America’s 13 Wildest and Weirdest Ice Cream Trucks from America’s 13 Wildest and Weirdest Ice Cream Trucks Slideshow
America’s 13 Wildest and Weirdest Ice Cream Trucks Slideshow
America’s 13 Wildest and Weirdest Ice Cream Trucks
It’s probably pretty easy for you to conjure an image of an ice cream truck in your head right now: white and shiny, rolling down the street playing a familiar jingle, with a big open window and photos of all its frozen offerings pasted to the side. But if you think that every ice cream truck out there looks like that and serves the same menu, think again. Because these 13 trucks really don’t fit the mold.
Frozen Kuhsterd, San Francisco
Yelp/ Bryan R.
Denser and creamier than ice cream, frozen custard is made from a base of eggs, cream, and sugar. Frozen Kuhsterd in San Francisco, owned by Jason Angeles, has an extensive savory and sweet menu that is inspired largely from Angeles’ childhood and Filipino-American background. Flavors such as avocado, toasted coconut, burnt caramel, and sweet corn are only a few examples of what the menu has to offer.
Like No Udder, Providence, R.I.
Yelp/ Janna D.
For all the vegans out there who cannot enjoy the majority of the trucks on our list, Like No Udder is your answer. It is the first all-vegan soft-serve ice cream truck, located in Providence, R.I. Soft-serve, milkshakes, floats, frozen slushies, and candy bars are all available in vegan preparations. Owner Karen Krinsky first owned the Screaming Carrot Vegetarian Bakery, a vegan baking business, but her long and early hours as a baker steered her toward the mobile food industry. But we aren’t complaining — these treats are too good to give up!
Dolci Peccatti Gelato, Miami
Natalie Yepes had always found joy in gelato and ice cream, even as a graphic designer. But over time, she decided she would rather bring people happiness through her gelato and ice cream than be a graphic designer. So she quit her job, attended gelato school, pitched a thorough business plan, perfected the craft that is gelato-making, and now runs one of the top dessert food trucks in Miami. Dolci Peccatti Gelato, which Yepes runs with her twin sister Stefanie, offers creamy gelato in flavors like amaretto and pistachio. The two experiment in the kitchen with flavors such as sweet corn and cheese, sweet potato with marshmallow and coconut, and guava merengue. They also sell ShotPops! (an alcohol-infused gelato shot), gelato sandwiches, milkshakes, dolci floats, and ice pops.
Fluff Ice Truck, Los Angeles
Yelp/ Ryan P.
Fluff Ice fuses both Asian and non-Asian elements together, creating a shaved ice unlike any other. It started when Nicholas Huang and Annie Tran realized that not many people knew the kind of shaved ice often found in countries like China and Taiwan. It’s fluffy, creamy, and light, and toppings include red bean, egg pudding, yogurt chips, and mango, while the fluff varieties vary from Thai tea fluff to Taro fluff to the simple original fluff.
Longboards Vintage Ice Cream, Los Angeles
Yelp/ Ryan P.
The beauty of Longboards Vintage Ice Cream is the versatility — the possibilities are endless. Choose an ice cream base (such as coconut, strawberry, or coffee), select a shell to dip it in (Ghirardelli dark chocolate, caramel, etc.), and a topping or two, ranging from rainbow sprinkles to crushed up potato chips. "The Big O," the truck’s most popular combination, consists of a cookies and cream bar coated in milk chocolate then rolled in Oreos. In 2011, the truck won the Best Mobile Ice Cream Bar Award from LA Weekly’s "Best of Los Angeles" awards.
HipPOPS Handcrafted Gelato Bars, Miami
HipPOPS is taking South Florida by storm with its portable gelato, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. "This is the hippest way to eat gelato and sorbet," founder Anthony Fellows said. "You can hold it in one hand. It’s portable, customizable, and not the same-old frozen dessert on a stick." The truck focuses on using only locally sourced dairy and fruit from local farmers when in season. The bars are all-natural and gluten-free. Like at Longboards Vintage Ice Cream, HipPOPS customers choose a base bar (either gelato or sorbet), a dip (or half-dip or drizzle), then "poppings" such as crushed pistachios, pretzels, and Oreos. The gelato and sorbet flavors menu is innovative, with unexpected flavors like Mexican chocolate chipotle gelato and green apple wasabi sorbet.
Coolhaus, Multiple Locations
Talk about expanding a business: Coolhaus, founded in Los Angeles in 2009, now has trucks in New York City, Austin, Miami, and Dallas. It was one of the first trucks to let customers build their own ice cream sandwich with a variety of soft, freshly baked cookies (potato chip & butterscotch, red velvet, s’mores, peanut butter Captain Crunch) and innovative ice cream flavors (strawberry jalapeño gelato, Peking duck, Cuban cigar). Discounts are posted online with special passwords of the day. If you aren’t located in a city where a truck roams the streets, packaged sandwiches are available in more than 1,000 markets spread across almost 40 states. You can also purchase their jarred fried chicken caramel, bacon-infused salt, and vanilla bean-infused sugar, among other unique products.
Chunk-N-Chip Cookies, Orange County, Calif.
This family-owned business with a sister dessert truck serves “Ice Cream Sammiches,” which are made with soft, oven-warmed cookies. Try Blu-Valentine, snickerdoodle cookies with lavender blueberry ice cream; Butter My Velvet, red velvet cookies with peanut butter cup ice cream; or Bahama Mama, macadamia nut cookies with pineapple and white chocolate ice cream. Cookies and ice cream are also sold separately.
Mean Green Ice Cream Machine, Nashville
Yelp/ Ryan O.
A 1975-vintage Good Humor truck was transformed into the Mean Green Ice Cream Machine in 2012, and it was joined on the streets of Nashville by a second truck this year. The trucks are available for rent, and they’ll roll up to your party or event to serve packaged treats, gourmet desserts, and — new this summer — soft serve.
Tikiz Shaved Ice & Ice Cream, Broward County, Fla.
There are more than 20 of these funky trucks on the road, and each one of them can shave 400 cups of ice every hour. Guests are lured by the sound of steel drums playing through high-end speakers and water misters to cool off, and strobes and revolving neon lights are added to the mix at night. Guests receive cups of Hawaiian-style shaved ice or ice cream, and they can load them up with any of a wide variety of fruit syrups from a “surv-board” right on the side of the truck.
Sweet Lucie’s, Los Angeles
The Sweet Lucie’s Truck, prowling Los Angeles, is a 1959 International Harvester Metro that was in serious disrepair when purchased by founder Geri Czako in 2009. If you come across it today, however, you’ll find a gleaming beauty serving handmade super-premium ice cream and sorbet in flavors including banana, black sesame, chai latte, green tea matcha, pistachio with truffle honey caramel swirl, and strawberry mint lemonade.
Ben & Jerry’s
You probably didn’t know this, but Ben & Jerry’s actually has a fleet of ice cream trucks that show up for promotions and catered events. Their Cowmobile (pictured) is a modified vintage mobile home that traverses the country handing out free scoops, and their other trucks include vans, a modified VW bus, and even a pickup truck with a giant “pint” in the flatbed. If you see one of these, don’t pass it by.
Sweet Cow Ice Cream MooMobile, Denver
Sweet Cow Ice Cream’s primary goal is bringing smiles to the community. They’re pursuing exactly that by hand-crafting ice cream daily and only using compostable and recyclable products. The MooMobile, which started serving ice cream in July 2011, visits office parks but is also available for booking at parties and events. Available flavors include cookies and cream, strawberry, and Dutch chocolate, as well as a daily featured ice cream.