12 Must-Try New Ice Cream Shops Across the U.S.

By Zagat Staff  |  July 30, 2014

Summer isn't over yet. A number of scoop shops have opened up in cities across the country recently, dishing up cups and cones of delectable frozen treats. Take a look through our guide and next time those cravings hit, you'll know exactly where to go to beat the heat.

  • Dolcezza at 14th and P in Washington, DC

    Owners Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman may have had to gut this former pharmacy, but the couple strove to keep the old-timey feel by installing marble countertops, dark wainscoting, schoolhouse pendant lights and a counter-seating area with vintage stools. This location, which opened at the beginning of this month, features a take-out window — where some coffee and gelato orders can be placed from the street — not found at any other Dolcezza.

    Must-Order: Lemon-opal-basil sorbetto; strawberry-tarragon sorbetto; pistachio Siciliano; dulce de leche latte.

    Go Crazy!: Try a sundae, only available at this branch, like the lemon-ricotta-cardamom gelato topped with strawberry broth, shaved white chocolate and fresh mint, or the coffee and cookies, a layering of espresso gelato, Biscoff crumbles and fresh whipped cream.

    1418 14th St. NW; 202-817-3900

  • Parfait in Seattle

    This elegant, light-filled artisanal ice cream shop began as a food truck. Now that they have a Ballard brick-and-mortar, the mission remains the same: to showcase organic, local ingredients, like honey from Ballard Bee Company's neighborhood hives.

    Must-Order: The mint stracciatella is unlike any mint chocolate chip ice cream you've ever tried. It's made with fresh produce from Oxbow Farms and organic dark chocolate from TCHO in San Francisco. It's intense but not overpowering. 

    Go Crazy!: Don't miss the exceptional ice cream sandwiches built on chewy brownies.

    2034 NW 56th St.; 206-258-3066

  • Dolce Neve in Austin

    Brother-sister team Marco and Francesca Silvestrini and Francesca's boyfriend, Leo Ferrarese — all Italy natives — moved to Texas to open this cute gelateria on South First Street. Featuring milk from County Line Dairy along with local ingredients, the gelato gets its creamy texture from a traditional aerating technique called “mantecazione verticale."

    Must-Order: Dark chocolate with candied orange peel.

    Go Crazy!: Goat cheese and pecan.

    1713 S. First St.; 512-804-5568

  • Hay Rosie Craft Ice Cream Co. in New York City

    This new Cobble Hill ice cream shop, owned by former microbrewer Stef Ferrari, offers up an array of farmhouse-inspired seasonally rotating flavors as well as a tasting room where you can sample all of Stef's experimental creations. Gonzo flavor choices like Sriracha Popcorn and Feta Tomato (feta and goat cheese ice cream with tomato caramel swirl) accompanies varieties like Bananas Ferrari (brown butter, bananas carmelized in brown sugar, malted milk crunchies) and Lemon Bar (lemon curd-based). 

    Must-Order: We like the Chocolate Cashew Pretzel Pudding and the Batman (burnt chocolate with smoked almonds and butterscotch).

    Go Crazy!: Try their "Barn Burger" ice cream sandwich (choose from pretzel rolls, cinnamon buns, buttery brioche, sugar-crusted donuts, fudgy brownies and more as the "wrapper" ) which can be filled with an ice cream and toppings of your choice.

    204 Sackett St., Brooklyn; 347-987-4983

  • Melt Ice Creams in Dallas-Forth Worth

    The hip ice creamery delights Fort Worth fans with imaginative flavor combos like raspberries and balsamic vinegar and lavender and honey. Vegan varieties include the Coco Joe, made with coconut milk and Avoca coffee.

    Must-Order: Salted caramel ice cream.

    Go Crazy!: Lemon macarons from Cakewalk filled with lemon-blueberry ice cream (limited-time only).

    954 W. Rosedale St.; 817-886-8365

  • Weckerly’s in Philadelphia

    Rich custard from local eggs forms the base for all 10 or so flavors of Jennifer Satinsky’s French-style ice cream, which she vends with husband Andrew out of West Philly’s Green Line Cafe as well as at area farmer’s markets. Tip: door-to-door pint delivery by bicycle is also available.

    Must-Order: Summer-only Blueberry the Pirate, with Jersey blues, rum and lime.

