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., icequeenyouscream.com. 11 am-7 pm Friday-Saturday, 11 am-6 pm Sunday.