25 Best Ice Cream Brands Ranked

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When it comes to ice cream, there really are not a lot of ways to go wrong. Is it sweet? Is it churned? Is it creamy? We don't need much. However, when we are evaluating a truly exceptional ice cream brand, we need to increase our standards.

The ice cream brands that stand out to us offer high-quality ingredients. This means that they take extra care in sourcing pure ingredients and avoiding too many additives. The ice cream also needs to be extra creamy — no ice crystals here! We also look for a variety of ice cream flavors to choose from to suit our every need. We look for brands that are innovative and unique, not simply mastering a good vanilla ice cream flavor. Although, that is certainly a plus. The ice cream brands that can be labeled as the best of the best need to offer something more than just a frozen dessert line. Turns out, this is not too much to ask for and many brands come close to perfection.

The following list is a ranking of our favorite ice cream brands. While all of these ice creams are delicious, the competition is steep, and some brands just have that bit of extra quality that pushes them over the top. If you are looking for the best of the best, read on to find out our recommendations.

25. Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins has been around for over 70 years. And with their many locations of ice cream shops and the ability to purchase pints in grocery stores, these ice cream products are highly accessible. Baskin Robbins is known for their wide array of ice cream flavors, ranging from classics like Pralines n' Cream to unique offerings such as Secret Admirer, Cherries Jubilee, and Skillet Cookie Crumble. They even make delightful ice cream cakes that are perfect for children's birthday parties.

According to reviews seen on Influenster, some flavors are better than others, but most often you can find a flavor for everyone. However, we don't think this is the best ice cream available. While Baskin Robbins serves a lot of flavors, we think that in a lot of ways, they fall short. We want the creamiest, dreamiest ice cream products, and Baskin Robbins just isn't what we are looking for.

24. So Delicious

So Delicious is unique in that it is a dairy-free brand. They make non-dairy coffee creamers, cheese, and ice cream products. If you are on a dairy-free diet, this brand is for you. They make so many types of non-dairy ice cream with bases including almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, soy milk, oatmilk, and their new concoction "wondermilk." Their flavors range from buttery pecan, to oatmilk coffee chip, and dark chocolate truffle.

This brand, which was founded over 30 years ago, prides itself on its non-GMO product line and its BCorporation status, according to their website. Per Influenster reviews, these ice creams are fairly hit or miss. Some love these products and some don't care for them. It's important to remember that these are non-dairy ice creams, so we'd recommend trying these with that in mind. They will taste a little different because they lack dairy and you may find them lacking in creaminess.

23. Häagen-Dazs

Häagen-Dazs was founded by two immigrants in the 1960s and carries many flavors including unique varieties such as Black & White Cookie, Cold Brew Espresso Chip Heaven, and Green Tea. They also carry a line of vegan ice cream flavors and ice cream bars. These products are available in most grocery stores, meaning you have likely seen these offerings during your grocery store trips.

Amazon reviews reveal that a lot of people love this brand. One reviewer mentions that Häagen-Dazs is the "benchmark standard" and another mentions that it is "hands down the best." Quite honestly, in our opinion, this ice cream is good, but it is not great. With so many new ice cream brands popping up in the last few years, the competition in the ice cream industry is getting steep and we're not sure that Häagen-Dazs is the best the world has to offer.

22. Blue Bunny

Blue Bunny, which was founded over 80 years ago in Sioux City, Iowa, is known for their wide array of frozen treats. From strawberry shortcake bars to dipped cones to sundaes, Blue Bunny practically owns the freezer aisle in the grocery store and their ice cream flavors range from traditional to unique, with options like Bunny Tracks, Cherrific Cheesecake, and Monster Cookie Mash.

Even though this brand is highly accessible and found in most grocery stores, we aren't sure it's one of the best ice cream brands out there. Despite the claim of using high-quality ingredients, the reviews via Influenster show that some reviewers, albeit a small minority, find that this brand is subpar. We personally want to set your sights a little higher. Trust us, there are better ice cream brands out there.

21. Blue Bell

Blue Bell is one of the ice cream flavors that has been around the longest, having been founded in 1907. You likely haven't been to one of their two creamery locations, which are located in Brenham, Texas and Sylacauga, Alabama, but you've probably seen them in your local grocery store freezer aisle. They offer a range of ice cream flavors including Cookies N' Cream Cone, Bride's Cake, and Banana Pudding. Additionally, they carry a line of sherbet and other frozen snacks.

