With summer in full swing, it’s never too soon to start planning your ice cream strategy. From Napa to Calistoga, we’ve got you covered, whether you’re a waffle cone loyalist or a milkshake maven.
When’s the last time you had Japanese-style soft-serve ice cream? Never? Well, that can be remedied. Miminashi restaurant on Coombs Street has installed a walk-up window just to serve its rabidly loyal ice cream fans. Its creative flavors change all the time, but the current options include malted chocolate, peanut butter, orange whip, and cherry-limeade sorbet. According to its Instagram page, it will even be adding a pancakes and bacon flavor soon. Lots of creative toppings, too.
The Oxbow Public Market features Three Twins, a local chain selling a range of ice cream options made with organic ingredients. Included are such innovative flavors as Dad’s Cardamom, Lemon Cookie, Milk Coffee, and Mexican Chocolate.
At Gott's Roadside, also at Oxbow, there are three soft-serve options: vanilla, chocolate, or a swirl of both. There’s a slightly wider range of milkshake flavors with black-and-white or malt add-ins.
Head up-valley and you’ll find Gott’s Roadside again in St. Helena, with the same menu as its Napa counterpart. The advantage of this location is its large grassy yard in back, a perfect outlet for kids and ice cream (or adults, too, who want to enjoy their cones under the shade of a market umbrella).
In its old location on Oak Street, the Big Dipper was an after-school favorite of St. Helena school children for 40 years. It’s a classic ice cream parlor with all the toppings, and an old-fashioned candy counter that will make your child’s head spin. It’s moved to Main Street now.
Right next door, Sogni di Dolci is an Italian-style gelateria and caffè, with a bar and full menu of panini and other Italian favorites.
ChoKoLatte Ice Cream, Gelato and Coffee now exists in the former location of the Big Dipper on Oak Street. It serves Fiorello’s artisanal gelato as well as hand-shaved ice with fruit toppings and fruit parfaits. Wood-roasted espresso, too.
Farther north, at the tip of the valley, Calistoga has several options, as well. Scoops and Swirls, Calistoga Creamery, and Café San Marco all offer ice cream selections.