A Pike Place Market newcomer that’s super-cute and way better than most.
Shug’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream, a new Pike Place Market spot, is so very sweet — and not just what’s on the menu. Follow the scent of fresh-made waffle cones into this retro wonderland, and you may be overwhelmed by the cuteness.
It’s a happy place, with cheery light-blue walls and friendly service. Behind the marble-topped counter are shelves of antique glassware, stacks of cones, jars full of sprinkles and the main attraction: a shiny antique soda fountain dating to the 1930s.
Sit at the counter and watch the staff make sundaes and sodas that are more intricate — and way better — than the usual, or grab a table or stool by the window. While you wait for your order, 50 cents allows you to hop on The Champion, a refurbished antique horse ride that adds even more charm.
Shug’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream
1525 First Ave., Seattle (Pike Place Market); open daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; 206-602-6420 or shugssodafountain.com; $
The menu: Ice cream, shakes, malts, sundaes, floats: The sweet options abound here.
All the syrups for the soda are made in-house, with almost a dozen flavors including cherry, orange and pineapple. Pick your favorite and turn it into a float ($8), with a scoop of ice cream from Lopez Island Creamery. Cards (yes, they’re cute, too) listing the day’s flavors line the top of the mirror behind the counter. Or order a soda-fountain classic like a cherry phosphate, lime rickey or a New York egg cream.
A note to the grown-ups: Floats can be made with either beer or bubbly! A tipsily refreshing Champagne float with peach sorbet ($14) was akin to a Bellini.
As for savory choices, three sandwiches were available on our visit: PB&J ($5), salami and white cheddar ($8), and one with goat cheese, pesto and fresh vegetables ($8), the latter two both served on a Three Girls Bakery baguette.
Don’t miss: The Shugsicle, the signature float made with house-made orange soda and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, was the best version of a Creamsicle out ever. Not too sweet, the orange syrup had depth and a nice spiciness.
Bruleed bananas made all the difference in the Dixie Split ($9), served with vanilla ice cream, crunchy candied pecans and whipped cream. It’s a dessert with balance, pleasing more than just the sweet tooth.
What to skip: The sandwiches are fresh and flavorful, but nothing spectacular, especially with the other lunch options available nearby.
A tip: For a treat on-the-go, use the walk-up window on First Avenue and continue your stroll through the Market, or hang out at one of the tables on the sidewalk.
Prices: Two sandwiches ($8 each), a Shugsicle ($8), a Champagne float ($14) and a Dixie Split ($9) came to $47 before tax and tip, leaving two of us stuffed and facing a sugar rush.