Atlanta isn’t nicknamed Hotlanta for kicks. The average daily temperature during the summer months of May through September is 81°F. Pretty steamy if you ask me. So find some time to “chill” out (literally) at seven of Atlanta’s best ice cream shops! There’s one for every day of the week.
Butter & Cream
416 Church Street, Decatur, GA 30030
If you’re religiously devoted to ice cream, like me, tell me a more fitting address for an ice cream shop than Church St. in downtown Decatur. This small town street is home to Butter & Cream. B&C boasts ice cream that is 100% house made and made with REAL cream. Yes, NOT fake cream. Six classic flavors never leave: Freckled Chocolate, Kona Coffee, and Summer Strawberry. Some flavors, however, can steal your heart one visit just to rip it out the next. Why? B&C’s rotating flavors ride the whim of the ice cream gods. So if you’re feelin’ frisky, catch a lick of flavors like Butter Brickle, Lemon Custard, or Green Tea Ginger before they hide away, indefinitely. Finally, if you’re not #basic, hit up B&C’s signatures. The Sunday Brunch flavor makes it perfectly acceptable to have ice cream at noon, Cashew Crème Brulee plays to any foreign and fancy vibes you’ve got going on, and O.G. Goodness defines the relationship between ice cream and its truest fans– original gangstas.
Ponce City Market - 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30308
Co-founder Jackson Smith apprenticed under gelato-making legend, Jon Snyder, but quickly realized he could revolutionize the culinary art of gelato by combining the rich and smooth textures of gelato with flavors unique to his southern roots. The result was pure gold! Honeysuckle Gelato was born, and after many years, established a home base in Ponce City Market in Midtown Atlanta. Although their flavors change periodically—because the “gelato genius” never tires—you can concoct masterpieces like these, and more, right now:
Brown Butter gelato with Sea-Salted Caramel Drizzle and Pecans in a Brownie Sandwich
Key Lime gelato with Amoretti Cookie Crumbles
Cheesecake gelato with Raspberry Sauce in a Pie Crust Sandwich
Doughnut gelato with Toffee Bits and Bourbon Butterscotch Drizzle
Honey Lavender Gelato with Wildflower Honey
Need I say more?
Jake’s Ice Cream
660 Irwin Street, Atlanta, GA 30312
In 1999, Jake (Founder of Jake’s— YES, there is a Jake) followed a crazy intuition. He opened an ice cream shop in what was run-down, southeast Atlanta next to three crack houses and multiple scrap yards. Ironic, now, because many would say Jake’s ice cream is like crack. Addicting. Today, the neighborhood Jake believed in is now Atlanta’s Old 4th Ward—a revitalized and popular urban oasis. Crowds flock to get a taste of Jake’s ice cream made from hormone free dairy, pure cane sugar, and all natural flavors. Even more fun are the flavor names! Although Jake’s is infamous for their Chocolate Slap Yo Mama and Brown Shugah Vanilla, there are around 200 other flavors to wrestle between and decipher. A few (okay, maybe a few more than a few) stood out to me:
Coffee & Donuts™– Hot, fresh, now doughnuts dunked in coffee liqueur gone swimming in coffee ice cream.
Breakfast in Bed™– No need to get out of bed when cinnamon ice cream meets Belgian waffles soaked in our own Bourbon Pecan Sauce. Relax.
Nutter Nanner Elvis™– Peanut butter & banana sandwiches were an Elvis favorite. The King himself would love our rendition…peanut butter, bananas and honey swirled in sweet cream. Nuttin’ cruel about that.
Peach Habanero – Yowza! Fresh Georgia peaches tangle with the real deal pepper…sweet heat…oh baby!d
Root Beer Float– As authentic a flavor as you can imagine — all that’s missing is the straw.
Devyn’s Animal Cracker™– Your favorite circus friends all frosted up and celebrating YOU with a rainbow of sprinkles
Thin Mint– That classic Girl Scout cookie flavor swirled into classic Jake’s chocolate ice cream. Some traditions shouldn’t be messed with.
