23 Best Ice Cream Brands Ranked

Ice cream is the ideal summer treat, but let's be real, it is a dessert enjoyed year-round. Consuming the frozen treat over the years allows you to develop standards and a list of factors necessary to have a memorable scoop of ice cream. There are countless options for ice cream at the supermarket and plenty of scoop shops across the country, but that doesn't mean they are all equal when it comes to quality.

Ice cream should be creamy and smooth with ingredients that won't break apart and ruin its base. Taking personal experience, recommendations, research of the companies, and customer reviews and comments into consideration, a selection of exceptional ice cream brands was selected. However, some brands are simply better than others. The best ice cream to satisfy your tastebuds has to be packed with the right amount of flavor, made up of quality ingredients, and worth the cost. 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.

23. Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins may be known for 31 flavors, but over its 75 years of business, the company has rotated more than 1,400 flavors throughout its ice cream lineup. Some customers have go-to flavors like the Jamoca Almond Fudge, which offers a coffee-based ice cream with a chocolate-flavored swirl and almonds, Pistachio Almond, or Oreo Cookies 'n Cream. Although the brand has countless flavors, it has a limited non-dairy selection. Baskin Robbins also has a variety of other frozen treats and ice cream cakes that easily become the center of attention at any celebration.

While taking a pint home, whether freshly packed or from the grocery store, guarantees an easy treat, grabbing your scoop in person may be a challenge. Some customers complain Baskin Robbins locations have limited space for seating and the taste has changed. A fresh scoop is your best bet to get that creamy texture fans love, but you run the risk of ice chips if you like an unpopular flavor. While Baskin Robbins will satisfy your dessert cravings, customers are not happy the taste has changed and claim the ice cream tastes cheaper.

22. So Delicious

So Delicious offers a variety of dairy-free frozen desserts made from almonds, cashews, oats, coconuts, and soy milks. The dairy-free company was founded over 30 years ago and offers frozen desserts, plant-based beverages, yogurts, and more. The B Corporation places importance on sourcing ingredients and ensuring its products are certified vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified.

Customers can't get enough of So Delicious frozen treats and its wide selection. The cashew milk-based line appears to be a major hit with fans due to its creamy texture, reminiscent of dairy ice cream. The Salted Caramel Cluster ice cream consists of cashew milk mixed with salted caramel, cashews, and chocolate. So Delicious has been praised as a top-tier vegan ice cream brand thanks to its powerful flavors and quality ingredients. While So Delicious is a great option for people with restricted diets, the non-dairy brand may not be appealing to all ice cream lovers, landing it toward the end of this list.

21. Häagen-Dazs

While a pint from the grocery could be hit or miss, a fresh scoop from a Häagen-Dazs shop never fails to satisfy a sweet tooth. Despite some occasional disappointment from icy specks, Häagen-Dazs has an impressive creamy consistency you don't expect from the grocery store ice cream aisle. The company continues to keep customers coming back with long-time flavors like the brand's chocolate chip cookie dough. The add-ins are conveniently spread out to occasionally give you a break from chewing and allow you to enjoy the vanilla base. However, those who prefer to taste all the flavor in every bite might not enjoy having to search for every other piece of cookie dough.

Häagen-Dazs continues to introduce new flavors into their lineup, recently releasing New York Strawberry Cheesecake and Vanilla Caramel Pecan. The New York Strawberry Cheesecake features graham cracker crust pieces and strawberry sauce mixed into cheesecake ice cream. The Vanilla Caramel Pecan is made up of vanilla ice cream, pecans, and caramel sauce. Although fans may not see the two flavors in every store just yet, both are expected to be available nationwide by April 2024.

20. Blue Bunny

Blue Bunny is a recognizable brand in the ice cream section of the grocery store with a variety of products, including Scoopables, Load'd sundaes, cones, sandwiches, and more. The company, which was founded over 80 years ago in Sioux City, Iowa, sources its fresh milk locally and boasts high-quality ingredients in every dessert.

