Ice Queen’s Vegan Popsicles Will Remind You of Childhood Summers—and Make Them Better

What’s really kept people coming back is that Ice Queen’s wares are as good as they are ‘Grammable.

Ice Queen Ice Queen owner Rebecca Smith. IMAGE: Aaron Lee. (Aaron Lee)

You need only to scroll through Ice Queen’s Instagram feed to understand why there’s always a line outside the Stark Street vegan popsicle stand—you’d be hard-pressed to find cuter frozen treats in Portland, vegan or otherwise.

After two years of pop-ups, owner Rebecca Smith opened her first brick-and-mortar last summer in the former Scapegoat tattoo shop. Now, Ice Queen serves its unique flavors from a pink-framed window inside its storefront, right across from the large grass field of Revolution Hall, aka the former Washington High School.

The pastel-hued She’s in Parties is dotted with sprinkles and contains a hidden slice of birthday cake, the Partners N’ Cream has whole cookies visible through the soy milk base, and the lip-puckering Lime All Yours comes with a tiny bottle of Tajin chile flakes. Each popsicle looks so joyful they could gain a following on appearance alone.

But what’s really kept people coming back is that Ice Queen’s wares are as good as they are ‘Grammable. The water-based fruity flavors are tart and refreshing, and the soy milk pops are creamy but not overly rich and never saccharine, thanks to a slight saltiness that complements the sweet. The slight salinity makes it taste a little like a grown-up version of the Ziploc-bag homemade ice cream you’d try making as a kid.

That’s really what makes Ice Queen so appealing—it’s nostalgic, but way better than what you had growing up.

1223 SE Stark St., 11 am-7 pm Friday-Saturday, 11 am-6 pm Sunday.

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