As kids we all screamed for it. As adults, we’re still screaming, but for some of us (myself included) we need a version that doesn’t include dairy as the main ingredient. Bonus points if it also doesn’t include artificial colors, fake flavors or GMOs.
If you’re dairy-free or follow a vegan or plant-based diet, you don’t have to go without this classic summertime treat. In fact, with so many delicious options right here in the Northwest, there’s a good chance your dairy-eating friends and family will be right there in line with you.
Why we love them: Crafted with house made cashew and coconut milk, superfoods and seasonal goodies like local raspberries and peaches, Frankie & Jo’s dairy-free ice creams are at the top of our must-try list. Everything on their menu is clearly labeled, which is great if you have other dietary requirements. Oh, and don’t miss the gluten-free waffle cones. You can smell them from two blocks away.
Favorite flavor: My go-to flavor is Chocolate Tahini Supercookie (it has real chunks of cookie dough). It’s no surprise that regulars are also loving the Summer Shortcake, available exclusively during the month of August.
Where to find them: In Seattle at University Village, Capitol Hill and Ballard
Why we love them: Owner and seasoned vegan chef, Amanda Thieroff founded Port Townsend’s Fiddlehead Creamery on the premise that everyone should be able to enjoy a treat that’s good for your body and the environment. Using organic coconut cream as the base, Amanda makes each batch herself and loves to dream up fun flavors using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
Favorite flavor: “Our customers can’t get enough of Coconut Horchata and Strawberry Rhubarb,” Amanda tells me. “And of course, classic Chocolate, which is extra delicious made with coconut milk!”
Where to find them: In Port Townsend at Jefferson County Farmer’s Market and Finnriver Farm and Cidery in Chimacum (see website for hours)
Why we love them: Little Chickpea’s goal is to change the way people think about food. And if you’ve ever imagined an ice cream made from chickpeas, well, you’re already halfway there. Their chickpea-based frozen treats aren’t just dairy-free, they’re gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and non-GMO. Waffle cones and cookies are also made from sustainably sourced chickpeas, ensuring that everything here is not only delicious, but also allergen free.
Favorite flavor: In true Northwest style, their Cold Brew Coffee flavor is always a huge hit. Be on the lookout for a new batch of soon-to-be favorite flavors coming soon!
Where to find them: On NW Johnson Street in Portland (see website for hours)
Why we love them: What’s not to love about a treat shop that got its start operating out of a ‘74 VW van? While they’ve had a rocky road (no pun intended) due to the pandemic, their fully vegan Phinney Ridge store front is open for business, serving up pre-packaged pints of their small batch ice cream and ice cream sandwiches.
Favorite flavor: We’re loving the new Cookie Surprise flavor; dairy-free vanilla ice cream piled high with, you guessed it, delicious dairy-free cookies.
Where to find them: On Greenwood Ave. in Seattle (place your order online for Friday and Saturday pick-ups)
Why we love them: Salt and Straw takes their flavor cues from everyone and everything from chefs and farmers to food movements and social causes. It’s just one of the reasons we’re hooked. Well, that and the fact that everything they make is crafted from ingredients like organic coconut, fair trade chocolate and locally sourced berries. Not all their flavors are dairy-free though, so check with scooper first.
Favorite flavor: Order a split scoop of Strawberry & Coconut Water Sherbet with the dairy-free flavor of the month. You won’t be sorry.
Where to find them: In Seattle in Capitol Hill and Ballard, plus four locations around Portland
Why we love them: It might not be what you’d expect from a local burger chain, but we were happily surprised (okay, ecstatic) that you can order any shake dairy-free. Just ask them to make it with plant-based Coconut Bliss® ice cream instead.
Favorite flavor: With ingredients sourced from surrounding Northwest farms, you can’t go wrong. But seeing as it’s still summer, our top pick here is Oregon Strawberry all the way.
Where to find them: 25 locations throughout the Vancouver and Portland area