Dining

9 of Our All-Time Favorite Ice Cream Shops in America

The scoop on where to go for cones, sundaes and milkshakes
America's Best Ice Cream Shops
Photo: Nico De Pasquale Photography/Getty Images

No matter what time of year it is, a big bowl of ice cream is always in season. Fortunately for us, America is full of places happy to give coneheads their frosty fix. And even if you can't make it across the country for your favorite flavor, many shops will ship their creations directly to your doorstep with just a click of a button.

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From coast to coast, here are nine must-try ice cream shops in America.

Bassetts Ice Cream (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

If a shop has been attracting guests for more than 150 years, you know it's doing something right. The family-owned and -operated company is located inside Reading Terminal Market but ships pints all over the country. You'll find classic flavors like chocolate and mint chocolate chip, as well as more fascinating options like pomegranate blueberry chunk, Irish coffee and Guatemalan Ripple, a mix of coffee ice cream sourced from Guatemala, mocha fudge and mini coffee-filled chocolates.


Ample Hills Creamery (Multiple Locations in Brooklyn and New York, New York)

Outrageous flavors and homemade toppings are what set Ample Hills Creamery apart. With options like Nonna D's (brown sugar cinnamon ice cream with homemade oatmeal lace cookies) and Sweet as Honey (sweet cream ice cream with pieces of homemade honeycomb candy), you simply can't go wrong. Luckily for those who live outside the area, the shop also ships nationwide.

 

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and The Raw Deal �#happypassover #amplehills #icecream #iscream

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J.P. Licks (Multiple Locations in Massachusetts)

The idea for this shop was born in a Boston neighborhood called Jamaica Plain, hence the name "J.P." It's beloved for its wacky and intense offerings, as founder and owner Vince Petryk prides himself on standing out among the crowd. In addition to the 25 regular flavors, the shop also highlights specials each month like cold-brew ice cream infused with home-roasted coffee and dairy-free pistachio made with hemp milk. Unfortunately, though, J.P. Licks doesn't ship its products. Road trip, anyone?

 

I like some ice cream with my sprinkles �

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Emack & Bolio's (Multiple Locations)

There's nothing like a few scoops served inside a cereal-crusted cone to take you back to your childhood. With a long list of flavors and cone options like Rice Krispies, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruity Pebbles, the delicious combinations are endless. Unfortunately, it does not ship; however, shops can be found throughout Massachusetts, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, as well as internationally in China and Thailand.

 

Espresso ice cream on a perfectly sunny city day has me like ��� #sundayfunday

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Smitten Ice Cream (Multiple Locations in California)

If you're interested in learning how the sausage is made, then you're going to love this spot where you get to watch your ice cream come to life right in front of you. Owner Robyn Sue Fisher created her own machine that uses liquid nitrogen to churn out her local and seasonal lineup in two minutes flat. And if you aren't planning to be in the Bay Area anytime soon, you can order her tasty treats, like cookie dough with pretzel and chocolate chips and Early Grey with milk chocolate chips, online.

 

Random ice cream Sundate. #sf #sanfrancisco #icecream

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Eddie's Sweet Shop (Forest Hills, New York)

Step inside Eddie's, and you'll instantly be transported back to the 1960s. Classic sundaes are piled high with homemade ice cream, syrups, sauces and fudge; most of the toppings are also made in-house; and the whipped cream is freshly whipped by hand each day. You won't find any crazy flavors here, but the vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and rum raisin really hit the spot.


Salt & Straw (Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco and Los Angeles, California)

A list about the best ice cream shops in America would not be complete without Salt & Straw. This artisanal shop goes above and beyond to repurpose local ingredients that would otherwise end up in the trash, working with organizations like Urban Gleaners and the Portland Fruit Tree Project to source jam, sourdough, spices and more. Its exotic menu is sure to stimulate your taste buds with blends like pear and blue cheese, almond brittle with salted ganache and even ramen-flavored ice cream. Everything the scoop shop sells online and in-house beautifully represents the brand's mission, so you can truly feel good about indulging.


Bischoff's Ice Cream & Candy (Teaneck, New Jersey)

This old-school parlor serves up homemade sundaes the size of your head, topped with mounds of fresh whipped cream, chopped pecans and homemade pound cake, and drizzled with hot fudge and butterscotch. It also sells candy and chocolate bars, in case you somehow still have room after demolishing that enormous sundae. Note: It's cash only, so make sure to hit up the ATM before stopping by.


Lick Honest Ice Creams (Austin and San Antonio, Texas)

If you're looking for something to refresh your palate after all that Texas barbecue, look no further than Lick. Its unusual flavor profiles, like goat cheese, thyme and honey, and roasted beets with fresh mint, are what keep the crowds going back. Seasonal options rotate their way in throughout the year, and vegan and dairy choices are also available. Good news—fans outside the Lone Star State can get their pints delivered no matter where they lay their heads.


Got a sweet tooth? Make sure to follow Tasting Table's @dessertgram on Instagram for your daily dose of all things dessert.

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