Lewis Brothers, Provincetown, MA
This quaint ice cream shop on the northern tip of Cape Cod offers up 28 flavors at any time—all made daily, including Crystalized Ginger and Mudslide Chip, an adult favorite made with vodka, Kahlua, Baileys, and chocolate chips.
310 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA, 508-487-0977;
Molly Moon, Washington (multiple locations)
Miss Molly Moon (yes, that’s her real name) opened her own shop in the spring of 2008, having scooped her way through her Pacific Northwest childhood. She now runs four locations in Seattle that serve up 12 flavors of frozen treats—eight year-round, four seasonal—made from hormone-free cows' milk. The selection currently includes Cherry Chunk ice cream and Strawberry Lemonade sorbet. You can also find the Molly Moon Ice Cream truck on the road—and she even rents it out for local weddings.
Juice Bar, Nantucket, MA
Located just up the road from the ferry dock, it’s easy to make this the first and final stop of your island stay. Residents swear by the handmade cones, and 50 ice cream flavors including Native Blackberry (available only in August) and Crantucket, a vanilla ice cream with chocolate-covered cranberries. It’s only open May through October.
26 Lovers La., Nantucket, MA, 508-228-5799
Homer’s Ice Cream, Wilmette, IL
Rumored to be a favorite of Al Capone’s, Homer’s has been a fixture on the North Shore of Illinois since 1935 and is still run by sons of the original owner. In the summer, Fresh Peach, made from real Georgia peaches, is the most popular flavor, but there’s sure to be something for everyone amongst their 50 flavors.
1237 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette, IL, 847-2251-0477; .
Mystic Drawbridge, Mystic, CT
Overlooking the historic drawbridge near the Mystic Seaport, this ice cream shop is a location that can’t be beat. It’s no wonder the space has been home to a number of ice cream shop since the 1800s. These days, Mystic Drawbridge's Jamaican Me Nutty is a favorite among the 30 flavors. Grab a cone and a seat on the small terrace while watching the historic boats ply the river.
2 W Main St., Mystic, CT, 860-572-7978; .
Graeters, Cincinnati, OH
If you have any connection to the Midwest, chances are you’ve heard of Graeters. It’s an ice cream chain whose wares are available in grocery stores and shops in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Louisville, and northern Kentucky. Some of its recipes date back to 1870, and they’ve lasted for good reason. Each batch of their two dozen flavors is still made just two gallons at a time, using the traditional French Pot method.
Bonnie Brae, Denver, CO
This summer, Bonnie Brae is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Seven scoopers serve up 30 rotating flavors, out of a roster of 120, including Triple Death Chocolate, Amaretto Peach, and Cappuccino Crunch, all prepared by Richard, the ice cream mastermind who’s been concocting flavors there for 24 years.
799 S. University Blvd, Denver, 303-777-0808; .
Leroy’s, Sun Valley, ID
Toni Deskins sells her Sun Valley ice cream to local restaurants and food stores and also runs the non-profit Leroy’s ice cream stand, which offers 26 handmade flavors, including organic Honey Chamomile, which has a cultlike following. All profits from the stand go to the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and the Ketchum Parks Department.
Ketchum Town Plaza, 4th St., Sun Valley, ID; .
Bi-Rite Creamery, San Francisco, CA
Located in the heart of the Mission district, five-year-old Bi-Rite has a legion of followers who often wrap around the block. Local ingredients dominate the menu, with 18 flavors daily (half are seasonal), including Honey Lavender, Balsamic Strawberry and the most popular, Salted Caramel.
3692 18th St., San Francisco, CA, 415-626-5600; .
Capogiro, Philadelphia, PA
With 27 flavors of gelato made fresh every day in each of the four Philadelphia locations, Capogiro is a required stop after queuing for the Liberty Bell. These scoops will transport you to Italy, even if the hormone-free dairy is sourced locally from Pennsylvania.