50 States 50 Ice Cream Treats
Food Network Magazine tracked down the most delicious frozen desserts in America. Click on the stars to see one in every state!
Enterprise and Troy, Alabama
"Boll Weevil Special"
This peanut-lover’s ice cream — chock-full of peanut butter with peanut-butter chips and peanuts — is named after an unlikely state hero: In the early 1900s, boll weevil insects destroyed the cotton harvest and made peanuts Alabama’s king crop.
Two locations; milkymooicecream.com
HOT LICKS HOMEMADE ICE CREAM
Alaska may not be home to much sun and sand, but Hot Licks does its part to conjure the beach: This scoop comes full of giant Monukka raisins soaked in dark rum.
Two locations; hotlicks.net
"Toffee Banofi Sundae"
This sundae version of English Banoffee pie is Alton Brown’s favorite ice cream treat. It’s a mountain of Madagascar vanilla ice cream, salted caramel, bananas and toffee brittle in an oversize waffle bowl.
9160 E. Shea Blvd.; sweetrepublic.com
Little Rock, Arkansas
LE POPS GOURMET ICE LOLLIES
In an unassuming shopping-mall stall, Le Pops founder Laurie Harrison cranks out homemade ice pops. This fan favorite is a serious take on a Fudgsicle, made with cocoa and chocolate.
400 President Clinton Ave.; lepops.com
Canoga Park, California
JERRY'S SODA SHOPPE
"Ice Cream Soda"
The soda fountain inside De Soto Pharmacy is only 17 years old, but its ice cream soda is already a legend: The mug is dipped in chocolate, then filled with Lappert’s ice cream, chocolate syrup, seltzer and whipped cream.
20914 Roscoe Blvd.; 818-341-9515
CRAVE DESSERT BAR & LOUNGE
An after-theater crowd flocks to Crave, a swank downtown café, for a popular (if unusual) treat: chocolate-chestnut ice cream on a brown-butter waffle covered with grapefruit sauce and Mexican ganache.
891 14th St.; cravedenver.com
What makes this particular scoop so special is its texture: The staff at the ’50s-style diner pours hot melted chocolate onto vanilla ice cream, then the chocolate hardens and shatters, so you get tons of chips in every bite.
840 E. Middle Turnpike; 860-649-4245
"Cuba Libre Float"
For his take on the Cuba Libre cocktail, bar manager Jonathan Fain fills a modified Coca-Cola bottle with vanilla gelato, rum and Mexican Coke, then tops it off with absinthe-laced whipped cream and a Southern Comfort – soaked cherry.
833 14th St. NW; barpilar.com
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
THE ICE CREAM STORE
The sweet-looking Ice Cream Store sells one wicked treat: scoops of ice cream flavored with cinnamon, cayenne and hot sauce, and topped with a dried edible scorpion.
6 Rehoboth Ave.; rehobothbeachicecream.com
EDISON: FOOD + DRINK LAB
Chef Jeannie Pierola calls the kitchen her lab, and this dessert is an experiment gone right: carrot ice cream with crisp crullers, cardamom glaze and a white raisin puree.
912 W. Kennedy Blvd.; edison-tampa.com
"Ice Cream Sandwiches"
This lunchtime-only dessert is called “ice cream sandwich” on the menu, but it’s not that simple: It’s a rich brownie-ish cookie on the outside, with fun specialty ice cream flavors (like brown butter) on the inside.
999 Brady Ave. NW; millerunion.com
KIMO's and DUKE's
Hawaii is home to killer waves and macadamia nuts, and this slice of ice cream pie is a combination of the two: a behemoth wavelike mass of macadamia nut ice cream, chocolate cookie crust and hot fudge.
Multiple locations; tsrestaurants.com
CAPITAL CITY PUBLIC MARKET
Saturday at the farmers’ market is when you can buy the cult-favorite brand Sugar Sugar’s ice cream “sammies,” such as lemon ice cream between almond-meringue cookies.
8th St. and Idaho St.; sugarsugarid.com
Neil John Burger
The interesting mix of textures in this sundae is the secret to its popularity: creamy pistachio gelato, fluffy pistachio nougat and chewy orange confit.
1633 N. Halsted St.; balenachicago.com
"Peaches & Cream"
Steve Helmuth flash-freezes his ice cream with liquid nitrogen. In this favorite: peaches and marshmallow cream.
401 E. Market St.; 574-773-7003
"Salted Nut Roll"
The place mats at Hickory Park advertise 49 specialty sundaes. We love this one, with vanilla ice cream, marshmallow, caramel, salted peanuts and a wafer.
1404 S. Duff Ave.; hickoryparkames.com
PALETERIA LA REYNA
Few know the owner’s recipe for this Mexican helado (ice cream), but two secrets are out: The produce for the fruit flavors is hand-picked, and the ice cream is 14 percent milk fat instead of the usual 5. Translation: It’s extra creamy!
