Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Photo credit: Nevada Dairy Farmers website

Family guide to Ice cream, Gelato and frozen treats around Seattle

Ice cream, gelato, fro-yo.. enjoy a cold summer treat. Here are some great places to treat your kids — and yourself.

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

Bottega Italiana

Address: 1425 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Phone: (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. If you’re looking for dairy-free options, they have a Raspberry gelato that is sweet and mildly tart.

 

Gelatiamo

Address: 1400 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Phone: (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.

 

Shy Giant Frozen Yogurt

Address: 1500 Pike Pl #16, Seattle, WA 98101

Phone: (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.

 

Capitol Hill and Central District

Cupcake Royale – Madrona

Address: 1101 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Phone: (206) 701-6240

Best known for its cupcakes, this local chain make flavors of ice cream, all with dairy. There is always at least one sorbet available. Other locations in West Seattle (4556 California Ave SW) and Burien (546 SW 152nd St).

 

Frankie and Jo’s – Capitol Hill 

Address: 1010 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122

Phone: (206) 557-4603

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

 

Molly Moon’s – Capitol Hill 

Address:

917 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122.

1408 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Phone: (206) 294-4389

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.

 

Salt & Straw – Capitol Hill

Address: 714 E Pike St Suite A, Seattle, WA 98122

Phone: (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.

 

Scoop du Jour Ice Creamery

Address: 4029 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

Phone: (206) 325-9562

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

 

Magnolia

Nutty Squirrel Gelato – Magnolia

Address: 2425 33rd Ave W STE B, Seattle, WA 98199

Phone: (877) 738-7696 ext. 1

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. They offer vegan options.

 

Northeast Seattle

Baskin-Robbins – Northgate

Address: 826 NE Northgate Way, Seattle, WA 98125

Phone: (206) 364-4320

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

 

Molly Moon’s – U Village

Address: 2615 NE 46th St, Seattle, WA 98105

Phone: (206) 294-4389

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.

 

Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery – University District

Address: 4301 University Wy NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Phone: (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.

 

Northwest Seattle

Ben and Jerry’s – Green Lake

Address: 7900 East Green Lake Dr N Suite 104, Seattle, WA 98103

Phone: (206) 400-7327

The one Seattle outpost of this famous ice cream chain is in Green Lake, across the street from the wading pool. Enjoy a freshly baked waffle cone, or try one of their dipped waffle cones, shakes or sundaes. They have some good non-dairy options.

Bluebird Ice Cream

Address: 7415 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Phone: (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.

 

D’Ambrosio Gelato

Address: 5339 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Phone: (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

Address:

3415 Fremont Ave N A, Seattle, WA 98103 (Fremont)

2210 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103 (Wallingford)

Phone: (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. They just opened a new location, Fainting Goat Creamery Inc (Madison 2804 E Madison St).

 

Frankie and Jo’s – Ballard

Address: 1411 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117

Phone: (206) 257-1676

Frankie & Jo’s Sundae Shop is their newest concept shop, located at their longtime Ballard location. The Sundae Shop has all of your favorite F&J ice cream flavors and menu offerings, in addition to soft serve and sundaes (currently, this is the only location to have soft serve). This location offers an outdoor garden and an interactive children’s play space.

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

 

Molly Moon’s – Wallingford

Address: 1622.5 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Phone: (206) 294-4389

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.

 

Nutty Squirrel Gelato – Greenwood

Address: 7212 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Phone: (877) 738-7696 ext. 2

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 different vegan options.

 

Salt & Straw – Ballard

Address: 5420 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Phone: (206) 294-5581

Their Ballard shop sits in the heart of the waterfront district with a rich maritime history. The menu includes familiar flavors and a rotating repertoire of concoctions based on seasonal local products. They have vegan options as well.

 

Seattle Pops

Address: 1401 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Phone: (206) 548-6122

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. They will be open for pop-ups on the Patio Wednesday thru Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., while their indoor is temporarily closed for renovations.

 

Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery – Ballard

Address: 1555 NW Market St #A, Seattle, WA 98107

Phone: (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.

 

Southeast Seattle

Baskin-Robbins – Renton

Address: 520 Rainier Ave S, Renton, WA 98057

Phone: (425) 226-3113

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

Molly Moon’s – Columbia City 

Address: 4822 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Phone: (206) 294-4389

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.

 

West Seattle

Cupcake Royale – West Seattle

Address: 4556 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

Phone: (206) 701-6266

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

 

Husky Deli

Address: 4721 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

Phone: (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.

 

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt – West Seattle

Address: 2620 California Ave SW UNIT 400, Seattle, WA 98116

Phone: (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. On July 12, 2024, they will be giving the first 50 people their first 5 OZ FREE at 3 p.m.

 

Queen Anne

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Address: 2101 Queen Anne Ave N Ste 104, Seattle, WA 98109

Phone: (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. On July 12, 2024, they will be giving the first 50 people their first 5 OZ FREE at 3 p.m.

 

Molly Moon’s – Queen Anne

Address: 321 W Galer St, Seattle, WA 98119

Phone: (206) 294-4389

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.

 

Read more:

Six local, must-go ice cream shops in the Seattle area

7 amazing playgrounds you don’t want to miss 

About the Author

Fiona Cohen