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Whether you live in a destination where it feels like summer all the time or one of the coldest cities in the world, there’s an iconic dessert that transcends temperature: ice cream. It’s a classic treat that can be enjoyed in a simple cup, piled in a cone or scooped into extravagant sundaes loaded with toppings.
Coronavirus restrictions may limit how most establishments function, but curbside pick up, limited dining and social distancing practices make it possible to still grab a scoop from the best ice cream shop in your state.
To find the best ice cream shop in every state, we scoured online reviews, social media posts, local publications and word-of-mouth tips until we found the absolute best place to grab a scoop, sundae, shake and other frozen treats nationwide.
Along with being one of the most underrated tourist spots in America, Mobile also has the best ice cream shop in the state. Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream is a family-owned creamery that has been serving some of Alabama’s finest ice cream since 1956. Cammie’s offers 47 flavors from Mexican vanilla to prickly pear that can be enjoyed in an Old Dutch banana split, a milkshake or the famous A Meal in One — a malted milkshake with five scoops of ice cream, whipped cream and cherries.
At Wild Scoops in Anchorage, Alaska, every flavor has a story. Childhood favorite desserts, majestic mountains, dog sled races and more inspire the creation of wild flavors made with Alaskan ingredients. Sweeter than Dirt is a mix of a creamy chocolate coconut base and Oreos, while the flavor Fruity Pebbles is described as “the stuff childhood dreams are made of.” There are also ice cream sandwiches like the Mudwich, chocolate coconut ice cream between two double chocolate cookies.
Burton’s Creamery is not only the best ice cream in Arkansas, but it could be considered one of the best food trucks in America. This Fayetteville-based truck offers rich, creamy soft serve covered with a variety of salty, sweet and photogenic toppings. Other frozen treat options include ice cream sandwiches and pops.
When Bi-Rite Creamery was founded in San Francisco, the goal was “to make you happy.” The creamery’s (not so) secret trick is Double 8 Dairy buffalo milk, which contains higher butter fat than normal milk. Signature flavors range from Birthday Cake to Roasted Banana. As the seasons change, new flavors like Peach Cobbler might make an appearance on the menu.
Located in Denver, the original location of Little Man is designed to look like you’re going into an enormous 28-foot-tall milk bottle to get your ice cream, and cool locations continue to pop up around the metro area. Tasty flavors include the majorly popular Salted Oreo or 16th St. Chocolate, a nod to the city’s pedestrian promenade.
Ferris Acres Creamery in Newton is considered to be one of the best ice cream shops in the state of Connecticut. This seasonal stand is a family business with three generations involved in making the ice cream on-site. Cows also graze the farm where the ice cream is served. Flavors include Grasshopper — mint ice cream with crushed Oreos — or Bada Bing — chocolate almond ice cream with dark chocolate chunks and Bing cherries.
Woodside Farm Creamery is the place to go for flavorful ice cream in Delaware. Located in Hockessin, this creamery has Jersey cows that graze the farmland while employees scoop up flavors like Cinnamon Apple Pie — a recipe that includes an entire apple pie in every batch — and Butter Brickle — butter-flavored ice cream scattered with toffee pieces.
Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant has a massive menu of food and treats — like juicy burgers — as well as one of the largest collections of rural American memorabilia. This Dania Beach, Florida, ice cream parlor is known for its classic desserts like turtle sundaes and banana splits, but also has creations like the Kitchen Sink — one pound of ice cream per person topped with bananas, homemade whipped cream, mixed nuts, cherries and a sparkler or two, all served in a literal kitchen sink.
Atlanta’s best salted caramel can be found at Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream. This Georgia shop also offers off-the-beaten-path flavors like Coconut Jalapeño and Ginger Lavender. Its Krispy Kreamier flavor is made with real pieces of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and Death by Chocolate, made with three layers of chocolate, takes a passion for chocolate to a new level.
Lappert’s may make tasty coffee and cookies, but it’s the ice cream that lands it on this list. Lappert’s has several locations across Hawaii and sells volcanic sundaes like the Ka’Au Crater Hot Fudge Bomb — two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream with homemade hot fudge — and an Affogato — ice cream drowned in a double shot of espresso, whipped cream and a waffle fan.
