Best Ice Cream Spots in Seattle

July 28, 2014·by Leslie Kelly

We’ve never seen a scoop we didn’t like. But there’s something just undeniably extra-sweet about licking a cone or diving into a sundae during the sunnier summer months. Next time the craving hits, head to one of these eight spots and you won’t be disappointed.

Molly Moon’s

With locations around the city, this ice cream chain is always busy scooping from its 12 or so flavors, including signatures such as balsamic strawberry and seasonal options like blueberry lemon custard or ultra-flavorful strawberry sorbet.

Must-Order: At the walk-up ice cream window location on Capitol Hill, create a custom ice cream sandwich with your choice of cookie and flavor.

Go Crazy!: Who doesn’t love hot fudge? It’s so amazing on the salted caramel.

Mora Ice Creamery

A short walk from the ferry landing on Bainbridge Island, Mora is unlike any ice cream shop with its colorful flavors held in containers at just the right temperature so it’s not too hard or too soft, but just right. The big challenge is choosing from among more than 30 flavors.

Must-Order: Chocolate mousse tastes like a trip to France, while the watermelon sorbet is a blast of summer fruit juiciness. The really cool thing about all this velvety stuff is that the creators figured out that by dialing back the butterfat, they can intensify the flavors.

Go Crazy!: The huge banana split might be old fashioned, but the crazy-good ice cream flavors bring this classic into the 21st century in the best possible way.

LICK Pure Cream

A small nook of an ice cream shop in Zaw Artisan Pizza‘s South Lake Union store, chef Michael Darby’s cool project serves up small-batch, extrarich, offbeat creations like bacon cornbread, mango mascarpone and Southern Comfort. There are a few stools at a counter, where the genial owner will chat you up if he’s not too busy.

Must-Order: The brown butter sizzles and strawberry-buttermilk has the right amount of sweet and tart. We’d love to try the bacon cornbread, but it’s so popular that it’s been sold out on all of our visits.

Go Crazy!: Grab a pint or two to take home.

Bluebird Creamery

The newly revamped ice cream parlor in Fremont has refurbished its vintage soda-fountain pieces for a retro-cool look. Grab a stool at the marble counter and breath in the toast-y scent of made-to-order waffle cones.

Must-Order: The chocolate pudding ice cream is ridiculously good.

Go Crazy!: Try the snickerdoodle ice cream in a float with Rachel’s Ginger Beer.

Husky Deli

Third-generation owner Jack Miller makes his 20+ flavors special by making his own ice cream mix-ins, like fudge-y brownies and cheesecake. He also has crowd-pleasers in stock, like Oreo, Nutella and Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Must-Order: The salted caramel is spot on: not too sweet, with a ribbon of the sticky goo running throughout. You can get two flavors in the small cup, so pile on the brownie ice cream too. It has giant chunks of cakey goodness throughout.

Go Crazy!: This counter has gotten too busy to make sundaes, so DIY at home. There are 30 flavors available in half-gallon containers.


This elegant, light-filled artisanal ice cream shop began as a food truck. Now that they have a Ballard brick-and-mortar, the mission remains the same: to showcase organic, local ingredients, like honey from Ballard Bee Company’s neighborhood hives.

Must-Order: The mint stracciatella is unlike any mint chocolate chip ice cream you’ve ever tried. It’s made with fresh produce from Oxbow Farms and organic dark chocolate from TCHO in San Francisco. It’s intense but not overpowering.

Go Crazy!: Don’t miss the exceptional ice cream sandwiches built on chewy brownies.


The pastry department at Tom Douglas restaurants does an absolutely killer job with small-batch ice cream. This summer, Lola has the deepest selection of flavors, including a chunky cherry cobbler, bittersweet chocolate, salted caramel gelato, blueberry sorbet made with Crawford Farms fruit and lemon verbena sherbet.

Must-Order: The exotic Blackberry Mango Lassi is yogurt-based, so it’s a little lighter yet still velvety smooth and bursting with berries.

Go Crazy!: You can get one scoop of every single flavor for dessert.

Taste at Seattle Art Museum

Pastry chef Will Fausser’s rotating ice cream selection changes frequently. But if you’re lucky, you’ll dine at this stylish Downtown spot when they’re featuring Tasmanian pepper berry, avocado or bracing basil.

Must-Order: Thai Iced Tea will remind you of sipping your favorite sweet drink at a curry joint, with hints of orange and vanilla dancing across the tongue.

Go Crazy!: Adding the outstanding cookie plate to your order can only make a good thing better.