Bless you, Jake.
Westside Provisions, Decatur Square, Krog Street, & The Avalon
Jeni’s believes that ice cream brings people together. But the people won’t come, unless the ice cream is scrumptious. Right? Well, that’s no problem for Jeni’s. Founder Jeni Britton Bauer has been making ice cream for over two decades, and in 2002 was at the forefront of the “artisan ice cream movement.” I’ve been a fan of Jeni’s for the past 3 years, and although I’ve stayed loyal and true to Brambleberry Crisp and Brown Butter Almond Brittle, I’ve taken a recent liking to Cocoa Curry Coco and Wildberry Lavender. Amidst the many other flavors, a few more have stood out: Milkiest Chocolate, Gooey Butter Cake, Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach, and Genmaicha & Marshmallows. You could say I’ve sampled a few too many flavors…thanks for your patience Jeni’s.
P.S. The décor here is charming, hip, & polished. Great date night spot!
749 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
4514 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, GA 30338
Now located in three East Atlanta neighborhoods, Morelli’s Ice Cream debuted in 2008 when founder, Donald Sargent, decided to leave his pharmaceutical job to do what he loved—make ice cream. Claiming the title, “Atlanta’s Favorite Ice Cream,” Morelli’s showcases a plethora of “unique and exotic” flavors. Their most popular flavor—and favorite of Conan O’Brien—is the Original Salted Caramel, whose recipe is only known by two staff members. If you dare, venture to try one of Morelli’s truly exotic flavors like Blueberry Corncake, Coconut Jalepeño, Red Raspberry Coke, or Ginger Lavender. If you’re feeling more “traditional,” but still want a Morelli’s specialty, order the rich and creamy Butter Pecan stuffed with Georgia pecans; Cookie Monster filled with OREOS, Famous Amous cookie crumbles, chocolate chips, and a dark chocolate fudge swirl; or Krispy Kreamier chock-full of Krispy Kreme donut chunks.
Thankful this man (Don) decided to make ice cream!
Queen of Cream
701 Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA, 30312
Located in the Inman Park neighborhood along Atlanta’s Beltline, Queen of Cream is ice cream royalty. Started in 2014 by two best friends who LOVE ice cream, Queen of Cream makes all of its ice cream 100% from scratch. Flavors like Deep Chocolate, Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Sprinkle Cookie, and Bangkok (a vegan coconut ice cream) are always available. But again, for the adventurous and noncommittal ice cream lover, try indulging in an exclusive flavor only offered right now: Chocolate Fleck Peanut Butter or Knickerbocker Glory (vanilla bean ice cream, strawberry jam, pickled pineapple jam, fennel glazed pound cake). In need of an ice cream fix AND caffeine jolt mid-afternoon, try a cup of their Revelator coffee or shot of espresso poured over a scoop of Deep Chocolate or Tahitian Vanilla Bean.
Vintage Frozen Custard
1021 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30218
This old-fashioned ice cream parlor in the West End on Howell Mill Rd. is a taste bud pleaser. Frozen custard was the original sweet treat of Coney Island carnivals in New York. It is “velvety smooth” by nature and bold in flavor. Vintage’s custard is no exception. Stroll up to the counter, order, and enjoy some vintage custard on their outdoor patio. Choose from one of their delightful sundae creations like Coffee Strudel (vanilla frozen custard, coffee caramel, & shortbread cookies), Blueberry Cobbler (vanilla frozen custard, blueberry compote, & shortbread cookie), or S’mores (vanilla frozen custard, marshmallow cream, graham cracker crumble, whipped cream & a cherry). If none of these suffice you can make your own concoction!
But please, do me a favor and try a sweet waffle sprinkled with sugar dust and smothered in your favorite custard. I mean, tell me that doesn’t sound magical!
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