Let me start with this: This may be the most controversial article I have ever written. With so many amazing ice cream shops out there, it was painful to pick just one for each state. Just to give you an idea, there are approximately eighty thousand ice cream shops in America.
That is a lot of ice cream to rank. So, with the help of my fellow Spoonies and reading countless online reviews, I have created a list of the best ice cream shops in each state.
Now that the weather is warming up and school is quickly coming to an end, it’s time to start visiting your friends at home and cooling off with some ice cream after a long day of being outside. Whether it’s on the beach or in your backyard, there is nothing better than digging into a creamy bowl of ice cream when it’s practically boiling temperatures outside.
If you find yourselves in some random state, or at home and just need to get your ice cream fix, you won’t regret hitting up any of these ice cream shops.
Alabama: Steel City Pops
What could be more refreshing than cooling off with a nice icy popsicle after a long day in the Alabama sun? Steel City Pops is here to help you with a wide range of fruity or creamy flavors that will cool you down and satisfy your sweet tooth. They always use the freshest ingredients and all their pops are gluten-free. They even have a wide range of vegan ones too.
Alaska: Hot Licks
As cold as Alaska seems, it actually does get hot in the summer. Hot Licks has got you covered with their homemade ice cream and waffle cones every day. The smell of the fresh waffle cones should be enough to lure you into the store and try some of their amazing flavors.
Arizona: Sweet Republic
With a focus on using the purest ingredients possible to get the most flavorful ice cream, Sweet Republic is making high-quality artisan ice creams. With twenty plus flavors available daily, rotating based on seasonal and local ingredients, you are sure to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Arkansas: Maggie Moo’s
Maggie Moo’s is prepared to satisfy every craving you’ve ever had with their large list of flavors and unlimited mix-ins. Maggie Moo’s wants you to have your ideal ice cream, so they let you create you create your flavor by mixing it all together to ensure every bite is perfect.
#SpoonTip: Get the ice cream pizza. Enough said.
From inventive sundaes, to thick malts, to #trendy macaroon ice cream sandwiches, Milk is pretty legit. These Instagram sensations are not only almost too beautiful to eat (almost), but also delicious.
Colorado: Sweet Action Ice Cream
With some of the most inventive and creative flavors all made in this 100 percent wind-powered ice cream shop, these sweet treats are guaranteed to impress. This constantly changing menu, which includes ice cream, sorbet and vegan ice cream, will keep you coming back to try all the new flavors and old favorites.
Connecticut: Ashley’s Ice Cream
This Connecticut institution opened up in 1979 in New Haven by Yale University and now has five locations all over Connecticut. Not only do they have several ice cream flavors, but they also have a massive list of non-fat and sugar free frozen yogurts.
Delaware: Woodside Farm Creamery
Woodside Farm has been a dairy farm since 1796, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing. The ice cream here is made using the milk right from their farm every day. Their fresh ice creams, sundaes and ice cream pies are sure to impress anyone that tries them.
Florida: Whip’n Dip Ice Cream Shoppe
Whip’n Dip’s ice creams are all made in house every morning, so you never know what flavors are going to be served. It all depends on what they are feeling that day. Aside from some indulgent flavors like Heath Bar Brownie or Bulldog Blitz, Whip’n Dip also serves their special “Lite Cream” flavors.
For those of you trying to maintain that summer bod, try the Lite Cream, which is low calorie, no fat and no cholesterol ice cream. Don’t worry it’s still light and fluffy.
Georgia: Morelli’s Ice Cream
Morelli’s has some of the most creative ice cream flavors in Atlanta. Ranging from Krispy Kreamier to Red Raspberry Coke to Brooklyn Cheesecake, you are sure to find something that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Hawaii: Bubbies Ice Cream
Idaho: Reed’s Dairy
Aside from having a surplus of potato farms, Idaho also has Reed’s Dairy Farm. This farm also features a dairy shop that has high quality milk products and some amazing daily ice cream flavors. Reed’s just wants to make your day a little better by offering a drive-thru so you don’t even have to leave your car #winning.
Illinois: Margie’s Candies
This Chicago ice cream hotspot is known for their homemade sundaes, shakes and hand-dipped candies for more than 90 years. Musical legends, Hollywood greats and sports stars have been known to drop by Margie’s after performances and games.
