Not that you needed an excuse to treat yourself to a waffle cone brimming with your favorite flavor, especially when the warm weather practically demands it, but National Ice Cream Day is this Sunday, July 18. (Plus, July is National Ice Cream Month, so the festivities can last all month long.) We've taken the opportunity to round up this list of creameries in Portland. Peruse the myriad options, from crowd favorites like Salt & Straw and Ruby Jewel to newcomers like the New Zealand-style ice cream cart Nico's Ice Cream (which has its grand opening today). For more delicious ideas, check out our food and drink guide.
When they say "handcrafted rolled ice cream," they really mean that. It's not just a clever turn-of-phrase: This place really does roll-up your ice cream, and they're more than happy to mix stuff into it, from candy to marshmallows, to... Flamin' Hot Cheetos?
Pickup, delivery, indoor seating
Purveyors of "super-premium" ice creams, Beaux Berry is best known for their magic ice cream machine, which was imported from New Zealand and blends (or swirls, more accurately) real fruit, berries, herbs, and other-mix-ins into your soft-serve cones or bowls.
Cheese & Crack Snack Shop
Devoutly dedicated to all things dairy, this snack shop specializing in cheese plates also happens to offer glorious soft serve ice cream. Choose vanilla soft serve in a chocolate ganache-filled cone and get it dusted with a sprinkle of powder (espresso, matcha, beet, chocolate malt, or strawberry), or opt for one of the eminently craveable sundaes, like their s'mores-inspired house sundae (chocolate ganache, cinnamon butter cracker crumble, vanilla soft serve, torched house-made marshmallow fluff) or the "Mud Sundae" (vanilla soft serve, cookie chunks, dark chocolate sauce, Maldon sea salt).
Pickup, outdoor seating
This gorgeous bean-to-bar chocolate shop offers limited quantities of their own house-made ice cream, in thoughtful flavors like salted chocolate, Ecuadorian vanilla, and strawberry buttermilk. There's also a special rotating flavor each week, like elderflower or spearmint chip.
Cool Moon Ice Cream Company
This small-batch shop has over 200 flavors in its repertoire, ranging from birthday cake to rosewater-infused kulfi to marionberry. 26 are usually available at any given time. They also offer shakes, floats, sundaes, and their own natural frozen fruit pops in a variety of flavors (available during the summer only).
Cloud City Ice Cream
A strong contender for best ice cream joint in Portland, Cloud City has too many bests to choose from! Okay fine, go for the Sea Salt Cookie Dough... or better yet, the Chocolate Toasted Coconut... or to top ’em all, the Unicorn that pairs red velvet cake and a swirl of strawberry in creamy vanilla. Goddammit, just get all three. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Dairy Hill Ice Cream
That traditional ice cream shoppe (with the e and everything) vibe is alive and well at Dairy Hill, down to the sundaes put in little baseball helmets, banana splits and ice cream cakes on the menu, and handmade ice cream sandwiches they consider to be their specialty.
Hawthorne, Hillsdale, West Linn
Eb & Bean
Not ice cream: Frozen Yogurt. But frozen yogurt made with the sort of care and consideration that gourmet greatness deserves, with rotating seasonal flavors, no artificial ingredients, and locally sourced toppings aplenty. The Mercury's EIC calls it "soft-serve perfection," and when it comes to frozen desserts, he's definitely something of an expert.
Irvington, Division/Clinton, Nob Hill
This is the ice cream that happens when a food nerd and former brewer focus all the powers culinary science can muster into making ice cream from scratch with just the right texture and all the right flavors, including "Chocolate AF" and "Water Avenue Coffee."
Hosford-Abernathy, Kerns, Northwest
Hurry Back Ice Cream
This ice cream cart deep in the heart of Sellwood may seem unassuming, but they’re pumping out some of the best ice cream in Portland. While there’s a lot to choose from, start off with their Rocky Road, filled with chocolatey richness, macadamia nuts, and marshmallows. Easy to see why this is a fave for kids and adults. WSH
Kate's Ice Cream
Katelyn Williams' plant-based, gluten-free ice cream brand has become a hit, even for those without dietary restrictions. The ice cream is made with a coconut and cashew milk base, and fans love the unique flavors, like marionberry cobbler and rosewater cardamom almond. The brand is also planning to open a permanent scoop shop in North Portland this fall.
Little Chickpea's ice cream doesn't involve cream at all. Their dairy-, soy-, and gluten-free flavors are all made from milking sustainably produced chickpeas, and they use what's left over to make gluten-free flour for their waffle cones and pastries. The biggest difference between this chickpea ice cream and the more commonly sold dairy-based treat was that I didn't feel heavy and in need of a nap after the chickpea version. I think I've died and gone to dairy-free heaven. JENNI MOORE
Lovely's Fifty Fifty
Sarah Minnick's acclaimed wood-fired pizzeria also makes ice cream that's just as thoughtfully sourced as its pies, with seasonally inspired flavors like mint stracciatella, strawberry buttermilk, parsley vanilla bean, and buckwheat honey toffee.
Chef Carlo Lamagna's modern Filipino restaurant, which just reopened this week, makes its own ice cream for its halo-halo, the beloved summertime treat that features a mix of flavors and textures (the name translates to "mix-mix" in English). Their version includes various gelees and fruits, plus shave ice, flan, and ube ice cream.
Nico's Ice Cream
This new ice cream cart is having its grand opening in front of Prost! today (Thursday, July 15) from 4-10 pm. Like Beaux Berry, it specializes in New Zealand-style ice cream, featuring a vanilla base swirled with fresh fruit. Flavors include marionberry, strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry.
Don’t sleep on what I consider to be the best ice cream franchise in the city, Ruby Jewel. (And yes, I will fight you!) While their Caramel with Salted Chocolate flavor is a crowd favorite, my taste buds went nutz for the Salted Honey with Almond Brittle, which is a crunchy/sweet delight that kicks up to perfection with a hint of salt. Damn, that’s good. WSH
West End, Northwest
Pickup, delivery, indoor seating
Salt & Straw
This local chain is nationally recognized for a very good reason: They take big swings (remember when they did a whole ice cream Thanksgiving dinner, complete with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes & gravy flavors?) and hit home runs with startling consistency. If you're feeling at all adventurous, chances are Salt & Straw's handmade ice cream will come in a flavor that would have never occurred to you before it became your absolute favorite.
Nob Hill, Vernon, Lake Oswego, Division/Clinton
What's the Scoop
This North Portland creamery serves up small-batch premium ice cream and sorbets infused with locally sourced ingredients. They not only take care to make sure their goods are all-natural and hormone-free, but they also strive towards sustainability and make sure they're donating a portion of all their proceeds to community organizations. Oh yeah, and their ice cream is flat-out delicious.