If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I started blogging, it’s that you guys LOVE ice cream. I take my responsibility of providing the best, most comprehensive list of Austin ice cream spots very seriously. In order to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, I’ve split this blog into a few categories – “Personal Faves”, “New for 2023”, “Austin Classics”, and “Ready for more?” This blog will also feature custard and gelato in addition to ice cream because let’s be honest – when the sweet tooth hits, any of those options will do!
Side note / request: With the closing of Sweet Ritual and Nadamoo’s Scoop Shop, I feel like my blog is really lacking in the vegan ice cream area (shout out to Milky Way Shakes, still going strong!). I’ve heard Mission Street Burrito has some delicious vegan soft serve, and if it’s anything like their food, I’m sure it’ll be amazing, but I haven’t tried it yet! What’s your favorite vegan ice cream in Austin?? Comment below or find me on @discoveringATX.
This guide has been updated for 2023!
Businesses hours are still in flux and may be experiencing temporary shut downs due to staff shortages. Before you visit somewhere, in order to avoid disappointment, please be sure to double check their hours and available menu items.
Starting off strong with my personal favorite ice cream spots in Austin! Some of these are dessert trucks, some are Austin classics, some are chains, some are independent entrepreneurs… they’re just my absolute FAVORITE ice cream spots in Austin. I have a few other ice cream spots that I love, but they’re featured in my Matcha Desserts blog! If you like matcha ice cream, you should definitely check it out.
Meanwhile Brewing Co., 3901 Promontory Point Dr., Austin, Texas 78744
Austin’s hottest ice cream truck is Bésame, located at Meanwhile Brewing Co. In order to share the light and fluffy texture of ice cream straight out of the machine (something that gets lost after it’s been mass produced and frozen for a while) Bésame is making fresh ice cream daily. So when you order from their food truck, you know the ice cream you are eating was made THAT DAY. Pretty awesome.
When owners Ben and Sheena described the vision for their trailer to me (which they built out themselves) they said they want it to have a magic candy shop feeling, where you can’t believe the smells and flavors that are coming out of it. They installed huge windows so customers can see every part of the process, from the ice cream being made to their immaculately clean white floors.
The ice cream crafted at Bésame is out of this world. Each option is so complex and packed with flavor. They’re selling pints now, in addition to scoops! And, if you’re having trouble deciding, you can order a “tres besitos” which includes three small scoops. Bésame has some staple flavors that are sticking around, but they’re also constantly experimenting with new flavor combinations and collaborating with other Austin favorites!
Tiny’s Milk & Cookies
1515 W 35th St Building C Austin, TX 78703
Tiny’s Milk & Cookies is a walk-up coffee shop run by the Tiny Boxwood’s restaurant. They serve various pastries, coffee, ice cream, and cookies. The chocolate chip cookies are absolutely DELICIOUS. If you haven’t visited, it’s worth a quick trip. There’s no indoor space to sit down or anything, so you’ll have to take it on the go. What really grabbed my attention here was their milk and cookies ice cream. It is vanilla ice cream with their famous chocolate chip cookies mixed in. There’s SO much cookie smashed in that it’s hardly vanilla anymore. It’s just… cookie ice cream. There are probably several whole cookies smashed into this small cup of ice cream.
Andy’s Frozen Custard
I’m honestly not sure what took me so long to feature Andy’s in my Ice Cream city guide. On hard days, when I think to myself, “You know what would make today better? Ice cream,” I go to Andy’s. Their custard is so thick and decadent. It absolutely NEVER disappoints. You can choose between vanilla or chocolate custard, then they have an extensive menu of mix-in options.
Manolis Ice Cream
8907 Circle Dr., Austin, TX 78736
Manolis Ice Cream truck has been on my radar for quite some time. I finally got around to visiting it and I was super impressed! It truly is a DESSERT truck, with such an extensive menu.
Below are some words from Cris Romero, whose parents Manuel and Natacha own the truck:
“Manolis Ice Cream, Pastries, & Cakes is a Latinx family-owned and operated dessert food truck. We make all of our Ice Cream, Pastries, Sorbet, Italian Ice, and other treats right inside the trucks with high-quality and fresh ingredients. We started our business in 2018 to share our delicious recipes that mix our Colombian roots with our love for European pastries and Italian Ice Cream. We have moved our dessert truck from South First Food Court to a new private location in Oak Hill at 8907 Circle Dr Austin, TX 78736. We are currently only open weekends Friday-Sunday.