Reviews, according to Influenster, show that many people love the dense and very creamy nature of their products. A few reviewers note the real flavor, which can be contributed to higher quality ingredients. Some, however, note that this ice cream brand is nothing exceptional and a bit too sweet. 

20. Magnum

Magnum ice cream carries many frozen ice cream products sold in grocery stores as well as a non-dairy line of ice creams. They are most known for their signature hard chocolate shell that appears in ice cream pints as well as on many of their ice cream frozen bars. They also carry a variety of ice cream pints in flavors such as Double Cookie Crumble, Milk Chocolate Vanilla, and Double Red Velvet.

Many reviews via Amazon, note that this brand is very well-loved. However, like all review sites, there are some mixed reviews. Some mention that this ice cream brand is hands down the best and dangerously good, while another notes that this ice cream brand is overhyped. We happen to agree. Don't get us wrong, Magnum ice creams are good, really good, but not as good as other ice cream brands out there. 

19. Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's was founded by two men in 1978. While they have a few locations nationwide, their products can also be found in the freezer aisle of most grocery stores.

They are known for their exceptionally creative and unique ice cream flavors including Netflix and Chill'd, which is peanut butter frozen dessert with brownie and pretzel pieces, and Cannoli, which is mascarpone ice cream with fudge covered pastry shell pieces and mascarpone swirls. Always ahead of the pack in terms of innovation, Ben & Jerry's also carries a non-dairy line of ice cream products as well as a Core and a Topped line of ice cream pints.

Reviews of their popular flavor Half Baked, via Influenster, display the mega fanfare with this line of products. Many reviewers note that this is their favorite ice cream flavor, their "go-to," or that Ben & Jerry's products are "hands down the best." The rich and full flavor combined with the crazy unique product offerings make this one of the best ice cream brands out there.

18. Talenti

Talenti, which was founded in the 2003, is an ice cream brand that makes both gelatos and sorbettos. They have a large line of flavors including many options that are gluten-free, egg-free, or vegan. Some of their popular flavors include Vanilla Caramel Swirl, Raspberry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Crunch, and Caramel Cookie Crunch. When you think of gelato, you may think of Italy, but surprisingly, this brand's story began in Argentina.

According to the reviews on Influenster, this brand is well loved. With over 4.5 out of 5 stars based on over 2,600 reviews, people are liking these gelatos. Many reviewers love that their gelatos are lighter than ice cream, noting that they never disappoint. Despite the high price tag, many reviewers find these Talenti gelatos are worth it. 

17. Adirondack Creamery

Adirondack Creamery was launched in New York and sources local cream for their wide line of ice cream flavors. Some of these flavors include Kulfi Pistachio Cardamom, Syrian Date and Walnut, and Black Raspberry. They pride themselves on avoiding the use of additives and sell their products in some grocery stores — although they also have overnight nationwide delivery if you are not a local resident.

Reviews on Facebook show that this brand gets a lot of love. Many reviewers declare that this is the best ice cream out there. We admit, this ice cream is exceptional. It's super creamy and dense. You can definitely tell that they source high-quality cream in the production of their flavors. While we love this brand, and really have no suggestions to improve upon, Adirondack Creamery isn't in our top tier. Like we said, the competition is steep.

16. McConnell's

McConnell's ice cream shop was founded over 70 years ago and has many locations in Southern California, many of which are situated in Los Angeles. This third generation family business takes pride in making their ice creams from scratch. They offer some really unique flavors such as Honey and Cornbread Cookies, Sprinkle Cake, and Eureka Lemon and Marionberries. They even carry a line of dairy-free flavors including Salted Caramel Chocolate Swirl.

For their superfans or those that do not live locally, they offer a pint of the month club where subscribers can receive three pints per month delivered to their door nationwide. These are usually new and rotating flavors that subscribers can try before these flavors are released in stores. Reviews according to Yelp show that many people love this ice cream brand. It comes highly recommended as some of the best ice cream ever and many people find it to be worth the long wait in stores.

15. Ample Hills

Ample Hills Creamery started off as a cart in Brooklyn, New York and today sells their ice creams in brick and mortar ice cream shops in California, New York, and New Jersey, and grocery stores. They are known for their innovation in that they were the first ice cream brand to pasteurize on site. They also bake their own mix-ins. This extra attention to detail and pride in their product line helps to create their exceptional ice cream brand.

They offer many yummy flavors including Nectar of the Queens, which is honey cinnamon ice cream with baklava pieces; Kokomo, which is key lime pie ice cream with graham cracker crust pieces; and The Munchies, which is pretzel-flavored ice cream with ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels, and M&Ms. These flavors really stand out as exceptional. According to reviews on Trip Advisor, their diverse product line is one of the best qualities about this ice cream brand.