Bunny Tracks is one of Blue Bunny's most notable ice cream flavors. The dessert combines vanilla ice cream with chocolate-covered peanuts, caramel, chocolate peanut butter bunnies, and fudge swirls. The Chips Galore! Sandwich features two chocolate chip cookies with mini chocolate chips crowding the vanilla ice cream edges. The chocolate chips in the sandwich provide a flavorful crunch but chewing can become a task due to hard ice cream between the cookies. Customers credit Blue Bunny for its soft scoops and prices but acknowledge it isn't the best ice cream on the market. Some customers complain the artificial flavors make the ice cream too sweet and aren't fond of the texture.

19. Blue Bell

Blue Bell started out as a butter company in 1907, but by 1958 the owners realized ice cream was the real star, and it became the company's focus. While Blue Bell has countless loyal customers, others cited higher prices and questionable ingredients, which include high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavor, as issues the brand. Some are also disappointed the ice cream has begun to taste generic.

Despite some criticism about the ingredients, the Blue Bell Dr Pepper Float seems to be a hit among customers following its May 2023 release. The dessert consists of vanilla ice cream mixed with Dr. Pepper-flavored sherbert. For a more classic float, customers can add a few scoops of ice cream into a cup and pour in some Dr. Pepper. Along with countless flavors like Moo-llennium Crunch, and Black Walnut, Blue Bell has a line of ice cream sandwiches and bars. Fans who can't find their favorite flavors at the grocery store can go online to have it shipped nationwide.

18. Magnum

You've seen the commercials; everyone knows the first bite into that chocolate ganache of a Magnum ice cream bar is unforgettable. The brand is known for its indulgent dessert that requires consumers to crack into a hard shell of chocolate before reaching the ice cream center. Magnum has gained fans over its signature ice cream bars, and love for the dessert has only grown with its double bars. The Doubles ice cream bar line features Magnum's signature chocolate ganache with an additional layer of caramel, chocolate, or raspberry sauce.

In February 2019, the company introduced non-dairy bars to its ice cream collection. The Non-Dairy Sea Salt Caramel Bar is especially popular among fans. While the ice cream company receives praise for its decadent ice cream tubs and bars, some people find it a hassle to break into ganache just to get to their ice cream. Customers have also noticed the bars have shrunk in size over the years while the price has continued to rise. While the taste may be there, it's not considered the best ice cream all around.

17. Ben & Jerry's

When it comes to ice cream, Ben & Jerry's manages to stand out for all the right reasons. While the company has all of the typical ice cream flavors like vanilla and chocolate, it also caters to customers who suffer from gluten allergies and abide by dairy-free diets. Any pint is guaranteed to be packed with cookie dough, brownies, or whatever add-in promised on the label. Customers can't go wrong by picking up a classic flavor like Half Baked, Cherry Garcia, or Phish Food. However, not all flavors are a hit with fans, which is why it lands in 17th place.

In February, Ben & Jerry's announced the launch of its new Marshmallow Sky ice cream. The limited-time flavor has sparked conversations among fans over its sky-blue color. Marshmallow Sky features cookie dough swirled into marshmallow ice cream. However, customers remain suspicious about the origin of its color. Some have questioned whether it is safe to eat due to the dyes used to create the signature color. For those who are curious about the light blue ice cream, its vibrant color comes from spirulina extract, blue-green algae that is safe to eat.

16. Talenti

Talenti prides itself on its ingredients, which are sourced from around the world to create its authentic flavors. The Double Dark Chocolate is arguably one of the best Talenti flavors. The Gelato is blended with semi-sweet chocolate morsels and a hint of vermouth. The Caramel Cookie Crunch, which is also a hit with customers, consists of sweet cream gelato mixed with chocolate cookies and a swirl of dulce de leche. Each bite delivers a smooth and creamy consistency that will leave you wondering how you finished a jar of ice cream so quickly. Other popular flavors include Southern Butter Pecan, Sea Salt Caramel, and Mediterranean Mint Gelato.

