Best ice cream parlors in Portland

The old adage “we all scream for ice cream” couldn’t be more true in Portland, where there is ice cream to please almost any palate. Got an Italian nuna who loves to stick to the classics? take her to Pinolo Gelato For pistachios and stracatella. Like your ice cream chef James Beard style? Look no further than uber rich frozen custard from mature cooperative. Are you looking for Indian kulfi with traditional and non-traditional flavours? head for Colvi. Want to try out a well-meaning Portland institution that’s still innovating today? wander to salt and straw. And if you’re vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-intolerant, Kit ice cream They are a safe haven, while many of these other stores offer friendly options as well. Read on to find your new favorite way to beat the summer heat.

Cheese and crack


There is only one flavor of soft food in this mixed wine shop – Snack Stop – Ice Cream Parlor, and it’s vanilla. But Cheese & Crack is anything but ordinary. Get your cone filled with chocolate ganache on the bottom (take that, Drumstick!) and dust it with your choice of strawberry, matcha, malt chocolate, espresso, or even beet powder—and add a chocolate cowboy hat if you’re feeling extra yeehaw. A particularly indulgent sundae. Banana yogurt sundae is an always-on staple, complete with Nilla Wafer cookies and sticky banana cream, but seasonal specials like Toasted Coconut or Oreo Peanut Butter will keep you on your toes and ready to come back for more. 22 SE 28th Ave – Katherine Chew Hamilton

Cloud City Ice Cream


While Portland is known for its exotic ice cream flavors like La Salt pig’s blood, straw, and turkey scoops on Thanksgiving, Cloud City tends to be nostalgic, with nice touches of fun. Kids and adults alike can indulge in the flavor of sea salt dough that pairs with a plentiful little dough stuffed with chocolate chips with a delightfully simple sweet cream base — we dare say it’s more dough than ice cream. The aptly named Better than Therapy combines a sparkling lemon curd base with gluten-free gingerbread cookies. But our all-time favorite is marionberry crisp, a mascarpone base with swirl of berries and crisp oat clusters. Pro tip: The split scoop costs no extra and lets you try generous portions of two flavors, ideally in a crisp waffle cone. 4525 SE Woodstock Blvd—KCH

Eb & Vol

Irvington, Richmond, Northwest

The Elizabeth Nathan Est has sold its three-quarter span of its storefronts to a former customer about a year ago now, and the elevated frozen yogurt concept hasn’t missed a thing. This is the alternative to the mass-produced sensation at most stopovers – the yogurt here is organic and vegan alternatives are in abundance. Try Balsamic Raspberry Balsam with Oat Milk or Pandan Caramel with Coconut Milk. But fro-yo is nothing without a layer, and here they come carefully. There is no daily shower for off-the-shelf sprinklers; Alternatively, you’ll find crumbled oatmeal cookies from Bakeshop or cocoa nibs and Jacobsen salt. Multiple places – Julia Silverman

fifty licks

Buckman, Husford Abernethy, Northwest

This small Portland chain, with outposts in Slabtown, Division-Clinton, and a prime location in East Burnside opposite the Laurelhurst Theater, gets a lot of credit for being particularly friendly to vegans, gluten-free, celiac, and a number not. There are countless other dietary restrictions that one might not generally associate with an ice cream shop. Fortunately, zero is sacrificed in taste and nothing is excessive in sweetness and fermentation. Flavors change regularly depending on what’s in season, but you can always count on finding rich mango sticky rice, custard, and somehow vegan. Multiple places —JS

Kit ice cream


Until March of this year, Kate was a bit like your favorite no-coffee pop-up roaster. After two years of falling in love with pints of vegan grocery stores and the itinerant farmers’ market, vegans and those intolerant to lactose and gluten have added a safe haven to their ice cream parlor list. With the opening of the Scoop store in Mississippi this spring, coconut-based favorites like pastel-colored walnut-and-pistachio cobbler rolled out of the freezer aisle and landed beautifully in homemade gluten-free waffle cones sandwiched between home-baked cookies. And Bring Your Four-legged Companions: Kate has been known to give dog cones to canine friends. 3713 N Mississippi Ave – Matt Trouhairs



Imagine ice cream, but with a thick, highly chewy texture and a supercharged milky flavor, and you’ve got kulfi, a traditional Indian frozen dessert. Married couple Kiran Chima and Jagan Ulach began selling handmade kulfi on a stick during the pandemic from a cart, and soon customers started showing up with coolers to stock up on each week. Some bars rely on classic Indian flavor profiles, such as pistachio, saffron, rose water, cardamom, malai (plain milk) or mango lassi; Others are Northwest classics, like the marionberry cheesecake, while others are whimsical dream creations like the spirulina-blue Cookie Monster. The dairy-free pops are especially refreshing when the temperature breaks 90 degrees—look for Vietnamese coffee with coconut, lime juice, strawberry, mint, and jackfruit. 5009 NE 15th Ave—KCH