14. Tillamook

Tillamook is an Oregon-based certified B Corp business that offers many ice cream products as well as a number of different cheeses, butter, and other dairy products. Some of their unique ice cream flavor offerings including Banana Split, Tillamook Mudslide, and Marionberry Pie. They also carry a line of frozen custards that we happen to adore. Don't sleep on the Sea Salt & Honeycomb Toffee flavor. This one is divine!

According to the reviews on Amazon, there is some slight disappointment. It seems that some reviewers find that this ice cream is not rich-tasting enough, but it really depends on the flavor selection. Meanwhile, other reviewers note that this ice cream is the creamiest and most flavorful ice cream ever. We happen to be big fans of the Tillamook ice cream and frozen custard product lines. 

13. Salt & Straw

Salt & Straw has many locations of their ice cream shop nationwide and the company prides itself on carrying dairy from grass-fed cows, which contributes to their high-quality taste. They carry a line of extremely unique flavors that rotate out each seaon including Hunk a Chunk Peanut Butter and Jelly, Honey Lavender, Cinnamon Snickerdoodles, and Buttermilk Pancakes Bacon and Eggs. If you are not near one of their many locations, they offer nationwide delivery of any pint your heart desires. If you are looking for a reliable ice cream commitment, you can sign up for Salt & Straw's Pints Club, where five rotating flavors will be delivered to your doorstep monthly.

Reviews according to Yelp show that although this brand offers pricey ice cream selections, they also deliver when it comes to portion size. They do not disappoint and people go nuts over their insane variety of flavors.

12. Van Leeuwen's

Van Leeuwen's was founded in New York City back in 2008. They have many local scoop shops across the nation, but if you are not local to one of their shops, you can find their ice cream pints in many grocery store freezer aisles. Additionally, like many of the other brands on this list, they also offer nationwide shipping, in case you want to have your ice cream pints delivered.

While many ice cream brands offer unique flavors, Van Leeuwen's goes a step further, selling many out of this world flavors such as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Honeycomb, Royal Wedding Cake, and Earl Grey Tea. They also offer many flavors in vegan varieties. Reviews according to Influenster, show that people love this brand for their pure and simple ingredients. Many reviewers find that these ice cream pints are pricey but that their rich and creamy high-quality texture is exceptional.

11. Jeni's

Jeni's ice cream is arguably one of the best ice cream brands available. They have many local ice cream shops across the country offering local delivery, but, you guessed it, they also offer nationwide shipping. You may even find Jeni's ice cream pints in grocery store freezer aisles, but often they are only in specialty or upscale grocery stores. Jeni's ice cream also offers a subscription based model, called their Pint Club. As a subscriber to the Pint Club, you will be delivered four flavors on a monthly basis. Their unique flavors include Maple Soaked Pancakes, Banana Cream Pudding, and Frose Sorbet.

 Many reviewers, according to Yelp, are obsessed with this ice cream brand. People go nuts over their unique flavors and extra decadent creamy varieties. 

10. High Road

Spouses Nicki and Keith Schroeder founded High Road in 2010 from an epiphany moment when Keith, a James Beard Award-winning chef, was grappling with a painful request to lay off staff at his hotel job. Inspired to seek out a new venture, he cofounded High Road with his wife Nicki as Chief Marketing Officer, setting a course for high-quality ice cream.

High Road says its richness is derived from the above-par 16% butterfat content, which tracks very well with High Road's marketing message of "handmade by chefs" with each flavor's high-quality ingredients produced onsite from scratch rather than sourced from third-party manufacturers. With wild flavors like strawberry & espelette (a flavorfully spicy French-grown pepper popular in Basque cooking) and toffee-toasted almond, High Road follows its heart and stomach to create satisfying taste combinations. It also makes a point of working with sustainable and equitable suppliers, such as certified B-Corp chocolate growers.

Though the brand is now perhaps just as well-known for its stuffed cookies, ice cream remains the center of its solar system. The company is growing rapidly with its 2020 launch of the expansion line Helados La Neta, a collection of authentic Mexican flavors (via New York Times). Additionally, Food Business News reported in 2018 that the company had purchased New York-based Ciao Bella Gelato.

