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Six local, must-go ice cream shops

Plant-based or milk-based, Seattle independents serve up delicious!

In the warmer, sunnier spring and summer months, what kid wouldn’t go bananas for a scoop of luscious ice cream simply scooped or with a rainbow sprinkles? Here are six local ice cream shops in Seattle to help you savor warm weather days.

Frankie & Jo’s

Seattle ice cream

Seattle-based Frankie & Jo’s (with location at in University Village, Capitol Hill and Ballard) has proven without a doubt that delicious ice cream does not require dairy. These shops are all about serving up tastebud-popping plant-based ice cream — and inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to eat more plants. Frankie & Jo’s is certified as a B-Corp, which means the company is committed to sustainability, addressing climate change, organic practices, fair supply chain practices, taking care of its employees and supporting the community. This is ice cream at it’s radical best riding on flavors like chocolate tahini supercookie, salty caramel ash, beet strawberry rose sorbet and a very creative rotating list of seasonal scoops.

Bluebird Ice Cream

Bluebird sprinkles. Photo courtesy Bluebird Ice Cream.

Greenwood’s Bluebird soda fountain serves homemade ice cream scoops and sundaes, plus floats made with soda brewed fresh in kid-approved flavors like snickerdoodle. Grab a stool at an authentic, 80-year-old gooseneck soda fountain from a pharmacy on Second and Yesler that owner Josh Reynolds had painstakingly sourced and restored to its original glory.

Full Tilt ice cream

Start with a fudge brownie swirl sundae and end with a game of pinball during a dessert run to Full Tilt’s White Center flagship. The ice cream shop’s Columbia City outpost also buzzes with kids licking big, fun flavors like peanut butter and jelly and horchata. Plus vegan picks — and plenty of old-school video games.

Molly Moon’s Ice Cream

Molly Moon’s Ice Cream. Photo by @hellomariko

A cookbook and five locations later, Molly Moon Neitzel is credited with kicking off the specialty ice cream craze that’s swept Seattle in recent years. Some flavors, like balsamic strawberry and salted caramel, haven’t changed since day one. Others rotate seasonally, like blueberry lemon custard, orchard blondie, blackberry sorbet and vegan coconut raspberry.

Salt & Straw

ice cream seattle

Kim Malek started the company with community in mind, so she teamed up with her cousin to create a space for a sweet treat and a gathering place for friends. At locations in Ballard, Capitol Hill and Totem Lake, you’ll find plenty to drool over with seasonal flavors and out-of-this-world combinations. Try the strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper or birthday cakes with blackberries flavors. The easiest choice you’ll have is if you want to eat it in a cup or a cone. Ballard, Capitol Hill, and Totem Lake. 

Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery

Ice cream seattle

On a mission of sustainability, this small-batch ice cream shop in Seattle uses local ingredients sourced within 100 miles of their location. Stop in for a pint of ice cream or order a custom ice cream cake for a special occasion.

For more cold treats on  hot summer day, check out these gelato, fro-yo, and other ice cream shops.

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Sara Billups