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 three parts – “Fresh and New,” “Classics,” and “Ready for more?” When the sweet tooth hits, this list will have you covered. In no particular order, let’s get started!
Fresh and New: These are fresh and new Austin ice cream spots. If you want to share Instagram posts about the most popular ice cream places at the moment – this is the list.
2207 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Have you seen a pink cart and food truck around town? It’s Dolce Bacio and they are serving up some authentic gelato, sorbet, cannoli, and other treats in their batch freezer. Owners Francesca and Dante started their skills in Bologna, Italy 5 years ago. Now, they’re bringing their epic gelato-making skills right here to Austin! They are usually located at 2207 E Cesar Chavez (the cart can often be found around congress street downtown) but they often travel to different events.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
11601 Rock Rose Ave #110 // 1208 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (coming soon!)
I’ve had Jeni’s ice cream in Washington DC, Nashville, and now, I’ve had Jeni’s in Austin! Their shop at Rock Rose just opened and they have another on South Congress in the works. 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.
DipDipDip Ice Cream
7301 Burnet Rd #101, Austin, TX 78757
Next door to DipDipDip Tatsu-ya is DipDipDip Ice Cream. Don’t expect to visit after your meal at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya, though – you’ll for sure be WAY too full! So whenever you decide to come back just for dessert, there’s an interactive touchscreen kiosk on the DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya patio (no indoor space – no seating anywhere, really). You can choose from six different ice cream concoctions. Options include Matcha Cha-Cha (pictured below), Miso PB&J, Sum Yum Yuzu, House of 1000 Kabochas, Shroom of Doom, and Lime in ‘da Coo Coo Nuts. The cones are fancy and can be dipped in a variety of flavors. Each day, there are special toppings you can choose to add as well. I chose to add their torched marshmallows!
The Yard Milkshake Bar
3400 Esperanza Xing Austin, Tx 78758 // 940 W University Ave #120 Georgetown, TX 78626 (coming spring 2020)
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!
I will say, while the ice cream is pretty wonderful, the experience was not. They have a very small shop. It’s packed, loud, and doesn’t seem to be the best set up. You have to wait shoulder to shoulder with people for your number to be called, then they hand you your massive milkshake and there’s nowhere to go! Even if you do snag one of their 5 tables, you’ll have to deal with people hovering over you. It’s more than just “it’s popular and crowded.” Their system just doesn’t work. I think their business model would work a lot better if it were a sit down restaurant-style ice cream service.
While I didn’t have the best experience at The Yard, I still felt it was important to include in the “Top Ice Cream Places in Austin” list because it is unique and over the top. Sometimes, that’s what you want! You want to eat yourself sick off beautiful ice cream. Hey, I’m not here to judge. I just give the facts.
Has anyone been back recently? I’d LOVE to hear how the experience has improved since I visited!
Classics: These are classic Austin ice cream spots. If you’re new to Austin or visiting for the first time, I’d recommend checking out this section first.
Cow Tipping Creamery
4715 S. Lamar Blvd. Sunset Valley, TX 78745
If you ask me what my personal favorite ice cream place is, it’s Cow Tipping Creamery. Their soft serve is simple – vanilla, chocolate, and one rotating special flavor each week. Where things get crazy is in their ‘stackers’. Stackers have alternating layers of soft serve and homemade toppings or baked goods. Basically, there’s just enough soft serve to hold all the extras together. A few other notable points: 1. They have bubble waffle cones, which are basically fresh, soft waffles that hold your ice cream, 2. They make their stackers in to-go pints so you can have Cow Tipping Creamery every day at home, and 3. In addition to their regular menu, they have featured stackers which include their newest creative concoctions. For example, on National Ice Cream Day, they created a dipped cone that was dusted with 24 karat gold. It was crazy awesome.
Lick Honest Ice Creams
Several Austin Locations!
Maybe eating pounds of ice cream isn’t your thing. Maybe you just want a scoop or two of some REALLY good, high-quality ice cream. Lick is where you will find that. 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. They’ve also started making a “frosty hot cocoa”! Their cocoa recipe is made with local SRSLY Chocolate and is topped with two ice cream scoops of your choice.
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. Dolce Neve just opened a new Austin location on the east side at Plaza Saltillo! Be sure to check it out.
