The Great Ballard Ice Cream Battle

There Are Three Ice Cream Shops on One Block in Ballard—Which One Is the Best?


I understand that both Full Tilt & Molly Moon use Snoqualmie ice cream and doctor it?
That isnt an ice cream shop, IMO.
I like
D'Ambrosio Gelato Seattle
Never go to any of the others.
The problem with D'Ambrosio Gelato is they have a nut allergy statement that amounts to "Have nut allergies? Tough." So we don't go there any more.
Also, I like Full Tilt's Mexican Chocolate.
I used to like D'Ambrosio too, but after I witnessed him giving one of his workers the most degrading, soul-crushing tounge-lashing I've ever heard I can't go to D'Ambrosio without feeling bad for those scoopers. I've heard too many stories from ex-employees about the general awfulness to go back.

D'Ambrosio is such an ass to his employees that it makes all his gelato taste awful. Shame.
I so prefer Peaks Frozen Custard on 65th and Roosevelt. It's freshly churned while you are there. So creamy and delicious!
@1: Snoqualmie Dairy makes and sells a milk mix that almost all the Seattle area ice cream shops use. The mix is the base of the ice cream- milk, cream and sugar. WA agriculture laws require ice cream bases to be pasteurized (even if the milk and cream were already pasteurized) which is very cost prohibitive to most small companies. Each shop does it's own thing to the base - flavor, texture, and even how much air is mixed in- all that is controlled by each company.
Mukilteo Mudd is the best chocolate ice cream I've ever had. And if you leave in the north end, you can get it delivered when you order pizza from Stacia's, providing they haven't run out of it yet.
Er, live.
Full Tilt has an amazing Lemon Marshmallow ice cream. I get it whenever they have it out.
Full Tilt is the Ice Cream of my youth, super sweet, crazy flavors and colors, though the Ube is nothing my kid self would ever try (you missed out kid!). Molly Moon's Salted Caramel is my hands down most favorite ice cream in the universe, but it must must be eaten with something else to cut the salty. Oddly most of the their other flavors don't do it for me...except for Baracky Road which was A-Mazing...and seasonal :-(

More shops need to make black licorice. My favorite and almost never available. Pairs great w/ salt caramel.
3 more ballard blocks and shift down by TJ's to Ballard Av Top Pot - for us better salted caramel than molly or tilt though we've not met the new shops.
If Snoqualmie Ice Cream ever expands its retail outlet count (currently 1, way out in Maltby) and ventures into Ballard with its full complement of flavours (beyond what you find at the supermarkets) the nearby locations of Full Tilt, Molly Moon and Cupcake Royale would have unbeatable competition.
Thank you for mentioning Full Tilt! I'm still sore from its omission in last week's Suggests issue: Shorty's, John John's, Add-a-Ball, Grizzled Wizard, the Pinball Museum, and ... GAMEWORKS???

I would say the Stranger should be ashamed of overlooking the Ballard Full Tilt; but it's more that you should be embarrassed for devoting a paragraph to a chain that has ONE PINBALL MACHINE while ignoring the dozen+ tables, not to mention arcade machines, that Full Tilt has.

But I'll take what I can get. Full Tilt's lemon marshmallow, as @9 notes, is wonderful!
Cupcake Royale does not use snoqualmie base so its not as sweet. They get it direct from a dairy company with a custom recipe using no corn syrup and natural ingredients the staff member let me know they get it 36 hrs after the cow is milked WOW that's fresh. I heard more than I needed from the staff member, but now I know why I like it the best.

I also love how they bake all their own stuff and chalk it full with goodies. Full tilt is good, but they whip so much air into the ice cream it's to fluffy. Molly moon's holds no candle to CCR sorry.
Fainting Goat is probably my favorite shop in town. But there are many worthy choices in town: the aforementioned trio, plus Bluebird, Old School Frozen Custard, Peaks, D'Ambrosio, Lick Pure, etc. I'm sure I'm missing a few.

Hard to go wrong with ice cream, of course.

Glad I'm not the only one who is repulsed by Molly Moon's salted caramel (a shame, because they make plenty of great flavors).
Yeaah not so much with the Snolqualmie ice cream. It's ok. I did burn my throat on a sundae with bergamot oil at Molly Moon's once. That kind of cured me of the salted caramel craze.

I'm liking the Sirena gelato location that's opened in Fremont. Yum yum yum!
Marketime in upper Fremont has Snoqualmie, Full Tilt, and Bluebird in its freezers. Heaven.
Snoqualimie Creme Fraiche = the best thing that ever happened to milk
For my money, best ice cream in Western Washington is Mallard's in Bellingham. Beats all of these trendy newcomers in Seattle out of the water!
Cruelty-free ice cream war (coconut milk ice cream & sorbet)

Molly Moon: Vegan Coconut Chunk
Cupcake Royale: Orange Hibiscus Sorbet (vegan)
Full Tilt: Vegan Almond Joy, Mayan Chocolate, Raspberry Sorbet, Crusty Punkin, Raspberry Sorbet

Winner: Full Tilt
Runner-up: Write-ins for Bluebird's Horchata coconut ice cream
I'm sort of surprised you didn't do Molly Moons, Cupcake Royale, Blue Bird, D'Ambrosio Gelato and old school frozen custard... all of which are within a 3 block radius of each other, AND within walking distance to your office.
Cupcake Royale's Stumptown coffee ice cream is better than Molly Moon's.
Molly Moon's is the most over-rated ice cream in Seattle. After being disappointed twice (by two different shops); once by a flavor that was non-existent in the eating and once being served ice cream that had obviously thawed and refrozen; we'll not be going back to any Molly Moon's.

Gotta agree with the poster who prefers Peaks frozen custard. It's awesome. Also loving Sirena Gelato in Bellingham, Kirkland, and I think it's just opened in Fremont, too.
There is an ice cream shop up on 32nd NW & NW 65th that sells Snoqualmie Falls ice cream. That's been our go-to place since moving to Ballard. When we lived in Cap Hill, we loved Molly Moon's. Their "standards" are unimpressive, but their unusual flavors are often outstanding. If we are in downtown Ballard and don't want to walk up the hill, we like Cupcake Royale. It has "something for everyone".
@1 Molly Moon's has their own mix modified by snoqualmie- but it's different from snoqualmie's base. Basically their own milk/cream/sugar mixture. They make it in-store from that point.
Cupcake Royale has somehow managed to make their cupcakes even more revolting than in years past, which means that their cupcake sundaes are not a point in their favor.
I'm with @25 - Molly Moon's and most of the ice cream shops in Seattle are totally overrated. I prefer a swirl cone from Little Coney.

And really? Summer means Dairy Queen dip cones.
I find all ice cream that isn't homemade vanilla with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in it to be a disappointment. We all have freezers people, we live in the future with our future stuff, make your own damn ice cream, fatty.
D'Ambrosio for the Win, duh. Don't even start with "it's not Ice Cream"
Sirena Gelato in Kirkland is really good. My overall favorite in the area is Mora on Bainbridge Island (got one in Poulsbo too).
So many ice cream snobs in Seattle but I appreciate all the good input! I will be putting on my game face and heading down to full tilt.
@parfaiticecream should be added to this conversation it is on 56th street next to Skillet Diner