There is no wrong season to eat ice cream, but it really hits the spot in summer. On a sweltering day, a cup or cone of that creamy, dreamy treat will cool you off and bring your mood up. Everything is better with ice cream, especially if you add sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.
Luckily, it seems that virtually every place in America has good ice cream. That means The Daily Meal had a lot of research to do to narrow the list down to the absolute best spot to get it in your state. We scoured through tons of online reviews, Instagram photos, and word-of-mouth tips until we found the absolute best place to grab a scoop, sundae, malt, or other frozen treat nationwide.
Whether you’re in Texas or Maine, Alaska or Wisconsin, we have found ice cream stands, shops, creameries, dairy farms, and more that are scooping the creamiest, tastiest ice cream — no matter the weather. Read on for the best ice cream stand in every state!
Open May through August, Hot Licks uses local ingredients as well as dairy cream from an Oregon dairy to create their perfect flavors. There is currently a shortage of dairy cows in this American state, but Hot Licks still manages to serve the best and freshest quality ice cream in Alaska with cool flavors like Aurora Borealis, a vanilla ice cream with Alaskan blueberry and cranberry purée, and Prudhoe, a chocolate ice cream containing twice as much chocolate as a normal chocolate ice cream.
Sweet Provisions makes incredible fresh ice cream, pies, cookies, bars, brownies, and from-scratch house-baked treats on their extensive menu. They also offer soda floats and frappes to help you beat the Arizona heat!
Burton’s Comfort Creamery is an Arkansas favorite food truck. This Fayetteville-based truck offers soft serve topped with salty, sweet, and even spicy toppings. Plus they have ice cream sandwiches!
Originally founded by a husband and wife in 1950, this California staple is now sold in grocery stores nationwide. Its flagship store still stands on State Street in Santa Barbara’s downtown, but many new McConnell’s shops have popped up all over the country serving their decadent and fresh flavors.
Little Man Ice Cream is designed to look like you’re going in to an enormous milk bottle to get your ice cream, which is a super-fun experience. Since 2008, this Denver, Colorado, shop does a Scoop for Scoop program that matches each order with an equivalent donation of rice and beans (or other essentials) for those in need around the world.
A cone from Ferris Acres Creamery tastes even better while watching cows graze on their farm. This seasonal stand is also looking to build a bottling plant on the premises to bottle and sell their milk and soft cheeses.
The Woodside Farm Creamery uses an entire apple pie in a batch of their cinnamon apple pie ice cream. The shop also has a flavor called Motor Oil made with coffee ice cream swirled with green caramel (yes, green) and fudge. Not feeling ice cream? That’s OK, you can buy grass-fed beef patties and steaks on their premises.
Zagat-rated Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant coincidentally also houses one of the largest collections of rural American memorabilia. Customers come by this Florida ice cream parlor to order off the extensive menu and stare at all the kitschy goodness.
Locals and visitors to Hawaii always make it a point to stop by Lappert’s, which has locations across the islands. There are Hawaiian-inspired flavors such as Hanah Road and Hawaiian Sea Salt Caramel, but there are also world-inspired flavors such as Manila Mango, Costa Rican Plantain Cajeta, Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl, and Philippine Macapuno Peach Sorbet.
Goody’s Soda Fountain and Candy is an old-fashioned Idaho soda fountain serving up comforting classics like banana splits, waffle bowls, and handmade chocolate and fudge.
BRICS stands for “Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station.” This iconic Indiana ice cream spot is co-owned by a relative of Kurt Vonnegut and is located inside the historic Monon Railway Station. If either of those things aren’t major pulls for you, perhaps BRICS’ list of over 40 ice cream flavors will draw you in.
For 85-years Whitey’s has been dishing out what they’re calling “the best ice cream in the Midwest.” Customers can choose from flavors like Bubble Gum, Banana Graham, Blue Moon, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie.
The glowing Yelp reviews on this Kansas creamery are reason enough to go. “Adorable little house converted into ice cream and coffee. Two floors, little playhouse above, plenty of comfy couches. I had the pumpkin ice cream and espresso affogato. Twice. It was delicious,” wrote a customer who gave College Hill five stars.
This Bluegrass State ice cream shop is the perfect mix of cool and cute. Their hot flavor creations come in adorable Mason jars, plus customers can get their booze on at Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge with alcoholic floats and ice cream cocktails.
The creamery specialties at Creole Creamery in New Orleans set this ice cream stand apart from everything else in Louisiana. Their Skyscraperis an enormous concoction made with cookies and cream, chocolate, and vanilla ice creams, layered with caramel, hot fudge, and crushed Oreos served with whipped cream, sprinkles, a cherry, and a wafer. Plus they also serve something called a Tchoupitoulasmade with eight scoops and eight toppings. Wow!
Toots Ice Cream is on a Maine dairy farm filled with cute cows that you can watch while you munch on deliciously creamy ice cream flavors such as Pig Peg (coffee and Oreos) or grapefruit sorbet. “Toots is a destination ice cream experience. And you most always find friends there and have fun chatting with a stranger in their fast-moving line as you try to decide which flavor you're gonna get. We anxiously await their opening in May and breathe a sad sigh when they close in the fall,” wrote one reviewer.
A big favorite among students at Johns Hopkins University, The Charmery has tons of flavors, including cool ones like Baklava, Black Sesame, and Mint With Figgy Lime Swirl. Plus they serve color-changing “magic” spoons! Magic!!!
