Call it unconventional, even counterintuitive—those words seem to be the order of the day—but ice cream is always a comfort, even in chilly winter months. The recent boom in local ice cream makers is head spinning. There are secret pop-ups, limited releases and social media groups dedicated to the sweet scoop. Ice cream flavors have gotten wildly creative, and a heavy hand with mix-ins (cookies, candies, brownies, peanut butter, etc.) is all the rage. Creole Creamery, a local staple, has gotten in on the game too, whizzing up a slew of constantly evolving flavors. Not sure about straying from basic vanilla? On Instagram, ice cream guru @thecoldhardscoop takes one for the team by tasting the latest releases and posting pictures with elaborate descriptions and ratings. We love every spoonful.
Lucy Boone Ice Cream
A family affair, pastry chef Abby and husband Aaron (their business is named for sweet baby Lucy) churn out a collection of popular, small-batch ice creams in flavors like Key Lime Pie, Cane Syrup Pecan and Brown Butter Hazelnut Cookie. You’ll find pints at weekly pop-up markets all over town and other places listed on their Instagram feed.
This outpost of the Australian brand is famed for its creamy, bright-blue, sea-salt soft serve and Instagramable décor begging for selfies. With a library of more than 100 flavors, only a few are offered at a time, and they change every two weeks. A recent favorite—pancake swirled with sea salt—was cool, salty-sweet hominess. Biscuit Gringo, Lemon Cola and Elderflower are others to keep an eye out for. 1000 Girod St., 504.459.2846
Laozi Ice Cream
Frozen dessert impresario Sam Caruso has a devoted cult following for his quarts (yes, quarts) of crazy killer creams. The fetish began with Monkeys Be Hatin’ (banana ice cream with blonde Oreos), leading to Caroots n Cake and the insanely good Mr. Meowgi (dark chocolate custard, salted-caramel cream cheese, crispy rice and half-baked brownies) to name a few. Order via Instagram.
Abbott’s Frozen Custard
This Rochester N.Y. frozen custard franchise, known for small-batch frozen custard made with milk from happy cows, is new to New Orleans. The signature Turtle (frozen custard, peanuts and fudge, dipped in coating chocolate) is one novelty on the extensive menu of frozen custard for cones, sundaes, milkshakes, treats and some locally themed sweets. 628 Toulouse St., 504.345.2524
This tres charmant ice cream parlor is Parisian chic in design and New Orleans delicious. The ice creams, made with a custard of cream and egg yolks, form the base for basic (vanilla, chocolate, etc.) or more complex flavors like Bananas Foster and a tidy list of vegan options made with coconut milk. 1912 Magazine St., 504.302.2244