Maiden Missoula Product Review: Big Dipper Ice Cream


If summer ever decides to stick around Missoula for more than a few hours, you know the first place everyone in town will run to is Big Dipper Ice Cream!

It may be a teeny little walk-up on Higgins just South of the bridge, but on a typical warm summer evening, you should plan an hour (or two) to scoop up the social scene that goes on while you wait for a single or double dip of your favorite locally-made creamy treat.

Don’t plan on a quick in-and-out after 5 o’clock – this is a scene! You’ll see neighbors, your kids’ friends, your 4th grade teacher — just about everyone shows up at the Big Dipper.

A little back story: When I was 18 years old, I actually worked for an ice cream parlor and restaurant by the river called Goldsmiths. If you’ve been here more than a decade, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. If you are new, it’s the Big Sky Bike shop on Front Street right near the University footbridge now.

Goldsmiths had some pretty amazing ice cream. Just like in any healthy capitalist society, it spawned some competition. And what came next was Big Dipper. While Goldsmiths was a happening place for brunch and light dinners, Big D is a walk-up shack, and that’s it. I never would have guessed that just over a decade later, Goldsmiths would be gone and The Big Dipper would not only thrive, but expand!

Watch for Coneboy, the mobile Big Dipper ice cream truck, at your favorite park this summer, blasting rock and roll, and scooping favorites like Green Tea, Vanilla Heath, and Cardamom. Or make a date with the kids and the dogs to stroll downtown and catch up with your neighbors while you wait in line to order your favorite cone, shake or sundae (and change your mind 40 times before you finally get to the window).

Sometimes I miss Goldsmiths but I must say, Big Dipper has more than filled the void. They are great community partners who support many non-profit causes. Go ahead, even if it’s not 80 degrees yet, enjoy a cone from Big Dipper this weekend!


Like this blog post by Maiden Missoula?  Chances are you’ll also like reading about other Made In Missoula products such as Happy Hoppers,  Natural Creations Grilling Sauces, or the Clay Studio of Missoula.  Or check out some of  of your options for Missoula Dining and Missoula Restaurants.

Click here to see all of Maiden Missoula’s product reviews.


Leah Lewis is living the dream on Missoula’s Northside with her handsome and handy husband Mark, daughters Zoe and Mila, two dogs, and a cat.  She enjoys making things on her sewing machine, with her knitting needles, and in her kitchen. You can listen to her play today’s pop music every day on Fresh 104.5 FM, or listen to her podcast about hundred or more year old pop music on her classical music podcast at with Darko Butorac from the Missoula Symphony. You might catch Leah and her family relaxing in their backyard, cheering on the Missoula Osprey, or rooting for the Lady Griz on any given weekend.