During those long, hot, and humid days, people need to cool down and nothing beats ice cream for that. Ann Arbor has several places to find that vital frozen summer treat. Whether the day calls for a cup full of Italian gelato, rolled ice cream, a chilly paleta, or just a plain- old vanilla cone, here’s where to find some great ice cream in and around Tree City.Read More
11 Essential Ann Arbor Ice Cream Shops
Spicy chocolate sorbet tacos, fruity frozen paletas, creamy gelato, and classic hard scoop ice cream galore
Downtown Dexter is a popular summer gathering place and this family-owned shop fits perfectly with the quaint, small-town vibe. Dexter Creamery expanded from its original offerings of frozen yogurt with dozens of topping options to now include an array of ice cream and frozen pops.
Naughty Boy's Rolled Ice Cream
The owners named this Dexter spot after a precocious young elephant they encountered while in Thailand, where rolled ice cream was invented. Choose from a list of crowd favorites or create a personalized one featuring various ice creams, mixers, and toppings.
The Bar at 327 Braun Court
This Kerrytown hangout has expanded past artisan cocktails to now serving pizzas and an ever-changing list of housemade ice cream novelties. Its fudgesicle is a trip down memory lane while the Don’t Marsh My Mallow is a s’mores lover’s delight — chocolate ice cream and toasted marshmallow cream between graham crackers and diced in dark chocolate.
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Blank Slate Creamery
This downtown spot has become an Ann Arbor summer destination due to its long list of ice creams made in-house — including several vegan ice cream and sorbet options. For those having trouble choosing, ice cream flights are a great way to try up to four different flavors.
Washtenaw Dairy’s donuts and ice cream have made it an Ann Arbor institution for close to 90 years. The shop’s selection of over 50 different flavors, ranging from caramel pretzel crunch to blueberry waffle cone, ensures there’s a little something for everyone.
Michigan Creamery, on State Street in the heart of downtown, features more than 30 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and custard. All of the varieties, in addition to the coffees and sweets, are made locally.
This South U shop serves trendy Thai rolled ice cream — a thin layer of milk mixed with different ingredients on a frigid griddle until creamy and rolled into a cup. Choose a flavor like Monkey Love (bananas and Nutella) and Sweetheart (strawberry and graham cracker) and add additional toppings for a decadent chilled treat.
This small, easy-to-miss shop, once known locally as Rod’s Diner, has been a popular destination for college students for decades. While the Korean rice bowls and noodle dishes are popular, Moon Cafe is perhaps better known for its colliders — frozen yogurt blended with up to five toppings such as nuts, candy bars, sprinkles, and fruit.
Tucked away in a south side industrial park along with Zingerman’s coffee shop and bakehouse, Zingerman’s Creamery is serving some really good gelato and cheese. Rotating seasonal flavors like coconut caramel crunch and black sesame as well as the creamery’s standard options are available as a scoop or in pints for later. For special occasions, the DIY gelato program allows customers to personalize their own blend.
La Piña Loca
On the southern edge of Ann Arbor, La Piña Loca offers over 30 different flavors of paletas, or Mexican popsicles. Fruity flavors like strawberry and mango are available in both water-based and cream-based varieties. Don’t miss the cajeta (caramel with a gooey center) and the sweet cream with hunks of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
GO! Ice Cream
Go! owner Rob Hess started selling his small-batch ice creams from a tricycle at area events and has since graduated to a downtown Ypsilanti location complete with retro soda fountain equipment. Although there’s a limited number of daily flavors, there are many different sundaes, shakes, and sodas in which to try them — including the rich and spicy chocolate sorbet taco.