2925 N. Arkansas Ave.; 316-831-9196
Chef Anthony Lamas’ love of avocados (he sold them at a stand as a kid) inspired his avocado ice cream, served in a chocolate shell with a pit of dark chocolate and bourbon dulce de leche.
1538 Bardstown Rd.; sevicherestaurant.com
New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana
"All Things NOLA"
This sundae is an ode to two New Orleans favorites: bananas Foster and bread pudding. The brown-butter pecan gelato comes with bananas Foster sauce, pecans and bread-pudding chunks.
Two locations; shopsucre.com
Brunswick and Portland, Maine
THE GELATO FIASCO
Instead of milk in your coffee, try ice cream: Locals come here for a double shot of espresso served in a mug over gelato (like the fresh cream flavor).
Two locations; gelatofiasco.com
"Pig Brittle with Vanilla Ice Cream"
You don’t really need a spoon for this treat: You can scoop up the ice cream with big shards of pig brittle (candy-coated prosciutto and toasted pecans) that come on the side.
4917 Elm St.; newtonstable.com
"Adult' Ice Cream Soda"
This smart, grown-up version of a float is bittersweet — in the best way: tart raspberry lambic beer poured over vanilla ice cream in a tall hefeweizen glass.
513 Tremont St.; piccorestaurant.com
SANDERS CANDY & DESSERT SHOPS
"Hot Fudge Cream Puff"
Michigan ice cream addicts have enjoyed this twist on the cream puff since the 1920s: The pastry is filled with vanilla ice cream and drenched in hot fudge.
Multiple locations; sanderscandy.com
Edina’s vintage diner serves its strawberry malt shake the old-school way — in a tall glass with two straws and a frosted metal mixing cup on the side. Add fresh banana for just 50 cents.
3912 Sunnyside Rd.; conventiongrillmn.com
THE HOOK UP
"Moon Pie–RC Cola Sandwich"
This winner is two Southern favorites, moon pies and Royal Crown Cola, in one: A moon pie with RC Cola ice cream inside.
200 8th St.; thehookuprestaurant.com
St. Louis, Missouri
BAILEY'S CHOCOLATE BAR
The motto at Bailey’s is “Every day is Valentine’s Day” — and customers fall hard for this warm berry tart crowned with lemon-sage ice cream.
1915 Park Ave.; baileyschocolatebar.com
"Ranch Dressing Ice Cream"
The owners’ 8-year-old daughter, a ranch-dressing lover, inspired this flavor. It comes with carrot sticks for dipping.
Multiple locations; sweetpeaksicecream.com
LINCOLN DAIRY STORE
"Root Beer Float"
Take a campus tour and you might see food- science students making the vanilla ice cream for this frothy float.
114 Food Industry Complex; dairystore.unl.edu
Las Vegas, Nevada
SUGAR FACTORY AMERICAN BRASSERIE
"King Kong Sundae"
This dessert is as intimidating as its namesake: 16 scoops of ice cream with 12 toppings, like marshmallows, two waffle cones, gummy candies, bananas and giant lollipops.
3655 Las Vegas Blvd.; sugarfactory.com
Manchester, New Hampshire
"Baklava Ice Cream"
The Greek owners here pay tribute to their native country by mixing pieces of baklava (phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts), cinnamon and honey into vanilla ice cream.
245 Hooksett Rd.; puritanbackroom.com
Peapack, New Jersey
NINETY ACRES CULINARY CENTER
"Sweet & Salty"
Fans of chocolate-covered pretzels can’t resist this sundae. The chefs flavor ice cream with pretzels and sea salt and top it with hot fudge and a pretzel-panko crumble.
2 Main St.; natirar.com
Santa Fe, New Mexico
El Milagro’s sopaipilla (sweet fried dumpling) comes covered in caramel and whipped cream, but the best part is on the inside: vanilla ice cream that melts and oozes out.
3482-C Zafarano Dr.; 505-474-2888
New York, New York
BIG GAY ICE CREAM
The creative founders of the Big Gay Ice Cream truck and shop (yes, they’re gay) cover soft-serve cones in fun, clever toppings. The American Globs is a bestseller: vanilla covered with pretzel pieces, sea salt and chocolate.
Two locations; biggayicecream.com
Asheville, North Carolina
BOUCHON FRENCH COMFORT FOOD
"The French Connection"
It’s a frozen treat with a little heat: vanilla ice cream swirled with cognac and crushed pink peppercorns, and dusted with sweet praline morsels.
62 N. Lexington Ave.; ashevillebouchon.com
Stanley, North Dakota
DAKOTA DRUG CO.