Goody's Soda Fountain & Candy Store/Yelp
Goody’s Soda Fountain & Candy Store in Boise is an old-fashioned Idaho soda fountain serving up comforting classics like banana splits, waffle bowls, phosphates and handmade chocolate and fudge. Thirty-three years of ice cream experience tastes a whole lot like coffee beans, toasted coconut and caramel.
The place to go for ice cream in Illinois is Margie’s Candies, a vintage city staple in Chicago that opened in 1921. The shop is famed for its sundaes, which are served with homemade hot fudge and toppings. Margie’s specialties include the classic hot fudge sundae — served with a cherry and a cookie on top — and a jumbo turtle split with four scoops of creamy French vanilla ice cream.
BRICS stands for “Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station.” This cool Indiana ice cream spot is located inside the historic Monon Railway Station where travelers once set off on scenic train rides. The shop has a list of over 30 ice cream flavors that includes Amaretto Cherry and Yellow Cake Batter. Any sundae, shake or other treat can also be made using vegan gelato.
Whitey's Ice Cream/Yelp
For more than 85 years, Whitey’s in Bettendorf, Iowa, has been dishing out what it boasts as “the best ice cream in the Midwest.” Customers can choose from flavors like Bubble Gum, Banana Graham, Gummy Bear and Mississippi Mud Revel from this Midwestern favorite. The menu also includes cookie ice cream sandwiches and Bostons, which are malts or shakes with a sundae on top.
Sylas and Maddy’s Homemade Ice Cream is a family-owned business that has been serving ice cream for over two decades. Ice cream and waffle cones are made fresh, and there are nearly 100 flavors to choose from. Go crazy with the Krazy Kat — a mix of the popular candy Kit-Kats, chocolate and caramel swirl — or keep it simple with classic Cookie Dough.
Bourbon might be Kentucky’s most iconic food, but the ice cream at Crank & Boom gives the drink a run for its money. This Bluegrass State ice cream shop in Lexington uses local ingredients to create both the classics and specialized flavors like Bourbon and Honey, and Kentucky Blackberry and Buttermilk.
Located in one of America’s most historic towns, Creole Creamery is the go-to ice cream shop in New Orleans. The creamery serves photo-friendly fountain classics like banana splits, but it also takes things to new heights — literally. The Skyscraper is 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.
Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream is a family-owned business and a baseball lover’s dream that serves over 30 flavors of homemade ice cream. In fact, the small chain was voted the best in Maine by local radio listeners. Popular flavors include Maple Walnut, Coffee Heath and Cookie Dough, and the sweet frozen treat can be combined with baked goods like cookies or brownies too.
Ice cream is so historic in Maryland that the state has an ice cream trail. One must-try place on that trail is Baltimore’s The Charmery. Charmery flavors include Maryland Mud — a mix of chocolate ice cream, Oreos and chocolate chips — and Ice Cream Sando — a sweet cream base with ice cream sandwich cookie pieces. And for pie lovers, The Charmery also has iconic ice cream pies.
Mary Ann C./Yelp
The best ice cream shop in one of the happiest states in America is Richardson’s Ice Cream in Middleton, Massachusetts. This family-run dairy farm serves homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt in traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla as well as fun ones like Crunch-a-saurus — a blue vanilla ice cream with chocolate covered krispies.
Moomers, which is a working dairy farm, has over 160 flavors of your favorite frozen stuff, including Brownie Batter and Bear Paw — chocolate ice cream with caramel swirl and chocolate-covered cashews. For indecisive ice cream lovers searching for an over-the-top treat, the Wholey Cow is a whopping 10 scoops of ice cream topped with an entire can of whipped cream.
As the classic saying goes, it’s all about the cherry on top. But in Minnesota, it’s the Izzy on top — a 3/4-ounce scoop to finish your dessert off. That means if you order a scoop of vanilla, you can top it off with a tiny scoop of another flavor on the menu, such as Graham Cracker, Butter Caramel Salted Swirl or Caramelia Cookie Crunch.
Area 51 might be one of the most mysterious places in the world, but this ice cream shop with a similar name only has one thing in common with the alien destination: It can be described as out of this world. Located in Hernando, Mississippi, the small-batch, handmade flavors change often, but common flavors include classics like Cookies and Cream and Bourbon Butter Pecan as well as more experimental flavors like Coconut Brown Sugar and Saigon Cinnamon Snickerdoodle.
