Who doesn’t scream for ice cream? We’ve rounded up the best ice cream shops in America from the artisanal ice cream makers behind flavors like cherries and goat cheese to the historic ice cream parlors that have been in service for generations. What better way to take a tour of the US than via ice cream?
Have a favorite ice cream shop? Share your pick in the comments below!
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Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio
Who knew that the best ice cream in America could be found in Columbus, Ohio? Ingredients like sweet corn and blackberries, cherries with goat cheese and Riesling with poached pear mean that there is a line out the door here (even during the colder months).
59 Spruce Street, Columbus, Ohio, jenisicecreams.com.
Gayety's Chocolates & Ice Cream Co. in Lansing, Illinois
This traditional ice cream shop has been in business since 1920 serving classics like chocolate silk, strawberry cream, and Gold Coast butter pecan. The sundae is the special here and includes three scoops smothered in chopped fruit and whipped cream. There goes that diet.
3306 Ridge Road, Lansing, Illinois; gayetys.com.
Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous in San Francisco
Located in the up-and-coming Dogpatch neighborhood, this modern sit-down parlor was founded by husband and wife team Ian Flores and wife Annabelle Topacio. They produce 10 flavors a day (written on a chalkboard), hand-rolled cones (it is practically an art here), and a standout frozen fudge pop served stickless on a biodegradable plate.
699 22nd Street, San Francisco, California; 415-970-0750.
Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium in Bar Harbor, Maine
Lobster ice cream? Yes it is actually a thing thanks to Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium, which is famous for its lobster ice cream. There are 60 other flavors on offer here (in case you find lobster ice cream off-putting), all made in-house.
66 Main Street, Bar Harbor, Maine; benandbills.com.
Eddie's Sweet Shop in Forest Hills, Queens
One of the few surviving traditional ice cream parlors in the US—everything from the 20-plus flavors of ice cream, to the sauces, to the toppings, are made in-house here. Come sit at the marble-topped bar on a spinning wooden stool and have what is possibly the best sundae in America. The milkshakes are serious standouts too.
105-29 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills, New York; 718-520-8514.
Dolcezza in Washington, DC
Come to this spot for whimsical flavors like dulce de leche, several variations of chocolate, avocado-honey-orange, and bananas foster. The sorbettos are often spiked with bourbon or vodka.
1560 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, DC; dolcezzagelato.com.
Hank's Ice Cream in Houston
Hank's is all about celebrating Southern flavors like sweet corn, sweet potato pie, and banana pudding. They sell 16 flavors at a time, and most of the people who work here are actually members of Hank's family. Did we mention Beyonce is a big fan?
9291 South Main, Houston, Texas; hanksicecream.com.
Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream in Charleston
Expect classic flavors here like espresso Oreo, butter pecan, raspberry chocolate chip, and mint chocolate chip, but the seasonal specialties like pumpkin and peppermint are what make this ice cream a standout.
225 Capitol Street, Charleston, North Carolina; 304-343-6488.
Gray's Ice Cream in Tiverton, Rhode Island
This landmark, which has been open since 1923, is as old-school as it gets, so come here for rum raisin ice cream and its famous frozen pudding (all homemade on-site). Gray's is a summer institution for everyone who summers in Rhode Island.
16 East Road, Tiverton, Rhode Island; graysicecream.com.
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop in New York City
What started as an artisanal ice cream truck has evolved into arguably two of the best ice cream shops in New York City. Melt bakery ice cream sandwiches like the Rue McClanahan, toppings like olive oil and sea salt, and shakes like the ginger-curry have made this spot a New York City attraction. So what are you waiting for?
125 East 7th Street, New York, New York; biggayicecream.com.