Best Bets for a Cool Treat on a Hot Day
Let us give you the scoop on the best ice cream and frozen treats in the area.
Summer heat calls for frozen treats – ice cream, milkshakes, popsicles, frozen yogurt, gelato, snow cones, or whatever you can find. July – National Ice Cream Month – is coming up soon (thank you Ronald Reagan) and you should probably do your field research to decide where to celebrate all summer long. Here are best 10 places to cool off this summer – 6 in the heart of Charlotte and 4 on the outskirts.
This spot in Plaza-Midwood is run by three best friends who serve up some of the best ice cream in town. They offer 32 flavors ranging from classics like strawberry and vanilla to more creative flavors like bubble gum and Smurf marshmallow. Take a picture of your kids with their favorite flavor in front of the hand-painted murals that decorate the store.
This little shop in the Gold District of South End offers homemade ice cream with absolutely no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or fillers. The flavors – some basic and some extremely creative – incorporate fresh fruit, spices, candy and favorite comfort foods to its rich, creamy recipes. Also, there is always at least one non-dairy, vegan option for those with food restrictions so bring your lactose-intolerant friend along!
This NoDa store offers customizable popsicles made from gelato, sorbet and yogurt that are made daily. This spot isn’t just trendy, it’s guilt free. The popSorbettos are all less than 80 calories and are lactose-free and vegan-friendly. The popGelatos are a good source of calcium and protein and are always less than 200 calories, and the yogurtPops, at 100 calories, are low fat and cholesterol-free. All of these treats are gluten free, Kosher certified and contain no artificial coloring or preservatives. It’s a gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, vegan heaven but believe us, you don’t have to have a food restriction to enjoy these frozen treats.
This restaurant right by the East/West Blvd stop on the Light Rail in South End transports you in time. With its marble counters, comfortable booths, soda fountain, and old-time décor, you’ll feel like you are in the heart of traditional, small-town America. Pike’s offers a great lunch and dinner menu but you should definitely come for the frozen treats – milkshakes, malts, root beer floats, sundaes, and banana splits worth the trip.
On June 17, this colorful, creative ice cream shop in the University area is re-opening. Their macaroon ice cream sandwiches aren’t just pieces of art, they are delicious. They also serve wacky, beautiful milkshakes topped with Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, Cracker Jacks and an assortment of sugary snacks.
6. Ice Shavers
Who says you need dairy to make an amazing frozen dessert? Head to the Epicentre uptown and try these snow cones and shaved ice treats. They aren’t like the snow cones you find at a carnival — just ice and a bunch of dye on top — these frozen delicacies are beautiful.
Outside the Heart of Charlotte:
Each year when the weather starts to turn from winter to spring, Carolina Cones, the family-owned ice cream spot in Cornelius, opens for the season. Now that it’s summer, it’s in full swing. Come check out its flavors, retro vending machines and games that have kept this business alive since 1983.
Located in downtown Gastonia, this spot offers real lunch along with 28 flavors of ice cream/milkshakes, banana splits, sundaes and more. The ice cream is made just next door to the shop and is sold all over the state by the half gallon.
9. Jolly Rolls
This isn’t your traditional ice cream served in cups, cones or large tubs. At Jolly Rolls in Matthews you choose from 21 flavors and have them roll your ice cream for you. They mix up your custom ingredients, pour them on a cold slab and roll them with a spatula for you to enjoy. Try the flavors of the month: Fruity Pebbles and Chocolate Pretzel.
Walk into this ice cream shop in Mint Hill and the smell of freshly-made waffle cones will overtake your senses. Indulge your sweet tooth with these creamy flavors.