Yes, yes, I know the tart frozen yogurt trend is so last year. With the sudden influx of mediocre Pink Berry imposters to DC, and even Haagan Dazs trying to cash in on the trend, it’s no wonder people are losing their appetite for this tasty treat.
But Mr. Yogato in Dupont Circle is not your ordinary fro-yo shop, for several reasons. First, it’s not an impersonal, lackluster chain like the others. Service is helpful, friendly, and generous with the toppings. The owner, Steve (a rocket scientist!), drops in all the time and greets regulars.
Second, Mr. Yogato is not just frozen yogurt; it’s a frozen yogurt experience. When ordering, you can’t simply tell the server you want a small with strawberries and bananas. Well, actually you can, but that takes all the fun out of it! Mr. Yogato has a list of rules, aptly named the rules of yogato, which adds a little fun and suspense to your ordering. For instance, take rule #2, which reads, “Try your luck with a trivia question. Get it right for 10% off, but get it wrong and 10% is added.” I feel exhilerated every time! Other rules include ordering a yogurt for 30 consecutive days for a flavor named after you, wearing a “Mr. Yogato stamped me!” stamp on your forehead, and creating an edible pasta yogato sculpture (all of which multiple people have done). As an added bonus, there is a Nintendo and karaoke machine where you can play a round of Super Mario or belt out your favorite Britney Spears tune.
Last, but certainly not least, is the yogurt. In a word: DELICIOUS. The perfect balance of tart and sweet. Creamy and light. Mr. Yogato features 2 main flavors (original soft and original tangy–I order original tangy everytime) and 2 rotating flavors (which I obviously have to sample everytime, for evaluative purposes, of course). There are 18 rotating flavors, which include coco-loco shandy (coconut–SO GOOD), joe maherito (mojito–surprisingly refreshing), zachberry jam (blackberry–jammin), and ashraf-skrypock (mystery flavor–still a mystery). Plus, Mr. Yogato has over 50 toppings, ranging from standards such as berries, granola, and chocolate chips to just plain crazy ones like balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper, and agave nectar.
At $5 for a little-size yogurt with 3 toppings, Mr. Yogato is unfortunately not the cheapest yogurt out there. But remember, you can always get a nifty discount by acting out one of the rules. And if you’re not in the mood for frozen yogurt (especially on a cold, rainy winter DC day), Mr. Yogato also has a hot chocolato bar with tons of toppings (think Ghiradelli hot cocoa with a shot of carribean rum flavoring, marshmallows, and chili powder) for $3.
For tart frozen yogurt fans and haters alike, Mr. Yogato is sure to be a fun and tasty treat. Moveato your buttato to Mr. Yogato! (I promise I’ll stop rhyming…for now.)
1515 17th St. NW (between Church and Q St.)
Washington, DC 20036