Ice, Ice, Baby
Stay cool this summer with these fun takes on a favorite frozen dessert.
A scoop of ice cream in a cone is nothing to complain about. But these East Bay treat shops are taking it to the next level, offering build-your-own ice pops, delicate shaved snow, and honey-soaked parfaits.
The Popsicle of your childhood is all grown up. Coming to The Veranda this summer, Popbar will serve gelato and sorbet on a stick. Choose from flavors such as dulce de leche, kiwi, and the seasonal pumpkin pie. Get yours dipped or half dipped in “poppings” like coconut shavings or crushed caramel corn, or order it as a “popwich” nestled between two chocolate cookies. Concord, pop-bar.com.
Uji Time Dessert
Named for a city on the outskirts of Kyoto, Japan, that’s known for its production of green tea, Uji Time offers Japanese American–fusion treats. The must-order is the Instagrammable taiyaki, a fish-shaped cake cone filled with red bean paste or Nutella and your selection of soft-serve ice cream: black sesame, matcha, tofu, or a seasonal special, which could be strawberry rosewater or coconut ash. Berkeley (and a Pleasanton location opening soon), ujitime.weebly.com.
Can dessert ever truly be healthy? Pressed Juicery—best known for its juice cleanses—is giving it a go with its Freeze line of frozen delights. This dairy-free, no-sugar-added ice-cream alternative—made with real fruit (mainly dates), vegetables, and nuts—comes in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and matcha flavors. Top it with berries, granola, or almond butter. It’s cool, refreshing, and only 210 calories or less. Danville and Walnut Creek, pressedjuicery.com.
Shaved snow is a Taiwanese specialty that lives somewhere between shaved ice and ice cream: Frozen blocks of fruit juice concentrate and nondairy cream are peeled into fluffy, aerated ice-cream ribbons. Choose your own flavor combinations, or opt for one of Vampire Penguin’s fancy specials: Strawberry cheesecake, for example, is a decadent pile of strawberry and vanilla shaved snow with crushed graham crackers, strawberries, white chocolate sauce, and condensed milk. Brentwood, vampirepenguin.com.
True to its name, this organic soft-serve spot offers three types of honey as a topping: wildflower, tropical blossom, and white clover. It’s a perfect pairing in the Honey Lover, a special concoction that layers the sweet stuff parfait style with milk or matcha ice cream and Rice Krispies cereal. You can get edgier, too, with cotton candy, caramel popcorn, and toasted marshmallow toppers—or a Technicolor Uji matcha float. Dublin, facebook.com/ohoneysweets.