These Are Our Favorite Ice Cream Shops Across the West
Cool down this summer with a sweet treat from artisanal ice cream shops.
As summer heats up, we’re dreaming of sundaes by the beach. Whether you’re on your way back from a hike or in need of a midday pick-me-up, ice cream is a sweet solution.
The West has a wide selection of artisanal creameries, each with its own quirks and flavors. Many ice cream shops are now sourcing ingredients sustainably and providing dairy-free alternatives. Flavor options have evolved, too. California-based Wanderlust Creamery offers a luxury cream Gianduja, a dairy-free cacao and hazelnut blend. Nearby, Rori’s artisanal creamery promises nothing but milk, cream, and wholesome ingredients to create unique flavors like Black Pepper Pistachio.
Salt & Straw has shops up and down the West Coast, and offers exclusive new flavors that are released every month, though we’re partial to the decadent Lavender-Honey. The company starts with cream “from fifth-generation, family-owned Scott Brothers Dairy. Cows who are blissed out, grass-fed, and never given growth hormones or antibiotics,” according to its website. Then, they “max out the ice cream’s butterfat content in order to achieve a luxurious texture.”
McConnell’s has been providing ice cream with flavors like Eureka Lemon and Marionberries to the Golden State since 1949. The company uses just three simple ingredients: milk and cream from cows that “graze year ’round on Central Coast grass,” eggs from “organically-fed, cage-free hens” and pure cane sugar—”a bit. It is ice cream, after all,” the company says on its website.
From soft serve sourced from buffalo’s milk to a carrot-mango sorbet, we’ve got our eyes on these ice cream shops across the West. They’l have you singing “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream,” all summer long.
Is there any better combination than island time and ice cream? Lopez Island Creamery was started on Lopez Island in Washington state’s San Juan Islands. We’ll be ordering cones of the Skagit Strawberry and Wild Blackberry all summer long.
If you live in the West, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Salt & Straw. If you haven’t, we’d love to make an introduction. Salt & Straw was founded in Portland by cousin duo Kim and Tyler Malek who wanted to bring quality ice cream to their community.
We always make it a point to try a local ice cream shop whenever we travel but Wanderlust brings the excitement of travel to you. Located in the greater Los Angeles area, Wanderlust’s artisanal flavors are inspired by different locations. They come out with new flavors every month but we’re thinking about their signature Violet Marshmallow, inspired by the south of France.
Founder Rori Trovato was inspired by Sunday dinners that ended with fresh-churned ice cream made by her grandmother. Today, Rori’s creamery focuses on the fundamentals of artisanal creams.
A California staple, McConnell’s is currently three generations in. People flock to visit the flagship store in Santa Barbara where McConnell’s legacy began in 1949 by Gordon “Mac” and Ernesteen McConnell. Let the fresh flavors and ingredients speak for themselves. You can pick up a pint at grocery stores located in major cities on the West.
From its flavors to its origins, this ice cream shop is full of quirks. Humphry Slocombe was named after the two lead characters, Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe, from the 1970s British sitcom Are You Being Served? If you have to try before you buy, look no further. Because of the unique flavors, Humphry Slocombe allows patrons to sample everything in its San Francisco stores. We’ll take a spoonful of the Carrot Mango Sorbet, please!
Come to Bi-Rite for your groceries but stay for the ice cream. The Bi-Rite Creamery is located down the street from the Bi-Rite market but also has myriad standing locations as well. These scoops are handmade, from the cream that ties it all together to the brownies, peanut brittle, marshmallows, and the snickerdoodles that top it off. If you’re looking to try a new kind of cream, you’ll want to grab a cone of their soft serve sourced with Double 8 Dairy, a water buffalo dairy farm in California.
You shouldn’t have to compromise on sweets when you switch up your diet. Frankie & Jo’s is a completely plant-based ice cream shop based in Seattle. We’re hoping to get our hands on the Salty Caramel Ash, which resembles the greenery of the Pacific Northwest.