The Best Ice Cream Shop in All 50 States


No matter the time of year, nothing beats a trip to your local ice cream shop. Whether it is an old fashioned soda fountain that's been around for decades or a new, small-batch artisanal shop with gourmet flavors, an ice cream shop is a great place to make memories and enjoy a sweet treat. Here are some of the best ice cream shops in all 50 states.


Location: Mobile, Alabama

For a taste of what some patrons have called “the best ice cream in the South,” head to Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe in Mobile. Originally owned by Edwin Widemire, it was opened in 1969 using Widemire's family recipe. Cammie Wayne got her first job there scooping ice cream at 16, and went on to purchase the shop in 1998. The ice cream shop offers up 47 different flavors, all made on location, as well as Pennsylvania Dutch milkshakes and malts, banana splits, floats, and tulip sundaes which are dubbed “an old fun food tradition for Sunday…” Another favorite amongst Alabamans is Matt’s Homemade Ice Cream in Gulf Shores, which also uses Cammie’s ice cream.


Location: Girdwood, Alaska

Seward Highway—127 miles from Anchorage to Seward—is one of just 43 locations designated an "All-American Road" (a designation saved for the most scenic in the country) by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Along this route, you’ll find Girdwood, home of The Ice Cream Shop. This year-round ice cream shop serves up over 30 flavors of hard ice cream and other treats, and you’ll be greeted by Mt. Alyeska’s slopes of wild flowers or snowy peaks, depending on when you visit.


Location: Phoenix, Arizona

MacApline's Soda Fountain and Espresso Bar

In what was formerly an old pharmacy, you’ll find MacAlpine’s, a soda fountain originally established in 1929. Grab a stool or booth and take a trip back in time with an egg cream or cherry vanilla phosphate. Besides their ice cream sodas and cheeseburgers, patrons enjoy their vintage jukebox. Once frequented by Frank Lloyd Wright, MacAlpine’s is rumored to be the place where Wayne Newton was discovered.


Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Since 2011, Loblolly Creamery has been using milk and cream from hormone-free dairy cows, fair-trade chocolate and vanilla, as well as only local, seasonal, and organic fruits and spices for their ice creams and sorbets. Popular flavors include the double vanilla and salted caramel, but these artisan ice cream makers rotate other more inventive flavors like blackberry sweet corn ice cream, buttermilk, honey green tea ice cream, and vanilla coconut sorbet.


Location: various locations in California

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams has been making small-batch ice creams for nearly seven decades. The shop has been using milk and cream from grass-grazed cows and eggs from "local, organically-fed, cage-free hens"—never with preservatives, fillers, or additives—at their Old Dairy creamery since 1949. In their “manifesto” they say that they “believe that ice cream can cure a broken heart.” Clever flavors like eureka lemon & marionberries, churros con leche (with Sri Lankan cinnamon and R.R. Lochhead vanilla), and whiskey and pecan pralines (smoky Kentucky bourbon) as well as seasonal flavors like pumpkin pie and eggnog can be enjoyed in Santa Barbara, downtown Los Angeles, and Studio City. If you’re not in California, it’s okay, they also offer FedEx two-day delivery with a four pint minimum.


Location: Denver, Colorado

Little Man Ice Cream
Yelp, Annie N.

Expect long lines and the smell of homemade waffle cones at Denver’s Little Man Ice Cream. The shop itself is housed inside a 28-foot-tall cream can, inspired by Coney Island’s hot dog-shaped stands, and the staff wear vintage uniforms while serving handmade ice cream, vegan ice cream, and sorbet. They host live music and movie nights, and serve up ice cream sandwiches, shakes floats, and sundaes. But they are known for their unique flavors such as oatmeal cookies, space junkie, French toast, and Twix. Enjoy your dessert guilt-free—their Scoop for Scoop program donates a 3-ounce scoop of rice or beans to developing countries for every scoop of ice cream, and has provided scoops to nine countries on four continents since opening in 2008.


Location: Griswold, CT

This dairy farm was first started by the Button family in 1975. They constructed (from scratch) their own ice cream stand, opening Buttonwood Farm Fresh Ice Cream in 1998. Since then, they've been making their ice cream and waffle cones fresh each day for families to enjoy. Unique offerings like dark and stormy, key lime cheesecake, and cardamom lime yogurt can be enjoyed while taking in the surrounding acre of sunflowers or spending time exploring their 7-acre corn maze.


