There's no more delicious way to celebrate life than with a scoop of ice cream.
As recommended by our team of 30-plus local editors, discover new favorites at these creameries, farms, mom-and-pop stands and parlors that have the freshest scoops around.
Matt's Homemade Ice Cream: In Gulf Shores, Matt's boasts 40 flavors that range from lemon ice box cake to Creole butter pecan. The banana split is a fan favorite.
The Ice Cream Shop: There's nothing ordinary about this parlor—open year-round—just south of Anchorage. Stop in for a fix of the creamy fireweed—a purple, Alaskan flower—and honey plus classic flavors like moose tracks.
Sweet Republic: Sweet Republic serves ice cream cravings in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Try the all-natural, scratch-made ice cream and sorbets with flavors from Madagascar vanilla to sweet corn and honey lavender. The salted butter caramel swirl is a crowd-pleaser on this rotating menu.
Tazzina di Gelato: Peter Miller—owner of this Tuscon gelato shop—was trained in Bologna, Italy. He comes up with imaginative names like "Unicorns Are Real" and "Hulk Smash."
The Spring Dipper: This delightful destination is known for mammoth-sized creations served in an old-fashioned setting with modern flair.
Cauldron: This small-batch creamery in Santa Ana whips up its creations with liquid nitrogen served on puffle cones. Flavors include H20 Rose—coated with rose sugar—s'mores and Vietnamese coffee.
Diddy Riese: Located in the heart of Westwood, L.A.'s Diddy Riese crams any flavor of ice cream you want between two large, freshly baked cookies.
Sweet Action Ice Cream: Find this small-batch ice cream shop in Denver's historic Broadway neighborhood where vegan flavors reign supreme. Adventurous palates enjoy offerings liked roasted green chile while traditionalists indulge in Rocky Mountain root beer.
Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream: The farm-fresh Buttonwood ice cream stand uses fruit purees to make flavors like black raspberry, pumpkin and peach. Its candy-flavored ice creams are made with real candy pieces alongside two versions of chocolate—coffee ice cream with peanut butter cups and "frozen pudding."
Ferris Acres Creamery: Voted as the "Best Ice Cream in Connecticut" by Yankee Magazine, Ferris Acres Creamery churns its ice cream from family recipes. The 30-plus regular flavors include Cookie Jar and Salty Cow.
Hopkins Farm Creamery: On a fourth generation-owned family farm, this creamery has 20 flavors on a gluten-free, seasonal menu.
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Nicecream Factory: Nicecream's made-to-order treats are whipped up using liquid nitrogen, rotating each week from a master list of 80 flavors.
Azucar Ice Cream Co.: Azucar Ice Cream Co. is a neighborhood treasure in Little Havana. The shop is a cool, Cuban tribute to the owner's abuela and all its flavors—like sunset-colored mamey and sweet pink guava—were grandma's favorites. Stop for a selfie at the enormous ice cream cone out front.
Kilwins: Serving ice cream from the original 1947 recipe from a creamery in Holland, Michigan, Kilwins is a slice of Americana. The St. Petersburg shop serves more than 40 flavors like "All-American Two Berry Pie."
Sloane’s: This parlor's bright, colorful décor draws you in. Based in West Palm Beach, it’s fun to get a cone and stroll down Clematis Street or have a cup while people watching at CityPlace.
Leopold's Ice Cream: Leopold's rum ice cream with candied fruit and fresh-roasted Georgia pecans—based on the original 1919 recipe—was the inspiration behind the song "Tutti Frutti," written by Johnny Mercer who worked there as a boy.
High Road Craft Ice Cream: Ice cream is a passion for the chefs at High Road. They do their own pasteurizing and buy regionally sourced ingredients.
Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts: Known for mochi ice cream—a Japanese dessert of sweet rice flour—Bubbies is purchased and served at many island and mainland grocery stores and restaurants in Oahu. Each Bubbie mochi piece is the size of a half dollar coin filled with Hawaii-inspired flavors like azuki bean and lychee.
