Northeast Fremont’s adorably addictive mini-doughnut stop Pip’s Original seems like a cold weather haven, with its hot-from-the-oven bites and spice-packed house chai. But now, owners Nate and Jamie Snell have staked a major claim on summer too, with the debut of their new line of Pip’s Pops and an ever-evolving menu of silky iced chai drinks.
Any day hotter than 85 degrees ought to be an excuse to devour Pip’s chai popsicles ($3.95 each). The shop blends their much-loved house-made chai tea flavors—from cardamom-laden King and I to coconut, turmeric, and Assam black tea-bomb Heart of Gold—or cold brew Extracto coffee with organic coconut milk for a quartet of intensely flavored, creamy-luscious pops. They give Fudgsicles a run for their money in terms of pure, melty, sunny day pleasure. Bonus: The pops are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly.
Equally great, but less messy, are the café’s roster of iced chai drinks. The best of the bunch may be a newish, off-menu stunner dubbed “The Japanese Garden”: a icy-cold, jade-hued blast of fragrant matcha tea mingling with delicate chamomile, fennel, and lavender chai. It tastes like raw, honey-toned AC for your face.
Even better, teeny Pip’s recently expanded, adding a 40 seat “community room” anchored by a huge State of Oregon flag and enough wooden benches to contain most of the kids in NE Portland. Staffers wisely removed the tables from the cramped original room; clearing much needed airspace for the happy hordes of Dirty Wu doughnut addicts that flock to the shop each weekend.
Those popsicles sell out fast, so get there on a weekday if you can. And get a mixed dozen cinnamon-sugar, honey/sea salt, and excellent, sweet-tart lavender-blackberry doughnuts (Pip’s current seasonal special) while you’re at it. Fried dough knows no season.
4759 NE Fremont St