Readers Respond: The Best Ice Cream Shops in America


Don’t you just love a Summertime ice cream cone? Last week, in the midst of the recent heat wave, we found some friends in the PBS office to share some of our Summertime ice cream shops. Then we asked you to add your favorite ice cream spots and these are the places you love.

Still don’t see your favorite ice cream? Submit your own favorite spot to beat the heat in the comments below.

Kline’s Dairy Bar

Submitted by Shari Pennington
Kline’s Dairy Bar, in Harrisonburg, VA is by far the best in the Shenandoah Valley. The ice cream shop started in 1943, known as Kline’s Frozen Custard, by local resident John Kline. Daily batches of butter fat mixed with heavy milk using an old by-gone method of continuous freeze production, resulting in creamy soft mounds scooped into waffle cones or sundae trays. Flavors of this week: Red Velvet Cake and Orange Cream. Malts, banana splits and floats with yummy flavors of Mint Chocolate Chip, Brownie Batter, and Stawberry Shortcake to name a few are super popular, too. Average time standing in line – 30 minutes at most.

Learn more: Kline’s Dairy Bar

Rota Springs Farm

Submitted by David Fuerstenau
Massachusetts outside Boston seems to have the highest per capita concentration of handmade family run ice cream stands, and Rota Springs Farm is the best of the best, fun setting, candied ginger is my personal fave, but the butter pecan, maple walnut, and seasonal lavender are also incredible. Any of the berries are fresh in season. Super creamy and smooth. One could make an afternoon tour of this and the half dozen other stands within 5 miles of each other and die happy!! Really miss this in the plain vanilla midwest/Iowa. I’d be there every day if I still lived in the area. Between Sterling and Lancaster, MA.

Learn more: Rota Spring Farm

Independent Dairy and Danny’s

Submitted by Carol Koesel
We have two in Monroe Michigan…Independent Dairy makes their own wonderful ice cream on site and serves up huge cones of the delicious treat, nothing fancy. Down the street is Danny’s for the creamy rich soft serve we all love.

Learn more: Independent Dairy; Danny’s Fine Foods

Beth Marie’s

Submitted by Cyrus Haskell
Denton, TX. Tons of delicious local flavors and red wine and blue cheese ice cream.

Learn more: Beth Marie’s

Ted Drewes

Submitted by MsRocketGal, Pamela Lindsey Lusicic and Eadie Rudder
You should have included Ted Drewes, St. Louis, Missouri. Best EVER!

Learn more: Ted Drewes

Uncle Bob’s Homemade Ice Cream

Submitted by Ruthan Cowell
Uncle Bob’s Homemade Ice Cream in Eureka, IL. They make all of their ice cream at their shop and get really creative with new flavors. They have RumChata, all kinds of chocolate concoctions and, my favorite, Ruthann’s Blackberry Pie Ice Cream. I have a small bakery about 1/2 hour’s drive away and make the blackberry pies that are chunked up and tossed in. Very cool and refreshing!

Learn more: Uncle Bob’s

Carl’s Frozen Custard

Submitted by Gina Snellings Jacobs
Carl’s Frozen Custard on Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Only three flavors, but the way it could be served. In a cone, cup, sundae, milkshake and malts. They’re open from February to November. The line at times is around the shop and down the block. NO ONE gets upset over the long line to taste this wonderful treat. People come off Interstate 95 just to stop by. Look them up, take the taste test. You’ll be back.

Submitted by Merlie Janney Chavonelle
Carl’s Ice cream in Fredericksburg, Virginia…Best soft serve ice cream ever made!! Carl Sponseller founded Carl’s Frozen Custard stand in 1947. Since then, the 1940s era Electro Freeze machines have produced the frozen treat. When served, the ice cream is hand scooped, with a signature “twist” added to the top by the disher. Carl’s sells only four flavors (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and pineapple), but also offers sundaes, shakes, malts, frozen slushies and slush floats. Ice cream is made the same since the doors opened in 1947, nothing fancy just greatest Frozen Custard that has endured for sixty-six years!

Learn more: Carl’s Frozen Custard

The Bent Spoon

Submitted by tiresius
The bent spoon, 35 Palmer Square West, Princeton, NJ bills itself as “artisan ice cream.” Offers gelato (less air than ice cream) made with local fresh cracked eggs and milk & cream. Also offer non-dairy sorbets, with a rotating array of flavors, utilizing fresh, local fruit whenever possible.

