What it is: Downtown Missoula's newest ice cream shop, which opened April 12. Founders Marissa and Sam Dauenhauer first started Sweet Peaks in Whitefish in 2010 before adding locations in Bigfork and Kalispell. They pride themselves on using milk and cream from Montana Hutterite farms and fresh ingredients from the Flathead Valley "and beyond."
What you're eating: While the menu includes classic flavors like vanilla and Grasshopper Mint, Sweet Peaks specializes in more inventive options like a fennel/mango/peach combo and Grizzly Tracks, a cashew-infused take on classic Moose Tracks. The most exotic option available during our recent visit was Bacon and Cheddar, which isn't for the faint of heart. As shop manager Lauren Crandall says, "We give out a lot of tasters, but not a lot of scoops." Sweet Peaks also makes its own waffle cones, which have a thick, cookie-ish consistency that makes them less crisp than the competition but more savory.
For the dogs: Sweet Peaks offers canine cups of ice cream in chicken broth, beef broth and peanut butter flavors, as well as popsicles shaped like bones.
The ambience: The store has a clean, modern look, with lots of wood and glass and the menu spelled out on a huge chalkboard behind the counter. There are also umbrella-shaded tables available outside.
What it'll cost you: While sugar cones go for $2, a waffle cone, generously filled with either one or two flavors of ice cream, is $3.50. You can also take home a pint for $6.
When to go: Sweet Peaks is open 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and delays its closing until 10:30 on Friday and Saturday nights.
How to get there: While the shop's official address is 420 N. Higgins, Suite D, Sweet Peaks faces Pine Street, just east of its intersection with Higgins Avenue. The shop's sign isn't complete yet, so just look for the big image of a light-blue ice cream cone.