Tasaka Guri Guri Shop: The Tasaka family opened a store in Kahului called Tasaka Shogetsu-do, selling Japanese desserts. In the 1940s, it found its niche by selling dairy-based sherbet called “guri guri.” With just two flavors—strawberry and pineapple—Guri Guri is a quintessential stop prior to heading off to the airport in Maui.
Rainey Creek Country Store: Known for its square scoops, Rainey's literally serves up bricks of ice cream in Swan Valley.
Cone Gourmet Ice Cream: This West Loop ice cream parlor is known for whimsical creations and flavors like "Shamrock," a European-style soft serve covered in Lucky Charms.
Original Rainbow Cone: This South Side ice cream shop's specialty is Chicago's favorite five-flavor rainbow cone, stacked with slices of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio and orange sherbet ice creams.
Zaharakos: Zaharakos is revered in Columbus for its homespun ice cream and soda fountains. Dig into a larger-than-life sundae—the "Big Z" has five scoops—or the brownie sundae.
Black Cat Ice Cream: This homemade, seasonal ice cream menu changes weekly, featuring flavors like Georgia peach molasses or Moscow mule sorbet. The owner named the Des Moines ice cream shop after his cat, Boo Bear.
Paleteria La Reyna: Luscious Mexican treats like raspas—Mexican snow cones—tequila ice pops and sundaes are served up at this Wichita restaurant.
Chaney's Dairy Barn: Visitors can sample ice cream at this Kentucky parlor or take a self-guided tour of the farm and participate a variety of events like "ice cream and a moovie."
Angelo Brocato's: This century-old ice cream parlor in New Orleans offers a nostalgic slice of Old World Sicily with glass-topped tables, slow-turning ceiling fans and some of the best Italian treats this side of Palermo.
Gelato Fiasco: As a popular Brunswick and Portland destination, Gelato Fiasco's "Mascarpone Pistachio Caramel" gelato won the best ice cream award in the Specialty Food Association's 2017 competition. Ice cream is made fresh daily from a database of more than 1,500 house recipes.
The Charmery: This Baltimore scoop shop serves up sundaes, floats and handspun milkshakes.
Christina's Homemade Ice Cream: This parlor features a rotating list of at least 50 ice cream varieties—plus 30 sorbets—ranging from French vanilla to khulfi—Indian ice cream with pistachios.
Lizzy's Ice Cream: More than 40 flavors of ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, sherbet and Tofutti (dairy free) are made at this popular Cambridge parlor. Adult flavors include Armagnac and "French Plum."
MOOmers: With more than 160 flavors in its repertoire, a trip to MOOmers means seeing at least 20 flavors daily.
Izzy’s Ice Cream Café: Bobby Flay took note of this Twin Cities institution on an episode of Food Network's "Throw Down." Creations include "Summit Oatmeal Stout" and "Wild Country maple syrup."
Velvet Cream: This ice cream emporium has come a long way from its 1947 inception when just vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream graced the menu. Today there are 250 selections.
Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery: Clementine’s uses a patent-pending process to combine wine, spirits and locally brewed beers into their naughty ice cream creations in flavors—naughty and booze-free—like "Maple Bourbon" and "Rum Chata."
Big Dipper Ice Cream: This ice cream shop has three brick-and-mortar stores plus an ice cream truck. Among its flavors are Mexican chocolate and cardamom.
UNL Dairy Store: Showcasing the work of the University of Nebraska's food-science students, this scoop shop is on-site at UNL's dairy, opened in 1917. Staff favorites include cherry almond, German chocolate and strawberry rhubarb.
Luv-It Frozen Custard: Hot nights in Las Vegas call for Luv-It Frozen Custard. Flavors change daily, but every Sunday there's fresh banana nut and every Monday is lemon scoops.
Puritan Backroom: Between its 40-plus selections of ice cream, sherbet and frozen yogurt, this Greek restaurant is an ice cream parlor in its own right. Pay homage to its heritage with a scoop of baklava.
Thomas Sweet Ice Cream: You can always count on long lines outside Thomas Sweet Ice Cream. It serves up ice cream with tons of toppings.
