The temperature is rising and there is something nostalgic about summer that makes you crave this creamy treat like never before. Ice cream, a treat dating back to second century B.C, previously consisted of a variety of mixtures of ice, cream, butter and fruit flavoring. This treat has grown exponentially since the days of Alexander the Great, who enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. Today, you can find wacky flavors of ice cream in shops across the nation. From pop rock infused sherbet, to banana and pecan sandies, follow us as we explore the unique flavors being served in popular ice cream shops in major US cities.
Los Angeles,CA – Beachy Cream
Beachy Cream is a Santa Monica-based, organic ice cream shop. Established in 2012, their main philosophy is to provide customers with a “sweet treat that [they] can feel good about eating,” and it surely holds up. All of the ice cream served at Beachy Cream is made from locally sourced, organic ingredients that are all GMO and hormone free. This ice cream shop may have a 1950s feel, but its flavors are far from traditional. A few Roaming Hunger office favorites were Roasted Banana, Bitchin’ “Hot” Chocolate, and Breakfast in Bed. The Bitchin’ “Hot” Chocolate is a frozen hot chocolate ice cream infused with fudge syrup that perfectly compliments their Roasted Banana ice cream. Reminiscent of a classic ice cream sundae, the only thing missing is a little whipped cream. Another favorite was Breakfast in Bed, a coffee flavored ice cream full of freshly made waffle chunks and sprinkles of orange zest. Whoever said you can’t have dessert for breakfast clearly never had Beachy Cream Ice Cream!
San Francisco – Bi-Rite Creamery & Bakeshop
Bi-Rite Creamery & Bakeshop is a family-owned business based in San Francisco that, like Beachy Cream, is also serving ice cream made from local and organic ingredients. All of their ingredients are cooked or baked right in their shop, from the chocolate covered almonds and marshmallows to the caramelized roasted bananas. Some of Bi-Rite’s featured flavors are hazelnut with askinosie cocoa nibs, honey lavender with Sonoma honey and malted vanilla with crunchy peanut brittle and milk chocolate pieces, just to name a few. If you’re ever in the Bay Area, be sure to stop by Bi-Rite to try a few of these delectable flavors.
Austin – Lick Honest Ice Creams
Lick Honest Ice Creams is a small Austin-based ice cream shop that prides itself in providing “unique flavors that come from only the finest ingredients.” Some of Licks stand-out flavors include Texas au lait, a mix of milk, cream and coffee, sweetened with pure cane syrup and a pinch of Mexican vanilla. As well as a Texas Sheet Cake flavor that consists of a swirl of decadent chocolate pecan filling and chocolate ice cream. If you are looking to try ice cream that is fresh and authentic, be sure to stop by and get a lick!
Chicago, IL- George’s Ice Cream & Sweets
George’s Ice Cream & Sweets is another family-owned shop that hopes to “offer a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere to gather with old friends or meet new ones.” Their featured menu items will certainly get the conversation flowing. Unlike the traditional sundae that is usually comprised of vanilla ice cream, banana, nuts and chocolate syrup, George’s presents a variety of specialty sundaes. Their Chocolate Explosion Sundae is every chocolate lover’s dream, consisting of zanzibar ice cream, hot fudge, brownies, M &M’s and chocolate chips; a combination bound to leave you chocolate wasted. Not a chocolate fan? No problem! George’s offers a multitude of kooky shakes, including a sherbet and pop rock fusion that is guaranteed to knock your socks off.
New York, NY – Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop started off serving old-school soft serve from a truck in 2009 and eventually moved to a brick and mortar site in New York’s East Village in 2011. Since then, they have been named as one of “New York’s ice cream powerhouses” and are now set to open a shop in Downtown LA sometime this year. Big Gay Ice Cream shop is widely known for their unique names, such as Salty Pimp, which consists of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt and chocolate chips and Gobbler, a mix of pumpkin butter and maple syrup or apple butter and bourbon butterscotch with pieces of pie all topped with whipped cream. In addition to these witty flavors and infusions, they offer a variety of eccentric milk shakes and floats including ginger curry, horchata and chocolate-peanut butter. Any item on Big Gay Ice Cream Shops menu will be sure to keep you on your toes.
Miami, FL – Azucar Ice Cream
Azucar Ice Cream Shop is stirring up a crowd in Little Havana Miami with flavors that are inspired by the subtropical climate and diverse cultures. Motivated by their grandmother’s love and passion for ice cream, the owners are committed to living out their Abuela’s dreams by continuing to create innovative ice cream and sorbet flavors. A few of their must-try flavors are Bean Me Up, a bourbon and heath bar creation and Cafe con Leche, a decadent mix of cuban coffee and oreo pieces.
Portland, Oregon – Salt and Straw
Salt and Straw is a small family owned business that started off selling ice cream from custom push carts. They have now expanded to three brick and mortar locations across Portland and have been featured in numerous publications because of their fresh and innovative flavors. Salt and Straw, in a recent collaboration with local bartenders have come up with a “Cocktail Series” of limited edition alcohol infused flavors. A couple of flavors featured in this series are; a chocolate chip mint julip made of single roasted chocolate, oregon grown spearmint, and hand selected bourbon and a lemon amaretto sour sherbet that is a mix of lemon egg cream and fruity amaretto. In addition to the limited edition series, a few of the ongoing flavors on their menu are a honey, balsamic, strawberry mix with cracked pepper and a coconut with petunia salted caramel bars. Whether you are selecting from the limited edition series or from their ongoing menu, you are sure to come across a flavor that is simply out of this world. Not in Oregon? No problem, Salt and Straw ships these flavor packed pints and they will also be at LA Street Food Fest this weekend!
Whether in Los Angeles, New York or Portland, you are bound to find an ice cream shop offering crazy unique flavors that are sure to leave a lasting impression.