Frozen yogurt shops can be found in nearly every strip mall or shopping center, and the healthier alternative to ice cream is a year-round favorite. But with so many locations to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to get your fro-yo fix. While most chains offer multiple flavors and a wide variety of toppings, after that, it all comes down to the cool perks.
Yogorino offers a “Greek-style” frozen yogurt that is thicker than what you’ll find at most self-serve fro-yo shops. But unlike other fro-yo chains, there’s no handle to pull—every location dishes up dessert for you, including adding toppings of your choosing. One other major difference is that since 1993, Yogorino shops have only sold one flavor: their tart, original plain.
You can find most of the fro-yo standards at U-Swirl, but what sets this chain apart are its toppings. In likely one of the tastiest corporate pairings possible, some U-Swirl locations double as Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory shops. Meaning, you can add all the chocolate toppings your heart desires, or just pick up a few pieces of cocoa-based confections when you go.
It’s arguable that frozen yogurt is the perfect delivery system for crunchy candy bits and exotic fruits, but Yogurtini takes it one step further. Fans of spicy food can top their frozen yogurt with Sriracha hot sauce, making a cold dish a hot treat.
TCBY has been a fro-yo industry mainstay since launching in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1981. That much time in the fro-yo business may explain its moniker (The Country’s Best Yogurt). And if you needed another reason to visit this tasteful destination, consider that TCBY now also owns famed mall cookie stop, Mrs. Fields. Many locations offer combination shops where you can order cookie and frozen yogurt sandwiches.
With its bright colors and cute mascots (two frogs named Cookie and Scoop), sweetFrog is the perfect pitstop for afternoons with the kids. What’s better is that this fro-yo shop offers a rotation of 140 flavors. And, unlike most frozen yogurt purveyors, sweetFrog even sponsors its own NASCAR driver.
Peachwave fits the fro-yo shop template with its bright colors and flavor options. But it also serves a variety of gelato flavors such as Nutella and tiramisu, perfect for when a sweet tooth just needs more chocolate. The other side of the coin? Peachwave offers eight reduced-sugar flavors, including English toffee, coffee liqueur, and caramel.
For some fro-yo fans, it’s all about the toppings, but at Yogurtland shops, one-of-a-kind flavors take the cake. That’s because this 10-year-old yogurt chain creates decadent flavor combinations for a variety of frozen treats, such as peanut butter parfait, fig and honey gelato, and peach mango white tea sorbet. Plus, its rewards program offers an “unlimited cup”—with enough accrued points, you can fill a 16-ounce cup with as much as you can fit.
8. EASY BREEZY
There are only three Easy Breezy locations, all in San Francisco, but this tiny fro-yo joint has already made a name for itself because of its savory toppings. While most frozen yogurt vendors offer fruit, candy, and cereal toppings, Easy Breezy provides salty comfort food options such as potato chips, bacon, and rock salt.
Menchie's is a California-based fro-yo chain conceived out of pure love. Husband and wife owners Adam and Danna Caldwell used their frozen yogurt-filled first date as inspiration for launching the first location in 2007. Since then, the chain has grown to more than 300 locations that offer up special toppings like chocolate rocks and Peeps, as well as full fro-yo cakes.
Fraîche offers an upscale frozen yogurt experience in southern California, but just because it’s a classy establishment doesn’t mean Fraîche is only for special occasions or after-dinner treats. This four-location eatery offers a specialty frozen breakfast treat called the SF Chronicle, consisting of oatmeal topped with frozen yogurt, fruit and granola.
11. VICTORY GARDEN
New York City’s Victory Garden offers fresh fro-yo with a dairy alternative twist: it’s made from goat milk. With healthy snacking in mind, the shop provides flaxseed and chia seeds for toppings, along with healthy sweets to satisfy a sugar craving. Plus, Victory Garden has other caprine-based dairy products, including "hard pack," a frozen treat similar to ice cream but with a lower butterfat content.
12. YOGURT LAB
Mixing up the perfect frozen yogurt concoction is an art—or rather, it's a science at Minnesota-based Yogurt Lab. The science laboratory-themed chain offers nearly enough flavors to fill a full color-coded chart, and organizes them in its own Periodic Table of Flavors. Say you'd like to experiment with an international, desserty concoction: try a swirl of Ms (mascarpone) and Rv (red velvet).
Pinkberry made a name for itself by offering endless flavors and toppings, but last year it began offering delivery services through courier company Postmates, so you don't need to leave the comfort of your binge-watching session to get a fro-yo fix. In its 10 years, Pinkberry has spread to 21 countries including Peru, Chile, and Turkey.
Finding a way to stand out in a crowd of fro-yo shops can be hard, so Cups set its sights on a more adult audience. The New Jersey-based, Hooters-esque frozen yogurt restaurant (get it… "cups" size) uses an old Paris Hilton catchphrase to market its desserts, and offers 24 fro-yo flavors with a "club-like experience" to take your favorite frozen treat one step further.
15. 16 HANDLES
16 Handles is a popular fro-yo chain often referenced in New York City-based shows like Broad City and Girls. But beyond being wildly popular among East Coast natives, 16 Handles is known for its sustainability practices. Its cups are compostable and the company plants 16 trees per day. To top it off, the fro-yo shop offers its own unique flavors such as caramel popcorn and cereal bowl.