If there is any testament to Portland's status as a city that cares about the finer things in life, it is that there are so many craft ice-cream shops that you can't count them on one—or even two—hands, and that each offers a different take on America's favorite frozen treat. Here are the best, and what you should order from each spot.
What's the Scoop?
3540 N Williams Ave., 971-266-1787, whatsthescooppdx.com.
What's the Scoop? hasn't formally presented itself as the alternative to Salt and Straw's "fire-roasted chard and chicken hearts" experiments, but its endearingly childlike menu—flavors such as "Burnt Sugar," "Cereal and Milk" and "Fudge Monkey" and toppings like "Magic Dust"—makes for an obvious counter to more, uh, "artisanal" ice creams.
Order this: a scoop of Cereal and Milk with Magic Dust. $.
1105 NW Johnson St.
Portland's best classic, ice cream-themed ice-cream parlor.
Order this: a scoop of Spicy Thai Peanut—weird done right.
Locations across Portland.
Ruby Jewel's ice cream sandwich put it on the map, and that's what you should order with whatever cookies and flavor most tickles your fancy.
Wiz Bang Bar
126 SW 2nd Ave.
Salt & Straw's Tyler Malek forgoes the goofy flavors for extremely good Dairy Queen-style soft-serve classics with the best sundaes in town.
Order this: The rhubarb sour straws sundae.
3707 SE Division St.
Hands down the best gelato in town.
Order this: whatever looks best.