The Best Ice Cream Parlors in Houston
It's tough to pick a favorite ice cream. But after a long, hard week of taste tests, we narrowed it down to the top seven best scoops in Houston.
The Rice Village parlor, from pastry chef Chris Leung and business partner Christopher Balat, serves small-batch ice cream — 10 seasonal and 10 year-round flavors — all sans artificial flavors, additives and extracts.
Must-Order: Nutella with marshmallow.
Go Crazy!: The banana split, of course. Caramelized bananas with three scoops of ice cream (vanilla bean, chocolate and Nutella with marshmallow), plus brown-sugar crumble, milk chocolate Magic Shell, mixed berry jam, whipped cream, hot fudge and candied pecans.
Fat Cat Creamery
Fat Cat Creamery serves handcrafted, small-batch ice cream made with local ingredients (Way Back When Dairy, Barry Farm and more). Discover the ice cream (from husband-wife duo Jarvis and Sarah Johnston) at Revival Market, Relish Fine Foods, Antidote and The Black Hole coffee shops, Catalina coffee shop, Bernie's Burger Bus, Max's Wine Dive (Washington Avenue), Beans Cafe or Sycamore Grounds.
Must-Order: Strawberry buttermilk.
Go Crazy!: Float Fridays — top-notch combos like strawberry-lemon soda and vanilla ice cream.
The Chocolate Bar
We go nuts for this candy shop, chocolate bar, ice cream parlor and dessert restaurant all rolled in one (with two locations). The menu of frosty scoops features 24 all-natural flavors with another 11 that rotate.
Must-Order: Creamy Dreamy Truffle.
Go Crazy!: Get a slice of any four-layer cake with the ice cream of choice.
Amy's Ice Cream
Established in 1984, Amy's offers handcrafted ice cream, dairy-free fruit ices and frozen yogurt in over 350 flavors (with no artificial colors of flavors).
Must-Order: Mexican vanilla ice cream.
Go Crazy!: Indulge in a Brown Cow milkshake (Mexican vanilla ice cream, a touch of homemade hot fudge and fresh whipped cream).
Hank's Ice Cream Parlor
Score big at the small, old-school ice cream parlor near NRG Park, serving the good stuff since 1985. There are over 100 flavors in rotation, and 16 are yours for the taking on a daily basis. Stop by the ATM on your way — it's cash only.
Must-Order: Butter pecan or banana pudding (Beyonce's favorite).
Go Crazy!: Momo-malicious, a blend of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and Rice Krispies.
The counter service cafe rocks its brand-name ice cream, showcasing up to eight wild flavors per day (available by the scoop and pint).
Must-Order: In A World Gone Mad with Maker's Mark and Golden Grahams.
Go Crazy!: Try the afagato, a scoop of ice cream in a cup with a shot of espresso.
Whipped and Licked
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.