Location: Hockessin, Delaware

You’ll find Woodside Farm Creamery located in a village on the border between Pennsylvania and Delaware. Established in 1796, this was primarily a dairy farm, owned and operated by the Mitchell family for more than a century. The farm provided eggs, poultry, sheep, flowers, beef, and pumpkins before deciding to return cows to the farm in 1995 and opening their creamery in 1998.

Today, employees hold a children’s story time every Tuesday, and their herd of about 30 Jersey cows assist in making fresh small batch ice cream for cone scoops, milkshakes, ice cream cookie sandwiches and ice cream cakes. The Mitchells celebrated their 200th year of family-owned farming in 1996 and were recognized as one of the few Centennial farms in the state of Delaware. Stop in for the ice cream (available in flavors like motor oil and chocolate thunder) and spend the day watching the many sheep, goats, cats, and dogs that also live on the farm along with the herd of cows.


Location: Miami, Florida

Founded in 2011 as an “artisanal ice cream and sorbet boutique,” Azucar Ice Cream Company is a colorful shop in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. The playful ice cream and sorbet flavors are made up of natural ingredients often sourced from local farmer’s markets. They offer signature flavors like platano maduro (sweet plantain), café con leche (Cuban coffee with Oreo), caramel flan, and Guinness chocolate. They also rotate seasonal flavors that include olive oil, orange zest and dark chocolate, margarita-flavored sorbet, and sweet potato ancho chile chocolate chip. If you’re not in the mood to experiment, they always have classic flavors mint chocolate chip and vanilla—so choose wisely.


Location: various locations in Georgia

Jakes Ice Cream
Yelp, Giovanna H.

Tucked inside Atlanta’s Irwin Street Market or in the upcoming East Point location, you’ll find Jake’s, with only eight flavors to choose from. Ice cream from the shop, established in 1999, are served in restaurants all over Atlanta, thanks to their creative and fun flavors. The most popular include Chocolate Slap Yo Mama, which mixes chocolate sauce with chocolate chips and Oreo cookies, and Brown Shugah Vanilla. Other flavors like Chocolate Pecan Piescream and Breakfast in Bed (cinnamon ice cream mixed with Belgian waffles soaked in bourbon pecan sauce) are sought after due to their 18 percent butterfat content—the highest you’ll find in ice cream, according to their site—and 100 percent deliciousness.


Location: Nahiku, Maui, Hawaii

Coconut Glen’s is a roadside stand serving organic, vegan ice cream all based with coconut milk in varieties like pineapple panang curry and papaya lime. Made with “love and coconuts from the jungles of Maui," Glen’s uses all local fruit and is served in a coconut shell. Getting there is half the battle—found between mile marker 27 and 28 on the Hana Highway—you’ll find his stand along the eastern shore of Maui, in the rain forest.


Location: Boise, Idaho

Expect to feel like you’re in another decade at this ice cream shop, located in Boise. Goody's features an authentic 1930s soda fountain with barstools, glass ice cream dishes, and glass candy displays that make you visitors and locals feel nostalgic for times of the neighborhood soda fountain. It also offers up handmade ice cream, chocolates, and caramel corn, as well as tons of other candy to purchase. Their slogan "Only too much is enough," is something we can all get behind.


Location: Chicago, Illinois

Bobtail Ice Cream Company opened in the Windy City in 2004, using three generations of family recipes for their shop. They’ve since added five additional Chicago stores, and one suburban shop, and claim to be the only Chicago company that makes "truly, homemade hard-pack ice cream." The shop is open year-round, offering specialty flavors like pumpkin and white chocolate peanut butter. The menu also includes hot fudge brownie sundaes, as well as Steamers (your choice of ice cream and a topping steamed with milk) and the Bobby Joe (your choice of ice cream blended with ice, espresso, and coffee).


Location: Upland, Indiana

Ivanhoes interior
Yelp, Anna O.

Ivan and Carol Slain purchased Wiley’s Drive-In in 1965, and continue to run it as Ivanhoes, with their son Mark. A full restaurant and sandwich shop, it has become well-known for having 100 different shakes and sundaes on their menu, including chocolate anonymous and peach cream pie. Students from nearby Taylor University and Indiana Wesleyan University enjoy trying to try every flavor to make their “100 Club.”


Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Beloved ice cream shop Snookies has a been a favorite among Des Moines residents for over 30 years. Folks line up in the summer to try their array of ice cream, shakes, and malts. Customers are even encouraged to bring their dogs for a free pup cone in the summer to the family business. Owner Jim Graves, who died at age 80, owned the shop with his wife Marilyn before passing it on to their daughter, who runs the store today.


Location: various locations in Kansas

Sylas and Maddy’s has made its ice cream and waffle cones fresh daily since they opened a location in Lawrence in 1997. (They added an Olathe location in 1999.) At both locations, you can enjoy Old Fashion Sundaes and banana splits, as well as unique flavors like coffee break, margarita sherbet, and peanut butter freak. They offer toppings like gummy bears, sprinkles, and Reese’s Pieces. Customers are free to enjoy desserts there, or take pints and quarts to go.


Location: Louisville, Kentucky

The Comfy Cow ice cream flavors
Yelp, Karen G.

Louisville’s The Comfy Cow opened in 2007 and was one of Southern Living’s “The South's Best Frozen Treats” in 2016. Often made from scratch with local ingredients and inspired by their Southern culinary roots, the shop offers delicious ice cream like cake “batter up,” cookie monster dough, and seasonal options like the espresso yourself. Served with various fruit, candy, nut, and sauce toppings, the ice cream products can be enjoyed on location or to go, and you can invent your own ice cream sandwiches and sundaes.


Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Angelo Brocato’s has been run by the Brocato family for over 100 years, since it first opened at the original location in 1905, and was churned by hand. It was displaced by Hurricane Katrina, but returned to its present location after rebuilding in September of 2006. They are New Orleans’ oldest purveyor of cannoli, so you can choose the famous Sicilian treat or opt for their pistachio almond ice cream or over 20 flavors of gelato.


Location: various locations in Maine

Linda Parker’s Mount Desert Island Ice Cream was founded in Bar Harbor in 2005 and has expanded to an additional Bar Harbor location, as well as in Portland, Maine. The shop creates small-batch (five gallons) flavors like The Dude (White Russian ice cream) and also offers a four scoop "flight" for those who can’t decide. Mount Desert Island was named one of the best in the country by Food & Wine magazine, but the real seal of approval came in 2010, when pictures of President Obama, enjoying his coconut ice cream, were made public.


Location: Ocean City, Maryland

An Ocean City landmark on the Boardwalk since 1939, Dumser’s Dairyland now has seven locations in the area. This 1940s-style ice cream parlor and restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, if you’re interested in some cream of crab soup, Maryland fried chicken, or a delicious cheeseburger. But it's most popular for the homemade ice cream. They have standard flavors like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and peanut butter fudge, as well as specialty varieties like Hawaiian delight and coconut chocolate chip. They also serve ice cream sodas, dipped cones, and super sundaes like the Coco Loco which contains three dips of coconut chocolate ice cream and topped with hot fudge, marshmallows, peanuts, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.


Location: Centerville, Massachusetts

Four Seas Ice Cream interior
Four Seas Ice Cream

You'll find Four Seas Ice Cream housed in a former Blacksmith shop, just steps from the beaches of Cape Cod. The shop's homemade ice cream is now available off-season by the quart and in ice cream cakes, but the offerings are still best enjoyed as a summer treat in flavors like lemon crisp and rum and butter. Have a frappe, some cookie dough, or ice cream while enjoying this seaside shop.


Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Northern Michigan’s Moomers is a small, family-owned shop that has been serving homemade ice cream to Traverse City residents and visitors since 1998. Their Farm Creamery (opened in 2011) sells fresh milk from their cows, or you can try one of the their more than 160 flavors of ice cream, including banana bread and candy explosion. They also make custom ice cream cakes, and have soft serve, sorbet, and non-fat frozen yogurt. If you’re really hungry, try the Wholey Cow Sundae: 10 scoops of ice cream, all the toppings available, bananas, and brownies, served with an entire can of whipped cream.


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Milkjam ice cream flavors
Yelp, Ashley C.

