Few things make an afternoon or evening better than some quality ice cream. Sure, you can always buy a pint and sit at home. Still, there’s something special about visiting a neighborhood ice cream shop and ordering flavors you probably couldn’t find in a store (or order chocolate or vanilla if that’s really what you want to do; we won't tell). Seattle is a foodie kind of city with tons of options in all areas, and ice cream is no exception. Get your sweet tooth ready to go and grab a spoon.
Molly Moon’s is more than just delicious ice cream. The company also focuses on making the world a better place by sourcing ingredients locally and donating ice cream to raise money for local non-profits, school systems, and as a treat to food bank customers. They give 1 percent of their profits back to local organizations each year and also have made all serving materials in their shops compostable. But beyond all that, Molly Moon’s is also about delicious ice cream and delicious flavors. Of course, they serve the usual run-of-the-mill flavors but don’t miss more unusual flavors like Earl Grey, honey lavender, and sweet cream.
Cupcake Royale is, of course, known for its tasty cupcakes, but there’s more to this classic Seattle shop than cupcakes. They also serve up some of Seattle’s best ice cream! Some flavors are patterned after some of Cupcake Royale’s popular cupcake flavors, like red velvet or salted caramel cupcake ice cream. Others harken to other items served at the shop, like ice cream made with Stumptown Coffee with a ribbon of dark chocolate running through it. And if you can’t decide whether you’re here for a cupcake or the ice cream, you can order a Cupcake Sundae and end your internal conflict.
Shug’s serves up yummy ice cream with a heaping side of nostalgia in the form of floats, sundaes, sodas, and (of course) ice cream. Syrups, sauces, and toppings are all made right in the shop, and the shop serves up Lopez Island Creamery ice cream. Bonus—you’ll also find organic coffee, beer, wine, and ice cream cocktails on the menu. Sure, you can go with a sundae or milkshake (and the sundaes are incredible, including a s’mores sundae, brownie sundae, or a create-your-own customized ice cream masterpiece), but it’s not every day that you can have an affogato (espresso poured over ice cream) or a chai tea float or a champagne float! Come prepared to go unique at Shug’s, and you won’t be disappointed.
Everything at The Cookie Counter is made fresh, in-house, every day from mostly organic ingredients, and as many local and non-GMO ingredients as possible. And everything served is vegan! There are also ample gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free options (though, note that this is not a gluten-free or nut-free facility). Make no mistake; whether you have dietary restrictions or not, Cookie Counter is straight-up yummy! Ice cream flavors include several standards, as well as a rotating lineup of other flavors. Other treats include several baked goods, including cookies, brownies, popsters (pocket pies), and crispy bars.
Salt & Straw started with a humble foot cart in Portland and now has locations in L.A., San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. Salt & Straw thrives on unique flavors done deliciously well. In Seattle’s shop, you’ll find classic flavors like mint-chip with Theo Chocolate, Chocolate Gooey Brownie, Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache, and Beecher’s Cheese with Peppercorn Toffee. Flavors are a little outside of your usual ice cream experience and push the boundaries of what you’d expect in your cup or cone to delightful results. Also, watch for distinctive seasonal flavors too. Salt & Straw is known to throw in some unusual additions like various veggies!
Founded in the U-District by a University of Washington art program graduate, Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery focuses on producing small-batch, organically, and locally sourced ice cream. Everything is made from scratch, from the ice cream to the toppings to the sauces, right in the shop. Flavors often change with the season but might include anything from more traditional flavors like birthday cake or cookies and cream, to more unique combos like Persian rose, smoky chocolate or chocolate earl gray.