — plus commonly recognizable flavors, like butter pecan, mint chocolate chip, and strawberry.

Kwality’s summer special: gulab jamun, fried dough balls soaked in a syrup flavored with cardamom, rose water, saffron, and cloves. The owner also recommends faloodas kulfis — ice cream topped with basil seeds, sweet noodles, rose syrup, and nuts. A caveat: Kwality doesn’t offer samples. Located at 1400 156th Ave. NE, Bellevue. @kwalitybellevue

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About the Author

Melody Ip

Melody Ip has been an avid writer since she got her first diary at the age of 5. Today, she is a freelance copy editor and writer, in addition to being the copy chief for Mochi Magazine. She loves the trees and rain of the Pacific Northwest, still sends handwritten letters, and always has at least five books on her nightstand.