Managing to open up an ice cream shop in the dead of winter in Minnesota seems like a bad move, but the lines out the door of Minneapolis’s Milkjam Creamery tell another story. Owned by two brothers, this ice cream shop serves up witty flavors like the Waka Flocka Flakes ("vanilla bean w/ caramelized corn flakes & berry swirl") and Cereal Killers ("orange coriander milk with candied pebbles"). They also aim to keep half of the choices dairy-free for their lactose-intolerant customers.


Location: Hernando, Mississippi

Area 51 Ice Cream is just 30 minutes from downtown Memphis in Hernando, Mississippi. Check their Facebook page to find out which of their rotating flavors of homemade small-batch ice creams are on offer. Some recent flavors include coconut brown sugar, sweet cream, saigon cinnamon snickerdoodle, and lemon icebox. Their signature drink, The Roswell, is a take on an orange creamsicle: lemon icebox pie ice cream floated with Orange Crush soda and a swirl of grenadine.


Location: St. Louis, Missouri

ted drewes ice cream and exterior
Yelp, Julia K.

Not many ice cream shops can say that they also sell Christmas trees. You can get both at Ted Drewes. Frozen custard has been sold there for over 80 years, a post-baseball game tradition and Christmas trees have been sold for over 50. Both locations include 12 serving windows to accommodate the crowds and nearly 40 toppings to choose from. Ted Drewes is also home to The Concrete: Created in 1959, it is a malt or shake "so thick that they serve it upside down."


Location: Butte, Montana

One of Montana’s first drive-in restaurants, Matt’s Place, continues to wow locals and visitors in Butte with its classic 1930s look. Enjoy a cheeseburger and fries, milkshake, or ice cream sundae at the restaurant’s original 1936 counter. The spot was good enough to earn the James Beard Foundation’s 2016 American Classics Award, given to only five other U.S. restaurants for their "timeless appeal" and quality food.


Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Ivanna Cone—designed with the look of an old-time soda fountain with very modern flavors—has been around for more than a decade. The ice cream menu includes French toast, lemongrass ginger, and more, all homemade on site with 20-quart ice cream makers that use ice and salt. (On a summer day, they may use up to 40 pounds of salt and 400 pounds of ice.) All of the 17 rotating ice cream flavors begin with a 14 percent butterfat sweet cream vanilla base. Some signature flavors even give back to charity groups. Try the Camp Kindle, which is marshmallow ice cream with strawberries, chocolate, graham crackers, pretzels, with baby marshmallows, and your money will go toward a summer camp for kids affected by HIV and AIDS.


Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

BLVD Creamery interior
BLVD Creamery

BLVD Creamery is an explosion of color and candy within Las Vegas’s Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. This brightly lit shop has an array of flavors (like caramel sea salt and matcha green tea) and toppings, but what’s make them really special is the specialty items they offer. Aside from adult boozy milkshakes, the menu includes milkshakes made with flavored cereal milk and ice sandwiches that can be made with freshly glazed warm donuts, brownies, or cookies.


Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Since opening in 1982, Annabelle’s recipe of 16 ½ percent butterfat ice cream has been listed among America’s best. They currently have over 80 wholesale accounts across New Hampshire and a number of unique flavors. Try the chocolate chip with Kahlua, cashew caramel cluster, or seasonal flavors like caribbean coconut and peachy peach.


Location: Princeton, New Jersey

The original Victorian storefront of Thomas Sweet in Princeton, New Jersey opened in 1979. They now have four more locations across New Jersey, and one in Washington D.C. They have an array of delicious flavors and toppings, brownie sundaes and shakes, but they’re most famous for their blend-ins. For the latter, any flavor of ice cream or yogurt can be customized by blending it with three additional candies, nuts, or fruit topping to a nearly soft-serve form.


Location: various locations in New Mexico

Located in an adobe minutes from the Taos Ski Valley Resort in Arroyo Seco, you’ll find Taos Cow as well as other locations in Santa Fe. The company has been serving all-natural and hormone-free gourmet ice cream since 1993, include flavors like lavender, blueberry, and pecan nougat. They also serve breakfast and coffee, soups, salads, and other lunch items.