This family-run dairy farm serves homemade ice cream in traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla, as well as fun ones like Phantomberry and Snickas With Snickers. Plus, their farm also houses sheep, chickens, ducks, roosters, and 370 cows!
Moomers has over 160 handmade ice cream flavors! Customers go nuts for this Traverse City creamery’s sundaes with hot fudge, caramel, and butter-roasted salted pecans and other delights.
Area 51 Ice Cream is just as mysterious as its name. Their small-batch flavors are made with fresh ingredients from Hernando’s farmers market, so menu items change often.
Big Dipper Ice Cream has a cult following for its high-quality, creamy texture ice creams in tasty flavors. Expect huge lines at this Montana walk-up! It’s worth the wait.
All ice creams at Ivanna Cone are made with a 14 percent butterfat sweet cream vanilla base, which is the perfect primer for a milky creamy scoop. Plus, the family-owned parlor is super-cute inside with pink and purple walls.
This New York transplant ice cream shop is serving the best scoops in Nevada. “Steve has the best ice cream I've had since moving to Nevada almost 3 years ago,” said one reviewer. “He has a vast selection to choose from but as of late, my go-to flavor is his Brownie Batter — that right there is heaven in a cone.”
Jordan’s Ice Creamery is a neighborhood favorite for its exciting, ever-changing menu. Jordan’s is known for its Belly Buster, which is a five-scoop sundae served in a bucket with a small shovel.
It’s always a thrill when New Jersey seasonal favorite Van Dyk’s Homemade Ice Cream opens for the summer. This Bergen County institution is near gorgeous Victorian homes and a handful of other shops, making it an ideal stop for grabbing a cone before you stroll around the neighborhood.
La Lecheria is the separate ice cream business of Santa Fe chef Joel Coleman of Fire & Hops fame. Coleman uses traditional flavors from New Mexico such as red and green chiles in his seasonal ice cream offerings that are loved by locals and visitors alike.
Ample Hills is Brooklyn hipster ice cream paradise. Ample Hills uses hormone-free milk and cream from grass-fed cows and organic cane sugar. They even pasteurize on site! The Daily Meal is even a fan of the creamery — we sampled their royal wedding ice cream before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot.
The Parlour serves flavors inspired by the seasons, cookbooks, and childhood memories. They use 18 percent butterfat in most flavors, but they also offer tons of vegan options made with coconut milk.
“Love taking the kids to get a Whirl-a-Whip! The fountain sodas are great and the gift shop has some really unique items,” reads one review of this Stanley creamery.
Mitchell’s Ice Cream focuses on tasty small-batch ice cream made from local grass-fed Ohio dairy cows and fresh seasonal ingredients. Their ice cream is just as delicious as their devotion to sustainability! Mitchell’s uses rainwater harvesting systems, water conservation, skylights, waste heat, and solar panels in their stores and kitchens.
This Oklahoma custard shop has a bevy of concrete flavors made with frozen custard and tons of local ingredients. Not interested in a concrete? They also do sundaes, malts, floats, shakes, and old-fashioned sodas.
Situated on a gorgeous farm, Fox Meadows Creamery is serving up the absolute freshest creamiest ice cream in Pennsylvania. They even home-make their waffle cones and bowls.
“This is the best ice cream I’ve had in my lifetime. It’s very simple, but delicious flavors are addicting! Every time I visit I like to try a new flavor and they never disappoint. My favorites are Coffee Oreo, Salted Caramel, and plain Oreo,” raved one reviewer.
Sweet Cream Company’s flavors are so good, they don’t even offer toppings. Their website claims that this is to let the “flavor of the ice cream itself shine.”
People love this East Nashville spot for its Trailer Trash — vanilla ice cream with Oreos, Twix, Butterfingers, Reese’s Pieces, Nestle Crunch, Snickers, M&M’s, and Cheetos. Craving something a little less heavy? Try the tomato strawberry sorbet or the avocado ice cream.
This Austin ice cream shop has over 350 flavors in rotation (because everything is bigger in Texas, even the menus!) and they all have cool names like All Thai’d Up, After Dinner Mint, and Dementor’s Cloud, just to name a few.
“Best ice cream store anywhere. Good old-fashioned ice cream store that you remember from your childhood. Excellent flavors. New soda fountain addition is impressive. It's crowded but they have a great system of service and the help is always friendly, happy and eager to please,” wrote a reviewer of this Ogden creamery.
If enjoying a scoop of ice cream on a literal island sounds like your kind of paradise, look no further than Island Creamery in Chincoteague. This family business serves the community delicious fresh ice cream made with milk from Lancaster County cows and locally grown fruits and other goodies.
Mallard’s ice cream is made in salt-ice churns that can make five gallons of ice cream in about an hour. This technique delivers super-fresh, high-quality, tasty ice cream in tons of sweet flavors.
This beloved Georgetown spot serves up house-made ice creams, blend-ins, and fudge. Plus, everyone goes here, from college students to government officials, so you never know who you might run into.
Ellen of Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream learned how to make good ice cream in Boston. The community loves her raspberry chocolate chip, coffee, mocha almond, and Heath flavors.
Wisconsin is known for their dairy, and Kopp’s is no exception. You have never had a creamier scoop of ice cream, custard, or shake in your life.
Moo’s Gourmet makes hand-churned ice cream in traditional flavors and exciting departures like Sour Guanabana! Their standout, however, is their Huckleberry, which locals and visitors rave about on sites like Yelp. You know what else gets raved about on Yelp? These restaurants, which are the best in America — according to Yelp!