Learn more: The Bent Spoon

Babcock Hall Ice Cream

Submitted by Sally Norman and AW
Babcock Hall ice cream, part of the University of Wisconsin dairy farm in Madison, WI

Learn more: Babcock Hall Ice Cream

Woodside Farm Creamery

Submitted by Glenda Voelmeck
Woodside dairy and creamery has the BEST ice cream I have ever had, USA, Europe and Asia. Hockessin, Pennsylvania.

Learn more: Woodside Farm Creamery


Submitted by Tracey
Graeter’s in Cincinnati. Their Black Raspberry Chip is still in my mind some 15 years after having it.

Submitted by @pbsparents
Graeters is the best! I haven’t been there in years and am so tempted to order from their site

Submitted by @gbecray
In Cincinnati it’s Graeter’s–raspberry chip is awesome.

Also submitted by Linda Davis Toepfer, Jane Jonah Hernandez and Steve Cohen

Learn more: Graeter’s

Sherman’s Dairy Bar

Submitted by Steve Henrickson
Sherman’s Dairy Bar in South Haven Michigan. I have been going there on visits to my Grandma’s and Aunts farms for over 40 years and it is still pretty much the same. Got to take my kids on our last trip up there a few weeks ago.

Learn more: Sherman’s Dairy Bar


Submitted by @MySuperFoods
Hoffman’s at the Jersey Shore! Its a family tradition to go at least 4 times a summer

Learn more: Hoffman’s

Kimball Farm

Submitted by @Misserikas
favorite local ice cream for me is Kimball Farm in Westford – best ice cream, mini golf and bumper boats!

Learn more: Kimball Farm


Submitted by Renae Gaffney Kanellis
Whiteys in Davenport, Ia. They have the all time best chocolate milkshakes!

Also submitted by @kateocoop

Learn more: Whitey’s


Submitted by Virginia Compton
Ruby’s in St James, MO is the best handmade ice cream i have had to date. MMMMMM….

Learn more: Ruby’s

The Udder Guys

Submitted by Alastair Alves
On the Island (Vancouver Island) we have a company called The Udder Guys. Great old fashioned ice cream and there is a jelly bean in the bottom of the cone to stop leakage and also becomes an extra treat when you get to the end of the cone.

Learn more: The Udder Guys

Tony’s Ice Cream Company

Submitted by Earl Barber
How the heck could you miss Tony’s Ice Cream Company in Gastonia, NC? Been there for a century and still making the best ice cream on Earth!

Learn more: Tony’s Ice Cream Company

Mitchell’s Homemade

Submitted by Kate Oulton
Mitchell’s in various Cleveland, OH locations. Local, fresh, interesting. Mitchell’s even does Christmas Ale ice cream.

Learn more: Mitchell’s Homemade

Ultimate Ice Cream

Submitted by Hannah Vaughan
Ultimate Ice Cream in Asheville! My favorite flavors include Chai Tea and Chocolate Ginger. Most of the ingredients are from local farms too, it is the best!

Learn more: Ultimate Ice Cream

Mitchell’s San Francisco

Submitted by Suzanne Dolan
Mitchells in SF, creative flavors dipped in chocolate and line out the door no matter the weather.

Learn more: Mitchell’s


Submitted by M. Annette Castillo
We love gelato at Vitaly and the open faced ice cream sandwiches at The Camp in Costa Mesa, CA

Learn more: Vitaly


Submitted by Makena Schultz
Cow pies at MOOmers, Traverse City MI

Learn more: MOOmers

Ted and Wally’s

Submitted by Mattymath83
Ted and Wally’s in downtown Omaha, NE. Excellent!

Learn more: Ted and Wally’s

Brown Cow

Submitted by Sarah
Brown Cow in Forest Park, IL!

Learn more: Brown Cow


Submitted by Samantha Stanley
Old Town Arvada, CO

Learn more: Scrumptious

Lil’ Caboose

Submitted by Emily Anderson
Yarmouth, MA

Learn more: Lil’ Caboose

The Dairy Store at MSU

Submitted by @JulieMcHartley
East Lansing, MI

Learn more: Dairy Store

The Pied Piper Creamery

Submitted by @calsteward
Nashville, TN

Learn more: The Pied Piper Creamery

Ample Hills Creamery

Submitted by @devin11217
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NY

Learn more: Ample Hills Creamery

Prince Puckler’s

Submitted by @Another_Mom
Eugene, OR, Such tasty treats!