Location: various locations in New York

oddfellows miso ice cream in a bowl
Katie Burton

Cornbread, peanut butter & jelly, and lemon meringue are just some of the creative flavors you’ll find at Brooklyn’s OddFellows flagship shop and at the Manhattan location. The menu includes homemade ice cream, milkshakes, and “OddPockets,” which stuff ice cream into brioche bread and then heat it, along with toppings in a panini press. OddFellows donates 5 cents to a food bank in New York City for every serving sold, and offers catering as well as local delivery. Their goods can also be found at well-known locations like Saks Fifth Avenue, Mission Cantina, and Maison Premiere.


Location: Durham, North Carolina

The Parlour was once only found in its mobile scoop shop, a converted school bus that traveled around Durham serving up seasonally-inspired ice cream. A successful 2012 Kickstarter helped them raise money to build a permanent location where they make all the ice cream that 18 percent butterfat, pastries, and toppings from scratch. Try the summer corn or blueberry lavender flavors, or their most popular variety, salted butter caramel.


Location: Oakes, North Dakota

Nestled on a street in Oakes, North Dakota, you’ll find Sweets ‘N Stories, a combination of café, ice cream shop, and bookstore. Visit for flavors like coconut almond fudge, have an espresso, some lunch, or buy some of their handmade fudge.


Location: Cleveland, Ohio

interior sweet moses ice cream
Sweet Moses Soda Fountain & Treat Shop

Sweet Moses Soda Fountain and Treat Shop offers a variety of treats like gourmet popcorn, candies, homemade pies, root beer, and small batch ice cream using pure Madagascar vanilla and Belgian chocolate. The menu includes standard flavors like chocolate chip and cookies & cream as well as more unique offerings such as salted french caramel and bananas foster. All hot fudge and caramel sauces are made in-house, and the shop also sells phosphates, sundaes, and blueberry pie.


Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Started by a husband and wife team that expanded from an ice cream truck to its brick and mortar location in 2012, Roxy’s Ice Cream Social was named after the couple’s Great Dane, Roxy. Besides special flavors like blueberry cheesecake, banana cream, vegan cake batter, and lemon poppy seed, they also sell the Dreamsicle float, made of orange cream soda and vanilla ice cream. All varieties are made Philadelphia style without eggs on-site at the Plaza district location in Oklahoma City. (There is also another Oklahoma City location and upcoming Edmond Oklahoma location.)


Location: Portland, Oregon

Cool Moon Ice Cream Company is known for original creations, often rotating 26 flavors at a given time from a vast list of over 200 flavors. Lemon poppyseed, buttermilk marionberry, and Thai ice cream are offered alongside 11 mainstays like coffee crackle, birthday cake, and kulfi, made with pistachio, cardamom, and rosewater. All of the assortments are sweetened with cane sugar and handmade with natural ingredients.


Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bassetts Ice Cream cone
Yelp, Diana B.

Touted as “America’s oldest ice cream company” on their website, Bassetts was established in 1861. The outpost at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia has the original marble counters from the 1892 opening along with a menu offering over 30 flavors including, mocha chip, matcha, butterscotch vanilla, cinnamon, and raspberry truffle.


Location: various locations in Rhode Island

Voted one of the best ice cream parlor’s in the United States by TripAdvisor, Brickley’s homemade ice cream has expanded to two locations (in Narragansett and Wakefield) since opening in 1995. They have over 45 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbert, and sorbet. Try unique flavors like chocolate brownie, malted milk ball, or coffee Oreo.


Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Sweet Cream Company is a far and away favorite in the Palmetto State. There, customers enjoy their choice of 16 rotating flavors topping-free. (The shop doesn't offer them.) Before you make the trek, check out their Facebook page to see what's on the menu. Assortments include panna cotta with candied orange peel, blackberry sage, and maple walnut. They also have a special cookie sandwich each month, like July's graham cracker cookie topped with fudge sauce and toasted marshmallow ice cream.


Location: Spearfish, South Dakota

Leones’ Creamery opened in the Old City Hall’s sandstone building in 2014. The shop is now part of the Historic Commercial Walking Tour of Spearfish, and serves the local community with eight rotating ice cream flavors (including one that is always vegan). Customers can choose to “Scoop it Forward” and leave ice cream for friends and relatives. Recent options: vanilla black pepper, blueberry goat’s cheese, and avocado.


Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Noted in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, Elliston Place Soda Shop is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Nashville, serving the city for over 75 years. You can pop in for fried chicken for lunch and stay for an ice cream cone, sundae, orange freeze, or egg cream. What’s sweeter? According to the restaurant, their location near the hospital means that the soda counter is a traditional place for new father’s to treat the older siblings of newborn babies to dessert.


Location: Houston, Texas

Fat Cat Creamery
Yelp, Michael S.

Fat Cat Creamery believes in sustainability, evidenced by their use of local ingredients and compostable packaging. (Even the spoons are environmentally friendly.) Fat Cat has five signature flavors that are offered year-round—milk chocolate stout, waterloo strawberry buttermilk, amaya coffee & cream, cat's meow milk Mexican vanilla, and chai tea coconut—but what they’re really known for are their seasonal flavors, including bourbon pecan pie and bunny bait.


Location: Springdale, Utah

Kim and Dave Watts are two retired engineers who were in search of a place to retire and work a little less. After deciding on an ice cream shop, they found a candy and ice cream shop listed for sale outside the entrance to Zion National Park while on vacation. Now, they serve ice cream, shakes, smoothies, and an assortment of chocolates and confections at Springdale Candy Company.


Location: Waitsfield, Vermont

The Sweet Spot serves French custard style ice cream using all natural and local ingredients. They offer standard flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and coffee as well as in-house seasonal flavors like blueberry crumble and peach bourbon. Stop in after skiing at nearby resorts, if you’re in need of lunch, coffee, or one of their frozen fruit pops or ice cream sandwiches.


Location: Richmond, Virginia

Bevs Homemade ice cream and cafe ice cream
Yelp, Kamille P.

Beverly Mazursky, the owner of Bev’s who is now in her 70s, returned to school at age 49 and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. A year later, she opened Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream, which always has 12 “everyday flavors” on hand. The menu also features rotating varieties like honey almond oatmeal, honey, and white chocolate mocha chip.


Location: Seattle, Washington

Two Seattle natives Colleen Wilkie and Paul Dormann opened Shug's Soda Fountain & Ice Cream in 2016 in the historic Pike Place Market. The treats use Lopez Island Creamery’s ice cream and sorbets as well as homemade sauces and toppings like Italian cherries and apple compote.


Location: Charleston, West Virginia

Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream was founded in 1997 and offers flavors like raspberry chocolate chip and coconut in a cup, cone, pint, or quart. The shop serves frozen yogurt (chocolate and vanilla or swirl) as well as fresh soups, salads, and wraps. You can also have a cappuccino milkshake or espresso freeze made using their fine coffee selection.


Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

purple door ice cream
Yelp, Tania T.

The husband and wife team behind Purple Door Ice Cream discussed opening an ice cream shop on their first date. What began as a wholesale business in 2011 eventually expanded to a retail store, where the duo makes ice cream with 14 percent butterfat. Flavors include balsamic vinegar, mango chutney, toasted oatmeal, and absinthe. They also believe in giving back through an initiative called Milk for Milwaukee, where they help provide fresh milk to local homeless shelters.


Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream is home to over 250 flavors of ice cream made with organic cream and fruit. Employees scoop 24 flavors a day. Stop by to try the Buzz Bomb, made with espresso, or the Wild Huckleberry, once voted the Best Dessert in Wyoming by the Food Network.

3 Cold Coffee Treats To Beat The Heat

Mental Floss Video
Mental Floss Video

Loving coffee is a year-round activity, but in the dog days of summer you may not be in the mood for a steaming hot cup of joe. That’s why we asked Eamon Rockey, Director of Beverage Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, to help us concoct three delicious cold coffee treats.

Coffee tonic is a simple, refreshing alternative when you get sick of plain old iced coffee. Granita di caffè—basically a grown-up snow cone— is an Italian classic. And Eamon’s “milk and honey” take on a Greek frappè is a caffeinated milkshake with just enough sweetness to be addictive.

The recipes all start with cold brew concentrates, which are increasingly available at grocery stores and ensure a consistent product from start to finish. You could also use refrigerated coffee leftover from the morning or any other (preferably strong) iced coffee; you may sacrifice a bit of consistency and flavor, but something tells us they’ll still be delicious.

Coffee Tonic Recipe


Grady’s Cold Brew Concentrate (or your preferred substitute)
Tonic Water
Lemon Peel


  1. Pour equal amounts of cold brew concentrate and tonic water into glass.
  2. Add ice and stir.
  3. “Express” (i.e. squeeze to release essential oils) a large piece of lemon peel into glass
  4. Garnish with lemon and serve.

