What are the best ice cream cities in America? We have to ask, are some cities in America better than others when it comes to ice cream? You bet your chocolate double scooped ice cream there are!
All questions aside, let’s be real for a moment shall we? There is a reason for the saying, “You scream. I scream. We all scream for ice cream.”
Since everyone in America consumes an average of 23 pounds of the sweet stuff every year, we think it’s safe to say ice cream is one of the most nationally loved desserts. It’s no wonder more than 1.6 billion of gallons are churned out annually.
Well, it turns out that some spots across America are indeed sweeter than others. But don’t just take our word for it. Our ice cream lovin’ pals at Apartment Guide wanted a tasty test to run over the hot summer months before pumpkin flavored fever hits our nation. As a result, they went in search of the best cities in America for the cold stuff.
Rather than go with availability alone, many factors were dipped in, rolled up and poured over all with the intention of serving up the best of the best. The number of ice cream parlors in each city with more than 115,000 residents were totaled up, Then a calculation of how many were available per capita and how many there were per square mile were sprinkled in too. In other words, there was a lot of thought put into the test.
Having said that, here are the results of the five best ice cream cities America.
Five Best Ice Cream Cities in America
In the top spot is Miami, Florida. It should be no surprise either, since the city has the warmest climate of any major city in the U.S. It tops out with an average daily mean temp of 77 degrees. Whether it’s a scoop on the beach or while drinking cafécito in the afternoon, a trip to the ice cream parlor is a beloved activity in Miami.
With kids and seniors in high numbers, Miami does have a unique flavor that others do not – their Cuban population. It has more Cuban immigrants than any other city, and over half of residents claim Cuban ancestry. And, all those Cubans have brought Cuban flavors to the local cuisine, including ice cream.
Just ask fans of Azucar Ice Cream Company. The decade-old Little Havana parlor has introduced flavors like café con leche, el mani loco and mantecado and ice cream made with guava, mango and mamey to the local palate. Yum!
Orlando is one of the most visited cities in the world. All of those tourists going to all those restaurants all need to find something sweet after each visit to Mickey. While Orlando is a tourist town, it is best known as a theme park town.
There are nearly three dozen ice creameries at Disney World alone. Among the best is Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street USA, L’Artisan des Glaces at EPCOT and Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club. Add to that the many ice cream shops at Universal Orlando like Hop on Pop Ice Cream Shop at Islands of Adventure, Gelateria at Loews Portofino and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley.
Let’s roll out of Florida and head north shall we? The number three spot belongs to Pittsburgh. In fact, the cold dessert has a lot of history in the city despite its even colder temperatures in the winter.
Brought over from Europe by Quakers, ice cream was historically a city food. Served fresh as it’s made, it became a cheap, easy treat after a hard-working day. Pittsburgh’s steel workers could cool off at the end of the day with street ice cream, and go home and enjoy it with their families.
Today, however, Pittsburgh isn’t smog and steel mills anymore. It’s a vibrant, friendly, modern city, and one of the top food cities in the nation. And, it’s much more than putting fries on your sandwich. Even wintery cold half of the year, it’s still a great ice cream city that marries newfound stylishness with old-world tradition.
It’s no secret that Vegas is hot, hot, and hot. What better way to beat the heat than with a double dose of cold cream?
Anyone who has ever visited Las Vegas knows to expect the unexpected. Tourists and locals alike are always looking for unique, and that’s even more so in Vegas. Lappert’s Ice Cream offers Pacific and Latin flavors like Hawaiian sea salt caramel and Manila mango. Secret Creamery draws raves with flavors, including pandan coconut and blueberry goat cheese. I mean, c’mon – how delicious does that sound? And, at Creamberry, you can choose over 20 ice creams and 50 toppings wrapped in multiple layers of multiple flavors of cotton candy.
Unfortunately the cool creations wont last long in the desert heat making the expression, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” all the more true.
Leave it to college kids to make their mark on any list. Cambridge is home to Harvard, MIT and some great ice cream.
Very few students in Cambridge would argue that the best ice cream in Cambridge is at Toscanini’s Ice Cream, if not the best in greater Boston. The Kendall Square staple is known for its approachable gourmet flavors, including its famous burnt caramel. Other favorite ice cream spots include Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream at Inman Square and Amorino Gelato in Harvard Square.
More proof that Cambridge is a city for ice cream lovers? At Harvard, you can take a lecture class called The Science of Ice Cream. Consider this one class that we are all signing up for ASAP.
You’ll get some sweet surprises when you see our list of the best ice cream cities in America.