Who says you can't have ice cream in the winter? No matter the temperature, a scoop (or two) of ice cream is the perfect treat to brighten your day. The good news is that there's no shortage of ice cream shops in St. Louis. Whether you’re looking for classic flavors, St. Louis-inspired options, or a booze-infused treat, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery surely have an option for you. Learn more about them and decide which signature St. Louis ice cream shop will satisfy your craving for a frozen treat. 

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni’s has locations in cities throughout the country, and the chain opened its first St. Louis location in the Central West End district. This St. Louis ice cream shop is currently the only Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams shop in all of Missouri. The brand's ice creams are known for their smooth texture, buttercream base, and clean ingredients. Jeni’s sources whole ingredients and dairy from grass-pastured cows and stays away from synthetic flavorings, dyes, and off-the-shelf mixes. 

Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery

Clementine’s Creamery has four locations in the St. Louis area. Their ice cream is "made with love" in St. Louis from locally sourced, all-natural ingredients. Clementine’s decadent ice cream contains 16 to 18 percent butterfat (compared to the usual 10 percent butterfat of store-bought ice cream), making it extra rich and creamy. 

The Flavors: Jeni's vs. Clementine's

Jeni’s offers a wide variety of flavors, including dairy-free options. Among the brand's most popular flavors are Brambleberry Crisp, Darkest Chocolate, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks, and Salty Caramel. Brambleberry Crisp is a go-to for fruit lovers. It features layers of oven-toasted oat streusel and a sweet-tart jam of blackberries and blackcurrants in vanilla ice cream. Chocolate lovers can opt for Jeni's Darkest Chocolate, which is filled with the perfect amount of Fair Trade Certified cocoa to satisfy any chocolate craving.

Vegan ice cream lovers can also indulge in rich chocolate flavors. Jeni's offers a dairy-free Texas Sheet Cake flavor, which features decadent chocolate cake crumbles, bittersweet fudge, and, of course, cocoa. Other vegan options include Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns, Cold Brew with Coconut Cream, Dark Chocolate Truffle, and Lemon Bar. All of Jeni's dairy-free options are made with high-quality coconut cream, making them creamy and flavorful. 

Clementine’s is constantly rotating their flavor selection, but you can expect to find options from each of their three categories: nice, naughty, and vegan. Flavors that have made the nice list include Butterscotch Budino, Salted Cracker Caramel, Italian Butter Cookie, Madagascar Vanilla, and Decadent Coffee. Many of Clementine's ice cream options draw inspiration from local treats and flavors, including Goey Butter Cake, a celebration of the iconic St. Louis dessert, made with chunks of gooey butter cake in a tangy cream cheese ice cream. For a light and fruity option, try Persimmon Cardamom, an aromatic blend of fresh Missouri persimmons, locally-made persimmon butter, and cardamoms. 

If you’re feeling naughty, Clementine’s also offers alcohol-infused ice cream for those 21 and up. Even these boozy flavors use local ingredients. Clementine's take on a Manhattan incorporates whiskey made by StilL 360 of St. Louis, and Maple Bourbon with Salted Candied Pecans features a St. Louis-based bourbon. Other alcohol-infused options include Schlafly Proper Cider Sorbet, Chocolate Cabernet, Tequila Chocolate Mole, and Boozy Banana Rum.

For vegan ice-cream lovers, Clementine’s offers flavors made with a coconut cream base, including Coconut Chocolate Fudge, Lemon Poppyseed, Vanilla Bean, and Miso Maple.

Convenience: Jeni's vs. Clementine's

Both St. Louis ice cream shops are convenient in their own right, though which option you may prefer depends on the modes of transportation available to you.

To get to Jeni’s from Washington University in St. Louis, it would take you an hour by foot, so you probably need a car or rideshare to visit the Central West End location. Jeni's regular business hours are 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. But if you're on the hunt for Jeni's and can't get there or don't want the ice cream shop experience, you can also find pints of Jeni's ice cream in select grocery stores, or you can get pints of your favorite flavors delivered to you.

Clementine’s Clayton location is just a 20 to 25 minute walk from WashU’s campus, and the route takes you through a cozy residential neighborhood. This convenient location makes Clementine’s a great spot for students living on or near campus (it’s far enough to escape campus for an afternoon but close enough that you don't need a car or other mode of transportation). You can enjoy your ice cream on one of the many surrounding benches or take a stroll through the neighborhood or nearby park. Regular business hours are 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Clementine's also sells pints of their ice cream, if you want to grab one (or more) to enjoy later.

Taste: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni’s ice cream is consistent in its deliciousness and high quality. It’s impossible to get bored with their large assortment of flavors, and it’s fun to experiment with different combinations in their three-scoop bowl that comes with a piece of waffle cone. My go-to trio of flavors is Milkiest Chocolate, Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks, and Honey Vanilla Bean. The decadent chocolate and the saltiness of the peanut butter pack a punch while the simple vanilla bean adds balance. In the fall, you can't go wrong with Pumpkin Cake Roll, Jeni's take on a classic fall dessert. During the holiday season, Jeni's limited-time White Chocolate Peppermint is sure to leave you feeling festive. 

Taste: Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery

Clementine’s makes their ice cream on-site, allowing customers to experience the decadence of homemade ice cream. My go-to combination is a scoop of Salted Cracker Caramel with either Madagascar Vanilla or Midnight Pleasures. The combination of rich chocolate, creamy caramel, and three types of salty crackers makes Salted Cracker Caramel the ultimate sweet and salty treat. Whether you pair it with the highest quality vanilla or a triple dark chocolate, Salted Cracker Caramel is sure to be the star of the show. Regardless of what flavor you choose, every bite is creamy, full of flavor, and makes you swear off store-bought ice cream forever. A cone of Clementine’s will leave you feeling satisfied, full, and ready to plan your next visit.

If you’re looking for a variety of unique flavors and want to travel by foot, Clementine’s is the creamery for you. If you have a car and want to explore the historic Central West End with ice cream in hand, then head to Jeni’s. Or, you can embark on your own ice cream adventures, try them both out, and pick your go-to St. Louis ice cream shop. You really can’t go wrong with either option, because nothing tastes better than the ice cream currently on your spoon.