Will Travel for Ice Cream: My Search for the Best Ice Cream in the World

I am a little, OK, maybe a lot, obsessed with ice cream. It needs to be rich, obviously made with cream and sugar, and I want it filled with little things to give it texture. Here are the spots in the world where the ice cream has stayed on my mind for years following our initial relationship. I will update this post as I find more ice creams that I love.

The Best Ice Cream Around the World

The Inside Scoop

30 Ten Rod Rd, North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Best Ice Cream in Rhode Island

The Inside Scoop is undoubtedly the best ice cream in Rhode Island, and I have researched this extensively. Inside Scoop has been owned and run by the Bucci family for almost 20 years. Although it was recently expanded and spruced up, it has a neighborhood feel, staffed by local teens. The ice cream is rich and flavorful, with the perfect amount of high-quality mix-ins. My favorite flavors are chocolate brownie, coffee oreo, and sea salt caramel with chocolate chunks.

Read about how to spend an ideal 48 Hours in Rhode Island when you come to try The Inside Scoop.

Crank and Boom

Multiple locations around Lexington, Kentucky

best bourbon ice cream
A dish of Crank and Boom Honey Bourbon ice cream.

I am a massive fan of the vanilla sweetness of bourbon, but not of the burn that comes with the alcohol. Crank and Boom’s bourbon and honey ice cream is perfection, soft with just the perfect amount of flavor. It is even better if you get it in their firm and perfectly spiced homemade waffle cones. Usually, I skip the waffle cones as they are too sweet, but this is one I would order again and again.

Crank and Boom also serves boozy ice cream sundaes. I didn’t try one but imagine they are delicious.

The only problem with Crank and Boom is how far it is from my house, but it gives me a good reason to revisit Kentucky. Read more about why I love Kentucky in 24 hours in Lexington, Kentucky.

Ben and Jerry’s Factory

1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury, Vermont

Visit New England www.thedailyadventuresofme.com
No trip to Vermont is complete without a trip to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.

As far as mass-produced ice cream goes, Ben & Jerry’s is my favorite treat for a Friday night at home. Vermont is one of my favorite US states and the home to the original Ben & Jerry’s Factory. For under ten dollars, the factory has a tour that takes about an hour if there is no wait. The flavors are inventive and full of mix-ins. Be sure to check out the flavor graveyard and remember your favorites from the past.

Ben and Jerry’s is easily accessible while road-tripping from Boston to Montreal or visiting Woodstock, Vermont.

Cauldron Ice Cream

Multiple locations in the western United States

nitrogen ice cream
H2O Rose ice cream in a puffle at Cauldron Ice Cream.

Not only are the flavors inventive and yummy, but ordering ice cream at Cauldron, mainly on the west coast of the US, is an experience. The ice cream is made right in front of you using blenders and dry ice. If you ask nicely, they will shape it like a rose (see above). Their cones, called puffles, are also worth a taste. The only problem you will have is which flavor to choose. They range from complex cinnamon with chocolate to breakfast cereals to florals. I usually visit multiple times on each visit to California.

Gross Confection Bar

57 Exchange St, Portland, Maine

Best Ice cream Portland, Maine

Portland is an outstanding foodie town, but one does not usually come into Gross Confection for ice cream. They typically come in for the obscenely good dessert sampler with no ice cream in sight. But the simple house-made brown butter cider swirl ice cream deserves a spot on this list. Have it along with a cocktail at the wooden bar. This ice cream also made my list of 47 Cool Things to do in Portland, Maine.

Chocolaterie de I’Ile d’Orleans

Best ice cream in Quebec, Canada
Travel writer, Katy Joyce, and I enjoyed chocolate-dipped cones while visiting Quebec for the Women in Travel Summit.

8330, Chemin Royal, Sainte-Pétronille de l’Île d’Orléans, Québec, Canada

Right upriver from Québec City is the darling l’Île d’Orléans, full of farms and shops of island-created food and drinks. One of the best is this charming chocolate shop, which has a dairy bar in the back during the summer months. I rarely get a chocolate coating on my soft serve, as they are generally made of a waxy, chocolate-like substance. The chocolate shell on the cones at Chocolaterie de I’Ile d’Orleans is perfectly thick, pure dark chocolate. Definitely the best soft-serve cone I have eaten.

