10 of the best ice cream parlors across America

  • This is the scoop

    July is National Ice Cream Month and there's no better time than the heat of summer to enjoy these cold, sweet treats. We believe there's always room for dessert – especially ice cream – so here are the best ice cream parlors and scoop shops across the country. Some even ship. Don't say we didn't warn you.

    Photo courtesy of Haley Hill

  • Republic of Booza | New York

    Booza – Arabic ice cream – was the world's first frozen dairy dessert, developed more than 500 years ago. The stretchy ice cream gets its elastic texture from mastic and orchid root flour, and instead of being churned, it's pounded and stretched by hand. At Republic of Booza in New York, popular flavors include pistachio, qamar al-din (apricot nectar) and qashta, a candied cream that's similar to fior di latte.

    Photo courtesy of Noah Fecks

  • Stella Jean's | San Diego

    San Diego has an excellent ice cream scene and Stella Jean's is a stellar option. For those avoiding dairy, plant-based flavors like matcha pistachio, jasmine honeydew sorbet and mango sticky rice are winners. The latter is inspired by co-founder Gan Suebsarakham's Thai heritage.

    Photo courtesy of Haley Hill

  • Frankie & Jo's | Seattle

    Seattle's Capitol Hill is a bona fide capital of ice cream, and the plant-based options at Frankie & Jo's are so good you won't even miss the dairy. Rich house-made sprouted cashew milk and coconut milk create a creamy foundation for flavors like gingered golden milk, chocolate mint brownie and the subtly woodsy California Cabin. Each month, there are three new seasonal flavors in addition to the classics, and if you don't live in Seattle, you can always join the pint club.

    Photo courtesy of AJ Ragasa

  • An's Dry Cleaning | San Diego

    Eat gelato off ironing board-shaped tables at this quirky scoop shop in University Heights in San Diego that serves "fabrics" instead of flavors. You're welcome to try everything before choosing between fabrics like cotton (rice, milk and cinnamon), canvas (olive oil and rosemary) and triple chocolate brocade. An's Dry Cleaning has new flavors weekly and locals know to order the fluff 'n fold – a 12 oz. mason jar that can be refilled with gelato for eternity.

    Photo courtesy of An's Dry Cleaning

  • Two Roosters Ice Cream | Raleigh, N.C.

    After making hand-churned ice cream as a kid at his grandmother's house, Jared Plummer founded Two Roosters Ice Cream to share that same sweet love with all of Raleigh. Flavors like coffee bourbon and sea salt chip cookie dough are perennial favorites, and all ice cream is made using local milk and cream. Two Roosters regularly partners with local food artisans and chefs for monthly specials too, like guava cheesecake by Angela Salamanca of Centro and malted chocolate and ginger sorghum cookie by Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea.

    Photo courtesy of Emily Lyons-Wood at Mainland Creative

  • Mason's Creamery | Cleveland

    This charming Cleveland scoop shop has a great patio and offers soft serve daily, switching between flavors like Dunkaroos and strawberry shortcake. Pineapple cardamom and vegan taro are a couple of other unique flavors at Mason's Creamery. Have your ice cream served in an egg waffle cone, as a banana bread split or as a float with grapefruit lychee or strawberry rose sparkling tea. The soda fountain for flat and sparkling tea was inspired by owners Helen Qin and Jesse Mason's previous trip to China. Top it all off with housemade whipped cream in fun flavors like nutella, peanut butter, taro and mocha. 

    Photo courtesy of Jesse Mason

  • Frite & Scoop | Astoria, Ore.

    French custard-style ice cream with salty, crispy Belgian-style frites is an unexpected but delightful combo in Astoria, Oregon. Ice cream flavors at Frite & Scoop range from espresso Oreo and mascarpone fig balsamico to Moroccan brown butter swirled with raspberry curd. Flavors change regularly but they always have Hokey Pokey, a sweet cream custard with house-made honeycomb toffee.

    Photo courtesy of Don Frank Photography

  • Lick | Indianapolis

    In Indianapolis, you'll find Lick at farmers markets around town, as well as inside the Circle City Industrial Complex building from Wednesday through Saturday. This small batch ice cream is worth seeking out. Self-taught ice cream makers and sisters Meredith Kong and Kelly Ryan use organic dairy and local ingredients for unique flavors like gingersnap lemon curd, rosewater pistachio brittle, Gorgonzola candied pecan and salted caramel with sage.

    Photo courtesy of Lick

  • Fat Cat Creamery | Houston

    Fat Cat Creamery in Houston makes small-batch ice cream from scratch with milk, cream, eggs and seasonal produce from Texas farms. Everything from hot fudge and warm praline sauce to the famous brown butter brown sugar waffle cones is made in-house. Signature year-round flavors include milk chocolate stout and cat's meow Mexican vanilla.

    Photo courtesy of Chuck Cook Photography

  • Humphry Slocombe | California

    Humphry Slocombe was a pioneer in the artisan ice cream movement back in 2008 when they opened their first shop in San Francisco's Mission District. They're most famous for their Secret Breakfast ice cream, a bourbon ice cream with housemade cornflake cookies, but all of their flavors are thoughtfully layered with locally sourced fruits, veggies, spices and booze. And now they're available for nationwide delivery via Goldbelly.

    Photo courtesy of Humphry Slocombe