9. Frozen Farmer

The Frozen Farmer may be most famous for cofounder Katey Evans's 2020 appearance on Shark Tank (actually filmed in 2019, according to Delaware Public Media), which netted the company a $125,000 deal, says Delaware Business Times. Prior to its TV debut, the line of fruit-forward desserts began production in 2015 with a mission to prevent food waste by using perfectly good "misfit" fruit that's unlikely to sell due to its appearance. Frozen Farmer focuses on a minimal waste, a sustainable production model that sounds as good as it tastes, beginning with ingredients from its family-legacy farm. The benefits of such a move are many, according to the USDA, as farmers can recoup profits instead of writing off parts of their crop as a loss. Also, food reclaimed from a landfill prevents methane gas production, a significant factor in climate change.

The Frozen Farmer is currently making its name as a low-calorie, flavorful dessert whose sorbets are marked at 70 to 80 calories per pint. Even the brand's trademarked Frobert line, which blends sorbet with dairy, has a calorie count around the mid-300s for the entire package. Evans has credited a research and development team with developing the original recipes to be waistline-friendly.

8. Hood

Hood ice cream is a northeast staple; the company is over 170 years old and was founded by a milkman turned dairy magnate. Hood is still innovating despite its historical lineage, introducing items like its newer line of New England Creamery flavors, which are unabashedly fattier thanks to increasing the cream to milk ratio. As with many items on this list, higher fat means a more delicious flavor. There's no getting around the relationship between satiety and caloric density, but you might as well go for the gusto if you're scooping up a summer treat. 

If you're looking for a slightly lighter-calorie treat that still satisfies, even Yankees fans can appreciate Hood's Red Sox starting lineup: four flavors of frozen Fenway fudginess that are deeply satisfying whether or not baseball is your game. But you really can't go wrong here, and the classic Hood flavors will prove just as fulfilling on a hot summer day.

7. Sassy Cow

Wisconsin is America's Dairyland, and perhaps nobody knows dairy better than the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where the Babcock Dairy Store has been implementing the innovations since the 1950s — such as its ice cream centrifuge and butterfat tester (via Wisconsin Historical Society). While you can no longer order Babcock to your door on Goldbelly, you can find a very close cousin in Sassy Cow Creamery — at least, that's how UW alumnus James Baerwolf tells it to OnWisconsin. Baerwolf and his older brother Rob brought home everything they learned to their dairy farm and some Babcock veterans with them.

Sassy Cow, founded in 2008, makes 70 flavors from some 850 cows among its two farms (traditional and organic). The company emphasizes its respectful treatment of its animals, providing them with a comfortable life and exercise. The pride that the brothers and their families feel for their cows is palpable, and the company's philosophy is that the respect shown to those milking cows leads to quality ice cream.

You can get Sassy Cow ice cream at locations around Wisconsin, but you may want to schedule an in-person visit for the great prices and calf-petting opportunities.

6. Graeter's

Graeter's has been making ice cream for nearly as long as Americans have been enjoying it! Founded in 1870, the Cincinnati-based company touts its French Pot process as the secret to its rich legacy, taking steps to preserve its hand-packed, small-batch production system even throughout technological upgrades. One of the few French Pot ice cream brands in production, which Ice Cream Park explains, is a spinning canister that freezes a chilled ice cream mixture while a worker scrapes down the sides. These small-batch productions incorporate less air and higher butterfat content than your typical brand which leads to extra creamy results.  

Each month Graeter's releases a new seasonal flavor that would make an excellent calendar if you could refrain from eating it all within a few days. But with 32 flavors currently listed on the Graeter's website, you can scoop up a different piece of confectionery history every day of the month. It ships nationwide and offers local delivery if you're near any of its locations in Ohio and larger markets in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Don't fret if not; it's also found in higher-end supermarkets nationwide.

While you really can't go wrong with any flavor, Boldly Bearcat or Buckeye Blitz are great starting points. And fans of movie candy will want to try Midnight Snack, a malt-flavored mélange of chocolate-dipped pretzels, peanut butter cups, and brownies.

5. Coolhaus

True to its name, Coolhaus exhibits an impossibly hip coolness that could only come from Los Angeles. Founders Freya Estreller and Natasha Case kicked off their women-owned ice cream business by hustling a free tow out of AAA to debut their broken-down ice cream truck at Coachella. Now that's a Los Angeles move.

The ice cream went viral out of the gate, and the couple have made their brand as much a mission as a mouthwatering treat. Now available nationwide, it's known for supplementing the attraction of its imaginative flavors with charitable contributions of proceeds. For example, Coolhaus says all proceeds from sales of the carrot-cake-batter flavor Currency Cake go to Black Girl Ventures, an investment foundation devoted to fostering entrepreneurship among Black and Brown women.

