Ever since the popsicle craze  swept the nation a few years back, the summer treat appears everywhere: at the farmers' market , in food magazines , on Pinterest . Locally, the trend launched Aiko Pops , a frozen pop company that got its start with a mobile cart in 2011. Aiko has gained such a following that it recently opened a storefront on South Pearl Street. The shop, which sits one door north of Duffey Roll Cafe , came available when Cinque Soldi Salumeria  closed in July. A quick facelift and Aiko Pops opened as a gourmet popsicle shop  and quasi-deli serving a handful of sandwiches, chips, and aqua frescas.
To date, my favorite Aiko Pop is the pear–five spice. The cooling and refreshing flavor suits summer's heat just as the warming spices hint at fall. But there's an ever-changing roster of varieties to try: pineapple-cilantro, plum-rose, kiwi-mint, coconut-lemongrass...the list goes on. Best of all, as a mother of a child afflicted with food allergies , the popsicles are vegan, gluten-free, and handmade (read: no creepy dyes or hidden ingredients).
Tip: Savor your pop on the tucked-away back patio, or take it to go. If you’re traveling any distance, bring a cooler to keep the treats frozen.
1284 S. Pearl St., 303-996-5400
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