50 States, 50 Ice Cream Treats
Food Network Magazine tracked down the most delicious frozen desserts in America.
Milky Moo's, Enterprise and Troy, Alabama
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, Fairbanks, Alaska
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
Sweet Republic, Scottsdale, Arizona
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
Le Pops Gourmet Ice Lollies, Little Rock, Arkansas
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
Jerry's Soda Shoppe, Canoga Park, California
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 and Lounge, Denver, Colorado
An after-theater crowd flocks to Crave, a downtown cafe, for its decadent dessert menu featuring fresh scoops of ice cream.
891 14th St.; cravedenver.com
Shady Glen, Manchester, Connecticut
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
Bar Pilar, Washington, DC
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
The Ice Cream Store, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
The sweet-looking Ice Cream Store sells award-winning, housemade ice cream with a wide array of flavors and mix-ins to create your own sundae or smoothie.
6 Rehoboth Ave.; rehobothbeachicecream.com
Edison: Food + Drink Lab, Tampa, Florida
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
Miller Union, Atlanta, Georgia
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
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
Sugar Sugar at Capital City Public Market, Boise, Idaho
CLOSED-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
Balena, Chicago, Illinois
Expect to find delicious, seasonal frozen treats on the dessert menu.
1633 N. Halsted St.; balenachicago.com
Rocket Science, Nappanee, Indiana
Steve Helmuth flash-freezes his ice cream with liquid nitrogen. In this favorite: peaches and marshmallow cream.
401 E. Market St.; 574-773-7003
Hickory Park, Ames, Iowa
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, Wichita, Kansas
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
Seviche, Louisville, Kentucky
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
Sucre, New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana
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
The Gelato Fiasco, Brunswick and Portland, Maine
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
Newton's Table, Bethesda, Maryland
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
Picco, Boston, Massachusetts
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
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
Convention Grill, Edina, Minnesota
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, Biloxi, Mississippi
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
Bailey's Chocolate Bar, St. Louis, Missouri
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
Sweet Peaks, Montana
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, Lincoln, Nebraska
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
Sugar Factory American Brasserie, Las Vegas, Nevada
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
Puritan Backroom, Manchester, New Hampshire
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
Ninety Acres Culinary Center, Peapack, New Jersey
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
El Milagro, 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
Big Gay Ice Cream, New York, New York
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
Bouchon French Comfort Food, Asheville, North Carolina
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
Dakota Drug Co., Stanley, North Dakota
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
Barrio Tremont, Cleveland, Ohio
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.; barrio-tacos.com
The Mule, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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
Imperial, Portland, Oregon
Be sure to add a scoop of the delicious housemade ice cream to your dessert when you have the option.
410 SW Broadway; imperialpdx.com
Supper, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Supper understands the importance of a good scoop of ice cream. Both the pie of the week and the house-baked cookies are served a la mode.
926 South St.; supperphilly.com
Camille's, 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
Tristan, Charleston, South Carolina
CLOSED-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.
671 Northwoods Blvd #1; tristandining.com
SDSU Dairy Sales Bar, Brookings, South Dakota
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, Nashville, Tennessee
Choose from a variety of surprising and ingenious housemade ice cream flavors — like "Honey Beet." The beets balance sweet custard with earthy flavor, and a drizzle of local honey finishes the deal.
1888 Eastland Ave.; sillygoosenashville.com
Gourdough's Public House, Austin, Texas
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
Frida Bistro, Salt Lake City, Utah
Owner Jorge Fierro’s Mexican heritage inspires his pastries and housemade ice creams.
545 W. 700 South; fridabistro.com
Morse Farm, Montpelier, Vermont
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, Roanoke, Virginia
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, Pullman, Washington
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
Cafe Bacchus, Morgantown, West Virginia
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, Wisconsin
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
Moo's Gourmet Ice Cream, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
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