    Go Crazy!: Swing by the United by Blue coffee-shop-slash-boutique in Old City to try donut ice cream sandwiches — a cool block of Weckerly’s between two sugary rectangular fritters.

    4239 Baltimore Ave.; 215-882-9958

  • McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams in Los Angeles

    Now open in the Grand Central Market, the third-generation family-owned Santa Barbara-based company makes super-creamy, indulgent ice creams with local, sustainable and organic ingredients. The Hybrid French Pot churning process is one reason why no preservatives, fillers, additives or stabilizers are added.

    Must-Order: Get Churro Con Leche, made with real churros, Eureka Lemon and Marionberries or our beloved Salted Caramel Chip. New flavors will make appearances as seasons dictate, like the Summer Fruit Cobbler with its bits of peaches, raspberry jam and sweet golden crumble mixed right in.

    Go Crazy!: Shakes like the Breakfast of Champions, made with Sweet Cream ice cream, cornflake-steeped milk, cornflake crackle and whipped cream. Or The ‘Split, a banana split made with Santa Barbara Strawberry, Chocolate Almond Brittle and Sweet Cream ice creams, sliced bananas, chocolate ganache, Paso almond brittle — truly one of the best almond brittles anywhere — sliced roasted almonds and whipped cream.

    317 S. Broadway

  • Vintage Frozen Custard in Atlanta

    The Vintage Frozen Custard food truck opened its first storefront this spring. Located on Howell Mill Road in the space formerly occupied by Ben's Brown Bag and a few prior fried chicken joints, Vintage features rotating flavors and a bevy of toppings, sundaes and more. 

    Must-Order: Go with a classic single scoop of vanilla so that you can taste the rich difference between frozen custard and standard ice cream.

    Go Crazy!: Vintage features additional toppings like hot fudge, marshmallow cream, sliced bananas, homemade shortbread cookies and more. Knock yourself out.

    1021 Howell Mill Rd.; 678-609-8468

  • Credit: Linnea Covington

    Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco

    Some of the most visionary ice cream spots in the U.S., Humphry Slocombe spawned imitators and garnered national food press just weeks after opening in the Mission in 2008 — due in no small part to its famous Secret Breakfast bourbon and cornflakes ice cream. Flavors are ever-changing and sometimes totally off-the-wall. Thankfully, their ice cream is now available at a Ferry Building brick-and-mortar, as well as by the pint in local shops like Haight Street Market.

    Must-Order: Secret Breakfast or Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee are the classics that stay on offer year-round. Most other flavors change.

    Go Crazy!: We jump for joy whenever we see our favorite flavor: Peanut Butter Curry.

    2790A Harrison St. and 1 Ferry Building

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Fior di Latte in Denver

    It’s sleek, it’s chic, it’s run by a Venetian native and her husband. This new gelateria on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall has street cred to spare and traditional pastries like cornetti to boot.

    Must-Order: The eponymous flavor, whose name translates as “milk flower,” is prized in Italy for its delicacy; crema is its richer cousin. Consider the difference between vanilla and French vanilla and you’ll get the picture. Better yet, try them side by side for yourself.

    Go Crazy!: True to Italian style, even the more-experimental flavors here smack of sophistication. Take saffron or cantaloupe, for example. 

    1433 Pearl St., Boulder; 720-269-4117

  • Calexico Creamery in San Diego

    When San Francisco transplants Monique Fresquez and Ivan Feerman missed their hometown’s artisanal ice cream culture, they set out to create something similar in San Diego, emphasizing fair-trade ingredients and Straus Family Creamery milk. Flavors lean toward Mexico with options like mole, flan and cajeta, using ingredients sourced from Oaxaca. They show up at various open-air markets around town. Learn about their latest location here

    Must-Order: Strawberries and cream or café con leche.

    Go Crazy: We haven’t tried it but carrot-chile sorbet is one of the crazier flavors on offer.

  • Whipped and Licked in Houston

    Wicked flavors, handmade in small batches by owner Marisa Turpin, rotate by season (and creative whims). Expect unique options and boozy ones too (Black Strap rum, anyone?). While there’s no storefront, you can get the frozen treats at Antidote Coffee, Black Hole, Boomtown, Goro & Gun, Fat Cat Creamery and The Honeymoon

    Must-Order: The Dips, hand-dipped chocolate cones with ice cream.

    Go Crazy!: Pickled blueberry ice cream (at Goro & Gun) made with pickled blueberry, ginger, anise and clove.