Special Report

Best Ice Cream Shop in Every State

Photo by Robert H. via Yelp

“Ice cream is a category on fire,” says a report from industry website Dairy Foods — and no, the report’s not talking about flambéed Baked Alaska. Over the 52-week period ending on Sept. 6, 2020, ice cream sales in America rose 13.4% to a total of $6.84 billion, according to the site.

Ice cream is one of the ultimate comfort foods, so it’s little wonder that we’ve been buying it so enthusiastically since the pandemic hit. And with 2021 shaping to be one of the hottest years on record, sales will almost surely continue to grow through the year. Of course, having a famously ice cream-loving president will likely not hurt sales either. (Here is a list of President Biden’s favorite foods.)

Given that the stakes are so high, it’s hardly surprising that big food companies have become major players on the ice cream scene (Nestlé owns Häagen-Dazs and Dreyer’s, and Unilever owns Ben & Jerry’s), or that supermarkets devote so much freezer space to it.

Independent ice cream parlors remain an enduring American tradition, however. There are probably thousands of such places around the country, most of them making their own ice cream on an artisanal scale, and many of them creating unusual flavors — honey bourbon cornbread, rye whiskey eggnog sugar cookie — as well as standbys like chocolate and vanilla. Still, here are some delicious ice cream flavors we wish would come back.

To assemble a list of the best ice cream store in every state, 24/7 Tempo considered ratings and reviews on a variety of food and general interest sites, including Food & Wine, Eat This Not That, The Daily Meal, Taste of Home, Delish, Spoon University, Insider, and Reader’s Digest, as well as numerous local and regional sites.

Click here to see the best ice cream shop in every state

We left chains like Baskin-Robbins, Carvel, and Cold Stone Creamery off our list and did not include frozen yogurt shops (though frozen yogurt might be on the menu at some of the places here). And while some of the ice cream parlors listed have several locations, we have also omitted regional enterprises that have grown to have a nationwide presence, like Graeter’s from Cincinnati and McConnell’s from Santa Barbara, California. 

Note that suggested flavors may be seasonal or occasional and may not always be available.

Source: Photo by Aleeta P. via Yelp

Alabama: Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe
> Location: Mobile
> Flavors to try: Mexican vanilla; red velvet

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Source: Photo by Kathryn K via Yelp

Alaska: Wild Scoops
> Location: Anchorage
> Flavors to try: AK birch almond; rhubarb crumble

Source: Photo by Kris L. via Yelp

Arizona: Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream
> Location: Phoenix
> Flavors to try: Black licorice; salted caramel cashew

Source: Courtesy of Loblolly Creamery

Arkansas: Loblolly Creamery
> Location: Little Rock
> Flavors to try: Arkansas Mud; bourbon pecan

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Source: Photo by Ran C. via Yelp

California: Mother Moo Creamery
> Location: Sierra Madre
> Flavors to try: Organic strawberry; orange blossom and cardamom

Source: Courtesy of Little Man Ice Cream

Colorado: Little Man Ice Cream
> Location: Denver
> Flavors to try: Espresso fudge; salted Oreo

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Source: Photo by Allison C. via Yelp

Connecticut: Salem Valley Farms Ice Cream
> Location: Salem
> Flavors to try: Coffee toffee bar; ginger

Source: Photo by Lauren L. via Yelp

Delaware: The Ice Cream Store
> Location: Rehoboth
> Flavors to try: Delaware peach; Crabula (red African vanilla, chocolate flakes, black cherries)

Source: Courtesy of Ice Dreammm Shop

Florida: Ice Dreammm Shop
> Location: Lutz
> Flavors to try: Strawberry shortcake; chocolate bacon toffee

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Source: Photo by Alexi Y. via Yelp

Georgia: Butter and Cream
> Location: Decatur
> Flavors to try: Basil with pine nut brittle; Vietnamese coffee

Source: Photo by Jeanine D. via Yelp

Hawaii: Black Sheep Cream Co.
> Location: Waipio and four other Honolulu-area locations
> Flavors to try: Lavender latte; ube cream with cheesecake swirl

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Source: Photo by Joscelynne R. via Yelp

Idaho: The STIL
> Location: Boise
> Flavors to try: Curious George (bananas and dark chocolate); State Fair (cherry pie)

Source: Photo by Nino C. via Yelp

Illinois: Rainbow Cone
> Location: Chicago
> Flavors to try: Black walnut; bubble gum

Source: Courtesy of Rocket Science Ice Cream

Indiana: Rocket Science Ice Cream
> Location: Nappanee
> Flavors to try: German chocolate; piña colada

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Source: Courtesy of Over the Top

Iowa: Over the Top
> Location: Pleasant Hill
> Flavors to try: Iowa sweet corn; Marshmallow Mania

Source: Photo by Tina H. via Yelp

Kansas: Foggi Ice Cream
> Location: Mission
> Flavors to try: Caramel con leche cheesecake; lemon lavender

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Source: Photo by Allison F. via Yelp

Kentucky: Louisville Cream
> Location: Louisville
> Flavors to try: Banana pudding; honey bourbon cornbread

Source: Photo by John B. via Yelp

Louisiana: Ice Cream 504
> Location: New Orleans
> Flavors to try: Lemon chiffon; The Proprietor (pistachio, dark chocolate, caramel);

Source: Photo by Jason P. via Yelp

Maine: Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream
> Location: Bar Harbor and two other Maine locations, plus one each in Washington D.C. and Matsumoto, Japan
> Flavors to try: Maine Sweet Cream; Reverse Root Beer Float

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Source: Photo of Rachel C. via Yelp