Stop in to enjoy some ice cream and maybe you’ll even see a celeb.
Indiana: Chocolate Moose
At this B-town establishment, you won’t find crazy flavors or concoctions, but rather traditional, homemade ice cream served any way you like it. The Chocolate Moose can serve it in a cup, cone, make it a blend, blizz, shake, cooler, or any other of their many other options.
Iowa: Whitey’s Ice Cream
This family owned shop has created some delicious old-fashion ice cream treats for mid-westerners and everyone else to enjoy. Their thick malts, so thick you can turn them upside down and it won’t drip, candy bar shakes and speciality sundaes will leave you full and happy.
Kansas: Glacé Artisan Ice Cream
Christopher Elbow, a former chocolate maker and pastry chef, found a new passion as an ice cream maker. Glacé Artisan Ice Cream uses Elbow’s dessert expertise to craft unique and classic flavor combinations.
Since these crazy flavors change weekly, you’ll just have to make the extra effort to stop by once a week and try them all out.
Kentucky: Dairy Kastle
This Louisville establishment may seem small, but it’s serving milkshakes, sundaes, soft serve and chili dogs. Dairy Kastle has been crushing the summer ice cream game for 40 years, so we know they must be good.
Be sure to try their signature Fat Elvis milkshake for a true Dairy Kastle experience.
Louisiana: Creole Creamery
Creole Creamery is all about the experience you get while eating their decadent ice cream. You can always find the classic flavors, along with some unusual ones that rotate in and out.
If you are feeling really (and by really, I mean really) hungry, try the Tchoupitoulas Challenge, which consists of eight scoops of ice cream, eight toppings, whipped cream, wafers and cherries. If you finish it you will be forever immortalized on the hall of fame wall.
Maine: Rococo Artisan Ice Cream
Rococo is not serving up any ordinary ice cream… they serve Artisan ice cream. The owner claims that when she was living in Argentina, she learned what real Artisan ice cream really was.
It’s not just Italian gelato, but rather a mix of Italian-styled gelato that embraces Argentina’s rich dairy culture. It is super flavorful, frozen slowly, has less air and is served warmer to really enhance the flavors.
No, it’s not a snow-cone, it’s a snowball. These refreshing summer treats can trace their origins back to the 1850s, so it’s no surprise that snowballs are a summer staple in Baltimore. For those of you who have never tried a snowball, picture a styrofoam cup filled with shaved ice, coated in your sweet syrup of choice topped with marshmallow cream. Mouth watering, right?
Toscanini’s founder and owner, Gus Rancatore, still works at the store today making ice cream and caring for the shop. The ice cream is made fresh every day, offering you 32 unique flavors and homemade toppings. Make sure to try the “turtle top” — Toscanini’s version of a magic shell.
Michigan: Blank Slate Creamery
Blank Slate Creamery is scooping out classy homemade flavors like Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla or Tahitian Vanilla if the OG vanilla is getting old. Their flavors are meticulously crafted with only the best ingredients to make unique flavor combinations that will certainly not disappoint.
#SpoonTip: Get some of their fresh baked cookies and ask them to make an ice cream sandwich with you favorite flavor.
Minnesota: Pumphouse Creamery
With an emphasis on local and organic ingredients, Pumphouse Creamery is pumping out (pun intended) top-notch homemade ice cream. They even have a special doggie ice cream for your four legged friends.
Mississippi: Velvet Cream
Velvet Cream is a walk-up fast food joint that has been serving ice cream and hamburgers since 1962. Today, they are still a hotspot for people to go get their ice cream and catch up in the parking lot as they listen to Elvis playing in the background.
Missouri: Ted Drewes
Ted Drewes is famous for its concretes, and rumor has it, Shake Shack even based its recipe on Ted Drewes. Aside from concretes, malts, shakes, sundaes and ice cream floats, a wide variety of toppings and mix-ins are on the menu to satisfy any ice cream craving you have.
Montana: Big Dipper Ice Cream
Nothing says summer like running after an ice cream truck in the hot sun. Big Dipper has an ice cream truck, if you wish to relive those summer memories, or an actual storefront if that is more convenient. With their classic flavors and options for sundaes, floats, cones, shakes, or in a cup, they’ve got it all.