Mission Street Ice Cream/McConnell’s Ice Cream

Three locations in Santa Barbara

best ice cream in California

I was so obsessed with this ice cream the first time I had it; I had it every day of my three-day visit to Santa Barbara. Unique and vibrant flavors such as honey cornbread, earl grey tea cake, and salted caramel chocolate brownie make it hard to narrow your choice to just one. Thankfully you can choose two flavors with a small scoop. This premium ice cream is perfectly creamy, which explains why there is usually a line out the door.

Ryba’s Fudge Shop, Mackinac Island, Michigan

ice cream on Mackinac Island

Mackinaw Island in Michigan’s upper peninsula is famous for its fudge which we visited on a day trip. It is delicious, but the Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream is more notable to me. Reba’s doesn’t make the ice cream, but rather the Michigan-based family company of Guernsey Farms Dairy, which makes small-batch ice cream.

Their Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream has a rich vanilla base and both swirls and pieces of fudge! It is expensive but was fresh, and the portion was acceptable.

Sofra bld, Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Hotel, Abu Dhabi

Ice cream for breakfast? I don’t mind if I do. This creamy, sweet rose ice cream is the perfect hint of floral without being overpowering and was part of an exceptional, extensive brunch on the water at this Abu Dhabi resort. We visited Abu Dhabi as part of a 5-Day trip to Dubai.

Betty Rae’s Ice Cream, Kansas City, Missouri

Best ice cream in the Midwest

The food scene in Kansas City is strong! As part of my Midwest road trip, we stopped in Kansas City and found the best barbecue and also some of the best ice cream. Betty Rae’s is in the Riverfront District, a great place to walk around. The flavors are unique and strong using many homemade ingredients such as candied pecans and lavender blooms. I enjoyed the unique taste of the Goat Cheese, Apricots, & Candied Walnuts ice cream. They even have a barbecue flavor on offer at certain times of the year.

BMORE LICKS, Baltimore, Maryland

Best ice cream in Maryland

We have visited Baltimore a few times over the last few years. They have a few good homemade ice cream shops, but the BMORE LICKS by Patterson Park is my favorite. They even have ice cream tacos and flavored cones! Their ice cream has strong flavors and is rich and creamy.

Murphy’s Ice Cream, Dublin, Ireland

best ice cream in Dublin

Among the things I love about Murphy’s is that they let you try as many flavors as you would like. I would not have chosen to blindly order Brown Bread, although eating real brown bread in Ireland is scrumptious, as ice cream it sounded weird. The shop uses its sea salt ice cream as a base, adding caramelized brown bread, resulting in a beautiful marriage of tastes and textures.

They use all local ingredients and let you mix flavors in any size. I returned each of my two days in Dublin ordering half Brown Bread and half Chocolate Whiskey.

Rococo Ice Cream, Kennebunkport, Maine, US


best ice cream in Maine
Rococo has the best ice cream I have tried in Maine!

This artisan ice cream shop in downtown Kennebunkport has rich, flavorful ice cream with unique flavors, such as Goat Cheese Blackberry Chambord, and Garam Masala. I tried both during my visit and settled on the special Garam Masala.

Read more about my day trip to Kennebunkport.

Honorable Mentions

These aren’t precisely ice cream but they still, occupy a spot in my heart and mind.

Imperial Woodpecker Snoballs

Multiple locations in New Orleans, Louisiana

When planning a trip to New Orleans, many recommendations pointed to snoballs. I could not understand why I should go out of the way for these, but this house-made snow cone with grapefruit juice and basil syrup was incredible enough to make my list. Read more about the best things to do in New Orleans, Louisiana.

It’s It Ice Cream Bars

It’s It ice cream bars have been made in San Francisco since 1928. And the snacks, available at most corner stores, were a staple of my college days. The sandwich consists of a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two spiced oatmeal cookies dipped in chocolate. While in San Franciso, stop by the scenic Ghiradelli Square for an ice cream sundae. The ice cream is just standard, but the hot fudge is excellent.

