As summer approaches, we are thinking about visiting some local ice cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato shops. Before we visit some specialty shops, from Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream in the Charleston Plaza, to L’Amour Frozen Yogurt Cafe in downtown Palo Alto, we decided to review some chain stores around town. While these locations lack the local flair, they still offer cool treats for reasonable prices.
For a student bargain, a tub of ice cream at a grocery store is the way to go. We like the Trader Joe’s and Longs Drugs at Town and Country when we’re with a group of friends.
At Trader Joe’s, for around $8, one can get a box of ice cream sandwiches and another of mochi to satisfy different tastes. There is also a selection of ice cream pints and quarts, but the flavor selection is limited and these large containers can be hard to pass around in a group. One of our favorites is the cutie ice cream sandwiches, with eight individually-packaged mini-sandwiches that are perfect for a group of friends. With these sweet treats, one can always go for the classic milk-and-cookies option by picking up a jug of milk and several cups from the samples section. However, we have found the sparkling blueberry juice even better. For less than $3, we grab a large bottle and cups and share.
Longs Drugs offers similar products for lower prices, minus the specialty brands. If we want a full tub of ice cream, we go to Longs for the larger selection and lower prices, but we haven’t found any clear favorites there among the generic brands. There are also individually-sized treats like Snicker’s ice cream bars and drumsticks, but it is significantly more expensive to buy ice cream like this Also, the walk from Palo Alto High is a bit longer – we easily make Trader Joe’s trips in under 10 minutes, but Longs is a bit more difficult.
Outside of the realm of grocery-store ice cream, Coldstone’s offers amazing ice cream-and-toppings. This is obviously a pricier option and more difficult for a group of friends, but it allows everyone to pick their own favorite ice cream and toppings, and there are so many more choices. If you’re uncertain which toppings to pair with each ice cream flavor, go with a Coldstone Creation – the store knows which combos work best. From the Coffee Lovers Only, featuring almonds, heath bar, and caramel in coffee ice cream, to the Founder’s Favorite, with pecans, brownie, fudge, and caramel in sweet cream ice cream, we loved them all.