Who doesn’t love ice cream? It’s a delicious and decadent treat that comes in many different flavors. Rather than making your own version or buying regular brands from the store, why not try some of the best ice cream in Portland instead?
Seriously, Portland is famous for its ice cream – offering jaw dropping tastes and textures, along with flavor combinations that you’ve never seen before. We’re not just talking about traditional ice cream either. You’ll find Thai rice ice cream, gelato, vegan products, and many more. There are even related treats like frozen yogurt and shaved ice, to broaden your palate even further.
What’s more, the best ice cream locations aren’t always the ones you expect. Some are, while others are fairly small and out of the way. So, if you want to find the best ice cream, you’re going to need a guide. Check out these companies for some truly mouthwatering treats – and expect to come back for seconds (and probably thirds!).
P.S. If you can’t find the ice cream you want or are out of Portland for a while, why not try an ice cream of the month club instead? These clubs regularly deliver high-quality ice cream to your door – without it melting! Some also offer exciting flavors, including some that you won’t find elsewhere.
P.P.S. Or, if you love the idea of ice cream, but can’t eat it, you could experiment with keto ice cream or plant-based ice cream. Both types of treat aim to mimic the flavor and texture of regular ice cream, while also giving you a healthier dessert. How can you go wrong?
The Best Ice Cream In Portland, By Shop (With Pictures!)
Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw is one of the most consistently popular ice cream joints in Portland. It’s now expanded throughout the nation, but had its beginnings in Portland back in 2011.
Salt & Straw is particularly famous for weird and exciting flavor combinations. Seriously, you’ll find flavors here that no one else has dared to try, such as Dandelion Cocoa Nibs & Frangipane, Arbequina Olive Oil, and Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper.
There are some more familiar flavors too, which is good, as the adventurous flavors are a little too out there for some people. No matter what type you choose, Salt & Straw ice cream is certain to be an amazing experience.
These days Salt & Straw also offers delivery and a subscription program, so you don’t need to be anywhere near a Salt & Straw store to try the flavors for yourself.
That said, it isn’t just the ice cream itself that’s worth raving about. The Salt & Straw store in Portland is also exceptionally well reviewed, with many people talking about there being a good atmosphere and fantastic service. Plus, it’s open later than many other dessert stores, which is always a good thing.
Fifty Licks is often seen as a simple ice cream brand, but there are some fantastic flavors in their collection, including Blood Orange Creamsicle, Black Sesame, and Cornbread Honey Butter. While some of these combinations sound strange, they tend to be popular, showing that good ice cream can be surprisingly complex.
Their selection isn’t limited to dairy ice cream either. There’s also an entire vegan range, which includes flavors like Coconut Lemon Saffron, Mango Sticky Rice, and Mocha Mud Pie. Plus, you’ll often see seasonal flavors and entirely new additions, so there’s always something to keep you on your toes.
Fifty Licks was once just a food truck. Now it’s well established in three Portland locations and continues to be popular. The three locations are well-spaced out too, which makes it easy to find one in your area.
Cloud City Ice Cream
Cloud City Ice Cream focuses on small batch ice cream. Their ice cream uses natural ingredients, which are locally sourced whenever possible – creating high quality and delectable ice cream.
The company is a fairly new entry to the Portland ice cream theme and has made its name for offering fluffy ice cream in a huge variety of flavors. Some of these include Honey Lavender, Salted Caramel Swirl, Sea Salt Cookie Dough, and Kainos Coffee.
Cloud City Ice Cream doesn’t just stick to conventional ice cream. They also have a variety of vegan flavors. The company is also popular because of the care they take. For example, ice cream cones are often served with a little jam in the bottom to make them even more enjoyable.
While gelato isn’t technically ice cream, the two frozen treats share many features. That said, Pinolo Gelato aims to prove naysayers wrong, claiming that authentic gelato is a treat all of its own.
When done well, gelato truly is spectacular, with a denser and more velvety texture, plus a certain lightness of flavor. Yet, while the flavors are comparatively light, they still pack plenty of punch, especially the ones from Pinolo Gelato.
Many of the entries here are familiar, including Hazelnut, Pistachio, and Cioccolato. But, there are some more unusual flavors too, along with dairy free sorbets. Even if you prefer ice cream, you’re certain to love the entries from Pinolo Gelato. Who knows? They might even convert you to gelato.
Eb & Bean
Eb & Bean focuses more heavily on soft serve yogurt, including dairy and plant-based versions. There are plenty of toppings and sauces to choose from, which can be mixed and matched to your heart’s content. Plus, there’s often a line for the Eb & Bean store in Portland, which is a testament to their popularity.
