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

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. IceCreamMan

    Brusters! Brusters! Brusters!

    July 9, 2014 at 8:07 am |
  2. Sapphire

    Cold Stone is fun for their mix-ins. Cake Batter flavor is the bomb.

    July 9, 2014 at 7:34 am |
  3. tljack741

    Try Amy's Ice Cream and Lick here in Austin TX

    July 9, 2014 at 1:14 am |
  4. JGN

    Clear from reading the comments one thing is true; there are so many good ice cream joints in America this journalist could not possibly hope to write a definitive article on it. She probably could have just said "A few of the best in the US'…

    July 9, 2014 at 12:53 am |
  5. JGN

    And the Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz! Cardamom ice cream is fabulous.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:45 am |
  6. Mike

    Jacknyd – yes...RI coffee ice cream is the best. I have lived all over the country, and I still say RI coffee Ice cream is the best.

    July 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
  7. Rob

    A few years back, National Geographic did a story on the best ice cream in the world. The one that was rated number 1was Handel's- They're headquartered in Canfield, OH (near Youngstown) but they have a couple of stores in the Pittsburgh PA area where I live. I'm glad the nearest one is about 12 miles away because if it was any closer, I'd weigh about 450 pounds! Absolutely the best ice cream I've ever had, and I went to Penn State- Anyone that really knows ice cream knows what that means!

    July 8, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
  8. CoolGui

    froyo > ice cream

    July 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
  9. FloridaFinn

    Yes I know it's not strictly ice cream. But you have to try gelato at Paciugo's (downtown St. Pete, FL) !!!

    July 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm |

    dairy queen!

    July 8, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
    • FACTS Expert

      Fact fail

      July 9, 2014 at 6:31 am |
    • Sal

      Carvel – Ice cream
      Dairy Queen – ice milk

      both great!

      July 9, 2014 at 7:01 am |
  11. Alynn

    I can't believe you left out JENI's Ice Cream out of Columbus, OH. FAIL

    July 8, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
    • Dave Vacilek

      I agree 100%!

      July 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
  12. Lyndi Alexander

    Didn't see Ultimate Ice Cream in Asheville, NC, either. They have some wicked good flavors, and they're invested in adding local fruits and ingredients, so they're so very fresh.

    July 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
  13. Dave Smith

    "There's lots"? This is a professional editor? Anyone else notice CNN using "a lot of" in most of its stories now? Seems like a memo went out last month. Anyone older than 26 still writing for them?

    July 8, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
    • Alynn

      LOL. I wrote for my high school newspaper and had better articles than most professional news and opinions outlets.

      July 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
  14. Peter Koedyk

    Uncle Bob's Ice cream based out of Eureka, IL, superb! world wide web unclebobsicecream and com.

    July 8, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
  15. Karloff

    Off topic: I was looking forward to reading this article, but it's so poorly written. Here's a suggestion for Ms. Krader: take some writing courses.

    July 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
  16. jeanine

    The Best........Graeters, in Cincinnati it's insane esp the black cherry

    July 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
    • Jasmine

      Their mocha chocolate chip? To die for!

      July 9, 2014 at 1:05 am |
  17. Dan H

    Need to check out Graters stores before you do your ratings next time. You have to be within 100 miles of Cincinnati to find one, and I recommend doing so soon as they only make the peach ice cream when the peaches are in season. They make the best ice cream I have ever tasted

    July 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
    • jeanine

      you are on it Mr.Dan H

      July 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
  18. Midwest

    My vote is for the Michigan State University Dairy Store on the campus of Michigan State. Locally made with local ingredients. So great that ESPN Game Day always has to visit. Locally made, fun flavors with a Big 10 twist ; Final Four Fantasy, Slapshot, My favortie – Bucky Badger Berry Cheesecake is better than Ben and Jerry's cheesecake- and cheaper too!

    July 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
  19. barb'sbarb

    love homemade ice cream -

    July 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
  20. Richard

    Seriously, Americans wouldn't know good ice-cream, or chocolate if it bit them. Their ice-cream is ice milk, their chocolate is like brown wax.

    July 8, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
    • Steven Brooks

      Well, Dick, you just don't know anything about Americans, our chocolate, or our ice cream. We have plenty of quality chocolate, millions appreciate it, and the same is true of ice cream.

      REAL ice cream, chump.

      July 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
    • JGN

      You're a bit behind the times I'm afraid. In the past fifteen years there has been a renaissance in artisan chocolates and iced creams in America. You must have taken a long nap.

      July 9, 2014 at 12:47 am |
  21. Mike

    Brickley's ice cream in Narragansett, RI is the best.

    July 8, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
    • jacknyd

      And Rhode island Coffee is the bets in the world. I know i use to live in RI and traveled the world.

