This article was updated in May 2019.
I scream, you scream, we all scream… Summer time means you’re obliged to eat as much ice cream as possible. Here are the 29 best spots for the deliciousness.
Charlotte Ice Cream
1601 Elizabeth Ave.
Tucked in between some of Charlotte’s favorite fine dining restaurants and along the trolley line is the family-run Elizabeth Creamery. The husband and wife duo makes each flavor and waffle cone with natural, fresh ingredients. Grab a classic flavor or try something different like Green Tea or Ginger. In addition to old-fashioned scoops, you can try a shake or sundae.
Golden Cow Creamery
170 West Summit Ave.
720 Governor Morrison St.
This popular creamery offers six classic flavors: Rich Chocolate, Creamy Vanilla, Fresh Strawberry, Mint Chocolate Chip, Salted Oreo, and Dunkaroos along with 3-4 new and rotating options. They also always have one non-dairy, vegan option. Each recipe is made from real cream with no artificial syrups, fillers, preservatives, or colorings.
X-tra Ball Ice Cream & Pinball
2914 Mt Holly-Huntersville Rd.
For some good old-fashioned family fun, head to X-tra Ball. This part ice cream shop, part pinball parlor offers hand-dipped ice cream, hand-spun milkshakes, and authentic pinball.
3123 North Davidson St., Suite B
Mix it up at Popbar to create a pop made just to your liking. Choose from the freshest natural ingredients (think coconut, chocolate, pistachio and more) to dip your popGelato, popSorbetto, or yogurtPop in. Or try a photogenic gelatoShake in strawberry, chocolate, vanilla caramel, coffee, or green tea.
2230 Park Rd., Suite 101
10620 Providence Rd.
Finish your meal of fabulous Neapolitan-style pizza with a cup of gelato, available in various flavors. Don’t forget: Gelato is only $2 every Thursday!
Sticks and Cones Ice Cream Truck
Traveling the QC
Remember when you used to wait for the ice cream truck to turn down your street, waiting for its tune to fill the summer air? Sticks and Stones is bringing it all back with their old-fashioned ice cream on wheels. Enjoy soft serve, floats, cones, popsicles, and sundaes wherever they’re parked that day. Follow them on Twitter to keep up with where they’ll be next.
The Local Scoop
5355 Ballantyne Commons, Suite 100
In Ballantyne, The Local Scoop offers ice cream and soft-serve gelato made onsite from locally-sourced dairy from Jackson Farms and Homeland Creamery. Browse their current flavors. They also have eight non-dairy options and ice cream paninis and milkshakes.
Mr K’s Soft Ice Cream
2107 South Blvd.
This family-run, no frills spot on South Boulevard is serving up soft serve worthy of an after dinner family outing. Operating in the same location as the day it opened in 1967, this mom and pop shop that has expanded its menu to burgers and hot dogs originally opened as an ice cream stand and despite the additions, has stayed true to its roots. The dessert menu is never-ending, and has everything from a simple ice cream sandwich to a “frostbite”, a blend of soft serve and Italian ice. Other favorites are their milkshakes in flavors like butterscotch, peanut butter, and dark chocolate and hand-dipped banana splits. Enjoy your treats inside for a trip down Panther’s memory lane with memorabilia lining every wall.
4009 South Blvd.
There’s a reason why old-fashioned never really goes out of style, and Zack’s is living proof. Serving up no-fuss hamburgers and sides, Zack’s made sure no one forgot about dessert. Grab a soft serve vanilla cone or one of their classic flavor shakes.
Two Scoops Creamery
913 Central Ave. (Charlotte)
1616 Camden Rd. (Charlotte)
119 Landings Dr., Suite 104 (Mooresville)
This playful ice cream shop owned by three best friends has expanded to three area locations. Expect 32 homemade and fresh-churned flavors year-round and seasonal specials. Visits are made extra sweet with hand-painted murals by local artist Miriam Yumet.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (3 locations)
1920 Camden Rd. South End CLT | 416 E 36th St., Suite 400 NoDa | Park Road Shopping Center
Jeni’s offers best-selling flavors and scoops made without synthetic flavorings, dyes or off-the-shelf mixes. Crowd favorites include Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks, Salty Caramel, and Brambleberry Crisp. Stay tuned for two new locations coming soon: Park Road Shopping Center and NoDa!
222 S Caldwell St.
Enjoy a cold treat with a view at Fahrenheit, where their “flavors of summer” are sure to please. The spring 2019 menu features the Couch Potato Sundae with potato chip ice cream, chocolate sauce, brown butter crispy treat, and candied bacon. Wow.
1605 E Woodlawn Rd.
Shake Shack may be known for it’s burgers and crinkle-cut fries, but it’s also worth braving the long lines for their frozen custard concretes. Try a seasonal shake or Pie Oh My (made with Suarez Bakery pie.)
