Food & Drink: Summer on ice
A quick-hit primer on five of the best places to treat yourself to an instant brain freeze
Pub crawls are fun but, let’s face it, not always the best family friendly option. Besides, summer means scorching temperatures, which of course, means the best excuse to eat all the frozen things. Read on for a quick-hit primer on five of the best places to treat yourself to an instant brain freeze.
Whitey’s Jolly Kone
No local ice cream list would be complete without a nod to Whitey’s Jolly Kone. This West Sacramento mainstay is legendary for its milkshakes ($3.25-$5). Go with classic flavors such as strawberry-banana or peach—the latter is a wildly popular seasonal favorite. Really hungry? Try the peanut butter shake, it’s hearty enough to count as a meal. 1300 Jefferson Blvd. in West Sacramento; (916) 371-3605.
Gunther’s Ice Cream
On the hottest days of summer, you’ll likely find a line wrapped around Gunther’s Ice Cream—and for good reason. Sacramento’s oldest ice cream shop, located on the edge of Curtis Park, serves up more than four dozen flavors ($2.95-$7.95 for a cone). Enjoy classics such as Butter Pecan and Rocky Road, or go bold with the likes of Taro or Thai Tea. Gunther’s, established in 1940, also offers fruit freezes, frozen yogurt and enough banana split and sundae options to make a child’s eyes turn into literal heart emojis. Best of all is Jugglin’ Joe, the neon-lit ice cream scooper who sits atop the building. Legend has it, if he ever drops a scoop, ice cream’s on the house. We’re still waiting. 2801 Franklin Blvd.; gunthersicecream.com.
If it’s a million degrees outside (which, in Sacramento, isn’t even hyperbole) then cruise by Osaka-Ya in Southside Park. There’ll be a line—guaranteed—but the tiny storefront’s famous snow cones are well worth the wait. Available in four sizes ($2.25-$4.75), choose from eight flavors including cherry, sour apple and the tantalizingly named Tiger’s Blood. Craving something a little more substantial? Try one of Osaka-Ya’s mix-in options such as red bean paste, matcha tea or condensed coconut milk. There’s mochi, too. The flavor options are only as limited as your imagination. Try Blueberry Delight. It’s particularly refreshing on a triple-digit afternoon. 2215 10th St.; (916) 446-6857.
Of course hipster ice cream is a thing, and now, finally, it’s a thing in Sacramento. Or, to be more accurate, it’s sometimes a thing. Milk Money, headquartered in Midtown and also known for its delectable doughnuts, stages semi-regular ice cream pop-ups, and when they do, expect their creamy delights to sell out fast in flavors like horchata, peaches and cream and a Lucky Charms-studded vanilla. Like their Facebook page for all the info on upcoming events. 1715 R St.; facebook.com/milkmoney916.
Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
This Midtown shop is best known for its exquisite chocolates, but they do amazing frozen confections as well. Try a Parisian Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich ($6.50)—hand-crafted ice cream stuffed between pillowy macaroons—in flavors like Salty Caramel and Lemon Gingersnap. Or, take home a pint ($10.50) in a variety of inspired flavor pairings including Coffee & Whiskey and Matcha & Strawberry. Don’t miss Ginger Elizabeth’s monthly ice cream socials, either. The first one is scheduled for June 9 and will feature tantalizing creations such as a Strawberry Rhubarb Brown Betty made with layered Josey Baker Country Bread. 1801 L St.; gingerelizabeth.com.