Explore New Orleans

New Orleans’ Chill Ice Cream Scene

Here’s the inside scoop

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.

Lucy Boone Ice Cream New Orleans
Lucy Boone’s candied cacao and almond with fudge swirls. (©Lucy Boone Ice Cream)

Aqua S 

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

Aqua S New Orleans
Why go with a plain old waffle when you can make it chocolate at Aqua S? (©Aqua S)

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.

Laozi Ice Cream New Orleans
Laozi’s “Cordially Yours,...” loaded with dark chocolate-covered cherries. (©Samara Plotkin)

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

Abbott's Frozen Custard New Orleans
A sampling of the signature flavors—vanilla, pistachio-pineapple, cotton candy, black raspberry and chocolate—at Abbott’s. (©Abbott’s Frozen Custard)

Parish Parlor

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

Parish Parlor Ice Cream New Orleans
In addition to classics such as Bananas Foster, Parish Parlor churns out seasonal flavors like Lavender London Fog. (©Parish Parlor)