7822 Fairview Rd.
At Barrington’s, opt for the Lemoncello “Twinkie” with mascarpone whipped cream filling, Italian meringue, roasted pistachios, lemon mint basil curd, and pistachio ice cream. Childhood is calling.
1601 Elizabeth Ave.
After indulging in a menu of handcrafted small plates, fresh pasta and more, be sure to save room for a scoop of their house-made ice cream. Try it on their amazing bread pudding.
Good Food on Montford
1701 Montford Dr.
Don’t leave your coveted table at Good Food without trying their Apple Cobbler topped with salted caramel ice cream. Yum.
222 E Bland St.
After slurping up a bowl of Futo Buta’s ramen, top off your meal with their rotating selection of homemade ice creams. Flavors have included mango, pear, black sesame, and plenty more.
715 Providence Rd.
At Stagioni, don’t forget to look at the dessert menu, where you’ll find the Chocolate Tartufo: chocolate gelato, raspberry sherbet, dark chocolate, crumbled raspberries, and passion fruit. What a beauty.
1714 South Blvd.
Get your hands on a chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, Oreo, or peach milkshake after downing a burger at Rosemont Bar. Or, if you’re looking for an extra-good time, try one of their boozy shakes like the Shut Up, It’s My Birthday (vanilla ice cream, vanilla vodka, Licor 43, Rumchata, funfetti icing, sprinkles, and a cupcake on top!)
Aria Tuscan Grill
100 N Tryon St., Charlotte
This sweet ending includes basil and olive oil gelato by Gnam Gnam Gelato (out of Greensboro) and orange ricotta cake. Aria also has several rotating gelato flavors available at all times. The list most recently included pineapple, strawberry, blueberry, lemon mint, vanilla, and roasted almond.
Ice Cream Spots North of Charlotte
20801 N Main St., Cornelius
Over the past thirty years, the family behind Carolina Cones has been churning out new flavors to keep Cornelius families coming back for more. The variety of flavors may make your choice difficult, but the friendly faces behind the counter are more than wiling to help.
Abbott’s Frozen Custard
10070 Edison Square Dr. NW, E100, Concord
Just a short drive from Uptown Charlotte, Abbott’s is the spot to be this summer. Try their homemade custard (they always have Vanilla and Chocolate, but other flavors rotate daily) or fun treats like Chipwheels (cookie custard sandwiches), cakes, milkshakes, sundaes, and more.
Ninety’s Sandwiches & Ice Cream
9009 J M Keynes Dr. #4, Charlotte
This quaint spot in University known for it’s daily lunch specials and charming atmosphere keeps diners for the whole meal with their hand scooped ice cream selection. Follow @ninetysicecream on Instagram to drool daily over these lively creations.
The Percantile & Creamery
8635 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord
You’ll fall for this adorable coffee, ice cream, and chocolates spot near Concord Mills. The young ones will love the designated play area and will certainly admire the retro car that sits right inside the entrance. You can even order ahead.
Whit’s Frozen Custard
428 S Main St., Davidson
In Davidson, head to Whit’s for extra creamy ice cream with tons of flavor. They like to keep it simple, offering Vanilla, Chocolate, and Whit’s Special Weekly Flavor with fruit toppings, nuts, and candies that can be blended into custard for their famous Whitser™. You can also get hand-dipped waffle cones and take home some goodness with weekly flavors stocked in their Grab & Go Freezer.
21 Union St. S, Concord
In Concord, don’t miss Cabarrus Creamery, which Our State agreed was one of the top 25 picks in NC. This spot has something for everyone, from nondairy and low fat, protein smoothies to no sugar added options. They even have “pupcicles” for your four-legged friends.
Jack the Dipper Ice Cream
124-A Argus Ln., Mooresville
This old fashioned ice cream destination offers cones, sundaes, shakes, malts, banana splits, ice cream cakes, and their made-to-order warm waffle cones in vanilla or cinnamon.
Andy’s Frozen Custard
8835 Christenbury Pkwy., Concord
Since 1986, Andy’s has been serving frozen custard to loving fans. Originally from Missouri, the custard shop has a spot in Concord with another coming soon to Waxhaw. Enjoy concretes, malts, shakes, sundaes, freezes, and more.
Ice Cream Spots South of Charlotte
201 W South Main St., Waxhaw
This Waxhaw family-run ice cream shop has been a favorite for years (and also got a mention from Our State). Visitors can enjoy homemade ice cream and italian ices made in store every day. Want to mix it up? Waxhaw Creamery also serves up sundaes, shakes, cups, and cones. As for flavors, there is always something new and fresh with their seasonal flavor options.
Scoop n’ Swirl Homemade Ice Cream
753 Crossroads Plaza, Fort Mill
Scoop n’ Swirl, formally Maggie Moo’s, offers 24 flavors daily – so there’s always something to satisfy your sweet tooth! You can also opt for create-your-own shakes, custom or traditional sundaes or smoothies.