Summer’s certainly going to look a little different this year, which means that oft-employed desire to stand on a corner on a cool summer night, licking an ice cream cone, may not be as easy to come by. And sure, you could grab a generic pint from the grocery store or dash to the corner store to satisfy that craving, but sometimes you simply need something a little more special.
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Enter some of the best ice cream shops currently shipping pints of ice cream around the country. And we’re not just talking about a mere container of vanilla. These beloved parlors are here to serve you more than just the staples, slinging flavors like Earl Grey tea and tequila chocolate mole directly to your door. Here are some of our favorites who are guaranteeing your summer will still be filled with plenty of ice cream.
New York City’s innovative parlor, helmed by ice cream wizard Nicholas Morgenstern, is known for an array of funky and eclectic flavors, from favorites like burnt sage and black licorice to a whole section that’s a study in bananas, boasting flavors like charred banana and banana curry. The menu includes 88 flavors (all available to ship!), and while you’re at it, you can also add ice cream cakes and sandwiches to your cart.
This 5th generation family-run ice cream business in Cincinnati,Ohio has been in operation since 1870, so they certainly know a thing or two about the warm weather staple. Flavors here are an ode to that classic nostalgia (think butter pecan and peanut butter chocolate chip), and if you’re getting a shipment, you can create your own pack or choose from an already curated gift selection. Make it a party and throw in a few jars of the housemade raspberry and butterscotch sauces.
A Seattle, Washington institution, Frankie & Jo’s specializes in plant-based ice cream—meaning all of the ice cream is 100 percent vegan. Expect flavors like salty caramel ash, mint brownie, and chocolate date, all of which can be shipped across the country if you don’t have to live near a Seattle scoop shop.
Fan favorite Jeni’s was born in Columbus, Ohio, but the brand now boasts locations in over 10 states. Jeni’s has long dabbled in nationwide shipping, and these times are no different. Orders require a minimum of four pints (that shouldn’t be too hard to maneuver), with flavors running the gamut from gooey butter cake to coffee with cream and sugar. Know an ice cream fanatic? Sign them up for Jeni’s pint club, a subscription that delivers four pints of Jeni’s, four times a year.
This 3rd generation family business (that’s been around for 70 years!) has a number of scoop shops in Southern California, but if you’re not in the area, you can also order the beloved, creamy flavors online. Pick pints like eureka lemon and marionberries, sea salt cream and cookies, and peppermint stick, and if you really can’t stop throwing pints in your cart, consider opting for a 3-, 6-, or 12-month membership.
Van Leeuwen has mastered classic American flavors, eschewing extraneous add-ins for the simple pleasure of an unadorned creamy scoop. The Brooklyn-based company also flaunts a host of vegan flavors, often crafted out of a cashew or oat milk base. Expect flavors like cookies and cream, Earl Grey tea, and Sicilian pistachio, squeezed into single colorblocked pints.
The Brooklyn-born Ample Hills is known for over-the-top ice cream and sorbet, often studded with housemade cookies and candies. Order directly through the website, where you’ll be prompted to choose four or six flavors, like Summer of Love (sweet cream ice cream stuffed with tie-dye cupcakes) and Nonna D’s Oatmeal Lace (dark brown sugar and cinnamon ice cream swirled with oatmeal lace cookies).
Salt & Straw’s ice cream is crafted in Oregon—built from local and sustainable ingredients—and has become something of a staple on the West Coast. For now, the rest of the country will have to rely on weekly shipments, where fun and innovative flavors reign, like honey lavender and strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper. Create your own selection, or nab one of the pre-curated packs.
St. Louis, Missouri’s Clementine’s Creamery operates in both the naughty and nice spheres: The naughty flavors are infused with alcohol, while the nice ones eschew booze for your traditional ice cream ingredients. You’ll find a host of alcohol-spiked flavors, like chocolate infused with cabernet, as well as flavors that are odes to classic cocktails (think a Manhattan, but in ice cream form, fueled by sweet vermouth, tart cherry juice, and vanilla). Nice flavors run the gamut from Italian butter cookie to salted crack caramel.
Seasonal and artisanal ice cream is the move at Lick Honest Ice Creams, an Austin, Texas institution. The hip flavors can be delivered nationwide, thanks to Goldbelly, where you can choose from scoops like dark chocolate, olive oil, and sea salt, and roasted beets and fresh mint. Looking for something other than scoops? Opt for the ice cream sandwiches, bound by a handmade chocolate cake cookie.
This Omaha, Nebraska ice cream vendor—a fan favorite on “Shark Tank”—crafts a slew of best selling flavors, like mint cookie crunch, sea salt caramel brownie, and s’mores, but the company also allows customers to design their own flavor from a slew of bases and mix-ins. Just select your base (gelato, sorbet, or ice cream) and flavor, then toss in up to three mix-ins, which includes everything from fruits and nuts to candy and bakery items.
Header image by Annie Ray.