Ted and Wally’s takes the “premium” in their shop name very seriously. They are only making and selling the best possible quality ice cream homemade every day.
Their ice cream has 18% butterfat, now I’m not 100 percent sure what that means, but all I know is in the words of Paula Deen: “I will never use a substitute for butter. Margarine is one molecule away from eating plastic.” AKA they know what’s up.
Nevada: Snowflake Shavery
Inspired by Thai ice cream, Snowflake Shavery has created the perfect cross between ice cream and shaved ice. This lighter version of ice cream will leave you feeling light and satisfied after you scarf down a bowl. But if you don’t like being #skinny, go for that second serving since it’s not actually ice cream. True story.
Between the crazy combos on the menu, like Black Sesame Sensation, Crunchy Cookie or the make your own option, the possibilities are endless.
New Hampshire: Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream
Known for creative flavors like Peanut Butter Fantasy, Chocolate Chip with Kahlua, and Mint Summer Night’s Dream, Annabelle’s is on a mission to create a flavor for every ice cream lover. Annabelle’s is also located right on the water, making it the perfect spot for that #summerfling sunset date.
New Jersey: Magic Fountain
This New Jersey hotspot is the place to be on summer nights when you need that ice cream fix and feel like running into everyone who lives in the twenty-mile radius. Whether you get one of the amazing ice cream flavors, soft serve, or Magic Fountain’s famous magic blends, you are guaranteed to leave feelin’ satisfied.
New Mexico: The Taos Cow Ice Cream Company
Taos Cow is creating crazy creative flavors with a Mexican influence. They are using only the best ingredients to make sure all the flavor that should be there is. What could make this ice cream even better? Each flavor is all-natural and rBGH free.
New York: Ice and Vice
A Spoon University fav, Ice and Vice is an experimental ice cream shop in New York City crafting unique flavors in small batches. The ice cream creations are so beautiful they literally look like a work of art, but don’t worry you will still devour it (after you get a good Instagram pic of course).
#Spoon Tip: Starting April 1, 2016 show Ice and Vice you follow Spoon University on Instagram, and you’ll get 20% off your ice cream — you’re so welcome.
Make sure to try the limited edition Spoon University Flavor: Fireball ice cream with Flaming Hot Cheetos ramen brittle, I dare ya.
North Carolina: Maple View Ice Cream
Maple View Ice Cream uses dairy products from their own farm, Maple View Farm. This means you are getting the freshest ingredients, which creates the best quality homemade ice cream. They always have their twelve classic flavors in store, and rotate seasonal favorites every month — I’m looking at you pumpkin spice.
North Dakota: Sweets ‘N Stories
Sweets ‘N Stories has taken the idea of doing work at your local coffee shop to the next level. They are a bookstore, cafe and ice cream shop all in one. So while you can get your much needed dose of ice cream, you can also pick up a book and feel smarter while you scarf down that ice cream.
Piccadilly Artisan Creamery is not serving up your regular ice cream. Instead, they make their ice cream using liquid nitrogen. By using liquid nitrogen, it minimizes the size of the ice crystals, creating a creamier ice cream — now who wouldn’t want that?
Be sure to try the organic vegan caramel sea salt ice cream, because not only is it delicious but doesn’t it also sound #healthy?
Oklahoma: Scoops and Grinds
The college student’s dream come true: A coffee shop and ice cream shop in one. What more could we ask for aside from caffeine and sugar? Their espresso is locally roasted and their ice cream is homemade, ensuring you are getting the best product.
Try their Affogoto: A scoop of ice cream topped with a shot of espresso.
Oregon: Cool Moon Ice Cream
Cool Moon is making ice cream in house using local ingredients to bring you the best tasting ice cream. Cool Moon has 26 flavors available every day and a collection of over 200 flavors. Can you even think of 200 flavors?
Pennsylvania: Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream
Handel’s has been making homemade ice cream in store every day since 1945. No matter what you order, scoopers at Handel’s are guaranteed to never skimp on toppings, making sure that you are full and satisfied when you leave. This ice cream is so good that they created a way to ship ice cream to you anywhere in the U.S.
