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Elizabeth is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and author. Her first book “Beyond Black and White” is available now. She is an old soul who's young at heart, a human jukebox, and a corgi lady in training. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @ElizabethThe.

The Best and Sweetest Ice Cream Shops in America You Need to Visit

ice cream dessert cone

July is National Ice Cream Month in the United States. With fans such as Founding Fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin and American citizens from sea to shining sea, the frozen treat provides the timeless taste of summertime fun and joy all year ’round. Depending on their tastes, people can not only enjoy the classic Neapolitan flavors of vanilla, chocolate, but also indulge in the imaginative creativity of the unique concoctions crafted by ice cream connoisseurs across the country. In celebration of America’s favorite dessert, here’s the scoop on a sampling of some of the nation’s best (and coolest) ice cream parlors.

Salt & Straw

Address: multiple locations in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, California

Deemed the Voodoo Doughnut of ice cream in PDX, Salt & Straw epitomizes the creative and homegrown qualities of the Pacific Northwest food scene. To coincide with berry season, the scoop shop serves berry-based combinations such as gin-spiced blackberry jam with chocolate chips and goat cheese marionberry habanero. Their  ‘farm-to-cone’ approach depends on the use of natural dairy from local farms. The Portland-based franchise has since spread to the LAX area.

Bi-Rite Creamery

Address: 3692 18th St. and 550 Divisadero St., San Francisco, California

This creamery close by the San Francisco bay draws long lines on the daily. Among their list of popular picks are salted caramel, balsamic strawberry, and honey lavender, all of which are noted for the intensity of their flavor. Placing a strong value on sustainability, the creamery uses natural and locally-sourced ingredients—even their sugar cones are made with organic ingredients! All of this and more makes the Bi-Rite experience worth the wait and worthy of the hype. On July 14th, the  creamery celebrates their 10 year anniversary at their 18th Street location with special surprises for their loyal customers.


Big Gay Ice Cream

Address: 125 East 7th St. and 61 Grove St., New York, New York

Located in the East and West Villages of the Big Apple, Big Gay is not only a surefire standout on the NYC ice cream scene (what with the rainbows and unicorns that color their decor), but an international celebrity through their appearances on the Cooking Channel, the Food Network, and more. This playful parlor takes pride in their fresh take on soft-serve with bold flavors and unique toppings coupled with tongue-in-cheek and pop culturally savvy names such as The Salty Pimp and Bea Arthur.

Margie’s Candies

Address: 1960 N Western Ave., Chicago, Illinois

Since 1921, Margie’s has been an institution for those in the Windy City with a sweet tooth. The Chicago born-and-raised confectionery is part ice cream parlor and part candy shop. Their sundaes, shakes and splits are created from family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, and they are also acclaimed for their homemade additions such as hot fudge, caramel sauce and chocolate-dipped waffle cones. Margie’s most famous visitors include music icons The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, as well as notorious gangster Al Capone.


Lick Honest Ice Cream

Address: 1100 South Lamar Blvd. and 6555 Burnet Rd., Austin, Texas

Honesty is the best policy at this Southwestern artisan ice cream parlor. Lick Honest believes that ice cream should not only taste good, but be good, which they achieve by using pure ingredients that are locally sourced from a dairy farm in Central Texas. Some of their Texan-inspired flavor offerings include cilantro lime, sweet persimmon and safe, loquat margarita, honeyed peaches with rosemary, horchata, and dewberry corn cobbler.

The Creole Creamery

Address: 4924 Prytania St. and 6260 Vicksburg St., New Orleans, Louisiana

This creamery is truly the cream of the crop in the Big Easy. Along with their fountain classics, the Creole Creamery serves specialties such as the tall Sky Scraper, Frozen Cappuccino, and Fudge Brownie a la Mode. Daring ice cream consumers can take on their Tchoupitoulas Challenge, in which those who can finish this outrageous creation consisting of eight scoops of ice cream, eight toppings, as well as whipped cream, sprinkles, wafers, and cherries on top, will be forever immortalized on their hall of fame wall.

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What are your top spots for ice cream in America? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured image: Axel Krämer

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  1. Best Ice Cream Shops in America – Elizabeth Rosalyn - July 8, 2016

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