Off the chain

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Sacramento prides itself on keeping things local. In fact, three of my favorite area eateries that will be keeping me cool this summer with frozen treats have made the transition from chain to local—and either kept the same quality or got better. There's a former Dairy Queen in Carmichael that's now called Dairy Star. The place (located at 4545 Manzanita Avenue) still runs a drive-thru, and serves up cold and tasty soft-serve ice cream with blended-in candy. Hagen’s Orange Freeze in Carmichael (2520 Walnut Avenue) was a Merlino's Orange Freeze for a long time (which, to be fair was a local chain), but now Hagen's pretty much serves up what tastes like the original recipe (Pro tip: Order a sour flavor, like lemon or orange, and add a shot of tequila at home—it's basically an instant frozen margarita). Boba Cafe (though the sign in Chinese says “Shan Dong,” located at 5131 Freeport Boulevard) used to be a Tapioca Express, and still serves up great cold teas with tapioca balls.