Granita Di Caffè Recipe


Red Thread Cold Brew Concentrate With a Hint of Chocolate (or your preferred substitute)
Simple Syrup (Optional)
Berries and/or Whipped Cream to Garnish


  1. Pour cold brew concentrate into a freezer safe vessel
  2. Optionally, for a sweeter treat, add ¼ cup simple syrup (50 percent water, 50 percent sugar) and stir
  3. Place into a freezer and let nearly freeze (1-2 hours)
  4. Break up any ice crystals with a fork and place back in freezer for roughly 30 minutes
  5. Repeat step four two or more times, as needed, until the mixture is all icy granules
  6. Alternately, skip steps three to six and leave coffee mixture until frozen (2-3 hours). Scrape vigorously with a fork. You may sacrifice some of the light texture of the other method, but the process is considerably simpler.
  7. Serve with berries or (ideally fresh) whipped cream

“Milk and Honey” Greek Frappè Recipe


One Half of a Vanilla Bean
3 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
3 Tbsp. Honey
3 Tbsp. Milk
4 oz. Grady’s Cold Brew Concentrate (or your preferred substitute)
Splash of soda water (optional)


  1. Scrape half of a vanilla bean and add to heavy cream
  2. Make whipped cream by mixing with whisk/hand mixer, or by shaking vigorously in cocktail shaker
  3. Add honey to milk and stir to combine
  4. Add milk/honey mixture to whipped cream and stir
  5. Pour cold brew concentrate and a splash of soda water into glass
  6. Add ice
  7. Top with half of the whipped cream/milk/honey mixture and stir
  8. Garnish with the leftover vanilla bean pod 

14 Freshly-Brewed Facts About Starbucks


When Howard Schultz visited Milan, Italy in 1983 and realized the city was home to more than 1500 coffee bars, a light bulb went off in his head. Four years later, the ambitious Schultz acquired Starbucks—which had previously only sold ground coffee in bags, with no single servings—and proceeded to turn it from a six-store Seattle operation into a global phenomenon. Unlock the secrets of your home away from home with these 14 frothy facts.

1. Starbucks has a ban on smells.

Because aroma is so crucial to the Starbucks experience, Schultz—the company's longtime CEO who retired in 2018 and is now its Chairman Emeritus—laid down the law early on: Nothing can interfere with the smell of their freshly-ground coffee. The stores banned smoking in the late 1980s, years before the practice was commonplace; employees are alsao asked not to wear perfume or cologne [PDF].

2. The Starbucks mermaid used to show nipple.

Jim Forest, Flickr // CC BY NC-ND-2.0

The siren of the famous Starbucks logo is intended to represent the seductive power of coffee, with her hair tastefully covering any hint of immodesty. But when Starbucks was still a regional chain in 1970s Seattle, their logo was far more candid: The mermaid had fully-exposed breasts. Some customers commented on it, but it didn’t become scandalous until the company began making deliveries and had to put their signage on trucks. Reluctant to traffic in portable nudity, the logo was revised.

3. An immunologist cracked the Starbucks coffee code.

Infectious disease specialist Don Valencia was essentially just goofing off in 1990 when he developed a coffee bean extract that smelled and tasted just like the real thing. After neighbors couldn’t tell the difference between his sample and fresh coffee, he tried it out on a barista. Eventually, word got to Starbucks executives, who hired Valencia in 1993. Using his discovery to branch out into retail sales, Starbucks quickly became a top-seller of bottled coffee and super-premium ice cream—for a time, they even outsold pint-sized king Häagen-Dazs.

4. There have been Starbucks stores made out of old shipping containers.

A Starbucks store made out of a shipping container

In a monument to the company’s eco-friendly attitude, several stores built out of retired shipping containers have opened since 2011. Some use run-off drains to feed rainwater to nearby vegetation; others use local materials such as discarded wooden fencing to complete the job. The recycled storefronts are typically drive-thru only, but video cameras allow patrons to see a friendly barista's face. At 1000 square feet, they’re also smaller than a typical store—and Starbucks has every intention of using that tiny footprint to burrow its way into locations previously thought to be too small to lease.

