You’re at the beach, on the trail or at the campground. It’s hot. The kids want a treat. You need to cool off. And indulge — you deserve it. Where to go?
Look no further; our Oregon Coast ice cream roundup is here.
Frite & Scoop on the Astoria Riverwalk delights visitors of all ages with sweet and savory offerings made from scratch. The French custard-style ice cream here is insanely creamy, made one small batch at a time with housemade mix-ins such as honeycomb toffee, lemon curd, caramel sauce and graham-cracker crumble. They also make frozen treats for your dog pals called “pup cups.” Did we mention the frites? These Belgian-style fries — salty, crispy — are made to order and go great with house-made dipping sauces, like the famous pickle sauce and creamy basil.
If the long lines out the door of Seaside’s Sea Star Gelato are proof, this shop is a must-visit. Choose frosty boules in flavors like Death by Chocolate or Sea Salt and Honey Hokie Pokey. The specialty here is actually gelato, the low-fat, high-density Italian take on the treat, but the flavors and concoctions are otherworldly. Enter the “gelaco,” a two-scoop wonder doused in your choice of sauce (think caramel, fudge or raspberry) that’s then topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with sweet bits like brownie chunks, M&Ms or Oreos. It’s all served up in a waffle-taco shell that you can have dipped in chocolate first. Resistance is futile.
Buttercup Ice Creams & Chowders in Nehalem uses local and organic ingredients, with most flavors being gluten-free, including a vegan option. With flavors like burnt chocolate, beet orange and lemon poppy seed, they’re not boring. Come for lunch and chow down on a bowl of chowder; also try their semifreddo (Italian-style frozen mousse) for a lighter alternative to ice cream, in dreamy flavors like chocolate peanut butter mascarpone or lemon ricotta.
Known by kids everywhere as waffle-cone heaven, Tillamook Creamery in Tillamook is the only place in the world that carries every single Tillamook ice cream flavor (more than two dozen in all), from mountain huckleberry and caramel swirl to butter pecan, a flavor released in 2022. No matter what you decide, you can be certain that each scoop has no artificial flavors or sweeteners, no synthetic colors, and no high-fructose corn syrup. The lactose-averse among us should try one of the fruit sorbets.
With its views of Yaquina Head Lighthouse and aisles of house-made fudge, cookies, brownies, taffy, scones, puff pastries and fresh-brewed coffee, it’s easy to get distracted at Cliffside Coffee & Sweets in Otter Rock, a village 4 miles north of Newport. But the prime attraction at this mom-and-pop place is their ice cream, which is available in cones, shakes, malts, floats, banana splits and sundaes. There’s even a Nervous Cow on the menu — a scoop of ice cream plus espresso — to fuel up for the afternoon.
Scoops Handmade Ice Cream in North Bend is your classic old-school ice cream shop, full of 1950s nostalgia and a whopping 80 or more flavors, zero of which you’ll find in any stores. Every last one of them is made right there where you’re ordering, with all the ingredients from scratch, including the base. There’s the spicy, chocolate-y Aztec Gold that’s dairy-free and creamy bourbon fudge that isn’t. You can have any of it served in cones, sundaes, floats and splits, but why not go big and take a quart home?
Worth a stop for the cheese tasting alone, Face Rock Creamery in Bandon is also a go-to spot for a scoop or two of creamy Umpqua Dairy ice cream in Southern Oregon. Based in Roseburg, Umpqua’s milk comes from family farms that are free of the synthetic hormone rBST. From the Duck and Beaver Tracks — a flavor offered in the fall — to licorice and Play Dough, Umpqua’s not afraid to walk on the wild side. Dig in!