Top 100 cultural trends shaping the West

The ideas, people, places, and things that are making life out here better right now

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Soft-serve ice cream
Photo by Drew Kelly

#51-53: Soft-serve grows up

First came the Western ice cream revolution—scoops in flavors as outlandish as candied bacon and wasabi. Now, soft-serve is getting in on the action. The childhood swirl makes its play for attention with artisanal toppings and new flavors.

51 | Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, California, drowns its organic vanilla soft-serve with a shot of bitter espresso to make a very Italian affogato. samschowderhouse.com

52 | At San Francisco’s Zero Zero, you choose both base (ricotta doughnuts, say) and topping (pomegranate seeds and saffron?) for your Straus Family Creamery soft-serve (pictured). zerozerosf.com

53 | Restaurant Jane in Santa Barbara tops swirls of soft-serve with housemade toffee and caramel as well as seasonal berry sauces. 805/962-1311.

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