It’s been five years since Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt first drew references to crack, but the craze hasn’t come close to cooling off. What’s the reason for the explosion? Today’s fro-yo isn’t the cloying stuff of 1980s strip malls—anyone remember TCBY?—but rather a more affordable, lower calorie and purportedly healthier alternative to an ice cream sundae (yogurt’s live and active cultures may be good for you; a topping of Fruity Pebbles are not.)
Whether or not the health claims are true, people are literally eating it up. In the last year, competitors have cropped up across the Valley, each commanding its own cult following. Here are eight spots where you can give it a swirl.
The frozen yogurt leans toward the sweeter soft-serve side, but that hasn’t stopped visitors from flocking to any of Blizz’s outposts on the Strip. Shakes and crepes appeal to the sweet-toothed among us, while nonfat offerings relieve ladies of guilt as they head to the pool. Multiple locations, BlizzYogurt.com.
If you like your fro-yo mouth-puckering, head to this Southwest gem for its signature tart flavors. All selections are fat-free, gluten-free and made with active live cultures. Don’t care much for the health pitch? Then satisfy your sweet tooth with bubble teas, waffles and crepes. 7380 S. Rainbow Blvd., 270-0557, Cefiore.com.
I Love Yogurt
This locally born franchise deviates from the usual fro-yo shop formula with a nostalgic ’80s theme. Dance to Madonna tunes or play Dig Dug, then treat yourself to a cup of the “Mr. T” tart (Fruity Pebbles garnish optional). Yogurt may not evoke childhood memories of trips to the ice cream parlor, but the rest of it is sure to take you back in time. Multiple locations, ILVYogurt.com.
Expect this DIY emporium to bring out your inner child. Serve yourself a cup of something low carb, then negate the effects with sprinkles, crushed candy bars and a cherry on top. You can justify the splurge by reminding yourself that almost every flavor is fat-free and enriched with healthy probiotics. Multiple locations, Menchies.com.
It’s not self-serve, nor does it have a huge selection of flavors, but fans still swear by this chain for its unique taste. Pure yogurt and zero additives lend a sharp tang that satisfies fro-yo purists, but slick décor and generous portions also give the brand appeal. Multiple locations, RedMangoUSA.com.
This pay-by-the-pound fro-yo palace boasts all nonfat (and plenty of sugar-free) flavors, but it also happens to be a candy addict’s heaven. Rotating flavors include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Mounds and Heath Bar. Hedonists can go over the top with even more crushed candy at the toppings bar. Multiple locations, U-Swirl.com.
Pay what it weighs at this perpetually crowded self-serve shop. Choose from a range of flavors, including the classic (vanilla) and the exotic (taro, dragon fruit), scoot over to the toppings bar and then plunk your customized creation on a scale for its price. Be sure to look for limited-time offerings—this summer brings blueberry-lychee and almond-mocha flavors. Multiple locations, Yogurt-Land.com.
This family-friendly shop at Tivoli Village offers gelato, crepes and waffles, but—as the name implies—the star of the show is the self-serve frozen yogurt bar. Flavors such as cake batter and red velvet will excite your inner child, your actual child, or both. This is the perfect final stop after dinner or a shopping spree. 430 S. Rampart Blvd., 982-5598, YoScreamLV.com.