Ice cream is one of several official state foods in Missouri, and you’ll find some of the state’s best frozen treats at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis, Missouri. This family-owned business has been serving frozen custard for 80 years. Enjoy a classic sundae or concrete (a thick custard mixed with toppings) in a variety of rich, creamy flavors, or mix things up with a cookie sandwich. And to top things off — literally — Ted’s has 40 toppings to choose from.
There are four locations in Montana to snag a tasty bite of Big Dipper Ice Cream — or you could even keep your eyes peeled for the Coneboy truck. Big Dipper Ice Cream has garnered a following thanks to its simple-yet-tasty flavors including Huckleberry, Caramel, Maple Walnut and Mocha Chip. Sundaes, shakes, floats and a whole lot of toppings are also available.
Ivanna Cone has been open for more than a decade and is serving up premium handmade ice cream in Nebraska. Located in Lincoln with a vintage look of days gone by, the ice cream shop uses a 14% butterfat sweet cream vanilla base to create the rich taste of its 17 flavors. The flavors — like Espresso Reese’s and Salted Melon — change regularly, so be ready to be surprised.
Jordan’s Ice Creamery is a family-run, homemade ice creamery and neighborhood favorite in Belmont, New Hampshire, that has been around for more than 25 years. Aside from the 150 flavors of ice cream, Jordan’s also has frozen yogurt and sugar-free options. Tasty favorites according to reviews include Coconut Cream and White Chocolate Habanero.
Strolling an old school boardwalk is a must in New Jersey, and so is hunting down a quality ice cream cone. Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream in Ledgewood has 11 flavors of soft ice cream, 60 hard hand-dipped flavors and seasonal options on the menu. Of the many eclectic flavors, Crooked Cookie, Whiskey Turtle Fudge and Rocky Road are just a few locals rave about.
Caliche’s Frozen Custard in Las Cruces, New Mexico, looks like a location that’s stuck in time. The hometown favorite, located inside a renovated burger joint, serves “caliches,” a Spanish term that translates to “natural cement.” Popular caliches include the Fudge Brownie Bliss caliche, a mix of vanilla frozen custard blended with chewy brownie bits, hot fudge and topped off with even more hot fudge. And for traditionalists, Caliche’s serves classics like hot fudge sundaes and banana splits as well as specialty sundaes like the Apple Pie à la Moore.
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream serves up more than 88 flavors in its New York City shops, and fans across the country can enjoy their favorites at home with nationwide shipping. Flavors include classics like Cherry Chocolate Chip, but Morgenstern’s also gets creative with flavors like Burnt Sage.
Durham, North Carolina’s The Parlour has both hard and soft ice creams and decadent sweet ice cream treats like brownies and crisps. Ice cream flavors change, but past options have included Blueberry Lemonade, Matcha and Milk Chocolate Tahini. The shop also offers a number of delicious vegan options.
Pride Dairy stakes the claim as North Dakota’s last small-town creamery. The shop produces and serves more than 20 flavors of ice cream, including Butter Brickle, Mojo Roast Coffee, Maple Nut and Rhubarb Strawberry. Just a short drive away from the creamery is another famous attraction: Tommy the Turtle, one of the coolest roadside attractions in America.
Mitchell’s Ice Cream isn’t what you’re used to when it comes to ice cream shops. It uses rainwater harvesting systems, water conservation, skylights, waste heat and solar panels to make ice cream a sustainable food. The ice cream is hand-crafted and made using local ingredients to create the flavors such as Caramel Fudge Brownie, Wildberry Crumble, Banana Cream Pie and Caramel Sea Salt that tops your cone.
Fans of delicious ice cream in Oklahoma are in luck: Roxy’s Ice Cream Social has multiple locations across the state. Roxy's offers tasty flavors like Graham Cracker and German Chocolate that can be made into fresh-baked cookie sandwiches, floats and sundaes. Eight flavors also rotate at locations seasonally.
You haven’t had the best sandwich in Oregon until you’ve had an ice cream sandwich from Ruby Jewel in Portland. You can create your own sandwich or brownie sundae with your choice of flavors. Combinations like Honey Lavender between two lemon cookies, Butterscotch with two oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or Oregon Strawberry ice cream between brown sugar cookies can be bought online and shipped nationwide.