While they don’t have a huge selection of flavors, there are some unusual ones in the mix including Cardamom Rose Carmel and Chocolate Amarena Cherry. The flavors also rotate, so it’s always worth coming back to see what else is on offer.
The non dairy options are what seals the deal for many customers, particularly as some use almond milk, while others use oat milk or coconut milk instead. It’s always exciting to find delicious vegan treats.
Eb & Bean is a particularly good choice if you want a healthy treat, as they focus on organic ingredients, while avoiding artificial flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. It’s hard to get better than that.
Cool Moon Ice Cream
Cool Moon Ice Cream focuses on high quality frozen treats, including ice cream and sorbet. The sorbets are completely dairy free, making them perfect for vegans and anyone who is lactose intolerant.
There are 10 classic ice cream flavors that are always available including some type of vanilla (there are four different ones), Coffee Crackle, Kulfi (three variations), Mint Chip, Chocolate Chip, and a nutty flavor. The ice cream store also features 16 other flavors, which revolve among the company’s selection of almost 200.
You can also find sundaes, shakes, floats, coffee drinks, and even fruit popsicles in the summer. Seriously, you’ll never be short on options.
The Portland store is consistently popular, which means you might need to wait a little for your ice cream. Still, the ice cream is delicious and is certainly worth a short wait.
Hurry Back Ice Cream
Hurry Back Ice Cream operates out of a truck in Portland, but this practice doesn’t make it inferior. In fact, the company is focusing on small batch ice cream prepared from scratch, so you’re always getting a fresh treat. Besides, there’s something incredibly authentic about food truck ice cream.
Most of the flavors are familiar, including Mandarin Chocolate (which is basically chocolate orange ice cream), Hazelnut Chocolate, Toffee, and Blueberry. However, there are still some unusual additions, including Orange Blossom and Maple Bacon.
This is another company that offers dairy and non dairy ice cream. So, even those who can’t eat dairy still get a fantastic treat to enjoy.
Kate’s Ice Cream
Kate’s Ice Cream is a relatively small ice cream store in North Portland, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in quality. The company is most famous for offering only plant based gluten free ice creams, using coconut milk as the base.
The plant-based approach makes this ice cream an excellent choice for vegans.
The classic flavor menu includes familiar favorites like Triple Chocolate Brownie, Cookie Dough, Cookies and Cream, and Pistachio. There are also seasonal additions, including Lavender Fudge and Mardi Gras King Cake. It’s seriously amazing to see such a wide variety of flavors for a vegan establishment.
Interestingly, Kate’s Ice Cream didn’t always have a storefront. The ice cream was originally sold through pop ups and farmer’s market. Consistent demand for the ice cream made it possible for Kate to open a store front and sell ice cream directly to customers.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s hails from Vermont, but the famous company has multiple stores in Portland. There are now countless flavors, including some very complex ones. Ben & Jerry’s is also excellent for vegans, as there are so many different plant-based options.
You can now find Ben & Jerry’s in grocery stores throughout the country, but there’s something special about ordering the ice cream fresh from an ice cream parlor instead. This also allows you to experiment with different flavors, rather than needing to buy a pint at a time.
There’s another advantage too – because Ben & Jerry’s is so famous, you know exactly what you’re getting. You might even have some favorite flavors. This can be better than chancing it with a company you’ve never heard of before.
Ruby Jewel was one of the most popular ice cream stores in Portland. The company is still popular, but they’ve changed their angle to focus on ice cream sandwiches instead.
These aren’t just any ice cream sandwiches though. We’re talking about surprisingly large sandwiches that stand out. There’s an impressive selection of flavors too, including Mocha Macchiato, Oatmeal Butterscotch, Triple Chocolate, Salted Caramel, and Lemon Lavender.
Many of Ruby Jewel’s sandwiches can be found in local grocery stores or delivered through services like Instacart. Why not try one for yourself? You might even enjoy these more than a scoop of ice cream.
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty isn’t an ice cream store. Instead it is a family restaurant that produces some amazing pizzas, along with some ice cream. But, this isn’t just any ice cream.
In fact, the ice cream from Lovely’s Fifty Fifty is up there with some of the best dedicated ice cream stores in Portland. How’s that for a recommendation?
Their flavor collection includes Buckwheat Honey Toffee, Chocolate Malted Milk Ball, Sour Cherry Buttermilk, and even Fennel Vanilla. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like a full dinner. You can easily just order ice cream.
Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream
Finally, we get to Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream. The company has a long history and offers more than 100 different flavors for you to try.
Handel’s is a franchise, so it isn’t quite as close to home as some of the other Portland companies. Still, this isn’t a reason to ignore them. After all, franchises tend to be big because their products are fantastic. So, why not give this one a shot?