As a nation, we scream for vanilla more than for any other variety of ice cream. But the palette of colorful flavors—from green tea to black sesame—at the Western creameries below spans the rainbow.
Bon Bonière—Arcata, Calif. The 1898 landmark on the plaza lets you savor rotating art exhibitions while you get your kicks out of flavors like lemon cream pie tart. (707) 822-6388.
Farr's Ice Cream—Ogden, Utah. The Farr family recipes date back to 1929. Try the snowball (vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut) and rainbow-colored play dough ice cream. (801) 393-8629.
Huckleberry Heaven—Elk River, Idaho. Folks come from miles away to taste the cool huckleberry soft serve ice cream. (208)—826-3405.
Liks Ice Cream Parlor—Denver. Many of the more than 280 flavors are customer requests: caramel Guinness fudge is made with stout; Jack Daniel's chocolate chip has sour mash tucked into velvety chocolate. (303) 321-2370, www.liksicecream.com.
Mashti Malone's—Los Angeles. The shamrock on this Iranian ice cream parlor, formerly an Irish bar, is nearly as classic as the Hollywood sign. Try their rosewater ice cream. (323) 874-0144, www.mashti.com.
Mitchell's Ice Cream—San Francisco. Folks have flocked to the Mission District creamery since 1953. Philippine flavors like ube (purple yam) and macapuno (coconut) round out the traditional. (415) 648-2300.
Mondo Gelato—Berkeley, Calif. Cranberry muesli is for the health nut, Ferrero Rocher chocolate hazelnut is for the indulgent. (510) 883-1568, www.mondogelato.com.
Polly Ann—San Francisco. The more than 500 flavors include ginseng, oolong tea, durian, and others inspired by the city's Asian cultures. (415) 664-2472, www.pollyann.com.
Rick's Ice Cream—Palo Alto, Calif. At this 1956 creamery, customers are sweet on the kulfi, laced with a bouquet of Indian aromatics from saffron and rose to almond and cardamom. (650) 493-6553.
Photography by Alan Huestis
This article was first published in July 2003. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.