Or choose from a variety of other desserts at the California Avenue dessert shop
Black Rock Dessert is a standout ice creamery in Reno for two big reasons. First off, it supports local—the majority of the ingredients and goodies served at Black Rock Dessert are sourced locally, including the Icecycle Creamery ice cream it scoops. The other big stand out is the creativity that goes into desserts there, including ice cream flavors that reach beyond your standards like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
A nod to the local, ice cream flavors are given names like Reno 911 (a seriously sweet coffee ice cream served with chunks of donut—get it?) and Home Means Nevada with flavors of sage to represent the sagebrush that grows wild here.
There are other flavors, too, like a deep chocolate, which is a very rich chocolate ice cream that makes a good base for milkshakes. From the standards list I couldn’t resist the urge to sample the Salted Chocolate Lavender. The ice cream was more chocolatey than I expected but the lavender flavor also shone through, not overpowered by the other flavors in the ice cream. All of them are very creamy and indulgent.
Black Rock likes to mix it up when it comes to holiday flavors. You can expect some creative combinations like cornbread and sweet potato come the holiday season. In late December, they were serving their Christmas line-up, which includes an egg-less Just Nog ice cream, flavored with nutmeg and turmeric added for color, and a crunchy Pretzel Peppermint Bark.
While scoops of their ice cream, served in a bowl or an array of cones are divine, the Freak Shakes are the dessert most likely taking over your Instagram feed. These shakes start with a base of ice cream (often of your choice) and load on the toppings ranging from whipped cream, nuts and candy pieces to skewers piled high with sour candy and chocolates. The Trash Fence is one of the more popular mainstays when it comes to this dessert option.
While you’re there, browse the displays for other chocolatey desserts that have nothing to do with ice cream, or grab a bag of bark to go. Most of the desserts, as we mentioned, are made locally and support other local businesses.
In person: 100 California Ave., #106, Reno, NV 89503
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 2-9 p.m., Friday from 2-10 p.m., Saturday noon-10 p.m. or Sunday noon-5 p.m.
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.