18 Artisan Ice Cream Brands You Need to Try This Summer
Get ready to find your new favorite ice cream. Our picks for the best ice cream brands include unique flavors, fun products and allergy-free options.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Our editors love Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream—and for good reason. These artisan pints come in flavors you won’t find anywhere else, like Gooey Butter Cake and Brambleberry Crisp. Plus, you can feel good about indulging because Jeni’s is a Certified B Corporation, which means it meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Check out our full review of Jeni’s.
Alec’s Ice Cream
The all-organic ice creams from Alec’s are made with milk from pasture-raised cows in California and are free from artificial ingredients, chemicals and dyes. So, you can feel good about going in for a second (or third, or fourth) scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip or Honey Blueberry Lavender.
Want to learn how to make professional ice cream like this at home? We’ve got tips!
You won’t find any hard-to-pronounce ingredients in New York-based Van Leeuwen ice cream. This ice cream brand sticks to the good stuff, like milk, cream and eggs, for their gourmet flavors. Pick up pints of Earl Grey Tea, Honeycomb, Brooklyn Brown Sugar Chunk or even their latest flavor—Onion ice cream! Van Leeuwen also has a wide array of flavors for vegan and non-dairy sweet tooths, too.
Southern desserts meet ice cream in these “Blissfully Southern” 2-in-1 desserts. Chef Liz Rogers, founder of this minority and women-owned business, dreamed up Creamalicious‘ indulgent ice cream flavors to share with the world—whether you live in the South or not. She turned four generations of family recipes into ice cream flavors like Right as Rain Red Velvet Cheesecake, Aunt Poonie’s Caramel Pound Cake and Granma Gigi’s Sweet Potato Pie. With flavors like that, it will be hard to decide which one to try first!
Thelma’s Ice Cream Sandwiches
I fell in love with Thelma’s Ice Cream Sandwiches in college and never looked back. These soft, sweet treats taste like a dessert you’d find in grandma’s kitchen. (Which makes sense considering the founders use a variation of their 108-year-old great-grandma Thelma’s snickerdoodle cookie recipe!) Every flavor is delicious, but I’m particularly smitten with Strawberry Sugar Cookie and Snickerdoodle.
You don’t have to travel to New York City to get a taste of Serendipity’s extravagant desserts. Serendipity’s ice cream line includes collaboration flavors like a Friends Central Perk Coffee Almond Fudge and A Christmas Story Oh Fudge! Peppermint Cookie Fudge Sundae. And, of course, they offer a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate flavor, too!
Helados la Neta
Take a trip to Mexico via a bowl of ice cream. Helados la Neta (la neta means the real deal) makes ice cream inspired by authentic flavors. According to brand manager Ivonne Neri, a few scoops will “make you feel Mexico in your veins and in your tastebuds.”
Try Chocolate con Canela, a mix of chocolate and spicy cinnamon, Horchata (an even creamier take on the classic Mexican drink) and Crema de Coco—a sweet take on this favorite with real coconut flakes swirled throughout.
If you’re dairy-free, you have to check out Mauna Loa’s Nice Ice Cream. The Hawaii-based brand uses its sustainably produced macadamia milk to make creamy, vegan ice creams. We recommend the Bestsellers pack which includes pints of Mango Liliko‘i, Strawberry Guava, Kona Coffee and Rocky Road to Hana. For more good-for-you options, check out these low-carb ice creams.
Coolhaus Awesome Ice Cream
This California-based brand is making waves with their pints, cones and ice cream sammies. A certified women-owned business, Coolhaus is inspired by both sweet and savory flavors. Sink your spoon into Street Cart Churro Dough Ice Cream Cones or Classic Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches. Can’t get enough? Check out the recipes in the Coolhaus Ice Cream Book.
Beckon Ice Cream
Want to savor a scoop without a stomachache? Beckon Ice Cream creates real, dairy-based frozen treats—without any lactose! This ice cream is the real deal. And you won’t find gums, artificial stabilizers, artificial sweeteners or corn syrups on the label, either. Scoop up iconic flavors like Sea Salt Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup and Cookies & Sweet Cream. Dish up your dessert like a pro with the best ice cream scoops.
Flavorful mochi shipped directly to your door? Yes, please! Mochidoki makes it easy to enjoy your favorite Japanese dessert at home. Pick up a pack of traditional mochi balls in flavors like Purple Sweet Potato, Seoul Cookie and Black Sesame. Or, try a little bit of everything with their Tasting Bundle.
Get the scoop on mochi if you’ve never had it before.
Salt & Straw
With locations all across the West Coast, Salt & Straw is known for its fun flavors. If you’re feeling bold, try a bite of Honey Lavender or Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper. Craving something a little more familiar? Chocolate Gooey Brownie and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle have your back. No matter what flavor you find, your taste buds will thank you. Make your fave flavor at home with the Salt & Straw cookbook.
Crank & Boom
For true southern flair, look no further than Crank & Boom ice cream. This Kentucky-based scoop shop has plenty of down-home flavors. Try the Flavors of Kentucky Ice Cream Collection which includes six specialties, such as Blackberry & Buttermilk, Bourbon Ball and Fresh Strawberry.
IT’S-IT knows a thing or two about taking ice cream novelties to the next level. Their famous ice cream sandwiches, for example, don’t stop at just cookies and ice cream. They get dunked in a thin layer of smooth, dark chocolate for an over-the-top sammie. Pick up their ice cream sandwich sampler to try a little bit of everything, including flavors like mint, strawberry and pumpkin. While you’re waiting for your order to arrive, try making our Almost It’s-It Ice Cream Sandwiches at home.
If you need a sweet snack before hitting the hay, reach for a pint of Nightfood. This low-calorie “nighttime” ice cream is formulated with sleep in mind. That means you’ll find fewer sleep-disrupting ingredients on the label—like sugar and fat—and more minerals, enzymes and amino acids. Learn more about how Nightfood works here.
Graeter’s Ice Cream
Midwesterners love Graeter’s Ice Cream—and for good reason. The Ohio-based creamery is known for its enormous chocolate chunks and creative flavors, like Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip and Dark Chocolate Brownie. Every pint of Graeter’s is mixed in a French Pot Freezer, then hand-packed. Check out these other foods that are truly Midwestern.
Booze + ice cream = a match made in decadence heaven. And Tipsy Scoop’s liquor-infused ice cream is an adult treat you’ll be ordering all summer long. Flavors in their Boozy Favorites Collection—like Spiked Hazelnut Coffee, Cake Batter Vodka Martini and Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel—mean you never again have to choose between indulging in dessert or a cocktail. Talk about the best of both worlds!
Up Next: The best ice cream accessories for frozen treat fanatics.