Let's be real — who doesn't scream for ice cream?
Whether you like chocolate or vanilla, a cone versus a sundaes, or you prefer sprinkles to hot fudge, treating yourself to a dip of this sweet treat is always fun. Lately, ice cream has gotten the gourmet treatment as shops around American are mixing up some pretty unusual and delicious flavors.
Read our suggestions for America's tastiest ice cream flavors, and consult the map below to find out how long it'll take to get to the ice cream shop that tickles your fancy most. Ready to dig in?
Known for: Tin Roof Sundae.
This local gem has been scooping up sundaes since 1948. The old-school atmosphere is authentic, and the ice cream is to die for. The tin roof sundae is a simple scoop of ice cream topped with warm, gooey hot fudge and salty, fresh-roasted peanuts — nothing too fancy, but it's guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Known for: Milk Chocolate.
With always-changing, offbeat flavors like blueberry waffle, garam masala, avocado, and maple pale ale, it may seem foolish to order one of the most basic flavors on the menu, but their milk chocolate is legendary. It's a far cry from the freezer-burned carton of chocolate in the back of your freezer — one bite will make you question everything you ever knew about milk, chocolate, milk chocolate and ice cream.
Known for: The Trifecta.
This sundae is a staff-approved favorite! You get one scoop each of their salted caramel flavor, the brown sugar with ginger swirl, and the malted vanilla, and it's topped with peanut brittle and chocolate — the perfect complements to the rich, sweet and salty sundae.
Known for: Toffee Banofi Sundae.
The Toffee Banofi sundae is a mind-blowingly amazing twist on the banana split with vanilla bean ice cream topped with fresh bananas, toffee brittle and whipped cream, drizzled with salted caramel sauce. And as if things could get better, it comes in a waffle cone bowl. If that doesn't make your mouth water, then you should have your taste buds checked.
Known for: Mexican Vanilla.
Once again, basic doesn't have to mean boring. This rich, sweet ice cream starts with a sweet cream base and has ample amounts of Mexican vanilla added in. Besides, the advantage of ordering a scoop of this vanilla is that it pairs well with just about any other flavor that Amy's offers. Try it with their apple pie, Brandy Alexander, Chai tea, custard donut or maple bacon flavors.
Known for: Burnt Caramel.
Tosci (as the locals call it) has a cozy coffee shop vibe, and while they do brew java, they also make a mean burnt caramel ice cream, among roughly 40 other equally awesome flavors. And if you're feeling like eating healthy, they make frozen yogurt too!
Known for: Mochi Ice Cream.
This is ice cream like you've never experienced — Bubbies serves the truffle-like mochis, which are essentially little scoops of ice cream wrapped in a shell of Japanese sticky rice. Available in several flavors, in addition to scoops and slices of ice cream pie. It's worth it to try at least one mochi; you'll probably wind up going back for another!
Known for: Peanut Butter Doggie Ice Cream.
Yep, this place literally makes ice cream for your pooch. They only use peanut butter and milk so it's totally safe, and your dog will love it on a hot summer day-- plus all the proceeds from the doggie ice cream are given to rescue groups! And don't worry, humans will love their regular ice cream offerings as well. Rum raisin, Door County cherry, and mint chocolate chip are all guaranteed to hit the spot!
Known for: Creole Cream Cheese.
You may want to invest in the six for $6 sampler because this New Orleans parlor offers a lot of options — but make sure to have the Creole cream cheese. It's a tangy and sweet confection made with a local type of curddled cream cheese.
If that sampler still wasn't enough to curb your craving for ice cream, then try to tackle the Tchoupitoulas Sundae Challenge — 8 scoops of ice cream, 8 toppings and a pile of whipped cream, cherries and wafers. Those who finish the challenge alone will be immortalized in their Hall of Fame, but the real prize is how delicious the ice cream is.
Known for: Melted Chocolate.
Just the image that "melted chocolate" elicits makes this flavor stand out about other chocolates, and the fact that it's made with organic, fair trade chocolate from local sweet shop Theo's makes it even better. They clearly value local ingredients, since their wonderful coffee flavor is made with locally-roasted beans from Stumptown. Drool.
Known for: Salted Crack Caramel.
This addictive, sweet and salty flavor lives up to its name — salted butter caramel ice cream is loaded with bits of crack cookies, which are made chocolate, butter, sugar and saltine crackers. In fact, people get so hooked on the flavor that they keep coming back for more, and it frequently sells out; get there early and order a scoop (or three!) The good news is that they do happen to be sold out of what you want, you really can't go wrong with any of their flavors.
Known for: Cherries Moo-bilee.
It's like cherries jubilee but even better, since it's been mixed up into sweet, dreamy ice cream. The black cherry base is loaded with sweet black cherries, a chocolate swirl and chunks of chocolate brownies. You can also tour their dairy farm or the ice cream store, which includes an ice cream tasting!
HONORABLE MENTION: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (Columbus, Ohio)
Known for: Salty Caramel.
Jeni's has spread out to bring its deliciousness to several states, but stop into one of the original locations in Ohio for a scoop of homemade goodness. Their salty caramel is a classic that pairs well with their dark chocolate, Buckeye State or my personal favorite, brown butter almond brittle.
Did we miss any? Find your favorite with our interactive map: