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Must-try Ice Cream Shops in America

Of all the foods that exist, you will be hard-pressed to find one that is better than ice cream. It is the perfect option for dessert, an excellent way to cool yourself down on a hot summer’s day, and something that always tastes excellent.

smiling worker at one of america's best ice cream shops

The best thing about the ice cream parlors of today is that they are full of innovation, as companies work to create new styles and flavors of ice cream. 

There are all sorts of tours that you can do in America, but if you love ice cream, then you might choose to do an ice cream tour of America instead. To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of 40 of the best ice cream shops in the USA, from State to State.

So, if you want to plan your trip, or simply want to find the best place for your next sweet treat, then keep on reading. 

Sweet Republic 

In Scottsdale, Arizona, you will find Sweet Republic. This company is famous across Arizona for its use of recycled materials, and high-quality offerings. Their Madagascan Vanilla ice cream is to die for, but it is their Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream that steals the show. Or if you would prefer a drink, then try out their Brown Cow which combines vanilla ice cream and Mexican Coke to create a truly delicious beverage. 

Bi-Rite Creamery 

Moving across to the seaside coast of San Francisco, you will find ‘Bi-Rite Creamery’. It is located on 18th street and the perfect place to go if you want homemade, organic ice cream. On a hot summer’s day, you will find queues stretching all the way down the street, so if you want to get your hands on a scoop of this delicious ice cream, you will need to be patient. But it is totally worth it. 

Gelati and Peccati 

Further down South, in San Diego, you will find ‘Gelati and Peccati’. This is the perfect place to go if you fancy ice cream, but also fancy something a little more substantial because the restaurant also sells pizza and other meals. Gelati and Peccati offer 20 different flavors of ice cream and gelato that they serve all year round, plus a variety of seasonal flavors, so there is something here for everyone. 

Mashti Malone’s 

Up in the City of Angels, you will find LA’s finest ice cream parlor, Mashti Malone’s. This company has a rich history stemming back more than 40 years, and they specialize in Persian ice cream. They offer a wide range of exotic flavors, from orange blossom to rosewater. All of these flavors are created using natural herbs and spices from all over the world, so this is the perfect place if you want authentic, refreshing flavors. 

Mother Moo Creamery

Just outside of LA, close to Pasadena is the city of Sierra Madre, it is here you will find ‘Mother Moo Creamery’. This ice cream parlor specializes in small-batch ice creams, all of which use locally sourced ingredients to achieve their yummy flavors. Some fan-favorites for this store include indulgent triple milk, organic cornflakes, and salty chocolate. But, on a hot day, we would always recommend choosing one of the store’s sorbet options. 

Ferris Acres Creamery 

On the East coast of the USA, in Newtown, Connecticut, you will find ‘Ferris Acres Creamery’. This is a small, family-run ice cream parlor that serves indulgent flavors to its loyal customers. From peanut butter and banana to s’mores flavor, they offer lots of unique ice cream options, which is why they are definitely one to try if you are in the area. 

Woodside Farm Creamery

Also on the East coast, you will find ‘Woodside Farm Creamery’ in Hockessin, Delaware. This is another family-run business, and the farm where the ice cream parlor is located has been in the Mitchell family since 1796. But, the creamery has only been around since 1998. Despite their relatively short history, the company offers lots of exciting flavors, which is why they are one of the best ice cream parlors in Delaware. 

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In the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, you will find ‘Morelli’s’, an ice cream parlor that was set up by a husband and wife team after they decided the pharmaceutical industry wasn’t for them. This company specializes in nostalgic flavors, including peanut butter and jelly, Krispy Kreme, and salted caramel. But all of their recipes are a closely-guarded secret, so you will never find out exactly what is in these ice cream flavors, but there’s no denying that they are great. 

Lappert’s Hawaii

There is nothing better than ice cream on a hot summer day, which is why ‘Lappert’s Hawaii’ is such a success. This ice-cream parlor creates delicious hand-made ice cream using authentic Hawaiian flavors, such as Kona Lava Java, and Kauai Pie. Although you may not want it, this store even offers hot side dishes to serve with your ice cream, so there are lots of great things to choose from. 

Margie’s Candies

For an ice cream parlor with a rich history, you should check out ‘Margie’s Candies’ in Chicago, Illinois. This store opened back in 1921, and it boasts stories of both The Beatles and Al Capone visiting. If you visit this store, you may be taken aback by how old-fashioned its decor is, and how traditional the ice cream flavors are. But, as the saying goes, don’t fix something that isn’t broken, and this rule is definitely something that ‘Margie’s Candies sticks by. 