5. Starbucks managers were forced to play with Mr. Potato Head.

Eager to ramp up efficiency in the face of stiffer competition in 2009, Starbucks dispatched executive Scott Heydon for some updated managerial training. To demonstrate how employees can cut down on idle time behind the counter, Heydon instructed managers to assemble a Mr. Potato Head toy and then put him back in his box in under 45 seconds. At least one supervisor was able to pick up the scattered pieces and re-assemble the spud in under 16 seconds.

6. The Starbucks CIA location is as secretive as you’d expect.

Man drinking coffee and using his laptop
hitmanphoto/iStock via Getty Images

Like most office buildings, the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia runs on caffeine. But it doesn’t run like a typical Starbucks: Baristas undergo background checks and aren't allowed to leave their posts without a CIA escort. Customer names cannot be called out or written on cups due to security concerns. Despite the precautions, it’s still a social atmosphere: According to The Washington Post, one key member of the team that assisted in locating Osama bin Laden was recruited there.

7. The Starbucks employee dress code is very specific.

When Schultz opened his line of Il Giornale espresso bars in 1985, he mandated employees wear the bow ties and crisp white shirts common in Italy. The current dress code [PDF] has relaxed on the Pee-Wee attire but still insists on a certain kind of conformity. Rings cannot have stones; brightly-colored purple or pink hair is not welcome; untucked shirts can’t expose your midsection when bending over; ear gauges should be less than 10mm. Think you're going to sport a face tattoo or septum ring? Mister, the only thing you’re brewing is trouble.

8. California has a Starbucks ski-thru.

Skiers in Squaw Valley, California looking for a caffeine fix don’t have to take off their equipment: the Starbucks at the Gold Coast Resort is open to visitors via a Ski-Thru. They also take orders from the aerial lift. What could be better?

9. Nonfat milk resulted in a Starbucks corporate standoff.

When Howard Behar came to Starbucks as an executive in 1989, he was dismayed to find that many customers had filled out comment cards voicing their desire for nonfat milk. But Schultz and his team had decided they didn’t like the taste and that nonfat wasn’t authentically Italian. Behar argued that customers should get whatever they wanted. Store managers protested, but when Schultz personally witnessed a customer walk out over the lack of options, he relented. Today, it's estimated that half of the company’s cappuccinos and lattes are frothed without fat.

10. You can get a Butterbeer frappucCino at Starbucks (if you know the right way to ask).

RosieTulips, Flickr // CC BY NC-ND-2.0

The preferred thirst-quencher for Harry Potter fans, Butterbeer isn’t really available outside of the books or the Universal Studios attraction—but you can get a pretty good approximation by requesting a Frappucino with caramel syrup, caramel drizzle, and toffee nut syrup.

11. The round tables at Starbucks may help you feel less lonely.

Feeling self-conscious about sitting in a Starbucks by yourself? Don’t be: the round tables are there to help. The company believes that circular dining areas can make a space feel less empty when compared to the stern edges of a rectangular or square table. They don’t want you to feel alone. So, so alone.

12. The Disney Starbucks has magic chalkboards.

When Starbucks opened at Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida, some of the company’s trademark features were tweaked to fit their magical affiliation. The chalkboard was re-imagined as a 70-inch touch screen that can render illustrations in real time. Customers can also “draw” on the screen using their fingers, take selfies, and see what visitors in Disney’s Anaheim Starbucks are up to.

13. Some Starbucks stores have the technology for the greatest cup of coffee possible.

Starbucks cares a great deal about serving an excellent cup of coffee. Employees never let brewed pots sit for more than 30 minutes, and stores use no artificially-flavored grounds. The next giant leap in bean prep might be the Clover, a proprietary machine engineered by Stanford that costs $13,000 to install and uses a vacuum and elevator system to shoot coffee grounds upward with precision water temperatures the result is said to be a peerless experience. If you’re lucky enough to be near a store that has one, expect to pay up to $5 a cup.

14. Customers think Starbucks gives away newspapers. It doesn't. Now it doesn't sell them, either.

For years, many Starbucks locations provided newspapers like The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to customers. That practice stopped in September 2019. Why? People believed the papers were provided as a gratuity and left them in a pile or walked out with a paper without paying.

Additional Sources: Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup At a Time.