My skepticism about “healthy” sweets started when my mom first brought home a box of fat-free SnackWell’s cookies in the mid-’90s (in that case, the skepticism was justified).
But I approached Frankie & Jo’s—Capitol Hill’s new plant-based ice cream shop with sunny, colorful interiors more representative of California than Washington—with less skepticism because of the power duo at the helm: Kari Brunson, the juice queen behind Juicebox, and Autumn Martin, reigning wizard of chocolaty baked goods at Hot Cakes. What they’ve accomplished is unlike anything else you’ll find in Seattle: vegan ice cream ($12/pint) made with house-made nut milks and coconut milk, much of it (but not all) sweetened with dates and served in gluten-free waffle cones ($4–$8). All of it is deceptively delicious. After you marvel over flavors such as salted caramel ash and beet strawberry rose sorbet, order the cocoa nib mint brownie, which tastes of fresh mint leaves, and has a delightful crunch from the nibs and nice chew from the gluten-free brownies. A surprise, in the best way. Capitol Hill, 1010 E Union St.; 206.257.1676; frankieandjos.com