What would summer be without a drippy, chip-studded scoop to offset the noonday heat or sweeten the sultry nights? Today, the Budget Travel staff chooses their 18 favorite ice cream parlors across the United States.
MooTime Creamery: A mini-chain in southern California (four locations) with a staff that makes the cones daily, pouring batter onto a waffle iron and rolling each one by hand. Original location: 1025 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619/435-2422.
Mundt’s Candies: An old-time soda fountain, serving floats and sundaes with real whipped cream. 207 W. Main St., Madison, 812/265-6171.
Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen: There’s just too much to choose from: dozens of pies, cakes, and ice-cream flavors—all made from scratch. 2525 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, 502/459-8184.
Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium: A “Bah Hahbah” favorite, with 50 flavors such as maple walnut and even lobster, for the brave. 66 Main St., Bar Harbor, 800/806-3281.
Dumser’s Dairyland: A drive-in restaurant and ice-cream shop with shakes and enormous, three-scoop “super sundaes.” 4901 Coastal Hwy., Ocean City, 410/524-1588.
Farfar’s Danish Ice Cream Shop: Rich flavors such as sweet cream make it the best ice cream south of Beantown, according to Boston magazine. 272 Saint George St., Duxbury, 781/934-5152.
Moomer’s Homemade Ice Cream: The regional specialty is black cherry at this shop that’s surrounded by acres of farmland. 7263 N. Long Lake Rd., Traverse City, 231/941-4122.
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard: Using a secret recipe from 1929, Ted’s “concretes” are shakes so thick you can turn them over and they won’t pour out. 6726 Chippewa St. (Rte. 66), St. Louis, 314/481-2652.
Big Dipper Ice Cream: At this popular stand, the favorite flavor is huckleberry. 631 S. Higgins Ave., Missoula, 406/543-5722.
Bishop’s Homemade Ice Cream: Inside a stately old Victorian house in small-town New England. Go for the s’mores sundae. 183 Cottage St., Littleton, 603/444-6039.
New Jersey/Washington, D.C.
Thomas Sweet Ice Cream: The Elvis Special—banana ice cream with peanut butter and fudge—and other flavors are loved by students at Princeton and Georgetown. 183 Nassau St., Princeton, 609/683-8720; 3214 P St. NW, 202/337-0616.
Cornell Dairy Store and Bar: Supercreamy flavors made with milk from local farms that’s processed on campus. Stocking Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, 607/255-3272.
Young’s Jersey Dairy: A working farm, Young’s whips up about 50 flavors including chocolate fudge brownie and cherry vanilla. 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, 937/325-0629.
Merrymead Farm: A dairy farm—run by the same family for over a century—that sells homemade jams, pies, pastries, and ice cream directly to the public. 2222 Valley Forge Rd., Lansdale, 610/584-4410.
Gray’s Ice Cream: An unassuming general store with 30 or so homemade flavors, it may have the best ice cream in New England. 16 East Rd., Tiverton, 401/624-3576.
Amy’s Ice Creams: Eleven stores in Texas, with a mix of more than 200 flavors that rotate from shop to shop. Maybe the next Ben & Jerry’s? Original location: 3500 Guadalupe St., Austin, 512/458-6895.
Mother Myrick’s: The mint chip, jammed with tiny morsels of bittersweet chocolate, is addictive. Historic Rte. 7A, Manchester, 888/669-7425.
Elevated Ice Cream: Fresh goodies from pineapple-raspberry Italian ices to espresso-chip ice cream; the decor’s fresh too, featuring a different local artist every month. 627 Water St., Port Townsend, 360/385-1156.