Pretty Cool Ice Cream

Also in Chicago, you will find ‘Pretty Cool Ice Cream’. This store was founded by a pastry chef, and they specialize in frozen desserts, from ice cream bars and sandwiches to ice pops. All of which come in unique and creative flavors, from passion fruit hibiscus to peanut butter potato chip, with a range of traditional flavors too for those who prefer something classic. 

I am a Frozen Dessert Café

In Overland Park, Kansas, you will find ‘I am a Frozen Dessert Café’ which is pretty much what it says on the tin. This store specializes in Thai shaved ice, with a variety of flavors that come from Asian cultures. But, the best thing about this store is that all of their offerings are actually pretty healthy, as they use low-fat frozen milk for every dessert. 

Crank and Boom Ice Cream Lounge

Lexington, Kentucky, is the home of ‘Crank and Boom Ice Cream Lounge’, which is an unorthodox ice cream parlor, to say the least. This store specializes in combining wild and unique flavors with one another, to create desserts that shouldn’t work together, but they do. The ice cream here definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted, but if you are up for a challenge, this is the place to visit. 

Creole Creamery

On the South Coast of the USA, you will find ‘Creole Creamery’ in New Orleans. From the outside, this store looks like your standard ice cream parlor. But, hidden behind the doors is a wide range of innovative ice cream flavors, a lot of which utilize cream cheese to switch things up. This store specializes in indulgent ice cream, so it is definitely one to try if you are visiting the Big Easy. 

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream

Back up on the North Coast, you will find ‘Mount Desert Island Ice Cream’ in Bar Harbor, Maine. This is a small store that specializes in traditional ice cream, and this is evident by the old-school style of the shop. They specialize in small batches of ice cream, so there is often a wait for your order, but it is definitely worth it. 

The Charmery

In Baltimore, Maryland, you will find ‘The Charmery’ which was a dream come true for the husband and wife team who run it. Despite its short history, this store has become famous all across the USA for its creative and ever-changing flavors. Here the flavors are ever-changing, so there isn’t one that we can recommend, but we will say that you won’t be disappointed by the treats that this store has on offer. 

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In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Toscanini’s offers the ultimate source of brain food to the brainboxes who study there, and this is, of course, ice cream. From the Vienna Finger Cookie to the Goat Cheese Brownie, there are lots of inventive and intriguing flavors on offer here. So if you are visiting one of Cambridge’s prestigious universities, add a pit stop in Toscanini’s to your journey plan. 


Traverse City, Michigan, is home to Moomers, a quaint little ice cream parlor that is based in the countryside. The location of this parlor offers something a little different, allowing you to enjoy your ice cream while watching the cows that helped make it. But the best thing about this location is that they boast a range of more than 160 different handmade flavors to choose from. 

Milkjam Creamery

At the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota, you will find ‘Milkjam Creamery’. This restaurant offers something a little different, in the form of a ‘jam bun’. These buns consist of a warm donut that is split in half, stuffed with your choice of toppings and ice cream, which sounds a little strange, but is totally delicious and something that you have to try. 

Clementine’s Creamery

In the heart of the USA, is St Louis, Missouri, which is home to ‘Clementine’s Creamery’. This store was born out of the owner’s childhood tradition of churning her own ice cream but has since grown tremendously, offering both nostalgia, and innovation in a single store. With lots of different flavors to choose from, this is the place to go if you are in St Louis. 

Ted Drewes 

Also in St Louis, you will find Ted Drewes. This company has specialized in frozen custard for more than 70 years, but they have since become more famous for selling Christmas trees. But, if you are in the area, you should definitely try out one of their ‘concretes’, we would recommend the twisted caramel flavor. 

The Bent Spoon

The Bent Spoon in Princeton, New Jersey, is the best place to visit if you want a huge amount of options. This store boasts more than 550 different flavors which are rotated onto the menu throughout the year. With seasonal favorites and a huge range of classic flavors, the Bent Spoon offers something for everyone to try. 


The city of New York offers some outstanding attractions, and one that is worthy of a place on that list is ‘Morgenstern’s’. This is a new store, but they already offer more than 88 different flavors, ranging from classic options to innovative variations. Additionally, they also offer a burger menu, so whether you want ice cream as a treat or as a dessert, you can get it at this restaurant. 