Learn more: Prince Puckler’s

Bedford Farms Ice Cream

Submitted by @ohbabyboston
Concord, MA

Learn more: Bedford Farms

The Ice Cream Shoppe

Submitted by @JCov8
Downtown Apex, NC

Learn more: The Ice Cream Shoppe

Marble Slab

Submitted by @JoAnn_Clabo
Knoxville, TN

Learn more: Marble Slab

Sugar Bowl

Submitted by Pat Smith Johnson
My favorite ice cream place, Scottsdale, AZ

Learn more: Sugar Bowl

Amy’s Ice Cream

Submitted by Rudi Lee
Austin, TX

Learn more: Amy’s Ice Cream

Dietsch Brothers

Submitted by Judith Clabaugh
Findlay, OH

Learn more: Deitsch Brothers

Dumser’s Dairyland

Submitted by Megan McCray
Ocean City, MD

Learn more: Dumser’s Dairyland

Kerber’s Dairy

Submitted by Carol Corcoran Rogers
Huntingdon, PA

Learn more: Kerber’s Dairy

Homestead Ice Cream

Submitted by Doti Sullivan Young
Archbold, OH

Learn more: Homestead Ice Cream

Young’s Dairy

Submitted by Steve White
Yellow Springs, OH

Learn more: Young’s Dairy

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Submitted by Bob Long
Most any shop that serves Blue Bell ice cream.

Also submitted by Maxine Crawford
Don’t know about ice shops, however, Blue Bell is the best!

Learn more: Blue Bell

The Windmill

Submitted by Kim Swisher
Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Learn more: The Windmill

Toft’s Dairy

Submitted by Sue Ann Maule McAbee
Sandusky, OH

Learn more: Toft’s Dairy

Kopp’s Custard

Submitted by Donna Kathryn
Was visiting Milwaukee and had to get Kopp’s fro custard every day…yummy

Also submitted by John Walstra

Learn more: Kopp’s Custard

Riverside Chocolate Factory (and Ice Cream Store)

Submitted by Lori M. Lowe
McHenry, IL, The best!!!

Learn more: Riverside Chocolate Factory


Submitted by MaryBeth Quattrone Hueter
Wildwood, NJ

Learn more: Duffers


Submitted by Cindy Jones
Chapel Hill and Durham, NC

Learn more: LocoPops

Schubert’s Ice Cream and Candy

Submitted by Emily Purvis
Chico, CA

Learn more: Schubert’s

Frosty Freeze

Submitted by Brandon McCauley
Middletown, RI

Learn more: Frosty Freeze

The Northfield Creamie

Submitted by Meg Albus
Northfield, MA

Learn more: The Northfield Creamie

The Chief

Submitted by Penny Mabie
Goshen, Indiana – best ever!

Learn more: The Chief

Salt and Straw

Submitted by Kathleen Francis
Portland, OR

Learn more: Salt and Straw


Submitted by Jennifer Calcagni
Narragansett, RI

Learn more: Brickley’s

Cedar Crest

Submitted by Amber Fox Brewer
Manitowoc, WI

Learn more: Cedar Crest

Milwaukee Joe’s

Submitted by Nicci Caren Droste
Bedford, TX

Learn more: Milwaukee Joe’s

Merrymead Farms

Submitted by HelenMarie Marshall
Lansdale, PA

Learn more: Merrymead Farms

Pie in the Sky

Submitted by Irene Bourgeois
Otsego, NY

Learn more: Pie in the Sky

Heincheon’s Dairy

Submitted by AnneLouise Burns
Pawling, NY

Learn more: Heincheon’s Dairy


Submitted by Nicole Rippe Murphy
Ellensburg, WA

Learn more: Winegar’s

Comfy Cow

Submitted by Aimee Dingman
Louisville, KY

Learn more: Comfy Cow

Sundae School

Submitted by Uncle
Cape Cod, MA

Learn more: Sundae School


Submitted by Judy Calkin Hembd
Billings, MT

East Wind

Submitted by PennyBradford
Cascade Locks, OR

I Scream

Submitted by Jack Vict
Albuquerque, NM

I Scream

Submitted by Jack Vict
Albuquerque, NM

The Frosty Tip

Submitted by Jessica Herlache Jantz
Dyckesville, WI


Submitted by Joy Troeger
Mason City, IA


Submitted by Elaine Westfall
Toni’s on West Pike St. in Clarksburg, WV, had fabulous raspberry ice cream.


Submitted by Denise Widen
Wyandotte, MI