Lovely Fifty Fifty


They say you’re never too full for ice cream, and that’s especially true after devouring one of Sarah Minnick’s tangy, wood-crusted pizza topped with the likes of fermented carrots and Castelvetrano olives. A strong contender for our best scoop in town, the organic ice cream is also scrumptious – look out for the classic buckwheat honey fudge, the chocolate salted milk ball with mini crunchy chocolate chips, and the unmissable salted caramel, plus an array of exotic flavors. Like fennel, vanilla or sour cherry butter. But pizza isn’t a prerequisite – stop for a scoop or pick up a pint from a can at the restaurant’s front desk. 4039 N Mississippi Ave—KCH

Ohm Kali


Get tropical fruits in the form of Mexican ice cream and palettes at Beaverton Ice Cream Shop. The bright orange sweet potato-like mamey, creamy guava ice cream, tangy soursak, and sour chamois syrup made with chile salted plums are the best fruit scoops, though horchata ice cream, spicy Mexican chocolate ice cream, and sunflower seed tequila are also essential. . Paletas come in a stunning rainbow of flavors, with a whole range dedicated to spicy pops, chile pineapple to chile tamarind. It’s an excellent way to experience fruit you’ve probably never seen before in real life, from a refreshing yellow naan to a cola-like black spot. No wonder it’s a must when we find ourselves within a stone’s throw of Beaverton. 12795 SW Canyon Rd—KCH

Pinolo Gelato


Gelato is basically just a fancy word for ice cream, right? Let Pinolo prove you wrong with his window proudly announcing “Gelato: The Not-Ice Cream of Italy” and carefully crafted and bold flavors from pistachio to strawberry. (Quick reminder: Gelato contains less air than ice cream, and is primarily made with milk rather than cream, so it also has less fat. Gelato is also served at a higher temperature than ice cream. These three factors combined mean that Gelato is denser, velvety texture, and lighter, but its flavor is more intense.) While Sandro Paolini’s Gelatio generally sticks to classic flavors—even the regular milk flavour, which is surprisingly good—he’s also inventive about more than you’d normally find in old country, from woodland flavor with pine bud tips to local strawberry and elderberry sorbet. On occasion, Paolini feeds his own fruit, as in the wild Mount Hood blackberry syrup that came out in very limited quantities last summer and that was a run, so don’t walk into this situation. 3707 SE Division St –KCH

mature cooperative


What would you taste like if a James Beard award-winning chef made ice cream – well, technically frozen custard due to the high content of very rich eggs? Find out at Naomi Pomeroy’s Ripe Cooperative, a pandemic-born hybrid restaurant and market in the former Beast space. Our Karen Brooks is obsessed with the devil’s food cake, complete with messy brownie pieces to sink your teeth into, while also enamored with nostalgic blood orange dreams, and I can’t wait to try the Strawberry Short Cake with Tahitian Vanilla. Get it by the scoop, at the bottom of an avogato, or take whole pints home. 5425 NE 30th Ave—KCH

salt and straw

Multiple places

Whether you think it’s worth the hype or not, Salt & Straw is a Portland institution. Oregonians were lining up for spoonfuls of Arbequina olive oil and pints of blue cheese and pear long before Salt & Straw was a must-have for folks cruising down the Venice Boardwalk, between rides at Disneyland, or at a long lunch from their jobs. Tech in Palo Alto. Yes, Salt & Straw has made it big, and it’s everywhere, but it’s also really good. Standouts like summertime honey lavender and silky-fringed mint vegan chocolate chips have been around for many Portlanders over the past decade, and seasonal collaborations, even if they sometimes cross the deliciousness threshold (scrambled eggs and balsamic marshmallow?), always make a provocative splash while supporting the community . Tip: The waffle bowls aren’t explicitly advertised, but they are the ultimate bowl of chocolate chip cookie. —MT

Sugarpine Drive-In


Every time I venture down the fjord, I’m magnetically drawn to Sugarpine, adjusting my itinerary so I can be sure to reward a long day of hiking, biking, or just relaxing in the river with a soft-serve sundae. Despite the old school name, the sundae here sounds like something you’re likely to find in inland Southeast Portland. A must-try sundae for all Sugarpine newcomers is Larch Mountain: a chocolate-vanilla swirl topped with brown butter blondie, raspberry sauce, lavender and honeycomb pine nuts. From there, branch out into a custom-made sundae if you dare, with toppings ranging from miso caramel to Magic Shell matcha. However, there are plenty of accompaniments available for those who prefer a more classic, from birthday cake crumbs to hot honeycomb fudge. 1208 East Columbia River Historic Highway – KCH

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *