We’ve put together a list of 7 local ice cream shops you must visit when you travel in the United States. So if you’re a fan of ice cream, you’re in luck!

9 of the Best Local Ice Cream Shops in the United States

Walls Old Fashioned Ice Cream – Miami, Florida

Walls Old Fashioned Ice Cream is as old time Miami as it gets. When you walk into the shop, located in South Miami, you are immediately greeted and feel as if you have been transported into the 1950s due to the classic red and white striped decor. It is a family-owned, old-school ice cream parlor that not only offers over 25 flavors of locally made ice cream, but also has homemade fudge, cones, shakes, and sundaes. It is definitely a Miami classic!

Walls Ice Cream - One of the Best Local Ice Cream Shops in Miami, Florida

Margie DQ blogs at DQ Travel.

Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream – San Francisco, California

Marco Polo Italian Ice Cream in San Francisco is an unassuming, local spot with amazing gelato. Though their name says “Italian ice cream,” they are much more than that! They also have delicious flavors from Asian cultures, such as durian, soursop, black sesame, taro, and guava. My personal favorites are lychee, mangosteen, and Longjing (Dragon’s Well) green tea. Aside from Asian fruity flavors, they also have your typical chocolate, mocha chip, and fresh strawberry, but with such unique flavors who needs those “normal” ones!

The Adventures of Panda Bear.

Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time. Charles M. Schulz Click To Tweet

Tipsy Scoop – New York City, New York

Tipsy Scoop, in New York City,  serves liquor spiked ice cream in a myriad of creative and enticing flavors including red velvet martini, tequila Mexican hot chocolate, and strawberry white sangria.  The owner’s Italian ancestors brought ice cream to Scotland in the 1800s. The business grew and eventually came to the United States. Continuing the family ice cream tradition, the latest generation began to experiment with adding an innovative boozy take on ice cream. What resulted is the best of two delectable delights; traditional ice cream flavors infused with different liquors. There is always a line outside the store, and you must be 21 to enter and partake of these tasty treats.  This is really one of the most unique local ice cream shops around. Cheers!

Looking for other cool things to do in the Big Apple? Check out these unique activities you can only do in New York City. 

Local New York City tours.

Credit: Tipsy Scoop Ice Cream

Talek Nantes blogs at Travels with Talek.

Bi-Rite Creamery – San Francisco, California

Bi-Rite Creamery, conveniently located in San Francisco’s hippest neighborhood—the Mission—is a MUST when in the city. On one California road trip recently, I made a San Francisco pit stop and even braved the parking challenges to get my Bi-Rite fix. Flavors? Think peach cobbler with Masumoto peaches, blueberry crisp with pecan oat crisp crumble, or balsamic strawberry. It’s true there’s a line every time of day, but it moves fast, so don’t let that deter you. Walk across the street to lovely Dolores Park with your ice cream to join locals and check out the scene.

Local San Francisco tours. 

Christina Román blogs at Explore Now or Never.

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone. Jim Fiebig Click To Tweet

SomiSomi – Los Angeles, California

SomiSomi located in Koreatown, Los Angeles is my favorite ice cream shop at the moment! They magically combine two of my favorite things: Taiyaki (aka Ah-Boong in Korean) and creamy, delicious soft-serve ice cream. The soft-serve ice cream comes in four main flavors: matcha, ube, milk, and black sesame, yummy! Finally, you choose your filling for the Taiyaki: red bean, custard or Nutella. I’m salivating just writing about it! Not only is this ice cream incredibly delicious, it makes for a killer Instagram photo.

Los Angeles local tours. 

Kaila Yu blogs at Nomlist.

The Original Rainbow Cone – Chicago, Illinois

Perhaps ice cream isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Windy City, but Chicago has a unique ice cream treat courtesy of The Original Rainbow Cone, established 1926. This famous Chicago food gets its name from the colorful layers of ice cream flavors on top of a wafer cone. The layers of The Original Rainbow Cone are chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (New York vanilla with cherries and walnuts), pistachio, and orange sherbet. Visitors to Chicago can get a rainbow cone at the original location, or at their stand on the Navy Pier.

Local Chicago tours.

Local Ice Cream Shop in Chicago, Illinois

Katherine Belarmino blogs at Katherine Belarmino.

Graeter’s Ice Cream – Cincinnati, Ohio

Since 1870, Graeter’s has been making ice cream using an all-but-forgotten method, producing some of the creamiest, mouthwatering ice cream you’ve ever tasted. Made with fresh cream and milk from Ohio farms; 100% cane sugar, egg custard, and gourmet chocolate for their signature chocolate chips (more like chocolate bars!). Graeter’s uses 2-gallon French Pot freezers. This a method that has been around for more than a century, but is no longer used by the commercial ice cream industry.

Ice cream cravings are not to be taken lightly. Betsy Cañas Garmon Click To Tweet

With flavors like black raspberry chocolate chip, bourbon pecan chocolate chip, Madagascar vanilla bean, fruit sorbets, as well as seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice, peppermint, and peach, there’s surely something to satisfy your ice cream craving.

Cincinnati local tours.

Azucar Ice Cream Shop – Miami, Florida

Azucar Ice Cream Shop, conceptually inspired by the owners Cuban grandmother, sits right in the middle of Little Havana on Calle 8 in Miami. This area is ground zero for Cuban food and culture in the U.S. The name azucar means sugar in Spanish but it was also the signature phrase of Celia Cruz, an icon of the Cuban entertainment industry. The ice cream flavors reflect the culture, drawing on tropical fruits common in Cuba like guava and mango.

Also on offer are flavors representing cultural aspects like Domino an Oreos cookies n cream concoction named for a game Cubans commonly play, Willie Cherrino named after a popular Cuban performer and Noche Buena spiced sugar plum, named after a Christmas Eve feast Cubans celebrate.  What an amazing collection of inspired tastes making this one of the coolest local ice cream shops! 

While you’re in Miami, make sure to head to South Beach and enjoy the perfect South Beach walk. 

Miami local tours.

Venchi, New York City

Venchi started their delicious story in the early 1800s in the northern Italian city of Piedmonte. Silviano Venchi began to explore his love of chocolate at only 16 years of age in his little shop in Cuneo. It was not long before people noticed the remarkable quality and taste of Silvio’s chocolate.

Silvio’s competitive advantage for superior chocolate in a country known for outstanding sweets was to package the treats and present them as it they were jewels.

Success built on success and in 1878 the Venchi company was officially founded.  Growth continued and today the company has more than 100 stores in over 70 countries. Many of these stores, like the sparkling new store in Manhattan, offer ice cream.  It is just as good as their chocolate.

Venchi New York Ice cream shop

Talek blogs at Travels with Talek


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