Although the jars of gelato are a hit among fans, Talenti added Mini Gelato and Sorbetto Bars to its lineup. The company promises customers will find the same creamy texture found in the jar will be reflected in the bars. However, one review found the bars had a decent taste, but the texture was similar to ice cream rather than gelato. Some customers also take issue with the price of a Talenti ice cream product but believe it is worth it.

15. Adirondack Creamery

Founded in New York, the Adirondack Creamery sources its ice cream base, made up of cream, milk, sugar, and egg yolks from family farms. The company is committed to its mission of using simple ingredients and sourcing locally to provide fresh-tasting ice cream. Some of the flavors include Peppermint Stick and Egg Nog, which gives you a scoop of the holidays all year long. While the company also offers standard flavors like vanilla and chocolate, Adirondack Creamery's High Peak Perk is arguably considered one of the best coffee ice cream flavors thanks to its taste, aroma, and texture. The ice cream contains ground coffee beans, and coffee flakes that will provide the ideal java fix to anyone who missed their morning cup of joe.

The ice cream is sold in some New York supermarkets and a few states outside the Big Apple. Although the dessert can be ordered online via Fresh Direct, the online grocery store only serves the New York tri-state area. Unless you're a local, it may be difficult to taste the available flavors. Customers aren't too critical of Adirondack Creamery products, but they see it as just another ordinary pint in the ice cream aisle.

14. McConnell's

The California-based company puts a special emphasis on making its ice cream from scratch with the finest ingredients and controlling every step of the process. During the freezing process, McConnell's slowly churns its ice cream to preserve its body, which creates a creamy texture that customers can't get enough of. Flavors like Sea Salt Cream & Cookies and Eureka Lemon and Marionberries have been touted as rich and refreshing, respectively, by customers. Others complain McConnell's Fine Ice Cream can taste a bit icey, which is disappointing when you're expecting a creamy consistency. The company also offers dairy-free and boozy ice cream options, like the Garrison Brothers Whiskey and Pecan Pralines flavor.

Unfortunately, you have to be in California to grab a fresh scoop in-store or at home. McConnell's only offers local delivery. Those willing to wait for their ice cream to come in the mail can join the Pint of the Month Club. Subscribers receive four pints per month, which could include new and limited flavors. However, the membership may seem pricey if you aren't an ice cream enthusiast. A three-month subscription costs $195, and a six-month membership is priced at $389. Those who choose to receive ice cream all year will have to shell out $780.

13. Ample Hills

Although Ample Hills Creamery has a rocky history on the corporate end, everything is perfectly smooth when it comes to its ice cream. The New York-based company has five locations in NYC and ships ice cream nationwide.

Banana Pudding and Ooeyer and Gooeyer are some of the most popular flavors, the latter contains an Ooey Gooey Butter Cake infused ice cream with Ample Hills' homemade Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and milk caramel. Those who prefer to get their scoop in person shouldn't be intimidated by the long lines. Service moves quickly, and it is worth the wait thanks to the homemade baked goods mixed into various flavors. Ample Hills' Peppermint Pattie features housemade dark chocolate-covered peppermint patties and chocolate flakes mixed into peppermint ice cream. The brand's PB Wins the Cup is made up of housemade peanut butter cups, flakes of peanut butter-infused chocolate, and vanilla ice cream. Customers complain the quality of flavor has changed since the business opened, and the dessert tastes sugary. Ample Hills does not offer dairy-free ice cream online, but some customers have reported seeing a limited selection in-store.

12. Salt & Straw

Honey Lavender ice cream? Yes, please. The unique flavor provides customers with a taste of spring all year long and a strong burst of lavender in each bite. Not only does Salt & Straw offer a fair amount of quirky flavors, but the company has a special mission to bring the community together. The owners had the goal of creating a neighborhood gathering where patrons could grab a scoop while learning about themselves and their communities. Salt & Straw prides itself on sourcing its dairy from cows never given growth hormones or antibiotics. The company also maxes out the butterfat content of the ice cream to achieve its creamy consistency throughout its unique flavors.