1407 E 7th Street Austin, TX 78702
Upgrade your post-work happy hour. Prohibition Creamery serves alcoholic ice cream and shakes, in addition to beer and cocktails. With shakes like “Triple Bourbon,” “Irish Coffee,” “Car Bomb,” and “Bananas Foster,” you’re sure to have a good time at Prohibition Creamery (they also have nonalcoholic ice cream, just saying). Also, in a major update, Prohibition Creamery has added the “Afternoon Delight” to their menu. It’s red velvet ice cream infused with CBD. CBD ice cream!
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, 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. Just the other night, I had some delicious cookies and cream ice cream that was drenched in hot fudge (and it was at the Austin Stars hockey game – Amy’s is even inside the HEB Center in Cedar Park!). 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.
Cold Cookie Company
2512 Rio Grande St. Austin, TX 78705 // 6812 Ranch Road 620 N, Austin TX, 78732
If you’re at UT right now, this is your ice cream spot. The Cold Cookie Co. truck makes some intense ice cream / cookie concoctions. If you are craving a Texas-sized ice cream treat, this is your place. They sell a bunch of different things, but my favorite is the “unshake.” Cold Cookie Co. takes your choice of ice cream and layers in cookies and other treats. Their cookies are delicious and they smash several into each unshake AND put a whole cookie on top. If you’re in the UT area (or not, it’s worth the drive), you have to visit this truck. If you’re out west, Cold Cookie Company just opened a brick and mortar shop off 620! Be sure to check it out. They have parking and indoor seating.
Sweet Ritual Ice Cream
4631 Airport Blvd, Suite 125 Austin, TX 78751
Vegans rejoice! And non-vegans, really. Their tag line is “Ice Cream for All” and I couldn’t agree more. They have six different bases from which they craft their delicious dessert: Coconut milk, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, and a coconut milk/soy milk mix. Pictured below is “Unicorn Poop” in a dark chocolate dairy-free Konery waffle cone. Also, the mural in the background is part of their new interior space! Since the renovation in the fall of 2018, their space has at least doubled in size. There’s now plenty of space to peruse the ice creams, order, and sit to enjoy your vegan dessert.
Ready for more? If you’ve been in Austin for a while, or already ate your way through my original 2018 and 2019 lists, then here’s an expanded list of excellent ice cream!
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.
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.
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.
1912 e. 7th st. Austin, TX, 78702
Liquid nitrogen ice cream is very interesting. Faster than traditional freezing techniques, spinning ice cream with liquid nitrogen produces smaller, more condensed ice crystals and thus an intense purity of flavor and the creamiest, smoothest frozen treats science has to offer. You really can feel the difference in smoothness. What’s even more fun, is you can watch the ice cream go from liquid to ice cream right in front of you. It feels very science-y and awesome.
Milky Way Shakes
2908 Fruth St Austin TX, 78705
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. I ordered their “Violet Beauregarde” and the mix of blueberry filling and chocolate soft serve was perfect. I basically chugged it down. Also, Milky Way Shakes is located at Spider House (a cafe/bar with a huge outdoor patio/courtyard space). If you’re visiting Austin and want to catch a glimpse of “Austin weird,” Spider House isn’t a bad hit. Sidenote: I had great photos from my 2019 update, so I didn’t have to revisit them this year. However, I definitely put them on my list because I love them so much and wanted to get myself a new shake (the Chocolate Eclipse). For updated research, of course.
1701 S Lamar Blvd Austin, TX
You’ve probably seen Nadamoo! dairy-free ice cream pints at Randall’s, HEB, or other smaller grocery stores. Their “Scoop Shop” opened on S Lamar last fall and OMG it is so cute. The decor is classic ice cream soda fountain meets carnival fun (because of the huge sprinkles on the exterior walls). I had to order two desserts when I visited because when I realized Nadamoo! was making affogatos, I knew I needed to try it, in addition to a regular scoop on a cone. For my affogato, I decided to try their latest collaboration with Curcuma. That’s right – Golden Mylk ice cream! For my cone, I went with “caramel cold-brew and cookies” and “peppermint latte.” Both were incredibly delicious and I cannot wait to visit again!
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.
There you have it! My 2020 updated list with the BEST ice cream in Austin. If you’re looking for more of the “2020 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!