Rhode Island: Brickley’s Ice Cream
Brickley’s is guaranteed to always have a line outside, rain or shine. Their homemade decadent hot fudge and homemade waffles cones lure people in with their sweet aromas from all over. When you take that first bite, you know what you are getting is top-notch because you can taste how creamy and rich their ice cream is.
South Carolina: Belgian Gelato
If you can’t make it to Europe, but want to enjoy all those European desserts you see on Instagram, stop in at Belgian Gelato. Their authentic Italian gelato is so good it will make you feel like your sitting at a little cafe in the streets of Italy. Not only is the gelato amazing, but their original Brussels waffles are also superb.
#SpoonTip: Get a waffle with a scoop of gelato on top for the ultimate treat.
South Dakota: Armadillo’s Ice Cream Shop
Armadillo’s places a huge importance on quality, service and cleanliness, making sure you have the best possible experience when you enter their shop. Aside from crazy flavors every day like their flavor Armadillo, (chocolate ice cream, peanut butter dip, hot fudge, and chopped nuts) they also have a flavor of the day every single day.
I guess you just have to come every day to make sure you don’t miss any.
Tennessee: Bobbie’s Dairy Dip
This long-time summer favorite is a must for dessert in Nashville. You have to try the chocolate dipped cone (it’s in the name). Bobbie’s won’t try and impress you with crazy flavors and combos, the ice cream is good enough.
Texas: Lick Honest Ice Creams
The Lick Honest Ice Creams owners take the “honest” in their title very seriously, using only the purest ingredients in their ice cream. You won’t find artificial colors or flavors, high fructose corn syrup, or preservatives in this ice cream, which means it’s healthy, right?
Besides using the best ingredients, Lick Honest Ice Creams come up with creative flavors like Roasted Beets and Fresh Mint by using the seasonal ingredients Texas has to offer.
Utah: BYU Creamery
BYU Creamery makes you wish every school had their own personal ice cream shop right across from campus. They sell their ice cream on several sites across campus, including their very own supermarket AKA a foodies dream come true. This means you can take any of their amazing flavors home with you to your dorm for those much needed late night snacks.
Vermont: Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
Yes, I know Ben and Jerry’s is a chain and sold practically everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not delicious. Plus, who wouldn’t want to go on a tour of an ice cream factory? If you ever find yourself in Burlington, you have to take the 30 minute tour where you learn to make ice cream, enjoy free samples and end at their store front to purchase your own treat.
Lactose intolerant? No problem, try their dairy free flavors.
Virginia: Boyer’s Ice Cream and Coffee
This University of Richmond fav has spoonies and others flocking to it at all times. Boyer’s is a small family-owned business with a focus on serving the best ice cream to the local community. With so many flavors of ice cream and gelato, you are guaranteed to find one you like.
Washington: Molly Moon Ice Cream
Famous for using local, high-quality ingredients, Molly Moon is mixing up crazy delicious flavor combos in house every day. If you are a girl scout cookie lover, make sure you try the Scout Mint AKA mint ice cream with crushed thin mints folded in.
West Virginia: Dairy Creme Corner
Huge portions and cheap prices. Do I need to say anything else? Try one of their signature items like the Avalanche, which is like a blizzard and comes in several different varieties. Or if you’re in the mood for something lighter, try the snow biz, similar to shaved ice with a special twist on it.
#SpoonTip: Want to feel like you’re at the state fair? Get your ice cream served on top of a funnel cake.
Wisconsin: Kopps Frozen Custard
When you walk in and see that they are dishing out burgers, don’t worry you are still in the right place. Aside from grilling burgers, Kopps Frozen Custard has an impressive dessert menu. Ranging from floats and shakes to frozen custard sundaes, they have got all of your dessert needs covered.
This thick and creamy custard will definitely cool you down and leave you wanting more. So, leave room after your burger because after all, dessert is the most important meal of the day.
Wyoming: Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream
Moo’s Gourmet is located right in Jackson Hole, featuring only natural and organic ice cream. Their sorbets only contain one percent cane sugar, making them diabetic friendly. Could it get any better? The answer is yes. Adding to all of this, they have an enormous list of flavors, making it impossible to not find at least one you want to try.
Washington D.C.: Dolcezza
Dolcezza makes the gelato fresh every morning in its very own ice cream factory. The gelato has half the fat and calories compared to normal ice cream and has less air, AKA you get more ice cream in your cup.