The 11 Best Ice Cream Shops in Seattle

Summer means ice cream.

Summer in Seattle is great, but for the sake of this introduction to an article about ice cream, let's just go ahead and agree that the real reason Seattle summers are amazing is that it's the one time of year absolutely no one will judge you for eating entire pints of ice cream. Delicious, artisan ice cream. Preferably from the local shops below that we wholeheartedly endorse.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream
Courtesy of Salt & Straw Ice Cream

Salt & Straw has some of the most unexpected ice cream flavors you’ll find in Seattle, and that’s part of what makes them so special (the other part being, obviously, the deliciousness). Go out on a wing and try the Arbequina Olive Oil, Pear & Blue Cheese, or Honey Lavender next time you’re at either of their two locations in the city. And remember: don’t knock it ‘till you try it. 
How to order: Online Store

Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery
Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery

Multiple Locations
Opened a few years ago by a UW-grad who also got a food sciences degree from Penn, this small-batch creamery headquartered on The Ave makes their Sweet Cream base daily using organic ingredients, almost all of which are sourced within 100 miles of our storefront. Said base is then turned into a range of creative, or just creatively named, ice creams, including Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Earl Grey, Birthday Cake, and a version of cookie dough they're calling Dough or Die.
How to order:Square

Frankie & Jo's
Frankie & Jo's

Multiple locations
Started by a former ballet dancer, and the former Canlis chef who started Hot Cakes back in 2008, F&J boasts locations in Capitol Hill and Ballard (the later is actually on the street where the owners first met), serves up about a dozen flavors of plant-based, gluten-free ice cream, like the deep black colored Salty Caramel Ash, and something called Gingered Golden Milk that is, well, golden. They also have more traditional options including Mint Brownie... and that's pretty much it. But who wants traditional?
How to order: Square

Street Treats
Street Treats

Various locations
Seattle's first-ever dessert truck was conceived by a retail vet who has turned her sales experience and "major sweet-tooth" into a mobile ice cream operation after buying a former postal service truck on eBay. Currently ST offers a range of comfortingly familiar flavors like Rocky Road, Mint Chip or Cookie Dough, plus their signature miniature ice cream cookies (peanut butter with chocolate, double chocolate with mint chip, etc.) and a handful of other baked goods. To get your hands on some Street Treats check out their food truck schedule on Instagram (posted weekly) or stop by their kitchen in South Seattle on Fridays, 3 - 5 pm (pre orders only). 
How to order:Online Store

Downtown
This classic Seattle sweets purveyor has been around for 20 years, but their recipes are still all hand developed by their founder and then crafted daily in small batches, with ingredients like organic milk and seasonal fruits. In addition to pints you can also find cakes, cookies and other pastries at their shop on Third Avenue, but the best way to score Gelatiamo is probably by ordering a pizza -- their gelato is the dessert of choice at all area Pagliacci locations.
How to order: Call 206-467-9563

Bluebird Ice Cream Seattle
Bluebird Ice Cream

Phinney Ridge
This oh-so-artisanal "Microcreamy" serves the usual coffee/frozen dairy desserts in creative flavors that rotate quarterly, but since 2014 -- when they were inspired by a beer-flavored ice cream created in collaboration with their Capitol Hill neighbor, Elysian Brewing -- Bluebird has also been brewing its own beer and craft sodas (often in dessert appropriate flavors) and serving them in their shop. So, in other words, screw the root beer float. Sadly, said beverages are not available via their Friday only delivery services, which hits a handful of Seattle 'hoods and is perfect for people still social distancing.
How to order:Square

Multiple locations
Started in White Center in 2008, FT's four locations are worth checking out for the old-school video game/pinball machines lining the walls, as well as the solid selection of Northwest beers on tap, and the eclectic collection of tunes bumping in the background. But then, there is the ice cream: Rich, creamy stuff that’s still light enough to make you eat more than you should, and is available in an array of sometimes-too-creative flavors ranging from Mint Chop to Coffee Oreo, or Birthday Cake to their 107.7 The End, Chocolate To End All Chocolates.
How to order:Grubhub

Molly Moon's Seattle
Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream

Multiple locations
MM's eight, almost invariably tiny, ice creameries are charming. And who can blame people for lining up to shove a scoop of handmade 'Scout' Mint ice cream made with real Girl Scout Cookies (one of the few ingredients not produced locally), or Melted Chocolate flavored with bars bought from Theo, or local Strawberry sorbet in their faces? 
How to order: Square

Nutty Squirrel Gelato Seattle
Nutty Squirrel Gelato

Multiple locations
Now boasting just two brick-and-mortar spots (their original Maple Valley locations closed at the end of june), plus a vivid red trike they trot out at farmers markets and catering gigs, this gelato operation is named for the nuts (hazelnut, pistachio, peanuts, etc.) found in many of its flavors, which rotate seasonally. In addition to pints, their gelato can also be purchased in milkshake or cake form, or a six-pack of gelato pops, all of which are available for delivery or curbside-pickup in their new online store.
How to order:Square

Shug's Soda Fountain Seattle
Shug's Soda Fountain + Ice Cream

Pike Place Market
This brightly colored spot that's meant to invoke the nostalgia of old-fashioned soda fountains (it even features a restored soda fountain from the '30s) doesn't make its own ice cream, but it'll gladly serve you some from Lopez Island Creamery by the scoop, in a sundae, or float-style with beer or champagne.
How to order:Grubhub

D'Ambrosio Gelato Seattle
D'Ambrosio Gelato

Ballard 
Launched in 2010, and run by a father and son team, this operation combines premium Italian and Northwest ingredients to create an authentic, but uniquely "Seattle" style of Gelato. Made from scratch daily, the can't miss flavors include Chocolate Hazelnut, the signature Pistachio, and mascarpone-based Tiramisu. Try D’Ambrosio at either of their two locations (in Ballard and Westlake) or via online order and delivery. 
How to order: Grubhub

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat!

Bradley Foster is a former Thrillist editor who has purchased far too many pints of chocolate peanut butter ice cream from the Full Tilt shop in Ballard. Far. Too. Many.
Emma Banks is a contributor for Thrillist