The Best Ice Cream in Every Single State (Because We Had to)

Double-fisting cones is encouraged

If there's one thing Americans can agree on, it's our love for ice cream. Whether you're a one scoop or two scoop person, you really can't go wrong. But some ice cream spots are just head and shoulders above the rest--bringing smooth, creamy deliciousness to happy cones around the country. Here: the best ice cream in every single U.S. state, in our humble opinion (plus D.C., since we'd never forget you).

Alabama: Scoops Olde Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor

Drop by on a summer afternoon and you'll see this Gulf Shores staple packed with hungry beach-goers cooling off after a long day in the sun.

601 Gulf Shores Pkwy., Gulf Shores, Alabama; 251-948-4800 or

Alaska: Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream

Hot Licks is living proof that it's never too cold for ice cream...even in Fairbanks, Alaska.

3453 College Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska; 907-479-7813 or

Arizona: Sweet Republic

Scottsdale may be a desert, but this ice cream spot is an oasis with some serious artisanal sundaes. Go for the Toffee Banofi, a delicious concoction of vanilla ice cream, bananas, caramel and almond toffee--it's a favorite of celebrity chef Alton Brown.

Locations here

Arkansas: Shake's Frozen Custard

As the name suggests, this local spot with four locations is known for its frozen custard. The key ingredient: egg yolk, which gives it a thicker consistency than normal ice cream.

Locations here

California: Bi-rite Creamery

Sorry, SoCal, but San Francisco takes the cake for best ice cream in the state. This Mission District hot spot draws lines any time of day, any time of year. The salted caramel is one of a kind.

Locations here

Colorado: Sweet Cow Ice Cream

Three words: ice cream sandwiches. At Sweet Cow, go for a big scoop of homemade ice cream stuffed between two freshly baked cookies.

Locations here

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Connecticut: Buttonwood Farm

Cow-to-cone is how we'd describe the ice cream at Buttonwood Farm. The ice cream window opens from March to October, offering 40 flavors of the freshest ice cream, yogurts and sorbets.

473 Shetucket Turnpike, Griswold, Connecticut; (860) 376-4081, or

Photo courtesy of Woodside Farm Creamery

Delaware: Woodside Farm Creamery

Woodside Farm Creamery has been a family-operated dairy farm since 1796. Now a local tradition, you can watch the cows graze while enjoying a chocolate thunder ice cream cone.

1310 Little Baltimore Rd., Hockessin, Delaware; 302-239-9847or

Florida: Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlour

Want to try everything but the kitchen sink? Order it at Jaxson's in Dania Beach and they'll give you everything...including the kitchen sink. This monstrous heaping of ice cream is meant to be shared between four very ambitious eaters.

128 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach, Florida; 954-923-4445or 

Georgia: Leopold's

Leopold's, an old-fashioned diner, has been a Savannah institution for a century now. This parlor is adored for its southern hospitality and damn good ice cream and malts. 

212 E. Broughton St., Savannah, Georgia; 912-234-4442 or

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Hawaii: Bubbie's Ice Cream

Bubbie's is known for one thing and one thing only: Mochi. The hard-to-find gem in Honolulu makes 20 kinds of frozen ice cream balls in flavors from green tea to red velvet.

7192 Kalanianaole Hwy D103 Honolulu, Hawaii; (808) 396-8722, or


Idaho: Reed's Dairy

Located in Idaho Falls, this dairy farm contains a small, old-fashioned ice cream store front, which is known to draw a crowd on summer nights. The huckleberry ice cream, made from Idaho's state fruit, is a must-try.

2660 W. Broadway St., Idaho Falls, Idaho; 208-522-0123 or



Illinois: Margie's Candies

A Chicago institution, Margie's is worth all the hype. The house specialty--"heaven in a white clamshell dish"-- combines three scoops of ice cream, nuts, whipped cream and hot fudge. What could be bad?

Locations here

Indiana: Ivanhoe's

Come to this Indiana landmark for a burger and stay for a sundae or milkshake. With over 100 flavors, you might need to try a few.

979 S. Main St., Upland, Indiana; 765-998-7261 or


Iowa: Whitey's Ice Cream

Ask anyone in the Quad Cities where they go for ice cream and the answer will be unanimous: Whitey's.

Multiple locations;

Wichita Mag

Kansas: Braum's

This Midwestern chain opens stores only within 300 miles of its home farm to ensure the freshest ice cream.

Locations here

Kentucky: Graeter's Ice Cream

With locations around Kentucky and Ohio, there's a reason people swear by Graeter's. The bananas foster gelato and black cherry chocolate chip are, quite frankly, life changing.

Locations here

Louisiana: Creole Creamery

NOLA is known for its bustling food scene, and ice cream is no exception. Avoid the grueling decision of choosing just one flavor by ordering the mini six scoop sampler. It's anything but mini.

