Although the first Seattle locations of Portland, Oregon-based gourmet ice creamery Salt & Straw opened in chilly February, local sweet tooths eagerly queued up outside the new Ballard and Capitol Hill shops to taste what all the hype was about. Known for its unusual flavors, Salt & Straw often partners with local brands to create a regular menu unique to each city it serves (some Seattle faves are Rachel’s Raspberry Ginger Beer and Beecher’s Cheese with Peppercorn Toffee) and also launches a new themed collection each month. In June 2018, they're scooping up flavors devised by acclaimed local chefs. Stop in to try James Beard Award-winning Seattle chef Renee Erickson's Ras el Hanout Ice Cream with Pickled Rose Petal Jam, as well as inventive offerings from star chefs based in the other four Salt & Straw cities: Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Another local collaboration is bringing even more exotic scoops to freezers this summer. The sweet concoctions by Nutty Booza ("booza" is Arabic for ice cream) were created by the owners of Nutty Squirrel Gelato together with the owners of acclaimed restaurants Mamnoon, MBar and Anar, to showcase the flavors of the Middle East. A few highlights from the menu that will change seasonally include Lemon Orange Blossom Sorbet, Mastic Rice Pudding, Chocolate Aleppo, Turkish Coffee and Date & Hazelnut Sorbet. Try them at any of the above-named restaurants or at Nutty Squirrel locations around Seattle.
Three More to Try
Kurt Farm Shop: These ice creams, made with ingredients from the chef-owner Kurt Timmermeister's Vashon Island farm, including ultra-rich Jersey milk, were recently named the best in the United States in a Time magazine feature. Flavors change regularly, according to what's in season, but are always deliciously inventive. Tucked away in the Chophouse Row shops on Capitol Hill, the tiny store also offers cheeses from Kurtwood Farms and other local creameries.
Shug's: This Pike Place Market soda fountain offers fresh takes on old-school treats like sundaes, shakes and floats—not to mention ice cream cocktails.
Cupcake Royale: Don't be fooled by the name: the ice cream at this local chain is just as majestic as the cupcakes. In fact, chunks of cake sometimes end up in the flavors.