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Atlanta's Top 10 Frozen Treats: Ice Cream, Gelato, Popsicles and more!
Atlanta isn’t called Hot-lanta for nothing! Blazing heat from temperatures in the high 90s makes for five million sticky Atlantans during the summer months (and then some). Fortunately, we have plenty of frozen delights to cool off with. Whether you fancy ice cream, prefer gelato or stick with pops (pun intended!), there plenty of delicious, locally-made ice cold refreshments to be had in town. Here are the 10 best places for icy treats in AtlantaContinue to 2 of 11 below.
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Queen of Cream
After building up a following carting around to different festivals and events in Atlanta, Queen of Cream finally set up a brick and mortar spot in Inman Park. Here, you’ll find Atlanta’s first completely “from scratch” ice cream shop. They even pasteurize their own ice cream base themselves! Treat yourself royally after working up a sweat on the BeltLine –it’s conveniently located just a few steps away. They don’t offer as many flavors as other shops, about 10 are available each day, but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality. Favorite flavors include “Sprinkle Cookie,” bringing back memories of those classic grocery store treats we all munched on as kids; “Brown Butter Whiskey Pecan,” for a rich, spiked treat; and the “Guava Cheesecake,” giving you delicious ice cream with Latin flair. In case you need some caffeine to go with your sugar rush, there’s a full coffee bar with espresso beverages featuring Revelator coffee.Continue to 3 of 11 below.
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King of Pops
King of Pops is an Atlanta staple and can be found at almost any festival, farmers market or community event around town, easily recognizable by its colorful rainbow umbrellas and pop carts. Convenient to walkers and bikers on the BeltLine, King of Pops has a walk-up window for on the go pop goodness. Grab a “Fresh Peach,” “Honeydew Lime Zest” or “Kiwi Banana Honey” pop and cool down in style. Like a buzz with your pop? Swing by the Ponce City Market location and have a pop cocktail, like the “Tequila Grapefruit” and have your pop dunked into a boozy concoction. Fun Fact: the people behind King of Pops wanted to grow their own ingredients for their pops and started their own farm, named King of Crops. The produce that can’t be used in pops gets sold at various farmers markets at the King of Crops tent.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
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If you dream of gelato in fabulous flavors like “Meyer Lemon” and “Fresh Mint” then head to Ponce City Market where you’ll find this sweet ice cream stall. One of the founders cut his teeth at one of the best gelatarias in the country, Il Laboratorio del Gelato but decided to bring his skills back home to Atlanta. He, along with two other friends, created Honeysuckle Gelato, with the goal of making it a decadent, southern-inspired treat. Their gelatos are rich and creamy when scooped straight up, but they’re even better when smooshed into ice cream sandwiches, made from brownies, pie crust or doughnuts. Added bonus? When you buy gelato here, you’re not just eating good – you’re doing good. 5% of each five dollar sale goes to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. That’s the equivalent of one meal for someone!Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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Jake's Ice Cream and Sorbets
An anchor of the Irwin Street market, Jake’s has been serving up frozen treats in the Old Fourth Ward since 1999. Located right off the entrance of the BeltLine, expect humorously named ice cream flavors as quirky as the shop they’re in—think “Chocolate Slap Yo Mama,” loaded with chocolate sauce, chocolate chips and Oreos, and “Delta’s Delight”, a tribute to Atlanta’s favorite airline with Biscoff Cookies, caramel, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. There are, of course, classics on standby like chocolate peanut butter. Jake’s offers about 30 flavors a day, and the menu changes weekly so you’ll never know what to expect when you stop by!Continue to 6 of 11 below.