Maryland: The Charmery
> Location: Baltimore (five area locations)
> Flavors to try: Roasted strawberry; rye whiskey eggnog sugar cookie

Source: Courtesy of Toscanini's Ice Cream

Massachusetts: Toscanini’s Ice Cream
> Location: Cambridge
> Flavors to try: Burnt caramel; goat cheese honey walnut

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Source: Courtesy of Elizabeth Perk Coffee & Ice Cream

Michigan: Elizabeth Perk Coffee & Ice Cream
> Location: Trenton
> Flavors to try: Grandma’s peach pie; Almond Joy

Source: Photo by Jonathan E. via Yelp

Minnesota: Milkjam Creamery
> Location: Minneapolis
> Flavors to try: Pineapple lychee; Thai tea

Source: Courtesy of The Oxford Creamery

Mississippi: The Oxford Creamery
> Location: Oxford
> Flavors to try: Milk and Cookies; Peanut Butter Crack

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Source: Photo by Jonathan E. via Yelp

Missouri: Betty Rae’s Ice Cream
> Location: Kansas City
> Flavors to try: Mint and chocolate flakes; salted pretzel

Source: Photo by Lillian W. via Yelp

Montana: Big Dipper Ice Cream
> Location: Missoula and two other Montana locations
> Flavors to try: White mint Oreo; El Salvador coffee

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Source: Photo by Terry S. via Yelp

Nebraska: Coneflower Creamery
> Location: Omana
> Flavors to try: Tart cherry crumble; Blackstone Butterbrickle

Source: Photo by Ken C. via Yelp

Nevada: Steve’s Homemade Ice Cream
> Location: Fernley
> Flavors to try: Black raspberry; brownie batter

Source: Courtesy of Memories Ice Cream

New Hampshire: Memories Ice Cream
> Location: Kingston
> Flavors to try: Frozen fruit pudding; caramel macchiato

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Source: Photo by Florence C. via Yelp

New Jersey: Torico Ice Cream
> Location: Jersey City
> Flavors to try: Pumpkin pie; cherry pistachio

Source: Photo by Kim N. via Yelp

New Mexico: La Lecheria
> Location: Santa Fe
> Flavors to try: Chocolate sea salt; Ikonic coffee

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Source: Photo by Jess G. via Yelp

New York: Big Gay Ice Cream
> Location: New York City (four locations, plus trucks)
> Flavors to try: Rocky Roadhouse; blueberry cobbler

Source: Photo by Nikia W. via Yelp

North Carolina: Vida Dulce
> Location: Cary
> Flavors to try: Key lime pie; pine nut

Source: Photo by Raegan L. via Yelp

North Dakota: Silver Lining Creamery
> Location: Fargo
> Flavors to try: Chipotle chili blackberry; cantaloupe

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Source: Photo by Deanna C. via Yelp

Ohio: Coppa Gelato
> Location: Westerville
> Flavors to try: Fig; stracciatella

Source: Photo by Robert H. via Yelp

Oklahoma: Rose Rock Microcreamery
> Location: Tulsa
> Flavors to try: Caramel kettle corn; honey cashew

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Source: Photo by Mark W. via Yelp

Oregon: Fifty Licks
> Location: Portland (three locations)
> Flavors to try: Bananas Foster; mango sticky rice

Source: Photo by Brian W. via Yelp

Pennsylvania: Uncle Mike’s Homemade Ice Cream
> Location: Warminster
> Flavors to try: Mike’s Chocolate Elvis; Coconut Crazy

Source: Photo by Genevieve R. via Yelp

Rhode Island: Tricycle Ice Cream
> Location: Providence
> Flavors to try: Horchata ice cream sandwich; caramelized Fruity Pebbles ice cream taco

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Source: Photo by Yoojin C. via Yelp

South Carolina: Sweet Cream Company
> Location: Columbia
> Flavors to try: Lemon poppy seed; roasted pineapple chili pepper sorbet

Source: Photo by Ethan T. via Yelp

South Dakota: Leones’ Creamery
> Location: Spearfish
> Flavors to try: Sweet cream; tarragon olive oil

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Source: Photo by Morgan C. via Yelp

Tennessee: Mike’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar
> Location: Nashville
> Flavors to try: Honey-roasted pistachio; Tennessee fudge

Source: Photo by Ryo C. via Yelp

Texas: Lick Honest Ice Creams
> Location: Austin (three locations) and San Antonio (three locations)
> Flavors to try: Roasted beets and fresh mint; Texas sheet cake

Source: Photo by Mostafa A. via Yelp

Utah: Dolcetti Gelato
> Location: Salt Lake City
> Flavors to try: Cold brew; mint charcoal swirl

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Source: Courtesy of Mountain Creamery

Vermont: Mountain Creamery
> Location: Woodstock
> Flavors to try: Myers rum raisin; Vermont maple walnut

Source: Photo by Krystal K. via Yelp

Virginia: Charm School Social Club
> Location: Richmond
> Flavors to try: Iced latte; peanut butter and jam

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Source: Photo by Matt L. via Yelp

Washington: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
> Location: Seattle (nine area locations)
> Flavors to try: “Scout” mint (Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies); watermelon

Source: Photo by Greg A. via Yelp

West Virginia: Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream
> Location: Charleston
> Flavors to try: Coconut; mocha almond

Source: Photo by Natalie W. via Yelp

Wisconsin: Purple Door Ice Cream
> Location: Milwaukee (three area locations)
> Flavors to try: Carrot cake; brandy old fashioned

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Source: Photo by Chris S. via Yelp

Wyoming: Big Dipper Ice Cream
> Location: Laramie
> Flavors to try: M&M; orange cream

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