The Best Ice Cream Shop in Every State
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream…at the best local scoop shops across the country!
Love really does make things taste sweeter. And the owner of Cammie’s (it’s Cammie herself) would agree. A few years ago, she decided to start making all 47 flavors herself in the shop. The result? A silky soft scoop!
Can’t make the trip? Here’s how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.
Wild Scoops, Anchorage
You’ve heard of micro-breweries…but what about micro-creameries? That’s what Wild Scoops is: They make small batches of unique flavors. While you’re in the northernmost state, try the “Baked Alaska,” a waffle cone topped with a dollop of torched marshmallow cream.
Sweet Republic, Phoenix
If Alton Brown says it’s good, you know it must be true. His favorite flavor at Sweet Republic is “toffee banofi sundae”—but all of the options, inspired by the owners’ world travels, are equally unique. (Like “blue cheese & date” and “coconut cashew curry.”)
Loblolly Creamery, Little Rock
You won’t be able to turn down a cone of Little Rock-y Road (get it?!) at this scoop shop, named after the Arkansas state tree. And if you’re going for a double, make it their founding flavor, a tangy and rich buttermilk ice cream.
Craving something sweet? Try these cool desserts.
Cocobella Creamery, Los Angeles
We believe everyone deserves to enjoy ice cream—and so does Cocobella. That’s why they make their ice cream with coconut milk so that even vegans or people with dairy allergies can know what it’s like to “Treat Yo Self” (that’s their slogan) on a hot L.A. day.
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Little Man Ice Cream, Denver
Does ice cream taste better when served out of a 28-foot milk can? Apparently it does at Little Man’s. A scoop or two of the retro banana pudding ice cream atop a crispy homemade waffle cone is as photo-worthy as the store itself.
Milkcraft, West Hartford
Even ice cream shops are jumping on the farm-to-table trend—like this Connecticut creamery who prides itself on its “cow to cone” freshness. Skip the cup and ask for your scoop in a fluffy bubblecone, their proprietary take on a waffle cone.
UDairy Creamery, Newark
Run by University of Delaware students, UDairy offers 36 rotating flavors that are each handmade using milk from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources dairy farm. They’ll even bring your cone right to your door with their ice cream truck, the Moo Mobile.
Azucar Ice Cream Company, Miami
Capture the Latin flair that Miami is famous for at this eclectic eatery. Your tastebuds will absolutely explode—in the best way possible—with vibrant flavors like Mamacita (orange blossom almond), Zapaticos de Rosa (rose petals) and the patented Abuela Maria (vanilla with guava, cream cheese and tea cookies). Muy bueno!
Butter & Cream, Decatur
Just the name itself is enough to make us drool! Owner Stacy Wizniewski traveled the country studying ice cream (we want that job…) before opening this cute confectionary so it’s the best of the best. One of her signatures is Butterscotch Brownie made with homemade butterscotch sauce and bits of dark chocolate brownies.
Since Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that grows coffee commercially, you defnitely want to taste the Kona coffee ice cream at Lappert’s made with local beans. It’s even better in “Kuaui Pie” form which has macadamia nuts, coconut and chocolate fudge mixed in.
Can’t book a flight? Try these tropical desserts at home.
The STIL, Boise
It stands for “The Sweetest Things in Life,” which is exactly what you’ll find at this Idaho creamery-meets-brewery. Seriously—you can order ice cream and beer “flights” where they pair the four flavors of your choice with four different craft beers.
Rainbow Cone, Chicago
Beloved by Chicago natives since 1926, the Rainbow Cone is as special to the city as deep dish pizza. Rainbow Cone has a “Rainbow Cone” on the menu, too: It’s chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with cherry and crushed walnuts), pistachio and orange sherbert.
Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station, Indianapolis
Known around town as BRICS, this sustainable sweet spot is as dedicated to making high quality ice cream by hand as they are to being kind to the environment. Taste any of their 24 permanent flavors with a metal tasting spoon… no plastic here!
Black Cat Ice Cream, Des Moines
Named after the family’s black cat, this ice cream joint knows that bigger isn’t always better. They make all of their flavors in small batches using grass-fed milk and seasonal ingredients. The menu changes daily but we’re holding out for “Saturday Cereal” or “Brown Butter Cookie Dough.”
Churn & Burn/Facebook
Churn & Burn, Wichita
Watch your ice cream get made right in front of you at this Kansas creamery where they use liquid nitrogen to freeze flavors on the spot. The name Churn & Burn refers to their specialty: freshly brewed coffee (the burn) mixed right into handcrafted ice cream (the churn).
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Crank and Boom, Lexington
The husband and wife duo behind Crank and Boom started out making coconut ice cream out of a Cuisinart. It became so popular, they expanded to more ice cream flavors (like regional favorites Kentucky Blackberry & Buttermilk and Bourbon and Honey) using local dairy and farm-to-table ingredients.