The Chill Zone: The flavors available at The Chill Zone sound like summer including "Island Banana" and "Pomegranate Raspberry Tart" to name a few.
Ample Hills Creamery: A fan-favorite NYC creamery, Ample Hills has several locales in Manhattan and Brooklyn with flavors like "Ooey Gooey Butter Cake" and "Snap Mallow Pop."
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: This Brooklyn-born ice creamery is just that; it's ice cream pretty and tasty enough that an artist could have designed it.
Elizabeth Creamery: Snap a picture with the giant ice cream cone outside this quaint shop in Charlotte. The bright-colored interior attracts kids and the flavors range from the usual suspects to the more experimental flavors.
Pride Dairy: The last small-town creamery in North Dakota began manufacturing ice cream in the '40s and still uses the same recipe with flavors like "Peppermint Bon Bon," and "Thomas Jefferson Vintage Vanilla."
Roxy's Ice Cream Social: Roxy's—a mom-and-pop that expanded—serves up decadent flavors like "Raspberry Ricotta," and more simple creations. All flavors without cookie pieces are gluten-free and there's a vegan flavor each week.
Salt & Straw: This Portland-based emporium always has lines around the block. Its flavors range from "classics" like "Arbequina Olive Oil" to "Toasted Baquette PB&J," and "Breakside Brewery’s Spent Grains."
Little Baby’s Ice Cream: Would you eat pizza ice cream? How about cucumber dill, or Earl Grey sriracha? No one does avant-garde quite like Philly's Little Baby's.
Like No Udder: This vegan shop serves up ice cream with coconut or cashew bases. Its ice cream truck plies only soft serve, while its Providence brick-and-mortar scoops 12 varieties of hard ice cream and soft serve.
The Pink Dipper: This old-time ice cream shop has a marble counter with brightly colored stools. Decadent creations include Moon Pie sundaes and banana splits.
Armadillo Ice Cream Shoppe: Head to this over-the-top ice cream shop for loaded ice cream creations. The namesake Armadillo is a rich concoction of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter dip, hot fudge and chopped nuts.
Pied Piper Creamery: Behind the doors of a quaint cottage lies this gourmet ice cream shop. It serves some of Nashville's most unusual scoops with the most creative names like "Cuppa Human Kindness" with mocha ice cream and a Nutella swirl.
Lick Honest Ice Creams: For a true taste of Texas in your bowl, there's no need to look beyond this Austin-based artisanal ice cream purveyor. "Cilantro Lime," and "Dewberry Corn Cobbler" are just a few of the flavors.
Melt Ice Creams: Melt Ice Creams is the cherry on top of a hot day well-spent in Fort Worth.
Roll With It Creamery: Utah's first and only Thai rolled ice cream shop is a sensation. Among the dozen options are banana nutella, and lavender.
Ben & Jerry’s Factory: Tour the factory, visit the Flavor Graveyard and try a new flavor in the scoop shop.
Moo Thru: Moo Thru is a must-stop for those looking for creamy hand-dipped and soft-serve ice cream available in its drive-through window. Hand-packed pints and quarts are also available, but not in the drive-through.
Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream: Some flavors of Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream incorporate Seattle businesses like Vivace Coffee and Theo Chocolate. "'Scout Mint" is always on the menu; every year, the ice cream shop buys thousands of boxes of Girl Scout Thin Mints and crushes the cookies into mint ice cream with Washington-grown organic peppermint extract.
Bluebird Microcreamery: Dig into Bluebird flavors including "Theo chocolate chunk" and "Northwest strawberry."
Austin's Homemade Ice Cream: Aficionados of this ice cream shop flock to its counter for choices like grape pineapple and Kahlua crunch.
Pearl Street Ice Cream Parlor: This old-school ice cream parlor serves up Midwestern flavors "Snappin' Turtle," and "Cherry Fudge." Seasonal flavors include "Oktoberfest Beer," and "Candy Cane."
Moo's Gourmet Ice Cream: Moo's serves 24 flavors from its vast list daily and, in 2013, Food Network chose its huckleberry ice cream as Wyoming's best dessert.