Also, in the heart of New York, you will find ‘OldFellows’. This is another ice cream parlor that was set up by a pastry chef, and Sam Mason (the chef that set up this restaurant), is one of the main attractions of this store. Mason has used his cooking expertise to produce a huge variety of yummy flavors, all of which can be found in New York’s East Village.

Sugar Hill Creamery

In Harlem, New York, you will find ‘Sugar Hill Creamery’. This is another relatively new ice cream parlor, but it has quickly become a firm favorite because they produce artisan ice creams from scratch. The company also helps support community-based programs for black empowerment, so it is clear to see why the residents of New York love them so much. 

The Parlour

In Durham, North Carolina, you will find an aptly named ice cream store, ‘The Parlour’. As is a common theme on this list, this is another husband and wife creation that has proven insanely successful. So it is definitely another store to add to your list. 

Fifty Licks

Portland, Oregon, is the home to many different things, including ‘Fifty Licks’. Fifty Licks is an incredibly popular ice cream store that actually started out as a food truck. With a huge range of different flavors, from simple flavors to insanely unique flavors, there are lots to choose from. This is why this store has become so popular. 

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Franklin Ice Cream Bar

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you will find the authentic, vintage ice cream parlor, known as ‘Franklin Ice Cream Bar’. While this store sells a lot of ice cream, they also specialize in other dishes, including hand-dipped chocolate, frozen custard, and take-home pints. This store offers a wide variety of flavors, and because of this, you are almost guaranteed to get exactly what you want, which is why it is such a great place to visit. 

Clumpies Ice Cream

Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the home to ‘Clumpies Ice Cream’. This is a family-run business that was first set up by a candy-maker. This store keeps things simple, and there is nothing wrong with that. So if you want authentic ice cream that is full of flavor, this is the place to go. 

Elliston Place Soda Shop

In the home of country music, you will find ‘Elliston Place Soda Shop’. As its name suggests, this is a store that specializes in soda, but they also offer some outstanding ice cream options too. But, the stand-out dish of this restaurant is their milkshakes which are made using fresh ice cream, and the perfect way to cool yourself down on a hot day. 

Amy’s Ice Cream

If you are an indecisive person, then ‘Amy’s Ice Cream’ in Austin, Texas, probably isn’t the place for you. But, if you love the freedom of choice, you should check out this store to choose between 350 different flavors. 

Botolino Gelato Artigianale

In Dallas, Texas, you will find ‘Botolino Gelato Artigianale’ which specializes in authentic, Italian gelato. The best thing about this store is that everything that they sell is natural, so you don’t need to worry about artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. In this store, what you see is what you get. 

Fat Cat Creamery

Also in Texas, you will find ‘Fat Cat Creamery’. This store specializes in locally sourced ingredients and prides itself on being sustainable. With an excellent main body of flavors and great seasonal additions, there is something for everyone in this store. 

Lick Honest Ice Creams 

Finally, in Austin, Texas, you will find ‘Lick Honest Ice Creams’. There is nothing better than creamy ice cream, and this store nails this achievement right on the head. With fresh ingredients and a velvety texture, the ice cream from here is on the next level. 

Ruby Scoops

In Richmond, Virginia, you will find ‘Ruby Scoops’. This is a store that has recently relocated to Virginia, after making its name in Washington DC. With delicious flavors and an excellent reputation, you have to check out this store. 

Frankie & Jo’s

In the home of Grey’s Anatomy, you will find Frankie & Jo’s. This ice cream parlor won’t be for everyone as they specialize in healthy options. But, if you are on a healthy kick, and still want a sweet treat, this is the place to go. 

Ice Cream Jubilee

At the center of US politics, Washington DC is also home to ‘Ice Cream Jubilee’. This company has three different stores across the USA, but they were first founded in DC. So, this is the best place to visit if you want to check out their outstanding products. 


Also in DC, you will find ‘Moorenkos’ in New Eastern Market. With 15 different classic flavors, this company knows exactly what they are doing, so it would be criminal not to give their ice creams a try. 

Sassy Cow Creamery

For fresh ice cream, ‘Sassy Cow Creamery’ in Wisconsin is the place to go. The company utilizes incredibly local ingredients to create their delicious flavors, and they get their milk from cows that are less than a mile away from the parlor. You really can’t get much fresher than that. 

Kelley Country Creamery 

Finally, we couldn’t leave ‘Kelley Country Creamery’ off of this list. Located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, this ice cream parlor really is in the middle of nowhere. Due to this, it is quite a trek to find this store, but the drive is totally worth it when you see the excellent flavors that Kelley Country Creamery has on offer.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.