You may have heard of farm-to-table, but what about cow to cone? That's the philosophy at Fox Meadows Creamery, an ice cream shop and country store located on a dairy farm in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Enjoy flavors such as Nutella, Honeyed Lavender, Birthday Cake and Salted Caramel Pretzel on their own by the scoop or in a Baked Fox —a signature treat that is a shell of brownie or chocolate chip cookie filled with a scoop of ice cream.
Brickley's Homemade Ice Cream has two Rhode Island locations and makes all the ice cream at the Narragansett location. When you walk up to the window on any given day you will find more than 40 flavors of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and sorbets. The Butter Brickley, Maple Walnut and Black Raspberry are favorites among locals.
Sweet Cream Company’s flavors are so good, the shop doesn’t offer toppings to allow ‘the flavor of the ice cream itself to shine.” This South Carolina shop's cool flavors include Local Sweet Corn, Sunflower, Cherry Coke and Lemon Poppy Seed. Sorbet is also available in flavors like Cantaloupe, Honey Lemon Ginger and Orange Thyme Cranberry.
South Dakota is not only home to one of the nation’s most iconic landmarks, but it also has some seriously delicious ice cream. Armadillo's in Rapid City features a menu that makes it truly hard to choose, with shakes and malts in flavors like Apple Cinnamon and Nutmeg; sundaes you can top with gummy worms or fresh peaches; cobblers topped with ice cream and so much more.
The Southern food destination of Tennessee is known for its hot fried chicken, but if you need something to cool you off after, hunt down Pied Piper Creamery in East Nashville. The creamery offers ice cream in a variety of places like East Nashville’s Farmer’s Market and Mimi’s Ice Cream and Coffee. The company has specialized in artisan ice cream for over a decade, so you won’t have to be nervous about trying more daring flavors like Some Like it Hot or Movie Star.
Amy's Ice Creams started in Austin then expanded to Houston and San Antonio, proving everything truly is bigger in Texas with its menu of more than 350 flavors. Amy’s is known for its famous Mexican vanilla ice cream, to which you can then add toppings or use as the base for a quirky treat off the menu. Funky seasonal flavors have clever names like All Thai’d Up, After Dinner Mint and Batter Up, just to name a few.
Making ice cream in Utah since 1929, Farr Better is one of the oldest continually operating ice cream shops in America. This charming, vintage-style ice cream shop serves up a wide variety of flavors from Candy Bar Whirl a technicolor Play Dough flavor.
Vermont is the land of Ben and Jerry’s, but The Village Scoop is the local spot for ice cream treats. The scoop shop, located inside a former schoolhouse, even has a drive-thru window. One super-Vermont option is the Maple Tornado, soft serve and candy mixed with, you guessed it, Vermont maple syrup.
Since 1975, Island Creamery has been offering cool treats that pair perfectly with a day at the beach on Virginia's Chincoteague Island. This family business serves fresh ice cream made with local milk and ingredients. Special flavors include Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Cherries Jubilee and Birthday Cake, and there are vegan options made with coconut milk.
This Washington shop uses its rotating menu to experiment with flavors such as licorice and brown butter, or ingredients like Nerds, but it also has staple favorites like Super Vanilla, Root Beer and Mint Oreo on the menu. Non-dairy diners will also find options here.
Washington, D.C., is known for some of the most popular tourist destinations in America, and Thomas Sweet should be added to the list for an ice cream pit stop. This beloved spot serves house-made ice creams and frozen yogurts with dozens of flavors including Oreos n’ Cream and Cookie Monster.
Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream has been serving up homemade ice creams, sherbets, gelatos and sorbets in Charleston, West Virginia, for more than 20 years. Homemade flavors include Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Mocha Almond and Espresso Oreo. Speaking of espresso, you can get coffee drinks there too.
Wisconsin is best known for its cheese, but it also has creamy, delicious ice cream. Located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Kelley Country Creamery is a family-owned dairy farmstand and the best place to grab the treat in the state. The creamery has a viewing window where customers can watch the ice cream being made. Flavors include Banana Cream Pie — banana ice cream with a marshmallow swirl and pie crust pieces — and Black Angus — chocolate ice cream with Oreos.
Moo’s Gourmet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, makes natural and organic hand-churned ice cream in traditional flavors like Mint Chip and Rum Raisin as well as exciting variations like Chai Tea and Prickly Pear. The standout, however, is the Wild Huckleberry flavor, which locals and visitors rave about. If you’re craving a tasty dessert but don’t want to leave home, here are cool treats you can make with frozen fruit.
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