Restaurants and food carts aren’t the only places to experience Portland’s hyperlocal independent culinary scene — you can also savor that creativity by the scoop.
Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw started as a food cart in 2011. Its popularity quickly necessitated a brick-and-mortar shop, and several more Portland spots followed — now there are locations all over the country. Salt & Straw has entranced food critics from the likes of Bon Appétit and Sunset. Unexpected recipes like strawberry with balsamic vinegar and black pepper, pear with blue cheese, and Arbequina olive oil might raise eyebrows, but trust your taste buds: these flavors sing.
What’s the Scoop?
For a true mad scientist’s approach, try What’s the Scoop?, which utilizes liquid nitrogen to fast-freeze its handcrafted treats for unbelievable creaminess. Rotating flavors include Maple Jack (as in Jack Daniel’s whiskey) Bacon Brittle and Fudge Monkey (the flavor of a chocolate-covered banana, transformed into ice cream form). Experimentation has rarely tasted this sweet.
Started out of a powder-blue delivery truck, and now consisting of several locations across Portland, Fifty Licks scoops up tantalizing flavors like cherry bourbon, Stumptown Coffee and Tahitian vanilla — still the most popular flavor — all from locally sourced ingredients. For a grown-up treat, try the inventive ice cream cocktails.
Eb & Bean
Craving something lighter? Eb & Bean offers frozen yogurt with a Portland twist, namely gourmet, all-natural and scratch-made toppings like roasted hazelnuts, dye-free sprinkles and waffle cone pieces. Plus, all of their shops cater to a dairy-free diet with a variety of coconut-milk- and almond-milk-based yogurts and a large selection of non-dairy toppings.
Portland's food carts, sweet shops and even breweries offer creative variations on classic campfire s'mores.
Voodoo is just one of many doughnut purveyors in Portland serving zany creations, gourmet flavors and gluten-free goodies.
These Portland candy artisans craft unique sweets, be they creamy cacao confections, rainbow-colored candies or salty-sweet treats.
For plant-based ice cream, it’s hard to beat Kate’s. Owner and ice cream expert Kate Williams started selling pints at farmers’ markets and pop-ups in 2017, then graduated to serving scoops from the courtyard of her commissary kitchen. Now she’s opening a brick-and-mortar ice cream shop on North Mississippi Avenue, in the space previously occupied by Ruby Jewel Ice Cream. (You can also find pints at New Seasons grocery stores.) Ice Queen is another great vegan ice cream spot. If you’re in the mood for a different type of indulgence, they also offer ice pops and paletas (a frozen, fresh-fruit-based treat).
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