Pear and Bleu Cheese may not be your go-to ice cream, but Salt & Straw fans rave about the unusual combination, and how the infusion of flavors isn't overpowering. Many are fans of the Arbequina Olive Oil, but the frozen oil from the ice cream left some customers breaking their spoons while trying to dig into dessert. Dairy-free options like Freckled Mint Chocolate Chip, Marionberry Coconut Sherbet, OffLimits Zombie with Coconut and Panda, and more are also available. Salt & Straw ice cream shops are located along the East and West Coast, but the company also offers nationwide delivery.

11. Tillamook

Tillamook offers an impressive line of ice creams along with other dairy products like cheese, yogurt, butter, and more in grocery stores nationwide. The Certified B Corporation prides itself on sustaining healthier cows to provide better milk and make higher-quality dairy products. Its ice cream line features a variety of treats, including pints, tubs, and sandwiches.

Even though Tillamook has interesting flavors like White Chocolate Raspberry and Sea Salt Honeycomb Toffee, customers complain the ice cream isn't fluffy enough and lacks flavor. Consumers have criticized the Oregon-based business for botching certain flavors by failing to emphasize the add-in ingredients. Customers have sounded off on the lack of almonds and marshmallows in the Rocky Road ice cream and the scarce amount of caramel and chocolate-covered waffle cone pieces in the Waffle Cone Swirl flavor. However, others have found flavors from Tillamook to be creamier than some brands and praised the company for its simple ingredients.

10. Van Leeuwen

Van Leeuwen was founded in 2008 in New York City, but the owners are required to call the dessert French ice cream because they use twice the amount of egg yolks than the standard ice cream. The brand has been praised for its simple ingredients, taste, and texture. Customers can head to a Van Leeuwen ice cream shop, a grocery store, or take advantage of the nationwide online shipping.

Earl Grey Tea is one of the brand's popular flavors, offering a rich ice cream with a sweet refreshing taste that isn't overpowering. Van Leeuwen's Honeycomb flavor is a bit deceiving in the best way. The dessert doesn't contain honey but is loaded with crunchy and chewy caramel candy. The flavor is impressive, but some customers don't believe the pints are worth the price, making it an 8th-place spot winner. Those who order Van Leeuwen's ice cream online can expect to pay $12 per pint.

9. Jeni's

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream may be on the pricier side, but it is worth every penny. The company was founded in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio, and continues to source its milk from family dairies and other partners to provide high-quality ingredients. Jeni's is a Certified B Corp business, which means it is held to high standards for environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Jeni's has scoop shops across the country and offers nationwide shipping.

Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam may be one of the best Jeni's Ice Cream flavors. Crumbled biscuits and swirls of peach jam blended together into buttermilk ice cream is everything you never knew you needed in an ice cream. The biscuits are fluffy and have an impressive consistency so it doesn't feel like you're eating a frozen breaded mess. Other flavors worth trying include Blackout Chocolate Cake, Salty Caramel, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, and Green Mint Chip. Whether you get a fresh scoop in-store or take a pint out of the freezer, Jeni's ice cream won't leave you or your tastebuds disappointed.

8. Frozen Farmer

The Frozen Farmer may be most famous for cofounder Katey Evans's 2020 appearance on "Shark Tank," which netted the company a $125,000 deal, says Delaware Business Times. Prior to its T.V. 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 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, 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.

7. 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.

6. Sassy Cow Creamery

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 innovations since the 1950s — such as its ice cream centrifuge and butterfat tester. While you can no longer order Babcock to your door on Goldbelly, you can find a very close cousin in Sassy Cow Creamery. 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.

5. 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 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, but its slight inacessacaibilty makes it land in 5th place.

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.

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 that 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 the brand does offer local delivery throughout the Bay Area as well as nationwide shipping. However, 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.


The ranking was composed by evaluating ingredients, flavor, texture, and price, and comparing these factors among different ice cream brands. Even though a company should offer classic flavors, there is something special about ice cream brands that have more than just vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry on their menu.

While some ice cream brands are not as well known as others, the ones on this list were selected based on quality. Personal taste testing and online reviews were crucial in narrowing down the list.