Locations here


Maine: Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium

The buzzy summer town of Bar Harbor is home to Maine's best ice cream. Taste the lobster flavor--we dare you--then order anything but. We'd never complain about the heaping portions...and we never have leftovers.

66 Main St., Bar Harbor, Maine; 207-288-3281 or

Maryland: Moorenko's Ice Cream

The ice cream at this small Silver Springs parlor packs a punch. Think creamy and decadent flavors like salted caramel with pecans, pumpkin and cinnamon cappuccino. 

Multiple locations; 


Massachusetts: Four Seas Ice Cream

Choosing a best ice cream shop in Massachusetts is sort of like choosing a favorite child. Welp, here goes: The ice cream at Four Seas on Cape Cod is everything we want in a cone. Having served the same ice cream since the 1930s, Four Seas is clearly doing something right. 

360 S. Main St., Centerville, Massachusetts; 508-775-1394 or


Michigan Moomer's Homemade Ice Cream

This quaint, family-run ice cream shop located on a dairy farm in Traverse City screams nostalgia. Fans swear by the Cherries Moobilee, black cherry-flavored ice cream with fresh cherries, chocolate fudge swirl and brownies.

7263 N. Long Lake Rd., Traverse City, Michigan; 231-941-4122 or

Izzy's Ice Cream

Minnesota: Izzy's Ice Cream

After Izzy's debuted its original location in Saint Paul, it was only a matter of time until it opened up shop in Minneapolis. Make sure to order the signature Izzy scoop, a small serving of a second flavor to top off your cup or cone.

2034 Marshall Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota; 651-603-1458 or


Mississippi: Area 51 Ice Cream

Head to Hernando, Mississippi, for the best cone in the state. From blackberry and goat cheese to caramelized banana, you literally can't go wrong.

117 W. Commerce St., Hernando, Mississippi; 662-298-3028 or Facebook


Missouri: Glacé Artisan Ice Cream

Founded by chocolatier and pastry chef Christopher Elbow, this Kansas City establishment boasts creative flavors like rosewater vanilla and goat cheese and cherries.

4960 Main St., Kansas City, Missouri; 816-561-1117 or


Montana: Big Dipper Ice Cream

The 20-year-old Missoula staple also has locations in Helena and Billings and will soon be available at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

Multiple locations; 

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Nebraska: Ted And Wally's Premium Homemade Ice Cream

This old-school parlor is home to local handcrafted favorites like Salty Seahorse and Star Crunch. What those are exactly? Guess you’ll just have to visit to find out.

Multiple locations;

Nevada: Luv-it Frozen Custard

This cash-only window is still drawing crowds after over four decades. Located on the Boulevard, Vegas revelers and celebs alike can be seen lined up outside for flavors like the Western Special, a creamy chocolate custard. Eat to your heart's content because, after all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

505 E. Oakey Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada; 702-384-6452 or

New Hampshire: Annabelle's Natural Ice Cream

This cash-only establishment may dish out just one size of its natural ice cream--but it's definitely a generous one. Keep an eye out for pumpkin pie and butter pecan depending on the season.

Multiple locations;

New Jersey: The Bent Spoon

This Princeton parlor isn't the place to go for classic flavors. Rather, it specializes in inventive, seasonal and totally mind-blowing flavors. We're talking lavender marscapone, habanero and heirloom tomato sorbet. Don't overthink it.

35 Palmer Square W, Princeton, New Jersey; (609) 924-2368 or


New Mexico: I Scream Ice Cream

There's no shortage of ice cream in this desert. This Albuquerque staple is known for its exceptional service, small-town vibe and wide array of flavors.

2000 Carlisle Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico; 505-268-0139 or Facebook

New York: Ample Hill's Creamery

Great news for Manhattanites: You no longer have to trek over the Brooklyn Bridge to get NYC's finest ice cream. You literally cannot go wrong at this Brooklyn-based ice cream shop with a cult following.

Locations here

North Carolina: The Parlour

Located in downtown Durham, this handmade ice cream shop started as a food truck. Choose between classic flavors or more unique ones, like Vietnamese coffee and salted butter caramel.

117 Market St., Durham, North Carolina; (919) 564-7999, or

North Dakota: Pride Dairy

Should you find yourself in North Daroka, run--don't walk--to Bottineauto for a Pride Dairy ice cream cone. The state's last small-town creamery has earned a serious reputation for its silky smooth ice cream made in house.

517 Thompson St, Bottineau, North Dakota; (791) 228-2216, or

Ohio: Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Since its first store sprouted up in Columbus, Ohio, Jeni's has become an ice cream empire around the country. Our verdict: It's totally worth the hype. Every batch from goat cheese with cognac figs to pistachio honey bursts with flavor.

