July 8th, 2014
11:30 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

After looking at 5 million pictures of towering, melting, drool-inducing ice cream cones on my Instagram feed I realized this: We’re in the golden age of ice cream.

There’s lots of people and institutions to thank for this. On the old-school front: Baskin-Robbins has introduced attention-getting flavors like State Fair Fried Dough (chunks of funnel cake and fried dough in caramel ice cream, hello!). Also, some amazing, already-beloved ice cream stores are expanding: Jeni’s has set up shop in Charleston, South Carolina, and Salt & Straw has opened in L.A. My heroes Big Gay Ice Cream are opening in L.A. and Philadelphia.
And then there are all the fab new new ice cream shops opening around the country. Here, our favorites.

Morgenstern’s - New York City 

At this brightly lit spot in downtown New York, the lines are even longer than they are for the nearby clubs. Morgenstern’s specializes in flavors like Salted Pretzel Caramel and Brazilian Bourbon. The sundaes are especially insane: King Kong Banana Split (bananas, ice cream, sesame caramel and pineapple) and Good Morning Vietnam (Vietnamese Coffee ice cream, condensed milk caramel, coffee cake and cream). 

High Point Creamery - Denver, Colorado (@hipointcreamery)

The husband-and-wife team of Erika Thomas and Chad Stutz launched their shop because they love ice cream (yay!!). In addition to a menu of 18 rotating flavors (like Basil with Blackberry Swirl and Brown Butter Pecan), their signature snack is the Bombe—an insane-sounding cake made of meringue sandwiched between two kinds of ice cream. If you want more options, they also offer five-flavor ice cream flights. 

Gelateria Uli - Los Angeles (@gelateriauli)
In the gorgeous 1920s Spring Arcade Building in downtown L.A., this new gelateria serves 16 rotating flavors daily with options that tend toward the inspired like the shortbread cookie–flavored Speculoos and Coconut Lemongrass. You can check out a more complete list on their website, which is also the place to request a flavor you’d love to see them make.

Nicecream Factory - Arlington, Virginia (@nicecreamdc)
Co-owners Sandra Tran and Gil Welsford started their business last year as a pop-up at local farmers’ markets and restaurants; in May they opened their brick-and-mortar shop. At Nicecream, all the ice cream is freshly made. Literally. It’s made right in front of you using local ingredients and liquid nitrogen, which, Tran says, makes the ice cream taste fresher and creamier since it’s not sitting in a freezer for hours. It also creates a super-cool cloud of vapor. Flavors range from strawberry to pistachio and bacon-studded chocolate.


OddFellows Ice Cream Co. - Brooklyn, New York (@oddfellowsnyc)
In the hipster epicenter of Williamsburg, OddFellows makes 100 flavors of ice cream, offering 12 to 14 options at a time like S’mores, Buttermilk Biscuit and Thai Iced Cream. They’ve just opened a brand-new location in Manhattan’s East Village; odds are they’ll start creating even more genius flavors. OddFellows bonus: They donate 5 cents to the Food Bank for New York City for every serving of ice cream sold. 

Cone - Chicago, Illinois (@conechicago)
This Irish-themed parlor uses Plush Horse ice cream for specialties like Cone o’Flake (soft serve with the iconic Chocolate Flake bar), flavors like Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson, and sundaes like the Irish Wake Up Call (Irish Breakfast and Maple Bacon ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and cornflakes).

The Parlour - Durham, NC (@parlourdurham)
What started out as an ice cream bus (dream come true!) in 2011 from the husband-and-wife team of Yoni and Vanessa Mazuz is now a shop that features hand-churned ice cream made as much as possible from local ingredients. Their hyper-seasonal flavors include Summer Corn, Blueberry Cheesecake and Vegan Chocolate. Toppings, like Pralined Pecans and Espresso Whipped Cream, are equally artisanal.

More from Food & Wine:
Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.
Delicious Ice Cream Recipes
Fantastic Ice Cream Sundaes
Unique Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cooling Frozen Dessert Recipes

Blend your way to milkshake perfection
Booze-infused ice cream? Cool!
Cool treats for hot days
Recipe: Old-Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream
Yuengling back in the ice cream biz after 28 years
Vintage Cookbook Vault: frozen dessert challenge

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Ice Cream

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Richard

    Check out Honeymoon Brands in San Fran!

    July 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
  2. Name*val Sirani

    You missed one.
    Ice cream Sandwich in
    Sandwich , Mass. They make all their
    Own ice cream and have incredible original flavors.

    July 10, 2014 at 4:59 am |
  3. HungryMan

    Best new business model in the US hands-down is Cream in the SF Bay Area....

    I will be stunned if this isn't the latest massive fad. Self-serve froyo was not
    innovative, excessively frosted cupcakes and donuts are fairly pointless, and
    gourmet popsicles are not a cravable food.

