The Frozen Banana Stands of Balboa Island – Newport Beach, California - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

The Frozen Banana Stands of Balboa Island

Try the frozen treat that inspired Arrested Development's famous banana stand. 

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“There’s always money in the banana stand!” Many people remember Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand from Arrested Development, but few realize that the show took inspiration from a real-life location in Newport Beach. In fact, it took inspiration from two of them.

That’s right, Balboa Island is home to not one, but two frozen banana stands. Located only a few doors down from each other, Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop and Sugar ‘n Spice both claim to be the home of the “original” frozen banana. You almost could say that they’re in a banana standoff. Or maybe a cold war. Arrested Development’s parody of Newport Beach is more accurate than you might expect, and this is no exception: The real-life banana stand feud became a plot point in season three, when G.O.B. decides to open his “Banana Shack” right across from the Bluth Banana Stand on Balboa Island.

Frozen banana-related turf wars aside, the frozen fruit itself is tasty when dipped in chocolate and rolled in various toppings. Neither shop has employees in full-body banana suits, unfortunately, but one of them does have an anthropomorphic banana logo that bears a striking resemblance to the one on the Bluth Banana Stand. At the end of the day, either shop is the perfect place to buy “a frozen banana that won’t make you sick and kill you!”

Know Before You Go

In addition to bananas, check out other frozen treats like Balboa Bars and frozen cheesecake.

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March 3, 2023

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