Summer Scoops: The Best Frozen Treats in Olympia

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS

Downtown choices for cold treats range from Olympia-made gelato to diner-style sundaes.


Grandpa’s Soda Fountain Ice Cream Shop

Drue and Larry Brown’s 1950s-style shop features a long bar where customers order banana splits, dipped cones, floats, milkshakes and sundaes. It typically has nine flavors of hard ice creams and 24 flavors of soft serve available. Waffle cones are cooked and rolled right in the shop.

What: ice cream, soft serve

Where: 208 Fourth Ave. W, Olympia

When: 3-9 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays, 3-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (watch for extended summer hours)

How much: $3.35-$7.99

Learn more: 360-584-9453 | Facebook


Hawley’s Gelato and Coffee

Owner LuWana Hawley says the family shop serves 18 flavors made by Nutty Squirrel, a small company in Seattle. The Italian-style gelato is made with regional milk and other local ingredients. Look for the popular strawberry sorbetto. Hawley’s also offers 10 varieties of fudge and a full range of espresso drinks made from coffee roasted in Centralia.

What: espresso, fudge, gelato, sorbetto

Where: 511 Washington St. SE, Olympia

When: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

How much: $3.50-$5.25

Learn more: 360-489-1801 | Hawley’s Gelato and Coffee


Olympic Mountain Ice Cream

The 33-year-old Skokomish Valley ice-cream company is the wholesaler of choice for many businesses that sell by the scoop. Co-owner Bev Black says Olympic Mountain has created more than 200 flavors, such as Coconut Almond Fudge Swirl and White Chocolate Espresso Flake. Their sorbets, especially blackberry, are legend. Find Olympic Mountain at Grandpa’s, i.talia Pizzeria, The Painted Plate, Phoebe’s Café, Sidewalk Café Traditions Café, Vic’s Pizzeria and the delis at Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway.

What: ice cream, sorbet

Where: various

When: varies by vendor

How much: varies by vendor

Learn more: 360-426-0696 | Olympic Mountain


Sofie’s Scoops

New last fall, this shop features gelato made in-house from Tunawerth Creamery’s milk plus local herbs and produce. It offers 12 flavors including non-dairy and diabetic-friendly options. It makes its waffle cones from scratch. Try the “Waffle-ato,” a hot, brioche waffle topped with a scoop of gelato. Co-operators Sophia Landis and Christopher Proctor experimented with flavors every day for a year before they opened. “It’s local. It’s fresh. It’s seasonal,” says Landis. “It’s made with so much caring and education and craftsmanship.”

What: gelato, sorbetto

Where: 222 Capitol Way N, Olympia (inside 222 Market)

When: noon – 8 p.m. Tuesdays – Sundays (watch for summer hours)

How much: $4-$7

Learn more: 360-539-6797 | Sofie’s Scoops

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