Creole Creamery, New Orleans
With so many delicious flavors on the menu each day, it can be hard to choose—but at the Creole Creamery, you don’t have to. Opt for the sampler where you get four mini scoops of your choice. Just make sure one of your four is the Creole Cream Cheese, a New Orleans staple.
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Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream, Bar Harbor
Describe this Maine mainstay in one word and most would say “whimsical.” The flavors are as wacky as they are wonderful—you’ll want to dive into a pint of the Maine Rocky Coast (a version of Rocky Road with gourmet Callebaut chocolate and housemade marshmallow and fudge) or Blueberry Sour Cream Crumble using the state’s famous juicy blueberries.
The Charmery, Baltimore
If you’ve seen Wedding Crashers, you know the two things Maryland does best is “crab cakes and football.” The Charmery has captured that essence in their Old Bay Caramel ice cream—the sweet caramel balances the heat of the Old Bay (a regional seafood spice blend).
Honeycomb Creamery, Cambridge
Skip the cup here—with varieties like matcha green tea, chocolate, coconut and even lemon cornmeal, the cone is where it’s at! Add a decadent dip of ice cream whipped with housemade vanilla extract and organic cane sugar? Yes. Please.
MOOmers, Traverse City
Tour the dairy farm at MOOmers before heading inside to sample one of their 160-plus ice cream flavors. If you need some help deciding on which sinful scoop to order, take a hint from Good Morning America who raved about Cherries Moobilee: a black cherry base with brownie and cherry chunks and a fudge swirl.
Izzy’s, St. Paul
You know that feeling when you almost want a second scoop… but you’re also seconds away from a sugar coma? Meet the “Izzy scoop,” invented at this Minnesota mainstay. It’s a little 3/4-ounce dollop on top that allows you to try another creamy variety. Which is 100% necessary with a menu of over 200 flavors.
Area 51, Hernando
Each of the 12 flavors featured on the menu at this artisan ice cream shop are made fresh daily. And while the desserts are devilishly delicious (go with the Saigon Cinnamon Snickerdoodle!), they’re not overly sweet with just the right amount of sugar to satisfy your craving.
Clementine’s Creamery, St. Louis
Whether you’re feeling naughty or nice, St. Louis’ only microcreamery has a treat for you. Naughty? Indulge in the boozy Manhattan or Mint Julep ice cream. Nice? Savor a soothing Honey Lavender or Gooey Butter Cake flavor instead. Whatever you choose, it’s guaranteed to be 100% natural.
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Big Dipper Ice Cream, Missoula
Named “Best Ice Cream in America” by Good Morning America, there’s no doubt this creamery knows how to do frozen desserts. Every single ingredient that goes into their ice cream is produced in Montana, including the wild huckleberries that the state is famous for. Huckleberry is one of their most popular sellers!
Coneflower Creamery, Omaha
At Coneflower Creamery, the focus is on quality, not quantity. That’s why head scoopologist Brian Langbehn insists on making small batch artisan ice cream using only the freshest ingredients straight from neighboring farms. Most of their flavors change with the season so you never know what creative concoction you’ll stumble upon.
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Rolled Ice Cream, Las Vegas
Straight from the streets of Thailand, rolled ice cream is the latest creamy craze sweeping the nation. Choose your ingredients and flavor, then watch as it’s mixed and rolled into little cylinders that are light and refreshing.
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Memories Ice Cream, Kingston
Good memories are exactly what you’ll have after eating at this New Hampshire joint. They use dairy from local cows that are raised without hormones or preservatives so it’s super fresh and milky. The portion sizes do not leave anything to be desired so come hungry!
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Milk Sugar Love, Jersey City
A pastry chef walks into an ice cream shop… and you get some of the country’s most coveted ice cream sandwiches. A must-try is the Mac Daddy Sandwich which consists of Fruity Pebble ice cream sandwiched between two French macaroons and rolled in Fruity Pebble cereal.
This Candy Craze Ice Cream Sandwich is almost as wild!
La Lecheria, Santa Fe
Craft beer is great (check out this roundup of the best brew in each state) but craft ice cream is even better. At this hip eatery, the ingredients are simple—just eggs, cream and sugar—but the flavors are pretty complex. Pay homage to the Southwestern culture with a cup of mole or brown sugar red chile.
Serendipity 3, New York City
There are few foods more iconic in the Big Apple than the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity. The cafe has served over 25 million of the decadent beverage made famous by celebs like Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. After all, how can you go wrong with velvety chocolate topped with whipped cream and cocoa shavings?
Sunni Sky’s, Angier
While most ice cream cools you down, two spicy scoops at Sunni Sky’s will heat you up. The fiery flavors (called “Exit Wound” and “Cold Sweat”) are created using habanero peppers and chiles marinated in hot sauce… then blended with ghost pepper sauce. It’s so intense, you have to sign a waiver to try a bite!