Our truck is now situated in a beautiful space surrounded by oak trees with lots of seating, lights, and parking! We have a jungle gym and lots of games sprinkled throughout for the kiddos! The location is pet-friendly and seating is spaced out for social distancing. This new location gives us a space to grow and allows customers to have an incredibly unique experience while enjoying our delicious creations! We have also expanded our menu options to include dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options. We always use real fruits without fake flavors or extracts in our items and constantly improve every flavor to make sure everyone that visits leaves with a smile on their face. Whether it’s traditional Colombian juices, Passion Fruit Ice Cream, or a decadent chocolate mousse cake, anyone can come and find something in our menus that they are sure to love!”
The Baked Bear
211 Walter Seaholm Drive Suite LR150 Austin, TX 78701
If you’re ready to go full-on EXTRA with your ice cream, The Baked Bear is where you do it. Make sure you come in hungry – maybe on a dessert-for-dinner kind of night. You can craft your epic ice cream sandwich using any combination of their freshly baked cookies and ice creams. You can even make it a brownie sandwich! I arrived right when they opened and the smell of the cookies coming out of the oven was overwhelmingly amazing. I’ve always felt the cookies in an ice cream sandwich were just objects to hold the ice cream, but at The Baked Bear, the cookies are just as satisfying as the ice cream itself. On top of all that, you can pick a “topping” that your sandwich gets rolled in. Boom.
This section includes spots that are NEW to the blog this year! They may or may not be new to Austin, but I’ve never featured them before in this ice cream round up. Here are the places making their first appearance on the blog!
Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline: 11200 Lakeline Mall Dr, Cedar Park, TX 78613
If you visit the Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline, you have to visit Lotus Creamery. Pulled from the Lotus Creamery instagram… Henal Patel, the founder of Lotus Creamery, was born and raised in India and moved to the states when she was 17. After she had her son Parn, she wanted to feed him only the best, all natural ingredients but didn’t want to deprive him of desserts. She started experimenting with ice cream and different flavors. She loved doing it so much that she wanted to switch careers and share her creations with everyone, so she started Lotus Creamery!
I had the hardest time choosing which flavors I wanted! I settled on Rose and Desi Coffee and YUM they were both delicious.
Jim-Jim’s Water Ice
615 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 – Open daily March through November
New to me, but certainly not new to Austin, Jim-Jim’s Water Ice has been serving Italian Water-Ice on E. 6th street since 1994. Yep, you read that right – nearly 30 years. This one will certainly move to the “classics” category after this year. Water-Ice is a velvety textured smooth ice made fresh everyday using pureed fruit. In 2012, they started making and selling their own soft serve ice cream! I got a chocolate cone and was happy as can be. With over 40 flavors of water-ice, made fresh and available everyday, plus homemade premium ice cream, you’ll definitely find something you’ll love.
X CRÈM Cocktail & Dessert Lounge
1614 E 6th St. Suite #112, Austin, TX 78702
If you’re like me and have been mourning the loss of Prohibition Creamery, a boozy ice cream spot that used to be open on the east side, then let me introduce you to X CRÈM Cocktail & Dessert Lounge. To start, they have regular ice cream, deluxe sundaes, and bubble waffle cones. They also have a full bar with a complete cocktail menu. Mix the two together and you’ve got some epic boozy milkshakes or cocktails made with ice cream. I opted for the espresso martini made with cappuccino crunch ice cream and it was SO GOOOOOOD (note the last picture – I started drinking it before I was done taking photos!)
These are tried and true Austin staples. They’ve been around for years and the people keep wanting more and more! If you’re visiting Austin for the first time, this is definitely the section for you.
Lick Honest Ice Creams
Several Austin Locations!
When you want a scoop or two of some REALLY good, high-quality ice cream, Lick is where you go. They never use artificial colors or flavors, high fructose corn syrup, or preservatives. Everything, from the sauces, syrups, cakes, and marshmallows, is made by hand in their kitchen. They also know exactly which dairy farms their milk comes from and on which farms their produce is grown. With unique, rich flavors like “Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt,” “Goat Cheese, Thyme & Honey,” and “Caramel Salt Lick” you’ll be totally satisfied with just one scoop. Don’t forget to check out their rotating seasonal flavors as well!
1713 South 1st Street Austin, TX 78704 // 1109 East 5th Street Suite 170, Austin, TX 78702
This gelato is legit. Founder Francesca “received formal training at Carpigiani Gelato University (Bologna, Italy) and refined her skills working for Gianfrancesco Cutelli at Gelateria De’ Coltelli (Pisa, Italy), one of the best and most famous gelato shops in Italy, winner of the prestigious “Golosario” award in 2012.” She has since won more awards and world-wide gelato competitions. They have a wide variety of rotating flavors, including, Whiskey and Pecan, Tiramisu, and Mascarpone and Figs. Dolce Neve means “Sweet Snow” and my goodness, sweet it is. The original Dolce Neve is located in an adorable house on South 1st, but they also have a newer location on the east side at Plaza Saltillo.
