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Huddle, a walk-up window with soft serve ice cream from the owners of Gather and Cøllect, is open in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Huddle [Courtesy photo]

15 Metro Detroit Soft Serve Spots for Sunny Days

Where to find swirly treats around town

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It’s among the many signs of spring that Detroiters watch out for: opening day at the ice cream stand. With longer days ahead, the seasonal specialty shops and sweet treat windows are awakening for a busy season of cones twisted high with soft serve ice cream. These 15 spots offer a variety of soft serve with water ice, vegan Dole Whip, pup cups, and soft swirls between warm waffle patties and fresh-baked cookies.

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Detroit Water Ice Factory

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This downtown shop is all about water ice — similar to Italian ice, though fans swear it’s creamier. The Motown Twist swirls soft serve ice cream atop Detroit Water Ice’s signature treat and is available in a Korean egg bubble waffle with additional toppings.

Huddle Soft Serve

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Huddle’s soft serve window opened for the season on March 1 and is perfect for a stroll down Parker’s Alley. Choose a flavor from chocolate, vanilla, or twists with toppings of sprinkles, sea salt, chocolate chips, and cherry or chocolate dips.

Cold Truth

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The stand features a rotating menu with options that have include lavender, vegan blueberry, chocolate, and vegan sweet cream soft serve. Order it in a fresh vegan, gluten-free waffle cone or a cup topped with vegan dark chocolate or milk chocolate shell, wafer cookies, and be sure to keep an eye out for seasonal special flavors.

Family Treat

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The longstanding restaurant and ice cream stand relaunched for the year on February 6. The beloved southwest Detroit spot been serving treats of soft serve, thick milkshakes, chili cheese fries, and foot-long hot dogs since taking over the former Tastee Freeze in the 1980s. To go along with your twist cone, check out Taco Tuesdays — a staple of this stand for more than 30 years.

Burk's Igloo

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The corner cone booth with a cartoon igloo and penguin sells short-order menu items ranging from coneys and fries to the Avalanche — made with soft-serve ice cream and chock-full of one's favorite candy. The season here runs from the first week in March to the last week in October.

Two Birds

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The sister shop of the Detroit window resides in this West Village bar and opened for the season on March 8th. Head into this older house that’s been transformed into a bar with a seasonal ice cream window, and grab a cone of soft serve along with a cocktail. Or enjoy the best of both with the hummer — a Detroit original that features Hawaiian rums and Huddle vanilla custard.

River Breeze Dairy Freeze

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The renovated gas station turned mom and pop ice cream parlor is perfect for a Belle Isle snack. In addition to selling soft serve on waffle cones in the shape of cartoon characters or in sundaes, River Breeze also sells hot dishes like nachos, foot-long hot dogs, fries, fish dinners, and a Southern favorite — fried okra.

River Breeze Dairy Freeze (courtesy photo)

Bee Queen Dairy & Ice Cream

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The Eastpointe dairy parlor kicks off the season on April 1 with a variety of soft serve and non-dairy options. For those seeking a creative twist — try the “flavor of the week”.

Erma's Original Frozen Custard

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This metro Detroit ice cream stand is known for its frozen custard and fans make it a point to watch out for new flavors as they’re announced around this time of year. The multi-location stands are expected to open in April.

Golden Cone

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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, as well as their sister stand in Madison Heights, can also be counted on for a swirl of non-dairy Dole Whip soft serve. The Madison Heights stand is open, and Royal Oak is anticipating an early spring open once the weather breaks.

Jim's Frostie Treats

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Soft-serve and assorted fruit flavors of Dole Whip are served at this Royal Oak staple. Grab a cone of Superman to enjoy with the man of steel as he oversees operations from his phone booth out front. Season opener is set for March 15.

Doug's Delight

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This classic Hazel Park snack stand serves Matt and Mo’s Italian beef sandwiches alongside creamy chocolate and vanilla soft serve in cones, sundaes, Dougie’s, and cookie sandwiches. There are even pup cups topped with milk bones available for dogs.

Custard Hut

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Custard Hut is known for waffle custard sandwiches. Swirls of frozen custard in flavors of cake batter and Nutella between warm buttery waffles 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.

Bob Jo's Frozen Custard

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This seasonal Downriver standby doles out frozen desserts of cool and creamy flavors like coconut custard and blueberry frozen yogurt from a walk-up window daily, starting at 12 p.m. Weekly specials keep things interesting. This 75-year-old-stand is cash only and does not accept credit card payments.

