Seattle's Third Wave of Fro-Yo

Frozen yogurt is back, and this time, every ounce counts.

You may remember Seattle’s last frozen yogurt explosion back in 2008, when national chains like Pinkberry and Red Mango hit town and spawned countless imitators. Way back then, it was all about the flavor—frozen yogurt that actually tasted tart, like yogurt (as opposed to previous ice cream imitators a la TCBY).

Now fro-yo is back in a big way—or rather, a small way: yogurt by the ounce. At new local outlets of chains like Menchie’s (Queen Anne, and opening soon in U Village) and Yogurtland (Capitol Hill), and Seattle-based startups like Zoë Yogurt (Green Lake), customers line up in astonishingly long lines, awaiting their turn at a big wall of fro-yo dispensers, where it’s DIY lever pulling (germaphobes, take heed) for whatever flavors you like, from taro to cheesecake. Next, hit the immense toppings bar, where you spoon your own selection, be it fresh fruit or Fruity Pebbles. But while the per-ounce cost is minimal ($.35–$.43), be warned: Those toppings pile up quickly, giving a whole new meaning to “heavy dessert.”