The 10 Best Ice Cream Shops in Portland

Despite the lack of sunshine most months, Portland is home to some tasty ice cream shops.
Despite the lack of sunshine most months, Portland is home to some tasty ice cream shops. | © Mark Cruz / Unsplash

When the sun is out, these are the must-try spots to fulfill your frozen treat cravings. Head to one of these 10 best ice cream shops in Portland this summer (or any time of year, if you choose).

Portland does beer well. It does wine well. It does donuts well. And though you’d think it unlikely for a city that only has frozen treat-appropriate weather a quarter of the year, it does ice cream well too.

From tiny food carts to brands that have expanded their scoop shops past the Oregon border, these are the best places to grab a sundae, ice cream cookie, or simple bowl of ice cream in Portland.

1. Salt & Straw

Ice Cream Parlour, American

No list of Portland ice creameries is complete without Salt & Straw. Since its inception in 2011, there is a constant line out the door at all of its local locations—as well as its other West Coast shops in Seattle, L.A., and San Diego—and for good reason. The ice cream is made with care, along with some of the most peculiar flavors you could think of, including pear and blue cheese, strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper, and Arbequina olive oil. They may sound strange, but they’re delicious. We promise.

3. What’s the Scoop?

Ice Cream Parlour, American

What’s the Scoop? is a small-batch ice cream operation with locations in North and Southwest Portland. The made-from-scratch ice creams and sorbets range in flavors from your typical mint chip to not-so-typical peanut butter and curry. Aside from intriguing flavor options, What’s the Scoop? also nestles its ice cream in signature fortune cookie cones. If you’re on dessert duty for your next large function, check out the Gorge—a gigantic ice cream sandwich that includes brownies and 40 scoops of ice cream.

4. Cool Moon Ice Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, American

Cool Moon Ice Cream is one of Portland’s best hidden gems. The flavors are all hand-crafted in the store kitchen and made with 100% natural ingredients. Though a smaller operation, Cool Moon has a “life list” of nearly 200 flavors, with 26 available at any given time. The best part? There’s no crazy line like you’ll find at the more well-known shops.

5. Beaux Berry

Ice Cream Parlour, American

The St. Johns food cart scoop shop Beaux Berry specializes in New Zealand-style real fruit ice cream. Using an imported ice cream machine, they blend Tillamook vanilla ice cream with fresh, local berries to make silky, smooth and delightfully sweet/tart concoctions right before your eyes. Aside from the fruit-swirled treats, Beaux Berry also makes homemade and locally sourced sauces and toppings, and also offers vegan options.

6. 22 Below

Ice Cream Parlour, American

Not only does 22 Below specialize in rolled ice cream, but it specializes in totally customizable rolled ice cream. Aside from 30 flavors to choose from—including HOT CHEETOS—the shop also allows patrons to create their own flavors to be enjoyed in the new Thai ice cream method. If you’re vegan or gluten-free, fear not—22 Below caters to all kinds of dietary restrictions.

7. Fifty Licks

Ice Cream Parlour, American

What began as one man’s quest to bring a good affogato Cubana to Portland has turned into one of the best scoop shops in the city. Fifty Licks uses local ingredients and cage-free egg yolks to make hand-crafted, rich, creamy ice cream. Their artisan flavors range from the decadent Thai rice and chocolate AF to twists on classics, such as lavender mint chip and rum’d raizin. For those who want the creamy texture without the dairy, Fifty Licks also offers a variety of flavors made with coconut milk.

8. Cloud City Ice Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, American

Cloud City Ice Cream is so much more than a scoop shop. It’s a tribute to the owner’s mother, who passed away a day after he signed the lease. Her memories (and exquisite baking skills) live on in flavors like caramelized banana and roasted cherry mascarpone. A nondescript strip mall houses the shop, but it’s easy to find—just look for all the smiling faces holding frozen treats in Cloud City’s outdoor seating area.

9. Hurry Back Ice Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, American

Hurry Back Ice Cream specializes in Philadelphia-style ice cream, which is made without eggs. The food cart scoop shop is nestled in Sellwood’s food cart pod on 13th and Lexington and offers flavors that cater more towards traditionalists—strawberry, Ghirardelli chocolate, and Madagascar vanilla, for example—and with the omission of eggs, the flavors take on a whole new profile.

10. Wiz Bang Bar

Ice Cream Parlour, American

Wiz Bang Bar is another genius creation from the minds behind Salt & Straw. The shop resides in downtown Portland’s Pine Street Market and is a twist on soft-serve bars. The flavors range from your traditional chocolate and vanilla to goat cheese marionberry habanero and can be hand-dipped in chocolate, coffee and bourbon, and black raspberry shells. Wiz Bang Bar also serves up some of the best sundaes in town, along with all kinds of other delicious frozen treats.

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