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Soft serve at Doug’s Delight in Hazel Park.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

10 Metro Detroit Soft Serve Spots for Sunny Days

Where to find swirly treats around town

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Soft serve at Doug’s Delight in Hazel Park.
| Photo by Michelle and Chris Gerard

Soft serve seem to be popping up everywhere these days from restaurants to walk-up windows. While the trend is far from new, some of Detroit’s buzziest openings have incorporated machine-dispensed frozen treat into their dessert menus — often with flavors beyond the traditional vanilla-chocolate swirl. Below find 10 spots offering a variety of soft serve recipes this summer, from curls of pistachio gelato to vegan Dole Whip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gather

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1454 Gratiot Ave
Detroit, MI 48207
(586) 850-0205
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Eastern Market’s seasonal restaurant Gather keeps things fun on the dessert menu with soft serve made in-house. Customers can order it in a cup or a crunchy sugar cone. A custard walk-up window from the owners is also coming soon to downtown Detroit.

2. Detroit Water Ice Factory

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1014 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 888-9106
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This downtown shop is all about water ice — a frozen dessert popular in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Water ice is similar to Italian ice though fans swear it’s creamier. The Motown Twist takes the whole experience up a notch with swirls of soft serve ice cream layered over Detroit Water Ice’s signature treat. 

3. SheWolf Pastificio & Bar

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438 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 315-3992
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Amidst decadent options like tiramisu and honey ricotta fritters, diners at SheWolf can treat themselves to an elegant dessert of soft serve gelato. Delicate coils of gelato are served in a crystal glass. Choose from dark chocolate, pistachio, or a twist of both.

4. Custard Hut

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25947 W Warren St
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
(313) 278-5577
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Instagram darling Custard Hut is known for its waffle custard sandwiches. Swirls of frozen custard in flavors like cake batter and Nutella are squished between fresh waffles. Customers can dress up their dessert with toppings like fresh sliced strawberries, sprinkles, and fruity pebbles. The whole thing is dusted in powdered sugar and wrapped in tin foil. There are plenty of good old fashioned ice cream cones, too.

5. Public House

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241 W Nine Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220
(248) 850-7420
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Public House was one of the earlier restaurants in the area to introduce soft serve on the dessert menu. Each month the restaurant switches out the flavors, but past options have included strawberry soft serve with yogurt boba pearls, vegan peach-mango with coconut-almond streusel, and red velvet.

6. Doug's Delight

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1108, 24110 John R Rd
Hazel Park, MI 48030

This classic Hazel Park snack stand from the team behind Mabel Gray serves some of the best hot dogs in the region alongside some impressive frozen desserts. Pastry chef Kristina Conger lends her talents to the Doug’s Delight menu with super creamy chocolate and vanilla soft serve made in-house and paired with a selection of dips and toppings.

7. Golden Cone

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207 W 4th St
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 607-9060
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Downtown Royal Oak’s ice cream shop Golden Cone offers a variety of Guernsey ice cream flavors as well as chocolate and vanilla custard. The stand can also be counted on for a swirl of non-dairy Dole soft serve.

Golden Cone [Official photo]

8. Donut Bar + Coffee

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29039 Southfield Rd
Southfield, MI 48076
(248) 595-8212
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This popular doughnut destination is known for its inventive fried pastry flavors. Now with two locations, customers still rely on the original Donut Bar + Coffee in Southfield for soft serve ice cream served in decadent cinnamon sugar doughnut “chimney” cones.

9. Erma's Original Frozen Custard

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2080 E 14 Mile Rd
Warren, MI 48092
(586) 275-2447
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This metro Detroit ice cream stand is known for its frozen custard, but vegans love Erma’s for its selection of Dole Whip — a dairy-free soft serve. As with all of its custard, Erma’s switches out the flavors of Dole soft serve weekly. Customers can count on options like pineapple, raspberry, strawberry, lemon, and orange from spring through fall.