"Whirla Whip with Dill Pickle Relish"
Dakota Drug Co. is home to what is likely America’s only surviving Whirla Whip, a 1940s machine that whips vanilla ice cream with toppings. Be brave and try it like a local: with dill-pickle relish.
107 S. Main St.; 701-628-2255
Savory tacos are only part of the draw at little Barrio Tremont: Customers love the chocolate-covered dessert taco, made with cayenne ice cream.
806 Literary Rd.; barriotremont.com
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
"Grand Lake Monte Cristo"
The PB&J at The Mule grilled-cheese shop is nothing like the one you had as a kid: It’s peanut butter, dark chocolate and raspberry preserves on white bread, grilled and served with salted-caramel ice cream.
1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.; themuleokc.com
"Double Chocolate Icebox Cake"
Pastry chef Michelle Vernier makes this icebox cake with layers of chocolate ice cream and dense chocolate cake (instead of whipped cream and chocolate cookies). Then she blankets the whole thing with toasted meringue.
410 SW Broadway; imperialpdx.com
"Hazelnut Waffles with Praline Ice Cream"
Chef Mitch Prensky makes his waffles with a little cornmeal for crunch. Then he turns them into a sandwich with praline ice cream, brûléed bananas and Nutella ganache.
926 South St.; supperphilly.com
Providence, Rhode Island
A storied Italian restaurant is a fitting spot for an iconic Italian dessert (with a twist): strawberry, pistachio and chocolate ice creams on a graham-cracker crust with candied cherries and orange peel.
71 Bradford St.; camillesonthehill.com
Charleston, South Carolina
"Smoked Chocolate Parfait"
As weird as it sounds, this dish is like a chocolate sausage: cold-smoked chocolate ice cream wrapped in a pudding-skin casing, served with chocolate Pop Rocks.
10 Linguard St.; tristandining.com
Brookings, South Dakota
DAIRY SALES BAR
"Cookies ’n Cream"
South Dakota State University claims it invented cookies-and-cream ice cream. We can’t be sure, but the school’s version, made cow-to-cone on campus, is legendary — and worth the fuss.
1111 Rotunda Ln. North; 605-697-2585
THE SILLY GOOSE
Turns out, beets are an ingenious ice cream ingredient: They balance sweet custard with earthy flavor, plus the color is amazing. A drizzle of local honey finishes the deal.
1888 Eastland Ave.; sillygoosenashville.com
GOURDOUGH'S PUBLIC HOUSE
You’ll find more than two dozen great doughnuts at Gourdough’s, but the Black Betty is the reigning queen. It’s filled with blackberry jam, glazed with cream cheese icing and topped with cake-mix crumbles, honey butter and a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream.
2700 S. Lamar Blvd.; gourdoughspub.com
Salt Lake City, Utah
"Plátano Macho Split"
Owner Jorge Fierro’s Mexican heritage inspired this banana split: baby plantains cooked in brown sugar and tequila, served with Mexican chocolate, strawberry and tres leches ice creams.
545 W. 700 South; fridabistro.com
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It’s not summer in Vermont without a creemee (the local name for soft serve). The maple syrup–making Morse family swirls their Grade B syrup into ice cream and serves it in a cone.
1168 County Rd.; morsefarm.com
THE RIVER AND RAIL
This dessert-in-a-jar is full of surprises: Under the jalapeño-coconut ice cream you’ll find banana pudding and crunchy cornbread bits.
2201 Crystal Spring Ave. SW; riverandrailrestaurant.com
FERDINAND'S ICE CREAM SHOPPE
"Apple Cup Crisp"
The Apple Cup Crisp, named after an annual college football battle, makes the most of the state’s signature crop. It’s vanilla ice cream mixed with apple flavoring, crushed oatmeal cookies and caramel.
2035 NE Ferdinand’s Ln.; public.wsu.edu/~creamery/ferdfront.htm
Morgantown, West Virginia
"Apple Butter Ice Cream"
This local favorite is an ingenious flavor combo: West Virginia apple butter ice cream drizzled with Mexican apple jack caramel sauce and topped with bacon sprinkles.
76 High St.; cafebacchus.net
KOPP'S FROZEN CUSTARD
"Kopp’s Special Sundae"
The local landmark Kopp’s has been dishing out custard since 1950. And this sundae is a menu mainstay — vanilla custard layered with hot fudge, raspberries, banana slices and pecans.
Multiple locations; kopps.com
Peter F. Paulin
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
MOO'S GOURMET ICE CREAM
Wild huckleberries grow rampant in the Rockies — and the ice cream makers at Moo’s don’t let them go to waste. They use natural and organic ingredients (no preservatives or colorings): The berries create that vibrant hue.
110 N. Center St.; moosjacksonhole.com