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Pride Dairy, Bottineau
Claiming to be “the last small town creamery in North Dakota,” Pride Dairy’s ice cream is so delicious it’s fit for a president. Their signature flavor “Thomas Jefferson Vintage Vanilla” is a recreation of the past president’s own recipe and is served at nearby Mount Rushmore.
Honey Hut, Brecksville
When it comes to ice cream, Ohio is best known for the first Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. But locals also flock to the Honey Hut (kind of like, well, bees to honey). Like the name implies, their cold creations are all infused and sweetened with natural honey—perfect for anyone looking to cut back on sugar.
Braum’s, Oklahoma City
The Braum family handles every aspect of the ice cream making process, from the private herd of dairy cows at the Braum Family Farm to the processing plant to the minute that super-sized sundae hits the table. One bite made with such fresh milk will have you saying moo-re.
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Salt and Straw, Portland
Salt & Straw has a bit of a cult following—and for good reason. While all of their flavors learn toward the eclectic and unusual, perhaps the most popular is a line-up of Thanksgiving-themed pints that includes “salted caramel Thanksgiving turkey” and “buttered mashed potatoes and gravy.”
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Antney’s Ice Cream, Pittsburgh
While we’re positive you’ll love the dips at Antney’s (the most popular flavor is ginger cookie made with Biscoff’s), your four-legged friend will love it just as much. The shop’s menu features “Pup Cups” which are dog-friendly desserts so even Fido can treat himself.
The Sweet Spot, Narragansett
End a sunny day on the beach with a stop at The Sweet Spot. (Just wipe your sandy toes first!) You can enjoy your homemade treat—or one of their ice-cream stuffed cannolis if you’re feeling adventurous—on the patio overlooking the water.
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Sweet Cream Company, Columbia
Cup or cone… or cookie? Go with the latter at this Southern sweet stop. Just think: a scoop of hand-churned ice cream pressed between two fresh homemade cookies. Yum! Pick from unique pairings like lemon with white chocolate lavender or chocolate chip pretzel with burnt caramel.
Armadillo’s Ice Cream Shoppe, Rapid City
Do as the locals do and make your way to Armadillo’s on a scorching South Dakota afternoon. One bite of their signature smooth-as-silk sherbet and you’ll be instantly refreshed. Ask for the flavor of the day—fingers crossed it’s their most popular, a seasonal strawberry butter.
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Pied Piper Creamery, Nashville
“Aww, Shnapps,” “Baby Got Baklava” and “Cherry Springer” are just a few of the punny pint names you’ll find at this incredibly quirky creamery. You’ll likely have to wait in a long line to sample one of their 100-plus cool creations but one bite and you’ll understand why it’s won numerous awards.
Prohibition Creamery, Austin
If a speakeasy and ice cream shop combined, this Texas must-visit would be it (hence, the name). They blend booze with ice cream for a mouthwatering lineup of alcoholic flavors like Signature Bourbon, Whiskey Chocolate and Pecan Buttered Rum.
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Leatherby’s Family Creamery, Taylorsville
When you’re ready to really indulge, head to Leatherby’s. Their ice cream, made in-house, is higher in butterfat (a whopping 14%) making it some of the richest you’ll ever taste. So worth it!
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Ben & Jerry’s, Burlington
Everyone’s favorite frozen dessert maker started in the heart of Vermont. So of course any true ice cream fan will want to make a pilgrimage to the original Ben & Jerry’s, located in what used to be an old gas station. Pick up a few pints of Chunky Monkey or Phish Food to go!
Moo Thru, Remington
Don’t be fooled by this tiny roadside ice cream stand. Like their slogan says, follow the herd for some of the freshest, smoothest ice cream you’ll find on the East Coast. Chocolate is by far the crowd favorite but all of their flavors are made with milk straight from the family dairy farm.
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Shug’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream, Seattle
Step back in time at Shug’s, where retro, pastel-colored dreams come true. Take a seat at the counter and order the “Shugsicle” (their take on a Creamsicle) made with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and homemade orange pop, straight from the vintage soda fountain.
Austin’s Ice Cream, Ceredo
There may be over 50 homemade flavors to choose from, but you won’t want to pass up the grape pineapple ice cream at Austin’s. With a cult following of fans across the country, the sweet and sour recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and isn’t found anywhere else.
Gilles Frozen Custard, Milwaukee
Milwaukee is the frozen custard capital of the world so give it a whirl when you’re in town. For the most authentic experience, snag a cup of this creamy confection from Gilles, the oldest custard stand in the city. What makes frozen custard different than ice cream? It includes egg yolk, adding a thicker texture.
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Moo’s Ice Cream, Jackson Hole
Nestled in the Rockies, Moo’s is known around town for their organic wild huckleberry ice cream—made with fresh, local huckleberries, of course. And the shop only uses cream—not milk—in their recipe so every bite is decadently delicious.