The Agenda Guide to Charlotte Ice Cream

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Looking for Charlotte’s best ice cream? We’ve got you covered with everything from classic hand-dipped scoops and swirly soft serve to over-the-top trendy treats and popular restaurant desserts.

Scoops

Golden Cow Creamery – Small batch, handcrafted flavors rotate out regularly, but house favorites like Dunkaroos and Salted Oreo are always available. Try an ice cream flight with four generous scoops for $5.25 or an ice cream sandwich made with Gateau Baking Company cookies. Address: 170 W. Summit Avenue, Charlotte NC 28203

Two Scoops Creamery – They’re known for inventive feature flavors, artistic murals and, appropriately enough, the iconic dual top cone.  Address: 913 Central Avenue, Charlotte NC 28204 | 807 Williamson Road, Mooresville NC 28117

Elizabeth Creamery – This tiny little shop — not much bigger than the ice cream counter itself — is a Charlotte classic located steps from the Gold Line trolley. Your visit didn’t happen if you don’t take a photo with the sign. Address: 1535 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte NC 28204

Soft Serve

Mr. K’s Soft Ice Cream – The throwback soda shop with budget-friendly burgers and dogs has been serving Charlotte since 1967. Don’t miss their 50th anniversary celebration on Sunday, August 13. Address: 2107 South Boulevard, Charlotte NC 28203

Dairy Queen – Put down your locally made pitchforks. This monster franchise makes the local ice cream list for its two retro cool walkup locations on Wilkinson Boulevard and Central Avenue, which have been in Charlotte since 1947 and 1951, respectively. Their historic significance is well documented by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Committee here and here. Address: 2732 Wilkinson Boulevard, Charlotte NC 28208 | 1431 Central Avenue, Charlotte NC 28205

Sticks and Cones Ice Cream Truck – There’s just something about ice cream served out of a suped-up Chevy Express van. Catch it at events and food truck rallies throughout greater Charlotte. Follow along on Facebook for schedule updates.

Coffee Cone Cafe – There’s a little something for everyone at this combo espresso bar and ice cream shop. In addition to traditional flavors, they’ve also got dairy-free “paleo inspired” soft serve options. Come fall, you can even get a pumpkin spice affogato — seasonal spiced espresso over soft serve ice cream. Address: 9620 University City Boulevard, Charlotte NC 28213

Gelato

Va da Vie Gelato  – This adorable gelato shop beckons from the middle of the parking lot at Park Road Shopping Center like a sweet treat oasis. After fighting through the center’s inevitable line of traffic just to get a parking spot, you’ve earned a little gelato. Address: 4203 Park Road, Charlotte NC 28209

Bar Cocoa – The on-site dessert bar at the Ritz-Carlton is known for elegant chocolates, creative macaron flavors and housemade gelato. They’ve got outdoor seating or you could hang around and enjoy your treat fireside in the luxe lobby. Address: 201 E. Trade Street, Charlotte NC 28202

Novelties

Jolly Rolls – Here, ice cream is spread thin on a frozen slab and then scraped into neat little compact rolls. Address: 10020 Monroe Road #110, Matthews NC 28105 | 8433 Charlotte Highway, Indian Land SC 29707

Ninety’s –  The family-run shop in University is known for its over-the-top ice cream creations, like giant macaron ice cream sandwiches, elaborate cereal milkshakes and Yum-ee Buns (sweet bread stuffed with ice cream). Address: 9009 J M Keynes Drive, Suite 4, Charlotte NC 28262

Popbar – For a portable, on-the-go gelato option, head to Popbar on NoDa for gelato on a stick. You can get it dipped in chocolate and toppings like nuts, coconut flakes, sprinkles and waffle cone chunks. Address: 3123 N. Davidson Street, Charlotte NC 28205

Tea Fusion Cafe – Try the shaved ice cream — a mound of delicate ice cream ribbons topped with jellies, popping pearls, mochi, beans or taro chunks. Taro is the most popular flavor. Address: 440 E. McCullough Drive, #116, Charlotte NC 28262

King of Pops – Ok ok, a popsicle isn’t ice cream but their cream-based pops — with flavors like cookies and cream, salted caramel and and chocolate sea salt — sound (and taste) a whole lot like ice cream on a stick to me. Not to mention, you can get get them dipped in chocolate at the pop shop. Address: 2500 Dunavant Street, Charlotte NC 28203

Restaurant Specialties

Futo Buta – This ramen joint whips up inventive specialty soft serve feature flavors that are the perfect finish to a steaming hot bowl of noodles. Address: 222 E. Bland Street, Charlotte NC 28203

Growler’s Pourhouse – Ask about the the ice cream flavor of the day, made in house in small batches. Address: 3120 N. Davidson Street, Charlotte NC 28205

Good Food on Montford – Good Food makes all its own ice cream and gelato to complement different desserts, but it’s the chocolate brownie with homemade Biscoff ice cream that has something of the cult following. Address: 1701 Montford Drive, Charlotte NC 28209

Header photo by @foodimami via Instagram

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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