    Cream is the real deal.

    July 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
  4. MJS

    Tucson's Screamery infuses its cream with flavors during on-site pasturization. Deeper flavors ... Sonoran chocolate flecked with chile flakes

    July 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
  5. deloris atkins

    There is no ice cream better than blue bell ice cream.you must try it and you will be hooked.
    It is addicting and there are so many varieties of flavors.it very rich and creamy.

    July 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • Brad

      100% accurate – I'm enjoying the Peach Cobbler right now! Best in the world! Made in Brehnam, Texas.

      July 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
    • FloridaFinn

      Blue Bell is OK, just wait 'til Publix comes to your area with their store brand ice cream. Chocolate Trinity...

      July 9, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
    • Uh, No.

      Blue Bell is mostly water, flavorless goo and little cream. Texans' taste buds work for BBQ but leave the ice cream to the rest of the country.

      July 10, 2014 at 6:43 am |
  6. Katie

    Coffe ice cream with cracked black pepper. You have to try to believe it.

    July 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Keith

    Just found these guys at a farmers market in northern PA: icescreamvegan.com . I don't think they have a brick and mortar store but their icecream was amazing! And dairy free, too! I really could not tell the difference, even though it was made from coconut milk. They had a mango/pineapple with citra hops, which was interesting, but my favorite was chocolate. Really cool peeps and felt good to be supporting local small business.

    July 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
  8. Pami

    There are so many ice cream stores its hard to choose. My latest favorite is home made Gelato shops.. the flavors are so rich and the fruit is so natural..My fav flavor is Still Rum Raisin by Haggendaas and recently a Gelato shop made up a Chocolate rum ice cream... Much to be said for good liquer flavorings.. Most dont have alchohol in them anymore.. so the kids can indulge! Also any ice cream with summer peaches are delish!

    July 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  9. thunderac


    July 9, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Sapphire

      What was that? Couldn't hear you.

      July 9, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • david

        What does that even mean?

        July 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • J.Tom

          It means you don't recognize sarcasm when you read it.

          July 10, 2014 at 6:45 am |
  10. VBgal

    What about Strawberry Fields Gelato in Norfolk, VA?!! Soooo good!

    July 9, 2014 at 11:19 am |
  11. Nauman

    Check this spot out. The best

    July 9, 2014 at 10:34 am |
  12. Blaine

    You missed Grom's in Malibu and Rori's in Montecito. Both 100% organic. Unparalleled flavour and quality.

    July 9, 2014 at 9:53 am |
  13. Didi

    "There are lots of people and institutions to thank for this." NOT "There’s lots of people and institutions to thank for this." How the hell is she an editor?

    July 9, 2014 at 9:52 am |
  14. Jenna

    Hey Mikey's in Galveston is one of the best corner ice cream shops I've been in. You can suggest flavors for them to make and the next time you visit, they'll have your flavor. And I haven't had a bad scoop yet.

    July 9, 2014 at 9:51 am |
    • Hey Mikey's Ice Cream

      A big thanks to Jen!!!! I'm working on a beer ice cream for you!!!

      July 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • Does It ... ?

      Does Mikey's ice cream taste like Life cereal?

      July 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  15. Shelly

    I wish someone would make a great black licorice ice cream. I haven't seen that stuff since I was a kid. You know the kind that makes your poop turn dark green....the good stuff!

    July 9, 2014 at 9:18 am |
  16. Nathaniel Green

    Dream Cream Ice Cream in Pittsburgh PA Should most definitely be added to this list. It was the winner of the Popup Downtown Grant Project which gives small businesses the opportunity compete for a grant that allows them to operate rent free in an empty storefront for one year. If the business is successful it is given the opportunity to take over the rent and grow.

    Dream Cream is awesome though. Tons of inventive flavors at a reasonable cost and every flavor is associated with a great cause so you are giving back to charity while enjoying you favorite flavor of Ice cream. The charities range from Aids Awareness programs to helping a single mother with a special needs kid with her medication costs. All charities are reviewed and decided on by a board of directors before officially getting a flavor. AMAZING SHOP that is more than worthy of the national spotlight!!!

    July 9, 2014 at 9:03 am |
  17. Jafo

    I reckon Americans aren't fat enough.

    July 9, 2014 at 9:01 am |
    • JellyBean

      Fitting name for a troll. By the way, Blue Thunder was an awesome movie.

      July 9, 2014 at 9:14 am |
    • minoa

      Just because I like ice cream does not mean I have to pig out. Portion size. It's all about portion size.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
  18. Adrienne

    The Salted Caramel Blondie at Florean Fortescue's in Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios) is delicious.

    July 9, 2014 at 8:59 am |
    • JellyBean

      You made me smile. Even Lord Voldemort could not resist.

      July 9, 2014 at 9:09 am |
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