Best Ice Cream Shops In America

a man holding a child
Minnesota- Summer 2013

I-scream, you-scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Are you crazy for ice cream? If so, this list of Best Ice Cream Shops in America from Thrillist might help you find some tasty places to try out.

When I saw the title of the article, I had to check it out. Lucas has always liked ice cream but his love for it went to a new level during our trip to Japan (late June/ early July 2013). Shops in Japan are slick and have a great way of letting you know that ice cream is for sale. Most shops that sell ice cream leave giant, fake cones outside or hanging from the building to let you know they sell the frozen treat.

When we got back from Japan we headed to Minnesota for a quick, weekend visit. During our brief 2.5 days there, we tried out ice cream in a bunch of shops including one that made Thrillists’s list. It turned out that Lucas’ Favorite Part of Minnesota was… Ice Cream!

Years back I had also Found Some Vanilla in Germany.

Here is the list of Best Ice Cream Shops in America:

  • Ample Hills Creamery- Brooklyn, NY
  • Bi-Rite Creamery- San Francisco, CA
  • Big Gay Ice Cream- NYC
  • Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream- Ledgewood, NJ
  • Cloud 10 Creamery- Houston, TX
  • Creole Creamery- New Orleans, LA
  • Dairy Joy- Weston, MA
  • Glace Artisan Ice Cream- Kansas City, MO
  • Humphry Slocomber- San Francisco, CA
  • iCream- Chicago, IL
  • Lick Ice Creams- Austin, TX
  • MOOMers Homemade Ice Cream- Traverse City, MI
  • Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream & Desserts- Atlanta, GA
  • Pumphouse Creamery- Minneapolis, MN
  • Rainbow Cone- Chicago, IL
  • Salt & Straw- Portland, OR
  • Scoops- Los Angeles, CA
  • Sweet Action Ice Cream- Denver, CO
  • Sweet Republic- Scottsdale, AZ
  • Toscanini- Cambridge, MA
  • Amy’s Ice Cream- Austin, TX

After going over the list, I saw that I had been to 3 of the shops.

Kim, Lucas and I visit Ample Hills in our hometown of Brooklyn, NY quite a bit. They are probably my favorite ice cream shop due to their list of creative flavors and willingness to let you try as many as you like before deciding on what to order! Besides amazing ice cream, they also have a small play area with a play kitchen and ice cream toys which Lucas loves to hang out at while we’re in the shop. Playing and ice cream, what else could a 2-year-old ask for!

Big Gay Ice Cream was a bit of a disappointment when we stopped by the shop around a year back. The business started out as a truck but we rarely saw it around and when we did, it always had long lines. Big Gay Ice Cream serves Mister Softee (which is awesome) and makes it unique by adding creative toppings. We tried their two most popular flavors, the Salty Pimp (Vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt & chocolate dip) and Bea Arthur (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche & crushed ‘nilla wafers). I wasn’t overly impressed but did still enjoy the Bea Arthur due to the ‘nilla wafers.

I can’t say that I really remember Pumphouse Creamery very well. During our visit to Minnesota, it was the first ice cream shop that we stopped at. Check out what I had to say about it in the link to Lucas’ favorite part of Minnesota above.

My Honorable Mentions: I feel that a couple of shops in Philadelphia should’ve been included in this list. Bassetts (located in Reading Terminal Market) which is America’s oldest ice cream shop and The Franklin Fountain, which feels like you are stepping back in time to an old soda fountain and ice cream shop. Both serve amazing ice cream and are well worth a visit.

What is your favorite ice cream shop in America?

Find out about each of the ice cream shops which made Thrillist’s list HERE.

8 thoughts on “Best Ice Cream Shops In America

  1. DaninSTL- We’re thinking of visiting St Louis in early summer. I’ll be sure to check out Ted Drewes! I’ve heard of it but totally forgot about it.

    Doug- Ici sounds great. I love when places get creative & serve not so typical flavors!

  2. Ici in Berkeley, CA. Delicious, unusual, seasonal flavors, changing multiple times a day. @IciIceCream

  3. Kyle- Bubbie’s sounds pretty awesome! Thanks for all of the info!

    Henry & Asar- I saw this place on TV a couple of times and would love to try it out! Thanks for reminding me about it!

    PhatMiles- Interesting…

  4. I think Dairy Joy should be removed from that list. Toscanini in Cambridge is great actually.

  5. I have eaten at 8 of these. IMHO the best ice cream is at Berkey Creamery, State College, PA. I can take a trip to State College just to taste the awesome ice cream.

  6. Bubbie’s Homemade Ice Cream in Honolulu, Hawaii! Oreo ice cream that taste like Oreo. It isn’t just vanilla ice cream with chunks of Oreo, the ice cream itself taste like Oreo cookies with a few chunks here and there.

    Then there’s the mochi ice cream. Thin layer of mochi wrapped around ice cream. My favorite is the Strawberry Dark Chocolate Chip, which is strawberry mochi wrapped around chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate chips.

    Also gotta love the ice cream cakes/pies… and who can forget the names! Hard Headed Woman anyone? Mint Chip Ice Cream + Oreo Ice Cream + Oreo Crust + Fudge

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