10. Gran Castor

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2950 Rochester Rd, Troy
MI 48083, United States
(248) 278-7777
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Latin American-influenced Troy restaurant Gran Castor has a variety of desserts to pair with the tacos and wood-fired pizzas on its menu including soft serve. Try it in flavors like Mexican spiced dark chocolate or vanilla-chamomile. The bar will even add it to a boozy soft serve float.

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1. Gather

1454 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48207

Eastern Market’s seasonal restaurant Gather keeps things fun on the dessert menu with soft serve made in-house. Customers can order it in a cup or a crunchy sugar cone. A custard walk-up window from the owners is also coming soon to downtown Detroit.

1454 Gratiot Ave
Detroit, MI 48207

2. Detroit Water Ice Factory

1014 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

This downtown shop is all about water ice — a frozen dessert popular in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Water ice is similar to Italian ice though fans swear it’s creamier. The Motown Twist takes the whole experience up a notch with swirls of soft serve ice cream layered over Detroit Water Ice’s signature treat. 

1014 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

3. SheWolf Pastificio & Bar

438 Selden St, Detroit, MI 48201

Amidst decadent options like tiramisu and honey ricotta fritters, diners at SheWolf can treat themselves to an elegant dessert of soft serve gelato. Delicate coils of gelato are served in a crystal glass. Choose from dark chocolate, pistachio, or a twist of both.

438 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201

4. Custard Hut

25947 W Warren St, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

Instagram darling Custard Hut is known for its waffle custard sandwiches. Swirls of frozen custard in flavors like cake batter and Nutella are squished between fresh waffles. Customers can dress up their dessert with toppings like fresh sliced strawberries, sprinkles, and fruity pebbles. The whole thing is dusted in powdered sugar and wrapped in tin foil. There are plenty of good old fashioned ice cream cones, too.

25947 W Warren St
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

5. Public House

241 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220

Public House was one of the earlier restaurants in the area to introduce soft serve on the dessert menu. Each month the restaurant switches out the flavors, but past options have included strawberry soft serve with yogurt boba pearls, vegan peach-mango with coconut-almond streusel, and red velvet.

241 W Nine Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220

6. Doug's Delight

1108, 24110 John R Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030

This classic Hazel Park snack stand from the team behind Mabel Gray serves some of the best hot dogs in the region alongside some impressive frozen desserts. Pastry chef Kristina Conger lends her talents to the Doug’s Delight menu with super creamy chocolate and vanilla soft serve made in-house and paired with a selection of dips and toppings.

1108, 24110 John R Rd
Hazel Park, MI 48030

7. Golden Cone

207 W 4th St, Royal Oak, MI 48067
Golden Cone [Official photo]

Downtown Royal Oak’s ice cream shop Golden Cone offers a variety of Guernsey ice cream flavors as well as chocolate and vanilla custard. The stand can also be counted on for a swirl of non-dairy Dole soft serve.

207 W 4th St
Royal Oak, MI 48067

8. Donut Bar + Coffee

29039 Southfield Rd, Southfield, MI 48076

This popular doughnut destination is known for its inventive fried pastry flavors. Now with two locations, customers still rely on the original Donut Bar + Coffee in Southfield for soft serve ice cream served in decadent cinnamon sugar doughnut “chimney” cones.

29039 Southfield Rd
Southfield, MI 48076

9. Erma's Original Frozen Custard

2080 E 14 Mile Rd, Warren, MI 48092

This metro Detroit ice cream stand is known for its frozen custard, but vegans love Erma’s for its selection of Dole Whip — a dairy-free soft serve. As with all of its custard, Erma’s switches out the flavors of Dole soft serve weekly. Customers can count on options like pineapple, raspberry, strawberry, lemon, and orange from spring through fall.

2080 E 14 Mile Rd
Warren, MI 48092

10. Gran Castor

2950 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI 48083, United States

Latin American-influenced Troy restaurant Gran Castor has a variety of desserts to pair with the tacos and wood-fired pizzas on its menu including soft serve. Try it in flavors like Mexican spiced dark chocolate or vanilla-chamomile. The bar will even add it to a boozy soft serve float.

2950 Rochester Rd, Troy
MI 48083, United States

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