Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, there’s nothing like a cold treat when temperatures climb. In Portland, we’re spoiled rotten with a huge selection of creative, hand-crafted ice cream makers. Go beyond 31 flavors with a scoop from one of the ten shops on this list. Read on to find out more.
Photo: Chris JL via Flickr
Why not kick things off with an innovative take on a classic dessert? Rolled ice cream is a new method from Thailand that results in beautiful spirals, freshly crafted to order. Ice cream “artists” pour a liquid base onto a freezing pan set at -22 degrees, add custom ingredients, then chop and mix everything into a thin sheet of ice cream, which freezes before your eyes before being rolled into elegant flutes. This Oregon original opened its first shop in Eugene in 2017, and has since expanded to three locations, including Salem and Portland. Vegan, lactose-free, and dairy options are all available, with an impressive list of flavors ranging from Lavender and Rose to Fruity Pebbles and S’mores.
1728 SW Jefferson St
This gem in the Woodstock neighborhood of Southeast Portland has been impressing kids of all ages since 2011, using natural and local ingredients to serve up a prolific menu of dairy and non-dairy scoops, sundaes, and shakes. Hand-packed pints are available in the to-go freezer, and an assortment of hand-dipped cones make a special treat even more exciting. (Unicorn ice cream on a pink sprinkle cone, anyone?) Cloud City uplevels classic flavors (the Bourbon Vanilla and Kainos Coffee are both flavorful and not-too-sweet) while keeping things fresh with an evolving list of new combinations, like Carmelized Banana and Earl Grey Blueberry. Bonus points for super creative names, like Better than Therapy: lemon curd ice cream studded with gluten-free ginger molasses cookies.
4525 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Photo: Christos Loufopoulos via Flickr
Duck into this sweet little shop near the train station in the NW quadrant of Portland. With extended hours (open until 11!) during the long, bright days, it’s the perfect way to cap off a full day of summer adventures. Owned and operated by Oregon native Eva Bernhard, Cool Moon keeps a “life list” of 200 different flavors, offering about 26 of them at a time. Choose from stand-bys like Vanilla and Hazelnut, plus exciting combinations like Horchata or Kulfi (pistachio, cardamom, and rose water), all based on a hand-made recipe prepared with fresh eggs. 2-4 varieties of sorbet are also always on hand, in addition to floats, sundaes, and popsicles. Yum.
1105 NW Johnson St.
Get your froyo on with a swirl of handmade dairy or non dairy goodness from Eb & Bean– all of the fun without the artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, corn syrup, and GMOs typical of the trade. Choose from an assortment of high-quality toppings to find the perfect combo, with options like local honey and organic fruit to keep things light and fresh. Having just opened their third location this year, chances are good there’s an Eb & Bean near you when the craving strikes.
645 NW 21ST AVE
1425 NE Broadway St.
3040 SE Division St.
Photo: Kassim Emran via Flickr
At Fifty Licks, the eating is easy with simple, quality ingredients and clean, modern decor. Enjoy a seasonal menu of rotating original flavors, like French Toast and Hood Strawberry, made French-style on a custard base of cage-free eggs. There are gluten-free cones and a nice assortment of vegan options, like the turmeric-rich Golden Milk and the surprising Coconut Lemon Saffron. And if you just can’t make it to their three locations, hit up Caviar for delivery!
2742 E Burnside St
2021 SE Clinton St
NW 24th Ave. & Thurman St. (Food Truck)
Vegans and omnivores alike are talking about this new addition to Portland’s ice cream scene. Are you ready to do a double-take on your double-scoop? Just opened in the Pearl district this spring, Little Bean offers a wide variety of dairy-free flavors on a creamy chickpea-milk base. And the deliciousness doesn’t stop there. They’re open early for coffee with non-dairy chickpea milk, plus a range of gluten-free bread, cookies, and pastries made from chickpea pulp, including a selection of savory toasts.
1241 NW Johnson St.
Ice cream gets a lot of press in Portland, but its Italian cousin gelato deserves a shout-out, too– especially Pinolo Gelato, founded by a native Italian and proudly serving up fresh scoops based on a traditional recipe. The majority of flavors are egg-free, and because it’s served warmer than ice cream and prepared with less fat, it is believed to be more flavorful than ice cream. You should definitely test out this theory. Get your classics like Hazelnut and Stracciatella, but venture into the wild, too, for a scoop of Almond Fig or Zabaione, a custard gelato with a Marsala wine reduction. Their dairy-free sorbettos are also gluten-free, with enticing summery flavors like Lemon Basil and Strawberry Elderflower. Oh, and did we mention the affogato? That’s italian for espresso poured over gelato. Um, yes, please.
3707 SE Division
This popular ice cream sandwich shop just launched its fourth location this spring, with a large boutique now open on stylish NW 23rd Avenue, featuring separate seating areas and a state-of-the-art test kitchen. Try out a class or sample a new flavor at their new taste-testing station! Ruby Jewel is known for signature Pacific Northwest-inspired ice cream flavors combined with moist, decadent house-made cookies. Whichever location you choose, check out their “Now Scooping” and “Always Scooping” lists for the lowdown on their mouth-watering flavors.
4703 SE Hawthorne Blvd
3713 N Mississippi Ave.
428 SW 12th Ave.
1650 NW 23rd Ave.
Photo: J Pellgen via Flickr
A Portland bucket list wouldn’t be complete without a stop at this popular ice cream destination. It’s on the map for foodies across the country, as the line out the door suggests. Don’t worry– it’s worth the wait! Bring a crossword and some sidewalk chalk and make the most of it, while you get ready to sample wild Northwest-inspired flavors like Spruce Tips & Huckleberry Crisp, or the vegan flavor Berries, Beans, and BBQ Sauce (for real.) Or go basic with standby flavors like Honey Lavender and Coava Coffee.
838 NW 23rd Ave.
126 SW 2nd Ave.
3345 SE Division St.
2035 NE Alberta St.
100 A Ave., Lake Oswego, OR
Situated uphill from a popular swimming hole on the Sandy River, just minutes from Portland, Sugar Pine Drive-in is an unassuming delight, housed in a former 1920s gas station and full of charm. In addition to an award-winning menu of lunch items and snacks, they serve up classic soft-serve cones and sundaes– just the thing after a day spent tubing the river or lounging along the shore with your baby. Enjoy a swirl of the classic three flavors (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry) with your choice of toppings, from rainbow sprinkles to butterscotch. Dairy not your thing? Order up a coconut-milk soft serve! (And psst… they also serve something called a Frose Slushie. That’s like a slurpee but made with wine. Just sayin’.)
1208 East Historical Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, OR
Photo: J Pellgen via Flickr
This artisan ice cream shop delivers a wallop of flavor, with an impressively long list of rotating flavors, like “Thrilla” in Vanilla, a custom blend of four vanillas, or Dirty Chai, combining the classic spiced tea with a hint of espresso. There’s also a variety of fresh vegan sorbets! If you can’t choose just one, opt for a sampling, with smaller scoops of 4 flavors served with your choice of 4 toppings. Feeling courageous? Try an ice cream sandwich or a Baked Oregon: a housemade fudge brownie topped with ice cream, caramel, “magic dust” and a chocolate shell, then covered with toasted marshmallow. Whew. Sounds amazing.
0664 SW Gaines St.
3540 N Williams Ave.