      July 8, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
  22. Suzanne

    Best Honey Lavender Icecream you have ever eaten

    July 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
  23. Peg

    Scoop Microcreamery in Palo Alto!
    They use local organic ingredients and freeze it with liquid nitrogen. They even make their own vanilla extract. Try the Bourbon Vanilla with Salted Caramel.
    I'm drooling just thinking about it.

    July 8, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
  24. steve

    F cu k her right in the p uss y!

    July 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
    • JellyBean

      I wonder what role models you grew up with...

      July 9, 2014 at 8:31 am |
      • J.Tom

        Hor ney ones.

        July 10, 2014 at 6:48 am |
  25. steve

    Cool, dude.

    July 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
  26. caki chocolate

    Dude! Just go to MC Donalds.

    July 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
  27. kholleman

    The some of the best ice cream in the country is not a new spot, but one that's almost 100 years old – Crown Candy Kitchen in north St. Louis. The third generation of Karandzieff family runs it. They make their ice cream right there, their own hot fudge, amazing sundaes, banana splits, milkshakes and malts. And it's in an ice cream parlor that looks like it came out of an Andy Hardy movie.

    July 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
  28. Operation Plumbbob

    Why can't these ice cream places exist where I live? I want them! Dangit.

    July 8, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
  29. lawjick

    none of these compete with what we have in maui. it is a secret. even half the island doesn't know yet. ha ha aha

    July 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
  30. Carol 4444

    Ivanna Cone – Lincoln, NE

    July 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
  31. Bathilda

    Henry's Homemade Ice Cream in Plano, TX!! Their motto "Ice Cream Makes You Pretty!" Try the Cinnamon, you won't be disappointed.

    July 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
  32. NOLA

    Angelo Brocato in New Orleans (est. 1905) still has the best ice cream and gelato in the world – and it is half the price of Baskin Robbins.

    July 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
  33. Edituh

    Springer's in Stone Harbor, NJ, has been voted second-best in the nation more than once. In my book, it should be No. 1. If it weren't 3 1/2 hours away from where I live, I'd weigh 280 lbs. instead of 180.

    July 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • radar8

      When local eateries are voted "best in the country", it's just a stunt. Unless there was country-wide voting, it means nothing. In your case, best in the country means best in the area.

      July 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • JellyBean

        In your case...never mind, troll.

        July 9, 2014 at 8:36 am |
  34. JLH

    Nothing from the fastest growing food city in the world?

    Fat Cat Creamery in Houston Heights. Simple. Local. Amazing.


    "The cats at Fat Cat Creamery handcraft unique, small-batch ice cream with whole and local ingredients. All of our ice cream is made with whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, egg yolks, and only the finest flavorings. We support Texas dairy farmers with Mill-King whole milk. Our eggs come from our very own happy hens at The Barry Farm.

    "The cats believe in sustainability, evidenced by our packaging. Our ice cream pints and single-serve packages are made of leftover wheat straw and are fully compostable. We only use spoons made of environmentally friendly materials such as bio-plastics and cornstarch."

    July 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  35. JuneBug

    I am sad to see that Salt & Straw of Portland, OR (http://saltandstraw.com) is not on this list. With a variety of uniquely delicious flavors and top shelf quality, they are a treat for anyone in and around Portland. With 2 locations within the city, it is a must do on any visitors list.

    July 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • mystixa

      Very glad to see them not on the list. They are VASTLY overrated. They put a lot of money into advertising and being the IN spot, but their product isn't worthwhile.

      July 8, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
    • jpw

      No worries, Salt & Straw is mentioned as one of the beloved favorites in the first paragrah...this is just a list of the best of the new.

      July 8, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
  36. JohnT

    Island Creamery in Chincoteague, VA. End of discussion.

    July 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
  37. RC Roeder

    I have alway thought that Fentons in Piedmont (oakland) california was one of the best ice creams around. Very few Ice Cream parlors (what Fentons is) are featured in a move (UP by Disney)

    July 8, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
    • Pander Bear

      Very true. Great ice cream.

      July 8, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
  38. Linda Hodges

    Short Lane Ice Cream – Decadent! Gloucester VA
    Voted Best Local Ice Cream in Best of Virginia Living – 2 Years in a Row


    July 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
  39. Phillip

    How do you leave Azucar in Miami off this list! It's great! Their Abuela Maria is fantastic!

    July 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
  40. Foodman

    The Ice Cream Store in Rehoboth Beach, DE should definitely be up there (although it isn't exactly "new"). Some of the best ice cream I've ever tried and some crazy-good flavors. Bacon, Beer, Ghost Pepper, etc etc. Just google the Ice Cream Store in Rehoboth Beach to check out all the flavors. They have new ones every summer too.