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Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream shop is Ohio born but was welcomed to Atlanta’s Westside with open arms in 2013. Since then, the transplant has opened two more Atlanta shops giving us plenty of opportunities to get our ice cream fix. Don’t come here for your run-of-the-mill chocolate and vanilla. Instead, modern takes on classics, like “Savannah Buttermint,” a southern-inspired blend of mint, sea salt, butter and white chocolate flecks, or “Pistachio and Honey” with ground roasted pistachios, honey, and cream, reign supreme. You can also order sundaes and ice cream floats. While Jeni’s is a chain, they take extra care to make sure they’re sourcing the finest ingredients. They work directly with local farmers and producers in the regions their stores are located, when possible. In Atlanta, that includes Batdorf and Bronson coffee roasters.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
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Butter & Cream
Located just off the square in downtown Decatur, Butter & Cream prides itself on being Decatur’s only hometown ice cream shop, specializing in small batch ice cream and baked goods. True to their name, each of their ice creams are made with real cream right in their shop’s kitchen. On any day you can expect to find about 20 flavors to choose from, including dairy-free sorbets. Classic flavors are punched up—don’t miss the “Mexican Vanilla” and “Freckled Chocolate”—and there is also seasonal favorites, such as the “Lemon Custard” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” featuring salted peanuts and a caramel swirl.Continue to 8 of 11 below.
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Vintage Frozen Custard
Take your dessert experience from creamy to dreamy with ice cream’s cousin, frozen custard. A higher milk fat content and decadent egg yolks make for a richer concoction. Get a cone of the good stuff on the Westside at Vintage, a small, standalone building offering counter service only (read: plan on taking it with you). Chocolate and vanilla are offered daily along with a third “flavor of the day” option. You can check the calendar on their website, and see which one is offered on the day you plan to go. No matter what, though, you won’t be disappointed. Past “flavor of the day” choices have included “banana chip,” “Froot Loops,” and “cherry pie.” For an extra special treat, order one of their “Everydaes” in tempting varieties like s’mores or salted caramel. Or go for a freshly baked Liege waffle topped with custard and toppings like chocolate hazelnut spread, peach compote, apple pie filling and strawberries.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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Morelli’s Ice Cream
Having done the corporate, pharmaceutical thing for far too long, Donald Sargent and his wife, Clarissa Morelli, decided to change pace and do something they love: make ice cream. Open since 2008, Morelli’s Ice Cream is now beloved by Atlantans for their unique flavor options. The original location in East Atlanta Village offers plenty of outdoor seating, as well as a walk-up counter to meet your on-the-go ice cream needs – no indoor seating though! Each shop offers about 16 flavors daily, but they sell out fast! Come here for scoops of inventive flavors like “Rosemary and Olive Oil,” in which cream is actually infused with fresh rosemary making a striking, herbal flavor and mellowed out by the olive oil, or the “Krispy Kremier” (an ode to a classic southern donut shop); and “coconut jalapeno.”Continue to 10 of 11 below.
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What do you if you’re pregnant and craving fruity ice pops, but none of the store brands will satisfy you? You make your own! That’s what Pop Stars founder Ayesha Paul did, discovering she had a knack for making delicious pops. Wanting to share her pops with others, Pop Stars was born. If you find yourself in Piedmont Park on a Saturday and need to cool off, swing by the Mayor’s Playground and treat yourself to a pop from Pop Stars. They’re all vegan and gluten-free—plus these pops pack quite the punch! Look for zingy flavors like the “Pineapple Guava,” “Watermelon Mint,” and “Kiwi Lemonade.”Continue to 11 of 11 below.
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Paolo’s Gelato Italiano
A native of Italy, Paolo Zorza set up his gelateria in 2000. Since then he’s been wowing gelato seekers with his 62 creamy flavors. Popular flavors at Paolo’s Gelato Italiano include the “Straciatella,” a classic blend of milky gelato and rich chocolate shavings, and the “Mint Chocolate Chip.” Regulars also love Paolo’s unique flower flavored gelatos, in varieties like jasmine, rose and lavender. Whether you’re a gelato traditionalist or seeking a bit of adventure in your cone, Paolo’s has something for you.