Ice cream is the ultimate summer staple. It’s so popular, there’s a museum dedicated to it. Whether you prefer chocolate or vanilla, single or triple scoops, sorbet or gelato, it’s hard to deny that ice cream is a cool dessert for when the sun won’t stop. Luckily, there are delicious and unique ice cream shops all over the country, so you won’t have to deny yourself the classic treat when traveling anywhere from the East to West coasts.
Scream’n Nuts, Alpharetta, Georgia
Looking for something different? Scream’n Nuts uses activated charcoal in their dessert, which tastes like sweet cream and toasted coconut. Don’t worry about it causing a stomach ache later—despite its jet-black color, it’s completely safe to devour. Consider it the goth cousin of pure, old-fashioned coconut.
Melt Ice Creams, Fort Worth, Texas
When Kari Crowe-Seher realized that Fort Worth was missing ice cream, she recruited her husband and together, they opened Melt Ice Creams. The best part? They offer catering for parties of all sizes, so you can host an ice cream social the next time you put on a summer event. Your attendees will be in heaven.
Penny’s Ice Creamery, Santa Cruz, California
For those craving weird, funky flavors, Penny’s Ice Creamery has you covered. On top of vanilla flavors (pun intended), you’ll find ice cream you wouldn’t have thought up—think burnt cinnamon, Meyer lemon poppy seed and African nectar. It always carries vegan flavors.
-321, New York
If you’re looking for something pretty, -321 makes the sweetest treat… out of liquid nitrogen ice cream. Stored at minus-321 degrees (hence the name), it’s a treat you probably shouldn’t make at home—its temperature and physical state drastically change at room temperature—but it looks and tastes delicious. Do it for the ’Gram.
Pinolo Gelato, Portland, Oregon
If you’re looking for authentic gelato, find Sandro Paolini and invite him to ride his bike into your event. Yes, you read that right: it’s a portable gelato cart. With Italian flavors such as Fior di Latte and Cioccolato, this gelato is made using traditional Italian-gelato methods. He also offers seasonable flavors and sorbets.
The Chief, Goshen, Indiana
For those staying in Indiana for an extended period, you’ll have plenty of different options—The Chief offers two new flavors every week. With reviews praising its velvety texture, you won’t want to miss out on this smooth dessert. The shop also offers sugar-free options in case you’re reducing your sugar intake.
Snowopolis, Anaheim, California
Decadence is of the highest priority in Anaheim—that’s why Snowopolis is now serving 24-carat-gold ice cream. How does it work? First, the cone is dusted with gold. After filling the cone with vanilla ice cream, it’s decorated with gold that adheres to the ice cream. Talk about luxury!