603 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704
You probably drive by Sandy’s all the time, but have you tried their soft serve custard? Ok, you probably have – that’s why it’s a classic. If you’re new to or visiting Austin, don’t sleep on this little hamburger stand. It’s been a part of the city since 1946! You can get a regular cone (what I have pictured below) or you can get it dipped in chocolate. You can also go for something fancier, like a shake or sundae. Personally, the simple vanilla cone was comforting, delicious, and just what I needed.
Amy’s Ice Creams
Several Austin Locations!
A classic. Perhaps best known for their Mexican Vanilla (pictured below), they have over 350 rotating flavors. While originating in Austin, Amy’s has expanded to Houston and San Antonio. What I like most about Amy’s are the crush’ns and toppings. They’ve been a part of the Austin food scene since 1984 and have certainly earned their spot on this list as a “classic” Austin ice cream joint. The photos below are from their extremely popular spot on South Congress Ave. If you’re visiting Austin, this is the location I recommend visiting! Its design is classic “Austin weird” and will be the perfect backdrop for your vacation photos.
You’ve been the the classics, you’ve tried the new 2023 spots, you’ve been to all my personal favorites… you’re ready for more?! Well here’s the rest of the list – ENJOY!
Milky Way Shakes
2324 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Even though I was alone when I tried Milk Way Shakes, I made an audible “woah!” when I first sipped my shake. I was shocked by the incredible flavors this little vegan food truck was putting out. The first time I visited, I ordered their “Violet Beauregarde” and the mix of blueberry filling and chocolate soft serve was perfect. I basically chugged it down. The second time I visited, tried one of their specials (yep, that’s a chocolate covered potato chip). Milky Way Shakes is located in the Vegan Nom food truck lot. All the food trucks in the lot are vegan as well! There’s lots of parking in the Soma Vida lot off 2nd street.
Zeds Read Fruit Ice Cream
1814 Harvey St, Austin, TX 78702
Zeds is the newest edition to the east Austin ice cream scene! I love a good soft serve and Zeds has it mastered. You start with the vanilla base (dairy-free vanilla also available) then choose a REAL fruit to mix in. Options include banana, blueberry, dark cherry, mango, pineapple, and strawberry. They you can drizzle and top it with a bunch of tasty stuff like chocolate, coconut cream, rainbow sprinkles, and more! They also offer specials like Pina colada, mango sticky rice, and strawberry paleta.
But wait, there’s more! Zeds also has a drink list! That’s right! You can also order wine, beer, cold brew… this place is perfection.
They have a lot of covered picnic tables in their space as well. I saw several families gathered, adults drinking some beers, kids eating ice cream – it was wonderful!
4404 W. William Cannon Dr. Unit G, Austin TX 78749
Every year I do this blog, I get SOMEONE commenting that I should go to D’Lites. So, I finally visited recently and WOW did I love it. My only complaint is that it’s so far from my house! D’Lites specializes in low carb ice cream. Not only low in carbs, but low in sugar as well! I knew that going in, and was expecting ice cream that I’d taste it and be like… yep, low carb, low sugar indeed, but NO WAY. It honestly tasted similar to a Wendy’s Frosty, I’m not even kidding. It was so delicious. If you’re on a diet (low sugar or KETO, for example) but still want to treat yourself, this is it. Even if you’re NOT on a diet, their soft serve is so good! But wait, it gets better. D’Lites is not just an ice cream shop! They have a grocery section filled with a variety of low carb, low sugar products.
1900 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin Texas, 78702 // 1608 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
Lou’s is known for their rotisserie chicken but, which is excellent, but I’m here to say don’t skip the custard! You can get classic vanilla custard in a cup with various toppings, as an affogato, as a milkshake, or as an old school float (with Coke, Dr. Pepper, or Root Beer). Classic, simple, and absolutely delicious.
12709 N Mopac Expy, Austin, TX 78727
I absolutely love soft serve. Connor’s Creamery is a little food truck specializing in the simple delight of soft serve ice cream. It’s located right next to Garbo’s Lobster. It’s the perfect combo – get yourself a delicious meal, then walk outside and get a cup of soft serve. They have flavors like bubble gum, butter pecan, chocolate swirl, banana ripple, strawberry, pineapple, blue raspberry, and tropical orange. You can choose two to get swirled together, or stick with one. You can add toppings as well, like rainbow sprinkles!
Gati Ice Cream
1512 Holly St, Austin, TX 78702
Gati Ice Cream serves delicious vegan ice cream made with coconut milk, gluten-free pastries, and coffee in East Austin. They have 40 rotating flavors, all made with 4 ingredients or less. Any colors are totally natural! I got lavender caramel and Thai coffee – delicious. Fun fact – Gati Ice Cream is owned by the same incredible wonderful people behind Thai Fresh!
