Seattle's Top 5 Vegan Ice Creams

As you are probably aware, Seattle is a very vegan-friendly city. The fact that we also have two roving ice cream trucks (Molly Moon's and Parfait) suggests we also like ice cream. So, what to do when the two worlds collide? Scope out the best non-dairy scoops and compile a list like any good food nerd would. Here are our Top 5 picks for best vegan ice cream in Seattle. Milk it for all it's worth.

This ice cream will heal ye, yo.
5. Healeo

1520 15th Ave., 453-5066

This Capitol Hill health food store specializes in everything that's good for the soul. That includes soft-serve ice cream made from a soy powder and hemp seed base that's fruit juice-sweetened (with peaches, specifically). Depending on the week, they'll offer either vanilla or chocolate. Four bucks buys you a hefty serving of ice cream that comes with one topping. We opted for a blend of cacao powder and hemp seed. What this dessert lacks in dairy, it makes up for in density. It's filling!

Rice, rice, baby.
4. D'Ambrosio

5339 Ballard Ave. N.W., 327-9175

First, we realize gelato isn't ice cream, but it's close enough. The riso naturale flavor from this Ballard gelateria is made from rice milk, sugar and some guar gum. It's a simple combination that is reminiscent of a very intense vanilla flavor. The consistency is smooth, velvety and made us think about those soft-serve cones from Dairy Queen. Beware. A medium-sized cup (pictured) will cost you $4.75. That's about a buck per spoon full.

Who you callin' a horchata?
3. Bluebird

The last time we popped in for some vegan ice cream, Bluebird had coconut chocolate chip mint and horchata to offer up -- both made with a coconut milk base. We tried each flavor and, while we liked the texture of the coconut chocolate chip more, the intense cinnamon flavor of the horchata won us over. A coffee cup full will only set you back $3.

Scott Eklund/Seattle P-I
2. Full Tilt

Justin Cline, who opened Full Tilt in White Center two years ago, says he gets inspiration for his flavors from the neighborhood. "There's a huge Pacific Islander community and a big Hispanic and Vietnamese population here," says Cline. We recently tasted one of his vegan creations. A fast new favorite: Mayan chocolate. The coconut milk base mixed with the intense chocolate creates a unique flavor that is rich, dark and creamy and makes us wonder why anyone would ever need to add dairy to it. A generous, teetering cone of ice cream is a basement bargain at $3.25. And Justin, if you're reading this, we have a request: Will you please bring back your vegan Vietnamese cinnamon? A scoop of that with the Mayan chocolate would be heaven!

1. Thrive

1026 N.E. 65th St., 525-0300

Are we the last ones to hop aboard the Thrive bus? Who knew this great little space next to Whole Foods on Roosevelt had the best vegan ice cream in the city? (No, really. Who knew?). The health food store/cafe offers an array of organic, raw and vegan items on their menu, including a little dessert called OMG: A sundae made from raw chocolate-hazelnut ice cream (Bishop's from Longview, WA), strawberries, bananas and vegan chocolate sauce. What's in raw ice cream? Lots of interesting stuff, actually. The base is made from organic, raw hazelnuts, agave nectar and Irish moss. Yep. Irish moss, which is a type of seaweed. The size of this sundae could fit in the palm of our hand, which makes it hard to justify the $5.50 price tag unless you've tasted it. Trust us on this one -- once the prevalent richness and texture of the ice cream hits your tongue, you'll understand. (A half-pint of this ice cream is $9 at Whole Foods. You can buy the same stuff at Thrive for a bit less).

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