ce cream in the Emerald City used to be simple: 31 flavors or the grocery store. (Although lucky West Seattle residents could count on hefty cones from the Husky Deli.) In the past few years, though, specialized ice cream shops began to heat up town. Now, some city blocks boast as many frozen desserts as cappuccinos—and that’s a lot. And even baked goods have gotten into the business, with Top Pot Doughnuts and Cupcake Royale getting the scoop on ice cream. While each local creamery has its own way to stand out, these four really put a twist on the old cone. When Adria Shimada founded her Parfait Ice Cream truck she first made her own ice cream base from scratch, and used all-organic ingredients as local as farm-grown mint leaves and honey from neighborhood hives. Then, she expanded into her own little ice cream shop which features not only cones and cups, but also pastries that incorporate her fla-
BY REBEKAH DENN
vors. Dainty ice cream sandwiches here are made with her own delicate macaron cookies; little chocolate bonbons are stuffed with mini-scoops of blood orange or hazelnut; homemade versions of ice cream pies and push-up pops appear beside them all. It’s hard to imagine any of her desserts needing extra decadence, but the warm chocolate and caramel sauces are all made in-house, too. There are two ways to order a pint at Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery: Ask for one and counter staff will gladly pack up a container of the house-made ice cream using local ingredients like Caffe Vita coffee and Theo Chocolate. Or, they could pour a tall glass of beer—also made on-site, in the tiny brewery visible through the glass windows of the Greenwood shop. Combine the two specialties for a beer and ice cream float (or a more traditional float using sodas—the store has those on tap, too). Bluebird also produces remarkable vegan ice cream; scoops of its coconut chip and horchata flavors are a match for even its most delicious dairy-made cones. The owners of Full Tilt Ice Cream made their first ice cream parlor in White Center a neighborhood gathering place as much as a dessert shop. They’ve since expanded to other neighborhoods, and each of the cheerful
scoop shops features pinball games, music, and ice cream in unusual flavors such as Thai Iced Tea and Mango Chili, plus seasonal Mexican paletas. The shop’s music connection also boasts a community spirit; when Full Tilt made a Mudhoney flavor in honor of the pioneering Seattle grunge band, the group played a thank-you show in the little store just days after a sold-out arena concert. Full Tilt also created a “Not-Its Mint” flavor for local kindie rock band the Not-Its, who immortalized them in a song titled “Full Tilt.” There really is a Molly (her last name is Neitzel) behind the six Molly Moon’s ice cream shops—a businesswoman who had worked for political and musical nonprofits before pioneering the idea that Seattle needed gathering places where neighbors could come together around locally sourced, eco-friendly, gourmet frozen desserts. Her “Scout Mint” pints are made with thousands of boxes of Thin Mints purchased each year from area Girl Scouts, and Neitzel recently opened a seasonal shop inside neighbor Robin Wehl Martin’s delightful Hello, Robin cookie bakery on the north end of Capitol Hill. Seek out her sweet treats at shops in Wallingford, Madrona, Queen Anne, Ballard, and U Village.
Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery 7400 Greenwood Ave N; facebook.com/bluebirdseattle • HCupcake Royale Many locations, including 108 Pine St; cupcakeroyale.com • Full Tilt Ice Cream 9629 16th Ave SW; fulltilticecream.com • Hello, Robin Cookies 522 19th Ave E; hellorobincookies.com • Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream Many locations, including 917 E Pine St; mollymoonicecream.com • Parfait Ice Cream 2034 NW 56th St and various locations April through October (ice cream truck); parfait-icecream.com • HTop Pot Doughnuts Many locations, including 2124 Fifth Ave; toppot doughnuts.com HFor more info on Visit Seattle dining partners, go to visitseattle.org/visitors/eat
Visit Seattle summer/fall 2014
FROM TOP: NICK FELDMAN, SHUTTERSTOCK
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