1400 S Congress Ave Suite B160, Austin, TX 78704
Gelato Paradiso has actually been open on South Congress for over a year! Have you been? I visited for the first time recently and was pretty impressed! I love gelato shops that have the incredible set up. The gelato is poured into elaborate, huge swirls, topped with goodness. Like little pieces of art! This little gelato shop is tucked just off the main South Congress drag, so don’t miss it.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
11601 Rock Rose Ave #110 // 1208 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
I’ve had Jeni’s ice cream in Washington DC, Nashville, and now, I’ve had Jeni’s in Austin! They currently have two shops open, one at Rock Rose and one on South Congress. I have to say – I was EXTREMELY impressed with Jeni’s. My parents and I got three very different flavors and all three were exceptional. The new Skillet Cinnamon Roll has pastry flakes and dark caramel mixed into a cream cheese ice cream. Blackout Chocolate Cake has four different chocolate pieces mixed in (my personal favorite of the three). I ordered the Wildberry Lavender (admittedly, for the colorful photo) but ended up really liking it. I already love lavender in everything and this had a wonderful lavender flavor.
The Yard Milkshake Bar
3400 Esperanza Xing Austin, Tx 78758 // 940 W University Ave #120 Georgetown, TX 78626
The Yard Milkshake Bar offers an ice cream EXPERIENCE. When you arrive, you can choose between specialty shakes or ‘build your own’ shakes. I’d highly recommend the specialty shakes. They’re wild and crazy and come with a TON of sweet goodness. You choose between a pint or quart size. I chose a pint and it was still big enough to share! My “Peanut Butter Brownie Bliss” came with brownie batter ice in a peanut butter dipped jar with chocolate chips. It’s topped with peanut butter cups, whipped cream, and a fudge brownie!
Frozen Rolls Creamery
704 North Lamar Blvd Austin, Texas 78703
For a fun change from your usual cones and shakes, try some of the Thai-style rolled ice cream from Frozen Rolls. The people at Frozen Rolls are so nice! Their customer service is A+ for sure. I met the owner and he was happily talking to each person that had ordered ice cream. I was also pretty impressed with their toppings selection, which included things like mochi and pocky sticks. I tried their most popular flavor – cookies and cream – with Nutella, peanut butter pieces, and chocolate-dipped Pocky sticks. They also have frozen tacos! I went with plain chocolate for this one and was not disappointed. You can get your rolls in a colorful taco shell. It’s super cute for photos if that’s something that’s important to you.
Storefront: 7135 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752 // Various spots around town!
Luv Fats has been on my radar for a while but I never actually tried it until recently. WOW. Luv Fats is totally vegan, made with coconut milk and avocado bases. No, you can’t taste the avocado, chill out. It just improves the texture. This is the smoothest, creamiest vegan ice cream I’ve ever had and I know it’s because of the avocado! There are like, no ice crystals in it at all. Luv Fats founder and maker, Chi Ndika, is crafting up some TASTY, unique flavors. I tried the Kenyan Chai and Matcha Lavender (obviously) but other popular ones include Sourdough Toast & Peach Jam and Colombian Chocolate. One thing I do need to note is the price. These little pints are not cheap, but honestly, the ingredients and quality of Luv Fats isn’t cheap either.
1703 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 // 915 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703 (drive thru/curbside)
I know it’s called Fresa’s CHICKEN but stick with me. The ice cream here top notch. I love visiting restaurants that are putting a lot of thought and effort into their desserts! So make sure, when you visit Fresa’s, get your margarita, get your chips and queso, and don’t forget a scoop of ice cream. Their cookies and cream is my favorite!
Vanilla Ice Cream at Black’s BBQ
3110 Guadalupe Street Austin, TX 78705
The Original Black’s BBQ is obviously best known for their BBQ, but I have a secret to share with you – their vanilla ice cream is fantastic. I got the tip from a fellow Austin food blogger and had to check it out for myself. For $2.59, you can get a 5oz cup of their house-made vanilla ice cream. It’s super sweet (almost tastes like… frosting?), super simple, and super delicious. If you’re visiting ATX and go to Black’s, you’ll look like a true Austin foodie when you order the vanilla ice cream for dessert.
There you have it! My 2023 updated list with the BEST ice cream in Austin. If you’re looking for more of the “2023 Best Places to Eat in Austin” lists, from cupcakes to BBQ to east side hot spots, check out the complete list of city guides HERE!
I’ve never heard of them but I just looked them up! They sound great!! Always up for some low calorie ice cream! I’m going to for sure check them out. Stay tuned! Thank you so much for the recommendation.