The frozen treats of Petaluma’s east side
With the launch of school buses all over Petaluma, some might think that summer is officially over. But the weather has yet to get that message, continuing on with its 80-degree temperatures. That means there’s still enough heat to warrant a cool treat.
The west side has a number of noteworthy ice cream shops, from the classic Petaluma Creamery to LaLa’s retro style to the hyper-trendy Wicked Slush. The east side often gets overlooked, despite its plethora of affordable frozen delights. For those who don’t want to deal with the parking downtown, here are some of the best icy indulgences east of the Petaluma River.
Snowy Frozen Yogurt and Snow Ice
Somewhat new to town, this modern take on a frozen yogurt shop is tucked into the Plaza North Shopping Center, behind Starbucks. The serve-yourself frozen yogurt side of the business is fairly typical, although the toppings bar stands out for its creativity. You can find healthy options like almost slices and fresh fruit alongside crushed jolly ranchers, peach gummy rings and Butterfingers. The snow ice, however, is the star of this eatery. It is not like regular shaved ice. Soft and silky, it forms in sheets and melts like ice cream. Snowy celebrates the flavors of Asia with bright purple taro and green matcha snow ice offered alongside more conventional options like mango and chocolate. A customer favorite is the Thai tea snow ice topped with sweet condensed milk and popping pearls. Snowy also has a to-go case with mochi and unusual beverages to take home.
Where: 231 N. McDowell Blvd., suite B
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.
This Santa Rosa favorite also has a location in the Plaza North Shopping Center. The all-natural ice cream comes in more than two-dozen flavors, which range from the typical like cookies and cream, mint chip and pistachio, to the super unusual like pine nut, rose petal and cheese. Owner Salvador Cruz was born and raised in Mexico, and he celebrates his culture with flavors like tequila, guanabana, mamey and chongo zamorano. Beyond the ice cream, there are fruit bars and ice cream bars, milkshakes and smoothies, aguas frescas and mango cocktails. You can even find banana splits and frozen bananas.
Where: 279 N. McDowell Blvd., suite A
Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Yogurt World USA
This is your basic neighborhood yogurt shop. The flavors are conventional, like chocolate, peanut butter and strawberry. The same can be said for the toppings, which include Oreo crumbles, sprinkles and crushed candies. Unlike many modern yogurt shops, it is not serve yourself, so portions are more limited, which can be both good and bad. The affordable prices and proximity to Santa Rosa Junior College make this a popular east side spot.
Where: 701 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, suite B3
Hours: Open daily, 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Sift Dessert Bar
Most people don’t think of ice cream when considering Sift. It did make its name on cupcakes, after all. But the shop does offer an array of frozen specialties, including cake-flavored shakes and ice cream sandwiches featuring fresh baked cookies. You can find Petaluma’s Sift in the Target shopping center.
Where: 401 Kenilworth Drive, suite 920
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-8p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.