Now that the mercury is rising, I couldn’t wait to share my list of Atlanta’s best ice cream shops with you. I’ve done all the hard work for you by conducting extensive R&D visiting all the new ice cream shops and eating at almost everyone so that you can order with confidence next time you visit one. This is the Darling Guide to Atlanta Ice Cream Shops.
A quick note about this list before we dive in.
This list only contains ice cream shops that are ITP (in-the-perimeter). This list only contains ice cream shops that I’ve eaten at. While I would love to include every ice cream shop and restaurant that serves ice cream on here, I can’t because then we turn into the yellow pages. And unless you guys want me showing up on your doorstep once a year with an overwhelming list of places in alphabetical order, this list will have to do for now. Also, none of these ice cream shops paid to be on this list, nor was any of it gifted.
I also truly wanted to keep this list ITP only because I personally get really disheartened when I see a “new ice cream shop in Atlanta” that is actually in Doraville, Marietta or what have you. For those who may be visiting in from out of town, it isn’t always feasible to get up there for one meal, so these ice cream shops are all located centrally in the city but are definitely NOT touristy.
The Darling Guide to Atlanta Ice Cream Shops:
Midtown Ice Cream
Momonoki/ Momo Café: The best thing to order is the black sesame swirled with matcha green tea. The ice cream is more like soft serve and it’s completely creamy, beautiful, and full of rich flavors.
Inman Park Ice Cream
Jake’s: Hands down the strawberry ice cream is the best. If you ask for it in a cone, they serve it to you upside down in a cup topped with a cone. I’ve never ordered anything besides strawberry here so I have no secondary recommendation.
King of Pops Window: Atlanta’s coolest homegrown brand, my all time favorite pop was the chocolate sea salt and then I had cookies & milk. Now it’s a tie between both of them. There are also adult pops that you can get mixed with alcohol (seasonal).
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Krog Street: Not an Atlanta brand, but still a fantastic scoop of ice cream. If they have Goat Cheese & Cherry, grab it but be warned, one scoop will do you- it’s extremely rich.
Butter & Cream on the beltline: If you’re craving chocolate, this is the place to go. It’s perfectly bittersweet so put it in a sugar cone for a little subtle pop of sweetness as you go.
Voga Gelato: Classic Italian Gelato which means their strawberry (or seasonal fruit) is always a winner or a scoop of Nutella. It’s really rich so I opt for it in a bowl.
Poncey Highlands/ Little 5 Points Ice Cream
Honeysuckle Gelato (PCM): If you want a rich and creamy traditionally chocolatey experience that will most likely leave your mouth covered in chocolate, this is the place. One scoop of chocolate should do you, but if you must venture out, grab a local and seasonal flavor. Also, if you fly first class on Delta, you can now find them in the meal service!
Zesto: I’m a swirl ice cream purist, so when I found out you could order classic vanilla soft serve ice cream in a cake cone and cover it with sprinkles here, I fell in love. Classic diner vibes, worth the stop for a quick and cheap serving of ice cream.
Buckhead Ice Cream
Amorino Gelato: Hands down the best pistachio gelato I’ve had in the states. My favorite order is pistachio and stracciatella rose shaped gelato topped with a salted caramel macaron. You’re welcome.
Virginia Highlands Ice Cream
Paolo’s Italian Gelato: Hands down the best stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate flecks) gelato you’ll have in the states. Whether you get it in a cone or a cup, it’s served with a miniature cone garnished on top.
Old Fourth Ward Ice Cream
Queen of Cream: This place loves to get in on the local food scene so I always opt for the seasonal and local favorites. Current favorites: East pole coffee and a reader highly recommended honeycomb crisp! I will be ordering that this weekend!
Decatur Ice Cream
Butter & Cream: The birthplace of Butter & Cream and also they stuff extra cookie dough into their chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. It’s a definite win.
Steel City Pops: An Alabama transplant, but I LOVE these pops! Not only do they deliver, but the flavors are so original and if you so envision, you can build your own ice cream pop. I personally think the cookies and cream is the way to go, but you can’t go wrong here.
Westside Ice Cream:
Caffé Antico: Another gelateria so go for the classics: one scoop of vanilla and one scoop of chocolate. Sharing is up to you but try to dine outside when the weather is nice. It’s like being transported to Italia! Ciao!
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: Okay another one, but this was Atlanta’s first location, so go for an Atlanta inspired favorite: Sweet cream biscuits and peach jam in a freshly made waffle cone.
Summerhill Ice Cream
Big Softie (coming soon): Sadly, haven’t eaten here yet but one of my favorite bakeries has decided to corner the market of soft serve ice cream and they’ve already teased us with vegan flavors and classic swirls on their Instagram. I’ll keep you updated on when they open.
Hope this helps you guys navigate the Atlanta Ice Cream scene. If coffee is more your thing, you can pop over to our essential café list here and indulge in those as well!