Outrageous Ice Cream Flavors

Readers recommend unexpected ice cream offerings around California, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho.

ice cream potato from Westside Drive-In in Boise, Idaho
Try the ice cream potato, vanilla ice cream rolled in dry cocoa, at Westside Drive-In in Boise, Idaho.
Glenn Oakley


"You've never tried anything like the offerings at Tara's Organic in Oakland. Bay laurel and pink peppercorn are two of my faves." —Shayna Hirshfield-Gold

"My favorite flavor from Cowlick's in Fort Bragg, California, is made with wild candy cap mushrooms. A close second is Candy Store Floor, with bits of different candy bars." —Patti Black

"Perhaps you've noticed the big ice cream cone hanging from the building at Munnerlyn's Ice Creamery in Pine Grove, California? Try the Meyer lemon rose sorbet, Kit Carson Crunk (coffee ice cream with toffee and chocolate bits), or my top pick, Mother May I Join the Circus, cake-batter ice cream with Mother's Circus Animal Cookies." —Kristine Loving

"Celery ice cream with raisin? You bet! The Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz, California, carries unique flavors such as rose geranium and mascarpone kumquat as well as traditional ones including Tahitian vanilla bean." —Krista Holt

"Screamin' Mimi's in Sebastopol, California, never ceases to excite my taste buds and my sense of adventure. Lavender, olive oil, and Mexican chocolate have given me some of my all-time most blissful ice cream experiences." —Keith Boucher


"Try these out at Reno's Icecycle Creamery: Reno 911 (coffee ice cream and doughnut), toasted sesame and honey, and my No. 1 choice, Cookie Roulette. You never know what cookie you'll get!" —Holly Lorge


"Bontà, a new scoop shop in Bend, Oregon, features eclectic flavors crafted from Northwest ingredients such as Oregon strawberries and rhubarb and Tumalo lavender and honey. Fun variations include vanilla porter, made with Black Butte Porter from Bend's Deschutes Brewery." —Renée Moseley

"The combination of ice cream and cones is surprising and delightful at Buttercup in Nehalem, Oregon. One month I had flower-petal ice cream on a honey cone. Another time I had honey-mint ice cream on a Manchego cheese cone." —Tara Bloom

"The cold treats at Frite & Scoop in Astoria, Oregon, start with French custard. Turtle Sundae, for example, means sweet cream custard with house-made pecan brittle and chocolate fudge. Feeling British? Try the London Fog, made with Earl Grey tea. The combinations will blow your mind." —Karen Peterson

"If Outrageous Ice Cream was a category on Jeopardy!, Salt & Straw in Portland would be on the board. Options have included apple pie and cheddar cheese, pear with blue cheese, and my favorite, a coffee flavor with bourbon. I can't wait to taste what they will have on my next visit." —Tracey Miller


"At Boise's Westside Drive-In, try the ice cream potato: vanilla ice cream shaped like a baked potato, rolled in dry cocoa, and topped with whipped cream. Your first glance will convince you." —David Macauley