Custard Corner

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March 17 marks the start of the season for this Trenton custard stand that serves favorites and non-dairy options from the walk-up window and after-hours and off-season through an ice cream vending machine that has a large selection of pints.

Detroit Water Ice Factory

This downtown shop is all about water ice — similar to Italian ice, though fans swear it’s creamier. The Motown Twist swirls soft serve ice cream atop Detroit Water Ice’s signature treat and is available in a Korean egg bubble waffle with additional toppings.

Huddle Soft Serve

Huddle’s soft serve window opened for the season on March 1 and is perfect for a stroll down Parker’s Alley. Choose a flavor from chocolate, vanilla, or twists with toppings of sprinkles, sea salt, chocolate chips, and cherry or chocolate dips.

Cold Truth

The stand features a rotating menu with options that have include lavender, vegan blueberry, chocolate, and vegan sweet cream soft serve. Order it in a fresh vegan, gluten-free waffle cone or a cup topped with vegan dark chocolate or milk chocolate shell, wafer cookies, and be sure to keep an eye out for seasonal special flavors.

Family Treat

The longstanding restaurant and ice cream stand relaunched for the year on February 6. The beloved southwest Detroit spot been serving treats of soft serve, thick milkshakes, chili cheese fries, and foot-long hot dogs since taking over the former Tastee Freeze in the 1980s. To go along with your twist cone, check out Taco Tuesdays — a staple of this stand for more than 30 years.

Burk's Igloo

The corner cone booth with a cartoon igloo and penguin sells short-order menu items ranging from coneys and fries to the Avalanche — made with soft-serve ice cream and chock-full of one's favorite candy. The season here runs from the first week in March to the last week in October.

Two Birds

The sister shop of the Detroit window resides in this West Village bar and opened for the season on March 8th. Head into this older house that’s been transformed into a bar with a seasonal ice cream window, and grab a cone of soft serve along with a cocktail. Or enjoy the best of both with the hummer — a Detroit original that features Hawaiian rums and Huddle vanilla custard.

River Breeze Dairy Freeze

The renovated gas station turned mom and pop ice cream parlor is perfect for a Belle Isle snack. In addition to selling soft serve on waffle cones in the shape of cartoon characters or in sundaes, River Breeze also sells hot dishes like nachos, foot-long hot dogs, fries, fish dinners, and a Southern favorite — fried okra.

River Breeze Dairy Freeze (courtesy photo)

Bee Queen Dairy & Ice Cream

The Eastpointe dairy parlor kicks off the season on April 1 with a variety of soft serve and non-dairy options. For those seeking a creative twist — try the “flavor of the week”.

Erma's Original Frozen Custard

This metro Detroit ice cream stand is known for its frozen custard and fans make it a point to watch out for new flavors as they’re announced around this time of year. The multi-location stands are expected to open in April.

Golden Cone

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, as well as their sister stand in Madison Heights, can also be counted on for a swirl of non-dairy Dole Whip soft serve. The Madison Heights stand is open, and Royal Oak is anticipating an early spring open once the weather breaks.

Jim's Frostie Treats

Soft-serve and assorted fruit flavors of Dole Whip are served at this Royal Oak staple. Grab a cone of Superman to enjoy with the man of steel as he oversees operations from his phone booth out front. Season opener is set for March 15.

Doug's Delight

This classic Hazel Park snack stand serves Matt and Mo’s Italian beef sandwiches alongside creamy chocolate and vanilla soft serve in cones, sundaes, Dougie’s, and cookie sandwiches. There are even pup cups topped with milk bones available for dogs.

Custard Hut

Custard Hut is known for waffle custard sandwiches. Swirls of frozen custard in flavors of cake batter and Nutella between warm buttery waffles 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.

Bob Jo's Frozen Custard

This seasonal Downriver standby doles out frozen desserts of cool and creamy flavors like coconut custard and blueberry frozen yogurt from a walk-up window daily, starting at 12 p.m. Weekly specials keep things interesting. This 75-year-old-stand is cash only and does not accept credit card payments.

Custard Corner

March 17 marks the start of the season for this Trenton custard stand that serves favorites and non-dairy options from the walk-up window and after-hours and off-season through an ice cream vending machine that has a large selection of pints.

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