Where have you had the best ice cream? What do you look for in the perfect ice cream? Please let me know in the comments.

Would you like to be included on this list? You can invite us to try your ice cream, but only the best will make it!

What do you look for in the perfect ice cream? Read on for the ice creams that still occupy my dreams long after I have eaten them. #icecream #besticecream #foodie #dessert #TBIN #c2cgroup

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19 thoughts on “Will Travel for Ice Cream: My Search for the Best Ice Cream in the World”

  1. You are speaking my ice cream love language. Consoder adding Eiscafe Hohea Schloss in Fussen Germany, Round Top Ice Cream in Damariscotta, Maine, The Ice Cream Man in Greenwich, NY, and Moo Thru in Remington VA to your list!

  2. I love my ice cream and my favourite has to be ones from Italy (or the Honeycomb flavour from Cornwall, UK) but I dont think I would take it to the limits, traveling the world for ice cream. 😀 But good on ya. Love checking out this post and now I have a craving for fudge from Michigan. That Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream is probably the ice cream on this post I would like to check out as I just love fudge. Cant get enough of it. 😀

  3. Aye Carumba Jamie!! I can’t believe you listed some random Sno Ball Stand down the street from my house as an honorable mention. Don’t get me wrong, sno-balls are amaze-balls here in NOLA but since this post is about the Best Ice Cream in the World, I can’t believe you missed out on 2 of the best right here in NOLA. First, there is a classic gelato place here in NOLA called Angelo Brocato’s & it is an iconic landmark. However, the best ice cream here in all of NOLA that ranks top 10 in the entire Country according to about 20 some national food publications is Creole Creamery! Hands down one of the best.
    Now dont get me wrong, you have totally sold me on the Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream! Anything with home made fudge in it wins the trophy for me. Just need to bring my fat pants when I come cause I am going to eat my weight in Chocolate or the vanilla of the Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream!!

    • Now I need to get down to NOLA again to try your recommendations. Is that your favorite Sno Ball stand at least? That fresh grapefruit with basil was incredible!

  4. The Inside Scoop ice cream looks rich and creamy. That’s what I like about ice cream. I like Clear river Ice Cream in Fredericksburg Texas. Must stop there every time we’re in town. Mt Jewett Family Tastee Freeze is also my favorite. Located a few miles before you enter Kinzua Brige in Pennsylvania. Now that you mention Crank and Boom around Lexington, I will make sure to look for one when we drive there on our way to PA.

  5. Cal’s Creamery- Reading MA
    Hornstra Farm- Norwell MA
    Fielders Choice- Old Orchard Beach, ME
    Arethusa Farm- Litchfield CT
    Dr Mikes- Bethel CT
    Ferris Acres- Newtown CT
    Hayward’s- Nashua NH
    Salt and Straw- Portland OR/Seattle
    Donnellys- Saranac Lake NY

  6. We would certainly go on a quest for the best ice cream in the world. Hubby and I pretty stuck in our flavours – we want dark chocolate and caramel. So that would be our test case. But it is always fun when we find ice cream shaped into art. I will keep a list of these ice cream shops for our travels.

  7. I can’t believe you’ve tried so much ice cream! I have never been a huge ice cream girl and normally just get Dairy Queen when I am in the mood… I should definitely try more local places though, I was just in Kansas City, I wish I would have read this article a few days ago and tried Betty Rae’s.

  8. I love this creative idea for a post! Of all the ones on your list, I think I’ve only been to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory, and we may have gone to Ryba’s Fudge Shop during a family trip to Mackinac Island ages ago. Gross Confection Bar sounds especially enticing and is a reminder that I need to make my way over to Portland, ME for all kinds of food adventures!

  9. Heh! I can totally get behind this post! 🙂 What a fun reason to travel!

    To add to your lists:
    – Soft serve ice cream in Hokkaido Japan is incredible
    – In Vancouver, my favourite was called Buckets (but the closed a year ago- sob.)
    – If you ever go to London, you need to try Ruby Violet!


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