Salt & Straw Palo Alto to open Nov. 23

Portland ice cream darling Salt & Straw will open at 250 University Ave. in downtown Palo Alto the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 23.

Salt & Straw was born in Oregon but has made a name for itself on the West Coast with creative flavors made in small batches using local, organic ingredients. Each outpost is of the place it’s located, so the Palo Alto shop will serve flavors unique to the Bay Area, such as freckled mint chip made with chocolate from San Francisco’s TCHO and another flavor made with Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam cheese, Acme Bread and sour cherry jam.

Scoops of Salt & Straw’s seasonal peppermint bark cocoa ice cream with William Sonoma’s peppermint bark. Photo courtesy Salt & Straw.

Cousins Kim and Tyler Malek started Salt & Straw in 2011 and now operate close to 20 locations, including in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle. They teamed up after Kim tired of working in the Fortune 500 world (she had wanted to open an ice cream scoop shop since 1996) and Tyler decided to attend culinary school, according to the Salt & Straw website. 

In an announcement, Kim Malek said they’re “thrilled to be opening in Palo Alto, an epicenter for creativity and innovation.”

Salt & Straw has a stable of flavors that are always available, such as sea salt with caramel ribbons and honey lavender, but rotates in seasonal flavors on a monthly basis.

The Palo Alto opening coincides with the launch of Salt & Straw’s new December flavors. Look for peppermint bark cocoa (cocoa ice cream, peppermint oil and handfuls of Williams Sonoma’s popular peppermint bark), apple brandy and pecan pie (housemade pecan pie filling mixed into vanilla custard ice cream and spiked with Clear Creek apple brandy) and gingerbread cookie dough (cookie butter made from molasses cookies swirled with royal rum icing ice cream and extra “cookies bits”).

The gingerbread cookie dough ice cream. Photo courtesy Salt & Straw.

The dairy-intolerant are welcome here, too: 20 percent of the menu in Palo Alto is dairy-free, like the seasonal cinnamon coconut eggnog, or egg-free nog and rum-infused almond milk churned with coconut cream and sugar.

The shop will also serve milkshakes, ice cream sundaes and to-go pints.