And while Coolhaus has already offered dairy-free flavors, Forbes reported in 2021 that the company was transitioning to animal-free dairy with its purchase by The Urgent Company, a science-forward food producer that makes dairy products without the animals. Dairy Foods explains that the casein and whey proteins used are identical to those found in cow's milk but vegan and lactose-free because they're produced by microflora. So you get to have your (currency) cake and eat it too, enjoying dairy without the animal aspect.

4. Whitey's

Where the Quad Cities meet, you'll find the historical chain of Whitey's, which first opened in 1933 and has since become an institution on both sides of the Mississippi River. And yes, fittingly, they make a Mississippi Mud Revel flavor. While its line of ice creams is available in grocery stores, Whitey's also ships nationwide.

Whitey's lays claim to numerous dairy dessert innovations, including the first ice cream company to use cookie dough in its ice cream, no-sugar ice cream, and machinery to make thicker ice cream products. The company also claims to be the first to blend candy bars into creamy shakes.

In 2009, Whitey's debuted a new s'more flavor, Sgt. Camo, whose proceeds go entirely to veterans organizations. The company says the camouflage-colored ice cream has raised over $100,000 for vets, alongside the countless thousands of scoops of the flavor itself donated to such veteran groups.

3. Gifford's

New Englanders will tout this brand with the proprietary identity of Dunkin' Donuts and the regional pride of the Patriots. And they're not wrong; this is some seriously high-quality ice cream. Based in Maine, Gifford's has locked down some local patriotism with Dough Your Job, a Pats football-themed license, as well as Celtics and Bruins flavors for the hat trick.

Despite the kitchen-sink goodness of candy-loaded flavors like Fly Fishing Fudge and Scoop-a-Snack, Gifford's shines best in its simplicity. When the ice cream is this excellent, you don't need to bury it in candy, and refined palates may appreciate the simple but delightful clarity of Cannoli, Maine Wild Blueberry, or Pink Peppermint Stick.

You'd be right to suspect Gifford's goes back to the 19th century and the beginnings of modern ice cream production. However, its origins are in Connecticut, not Maine, where it currently enjoys such a foothold. Nathaniel Main, the owner's great-great-grandfather, delivered milk and ice cream by horse around the Nutmeg State. A couple of generations later, his granddaughter and her husband set up their first ice cream shack at their dairy farm in 1980, using famously simple and delicious recipes passed down from that legacy. 

2. Gelato Fiasco

An ice cream so beloved its website includes directions from helicopter and charter jet landing sites, Gelato Fiasco is blessedly available to those of us who don't possess air travel conveyances. But until the fabled Gelato Fiasco helipad becomes a reality, rich folks will have to take solace in the on-tarmac delivery service the company promises via its catering service (or rappelling onto its roof if that's your thing). And since Maine is a state with such a high incidence of choppers and puddle-jumpers, we're curious just how much of this service is a joke and how much is real.  

Not that a joke wouldn't be on-brand. With a wry sense of humor, college buddies Joshua Davis and Bruno Tropeano educated themselves to become master gelato makers through sheer passion. These days, you can find its pints all over New England, throughout Michigan, and at a couple of Pittsburgh and New York locations.

Mouthwatering flavors like Mint Brookie or Sunken Treasure (a collection of browned butter, pretzel, and bourbon truffles) are available in stores. At the same time, the two locations in Brunswick and Portland have rotating varieties that are updated daily. Its website also features a Hall of Lost Flavors, so you can gaze at missed opportunities until you're inspired to mount a revival campaign that brings back Fresh Cream gelato or Darkest Chocolate Peppermint sorbetto.

1. Smitten

Even a glance at Smitten will tell you that this ice cream is something different. Its impossibly smooth exterior was impossible until founder and CEO Robyn Sue Fisher finalized her dream machine: a liquid-nitrogen-powered, super-cooling device crafted in conjunction with a retired NASA engineer. The machines are even responsive to the changing texture of the ice cream as it develops!

The process, developed over several years, freezes ice cream in about a minute and a half. Because the ice cream freezes so fast at such low temperatures, the crystals are very small. That makes for a smooth scoop and avoids the freezer-burned texture that could spoil your Smitten Banana Toffee or Chocolate Ganache in distribution.

San Franciscans have taken to the so-called BRRR Machine's magic, and Smitten has expanded to four locations around the Bay. Because it's made on-demand, you won't find Smitten in stores, but they do offer local delivery throughout the Bay Area as well as nationwide shipping. Though if you ask us, the best way to enjoy Smitten ice cream is onsite, placed in your hand as soon as it emerges from production.