5 Not-So-Secret Ice Cream Gems on the West Coast
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5 Not-So-Secret Ice Cream Gems on the West Coast

Because you're tired of vanilla.

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5 Not-So-Secret Ice Cream Gems on the West Coast
Thrillist

It only seemed fit that I dedicate an entire article to my one true love, ice cream. Rain or shine, winter or summer, I am always screaming for it, and if you are too then we should be friends. For those of you who may need a bit of help professing your love, here I list five of my favorite scoop shops up and down the West coast in no particular order.

Beware, these are not your regular scoop shops! All five places get much more creative than basic flavors that there will be something interesting to try for everyone. Winning the hearts of young and old alike, these shops also make their ice cream in-house using local ingredients and suppliers so you know it's real. I advise you get your fine self over to the best coast (yup, I said it) and delight your senses with a sweet treat.

1. Bi-Rite Creamery, San Francisco, CA

Just across the street from Mission Dolores Park, it's not uncommon to see a line wrapping around the block for some Bi-Rite. And rightly so, if you want to get a taste of their ever-popular flavors such as Salted Caramel or Honey Lavender. The line will speak for the ice cream, but the ice cream will speak for itself. Although seating is limited in its cozy interior, you can always take your ice cream on a picnic to the park if the weather is nice (at least, in San Francisco terms).

2. Salt & Straw, Portland, OR


With three locations spread out in the city, there's no excuse to skip out on this popular favorite. Walk inside any of their stores and the sweet, magical smell of waffle cones being made will wash over you. Not one to shy away from the imaginative (Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper, anyone?), they also get the local community involved in the creating process by hosting monthly rotating flavors to churn out equally unique combinations. Pro tip: every location has different monthly flavors, so why not visit all three before the month is up? The patient and helpful staff will let you sample just about everything before you make your ever-so-difficult decision.

3. Ice Cream Social, Tacoma, WA

The first thing that caught my eye was the straightforward name and simple interior. The next thing was their scoop sizes, where one single scoop might as well be called a double. You can get two different flavors in a single scoop, hence your cup or cone will come out looking like its own sundae while also giving you more bang for your buck! Their rotating Today flavors like Grilled Peach and Pistachio Cherry & Chocolate induce images of fresh ingredient goodness, but their Everyday flavors like Valhalla Coffee and Mint Chocolate Chip can definitely hold their own.

4. Smitten, San Francisco, CA

This one goes out to all the science nerds with a sweet tooth. Made with raw ingredients and liquid nitrogen, Smitten produces ice cream that doesn't sacrifice taste or texture. The seasonal flavor force is strong with this one, mixing up deliciousness like Maple Brown Sugar Pumpkin and Rhubarb Crisp depending on the time of year. With each flavor there is a suggested pairing, or topping, to enhance your ice cream experience. Watch your ice cream come alive right in front of your eyes, and then eat that evil conconction. Yay science!

5. Davis Creamery, Davis, CA

First off, where in the world is Davis? A college town next to the state capital of Sacramento, it is home to University of California, Davis and many, many cows. In the heart of its charming downtown is Davis Creamery, an ice cream and cupcake store, where you can find flavors such as Avocado Coconut, Horchata, and Cupcake. Every so often they hold Bracketology where, in the style of March Madness, customers can come in to vote on new flavors the store has invented until a final winner emerges. My only beef (no pun intended) with them is that over the last few years they seem to have been going through an identity crisis and changing their name between Davis Creamery, Sugar Daddies, and Jake's Desserts that it's been giving me identity crisis. Who is Jake? Will he ever make up his mind? Do they want to be my sugar daddy? If it involves ice cream, I just might say yes.

Now go out into this great big world and get yourself a cone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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