    July 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
  41. Charlie

    How, HOW can you miss Purple Door Ice Cream in Milwaukee?? Local use of Dairy products and ingredients, and flavors such as Whiskey (Yes, id DOES contain real Whiskey), Bacon, Banana Peanut butter, Red Wine Cherry, and more? It is a MUST see!

    July 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • Laurie J

      Charlie, I'm glad you mentioned Purple Door Ice Cream. As good as all the others sound, it's unlikely I'll ever get to try them. But I live in Wisconsin and spent many years in Milwaukee so I'll have to check it out next time I'm there. Again, thanks for the heads up!

      July 8, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
  42. palintwit

    Tea party patriots everywhere are in awe of Sarah Palin's ability to communicate with dung beetles.

    July 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  43. DB

    Note that none of these businesses are in New England.

    New England consumes more ice cream than the rest of the country combined. We take our ice cream very seriously, and that means keeping it simple instead of focusing on elaborate ingredients with fancy sounding names to create the illusion of it being "gourmet." There's no shortage of creative flavors out here, but it's the QUALITY OF THE BASIC INGREDIENTS that makes it gourmet ice cream, not fancy-sounding words like "Brazilian bourbon" (what the heck does that even mean? Bourbon is an American spirit) or "Basil with Blackberry" (seriously? Basil?).

    And by the way, a "milkshake" has no ice cream in it (that's a "frappe") and don't EVER ask for "sprinkles" if you really want the brown chocolate ones which are "Jimmies."

    July 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
    • Cuz ...

      Right now, those jimmies are being held in by that stick in your butt. Lighten up Francis.

      July 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
      • made_me_laugh

        The name's Francis Soyer, but everybody calls me Psycho. Any of you guys call me Francis, and I'll kill you.

        July 8, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • Brian

      @DB, Please call it whatever you want, :jimmies or sprinkles. Where I come from, though, they might laugh at you for calling it jimmies; the same is true of the false distinction you make between a milkshake and a frappe, which is purely a regional distinction, like pop vs. soda. I've never called anything a frappe in my life.

      Get off your high horse, or you end up sounding like a less-polite word for donkey.

      July 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
      • OH2BNNC

        here in NC we call male blue crabs jimmies...just sayin'

        July 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
    • Lila

      Ssshhhh, NE does have the BEST ice cream. The mom and pop shacks in the summer had perfect fried clams and fresh homemade ice cream. Can't wait to go back there and enjoy some of my favorite summer food. Of course I live in LA and will visit some of the places listed in this article. They will be good with cool flavors, but yeah nothing will come close to NE.

      July 8, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
      • Donna T

        White's Farm has my memories in Ipswich, MA And the Clam Box also.
        Rainy days when we were young , my Dad (rest in peace) would get us all Banana Splits from White's Farm we knew we nearly died and went to haven. I love FRAPPES!!!!!

        July 8, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • mbradleyc

      Ben and Jerry's is from New England, aren't they? They certainly don't keep it simple. Overdone, I'd say.

      July 9, 2014 at 2:27 am |
  44. jeffb1982

    Jaxsons in Dania Beach Florida should be up there

    July 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • sadimarco


      July 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
    • maven

      Jaxsons the best!

      July 9, 2014 at 8:14 am |
  45. eggberth

    O, just give me a chocolate Carvel cone. The simpler the better.

    July 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
  46. John

    I still go to the local thriftys for their counter ice cream, taste great 1/2 the price!

    July 8, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
  47. Josh

    How come Friendlys isn't on the list?

    If the topic is best, it should not only be on the list, it should be at the top of the list. Otherwise, the list is fundamentally flawed.

    July 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • 'Cuz ...

      ... Friendly's suck. Not any better than DQ.

      July 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
  48. cannot take it!

    I was only able to get half way through this article – now off to the ice cream store!!!

    July 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • emma96

      Spot on! It was like P orno for ice cream fantasizers!

      July 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  49. aefg3wiupo

    "I thought this was going to be about Sub Zero ice cream stores. They take the cream and freeze it right in front of you using liquid nitrogen."

    Which, while cool and interesting.....makes for the absolutely worst ice cream. The ratio of air to cream, and how the ice crystals from in the ice cream are extremely important to the flavor. Making it fast with liquid nitrogen, completely mess up both.

    July 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
    • DB


      July 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • asdf

      Disagree. I live a couple blocks from the one in Arlington profiled above, and their ice cream (particularly the chocolate) is really, really good. It's certainly different than typical ice cream. But for some reason the flavors are more intense.

      July 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
  50. svann

    I thought this was going to be about Sub Zero ice cream stores. They take the cream and freeze it right in front of you using liquid nitrogen.

    July 8, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • DB

      That's not "ice cream," that's just frozen ice cream mix.

      July 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • svann

        True, but it is the coolest.

        July 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
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