It’s the season for ice cream, though in my book, it’s always time for ice cream, and Walnut Creek has got a bunch to choose from. Here are three different ice cream or frozen yogurt places for different occasions:
Blush is actually frozen yogurt, not ice cream, and my go-to spot for a date out with my oldest. It’s got a big TV screen with animated movies showing, which my kiddo thinks is neat, and signature Blush flavor yogurt—dragon fruit and pomegranate—which I think is divine. This is the place to go if you want to feel healthy. The yogurt is organic, popular superfoods are featured in the rotating flavors, like acai blueberry and green tea, and of course yogurt (even the frozen kind) contains all those nifty probiotics. The other good news is that there are several Bay Area locations including several in the South Bay as well as Dublin and Walnut Creek (in the Whole Foods shopping Center—a healthy eating smorgasbord in the same parking lot). Blush is great for kids, the whole family, or a just a mother-daughter date.
1414 N Main St
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Lottie’s Creamery is gourmet, crème de la crème of the highest order. Think of all the latest food elitist terms and add them to the description. It is small batch ice cream, using organic milk pasteurized right on the premises. It’s very good because of all this, but the flavors cater to the gourmand as well. They do have both chocolate and vanilla, but the earl grey and salted toffee caramel are for the adults. I tasted the mint brownie and it was definitely for extreme mint lovers—it tasted like I had just snacked on half a mint plant. My smallest ice cream enthusiast ordered the chocolate and seemed to enjoy it, but wasn’t over-enthusiastic (the way sugar can sometimes make you over-enthusiastic). I was left wanting more. A small scoop was half the size of my fist and served with a spoon no longer than my pinky. Gourmet and child-size dishes, but more for an adult date than a family affair. Also for adult gourmets, is the Blue Bottle Coffee served by the cup, and available for purchase by the half pound, whole bean.
San Francisco Creamery, actually located in Walnut Creek, is ice cream-eating for the traditionalist. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the old ‘50’s soda fountains, and they’ve got a full restaurant menu as well as a case full of ice cream tubs. They have flavors running from the mild (Chocolate, Pistachio and Mango) to the borderline obscene (Bubblegum Gummy Bear, anyone?) for the single scoop, as well as floats, sundaes, and milkshakes. When I say single scoop, by the way, I mean a scoop half the size of my face. I have to beg, plead, and bargain with the guys behind the counter to give my five year-old a SMALL scoop of ice cream—seriously, just fill the cone and put a little bit on top. If you like ice cream to the daredevil extreme, there is the Kitchen Sink, and the contest to go with. Order this colossus, eat it all by yourself in the allotted time (see the website for details) and win free ice cream for a year—no barfing allowed. The contest hit the national scene here on a Man vs. Food episode. While the idea of eating my twins’ weight in ice cream makes my heart cringe in cholesterol-induced terror, I would not hesitate to inflict my sometimes loud and highly excitable family upon this place for a single scoop of ice cream and dinner (not in that order). It’s a great family place with really good, though not epicurean, ice cream, and decent, toddler-recognizable food.
More reading for those lazy, hazy days of summer:
Pick up the best summer reads
Drop the kids off with the grandparents and head to San Francisco for the weekend
Go to Tahoe for a family vacation
Get wet at local parks
and Don’t forget the sunscreen!