One summer joy not to be missed is the excuse that it’s so hot that you NEED to go out for ice cream! You cannot be denied! So, the question becomes, where do I find the best cold treat to satisfy my palate. No matter where you live in the Tri-Cities, there are excellent ice cream treats within a short distance. There are chain ice cream eateries and there are craft ice cream options and only you can decide which is best!
The Country Mercantile
Many people would put the Country Mercantile at the top of the list for the best ice cream. There are two locations, both a bit out in the country, that you can stop in for a scoop or two. One is north of Pasco at 232 Crestloch Rd. and the other newer location is south of Richland at 5015 Ava Way, just past Goose Ridge Winery on Dallas. Both locations make their own ice cream and offer more than 30 flavors. Their ice cream is particularly creamy and flavorful.
A tradition in the Tri-Cities for ice cream treats is Dairy Queen. They have ten locations, so one is probably within easy driving. What people like about Dairy Queen is the variety of presentations of treats. They have classic treats like a regular soft serve ice cream on a cake cone, or chocolate dipped cones. Sundaes offer their soft ice cream with multitudes of toppings. Banana splits are best from the DQ as is the Peanut Buster Parfait! DQ has novelty treats like the signature Dilly Bar, the DQ Sandwich, and the Buster Bar. And saving the best for last, no one else offers the Blizzard. Because COVID restrictions prevent customers from going into the stores for their summer treat, the drive through lines can be daunting, but well worth the wait.
Baskin-Robbins stores also deserve a nod. The Tri-Cities offers four locations. These shops offer a variety of ice cream treats and build some of the tastiest milkshakes around, using plenty of ice cream and fresh ingredients. The aroma of waffle cones cooking often welcome patrons who get to choose among a myriad of flavors, some new and many mainstays.
While most Tri-Citians are familiar with Baskin-Robbins and Dairy Queen and some locals are aware of the two Country Mercantile stores, few know about the quiet opening of Amethyst Creamery in Richland. This is a small ice cream shop that also offers coffee, gemstones, crystals and other small gifts. Its location is the best. The store sits on the corner of George Washington Way and Lee St. that opens to Howard Amon Park.
So, if you’re spending a day at the park or renting a kayak or paddle boards near the park, you will definitely pass by the inconspicuous storefront that is the Amethyst Creamery. The ice cream served up on cones or in biodegradable cups is of the best quality. The owner, whom you will likely meet as he scoops your treat, buys his ice-cream from Wisconsin and his dairy-free treats from the Seattle area. They are fresh and creamy, and the friendly atmosphere makes every customer feel welcome.
There is no shortage of yummy, cold, tasty ice cream treats served in the Tri-Cities, and on these hot desert nights, there’s no better way to celebrate summer than a trip to your favorite ice cream store. So, no guilt…just go get some ice cream!