Locations here

Oklahoma: Scoops And Grinds

Locals flock to this historic building turned ice cream shop in Collinsville for artisan gelato and espresso. The uniquely delicious candied bacon and brownie batter flavors put this small shop on the map.

1023 W. Main St., Collinsville, Oklahoma; 918-553-8010 or

Oregon: Salt And Straw

Portland is one of the buzziest food cities in America for many of which is ice cream. The sea salt caramel and lavender honey are two standouts that helped this shop expand to big city Los Angeles. 

Locations here

Pennsylvania: Rita's Water Ice

Don't you dare call it Italian ice. In Philly, you better be scooping this sweet, non-dairy concoction in flavors like cherry and lemon. And you better pronounce it "wudder aice."

Locations here

Rhode Island: Gray's Ice Cream

Rhode Island might be the smallest state, but its ice cream packs a big punch. Gray's, a classic New England cream shop, makes everything from its own cows' milk and stays open 365 days per year.

16 E Rd., Tiverton, Rhode Island; 401-624-4500 or


South Carolina: Kirk's Ice Cream Parlor

If there's one accolade we can give Myrtle Beach, it's the seaside town's variety of solid ice cream options. Kirk's is the crème de la crème. The generous portions are a much-welcome treat after a long day in the Carolina summer sun.

Jaimi Reimer Lammers/Facebook

South Dakota: Sdsu Dairy Bar

Located on South Dakota State University's campus, the Dairy Bar's ice cream is made from milk at a dairy research and training facility just a mile away. Nearly 100 different flavors have been sold on campus. So... how do we enroll? 

1111 College Ave, Brookings, South Dakota; 605-697-2585 or

Tennessee: Mike's Ice Cream And Coffee Bar

Nestled between the honky-tonk tourist spots on Nashville's main Broadway drag you'll find Mike's. It's a local favorite for its generous servings, old-school atmosphere, reasonable prices and damn good ice cream.

129 2nd Ave, Nashville, Tennessee; (615) 742-6453 or

Serious Eats

Texas: Amy's Ice Creams

When in Austin, get weird at Amy's (by which we mean eat your way into an ice cream-induced coma). This Texas staple also has locations in San Antonio and Houston. The house special--the deceptively simple Mexican vanilla--is the creamiest, sweetest and richest tasting vanilla ice cream we've ever tried.

Multiple locations;

Utah: Farr Better Ice Cream

This Ogden parlor has been around since the 1920s, and every cone or saucer comes with a whiff of nostalgia. Get the brownie sundae: a melt-in-your-mouth combination of velvety French vanilla and homemade brownies topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

274 E. 21st St., Ogden, Utah; 801-393-8629 or Facebook

The Chronicle Herald

Vermont: Ben And Jerry's

Come on, now. It's home to the original Ben and Jerry's factory.

281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Route 100, Waterbury, Vermont; 866-258-6877, or

Virginia: Island Creamery

The name doesn't lie. This idyllic ice creamery is on the gorgeous Chincoteague Island. So next warm summer night, grab a scoop of homemade, small-batch deliciousness. You can thank us later.  

6243 Maddox Blvd., Chincoteague Island, Virginia; 757-336-6236or

mallard ice cream
Mallard Ice Cream

Washington: Mallard Ice Cream

Made right there in the shop with all locally sourced ingredients, Mallard’s Ice Cream offers over 600 flavors for customers to choose from. Stick with classics like super vanilla or strawberry. Or go outside of the box with flavors such as fresh avocado and grains of paradise. 

1323 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, Washington; 360-734-3884 or

West Virginia: Austin's Homemade Ice Cream

A scoop of nostalgia, please? Have your childhood handed to you in a cone at this adorable local spot. Oh, and try the fresh banana ice cream. You'll go bananas over it. (Sorry.)

1103 C. St. Kenova, West Virginia; 304-453-2071 or Facebook 


Wisconsin: Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co.

A Madison institution, the Chocolate Shoppe has been open since 1962--so you know it's good. What started as a candy shop with a little ice cream on the side has since bloomed into 100 flavors. Choose wisely. 

Locations here

Wyoming: Moo's Gourmet Ice Cream

All natural. All organic. Yes, we're still talking about ice cream. And if you're trying to stay super healthy, the sorbets are made with 99 percent fruit and 1 percent cane sugar. Simple and sweet.

110 N. Center St., Jackson Hole, Wyoming; 307-733-1998or

Washington, D.c.: Thomas Sweet

Try not to be overwhelmed by the assortment of flavors. But, whatever you choose, you must add some homemade fudge. It's next-level stuff. 

3214 P St. N.W. Washington, D.C.; 202-337-0616 or


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Freelance PureWow Editor

From 2015-2017 Hannah Loewentheil held the role of Editor covering entertainment, food, travel and all things nyc.