By Gabrielle Kratsas
Sweets and caffeine are two major components to most college students’ survival, especially during exam weeks and all-nighters. When those two ingredients are combined into one extremely tasty treat and made readily available to an entire campus, that freshman-15 can quickly become the sophomore-25 and junior-50. Obviously, ice cream shop owners aren’t setting out to increase your pant-sizes–some actually aim to do just the opposite–but they are looking to share their delectable dishes with as many willing customers as possible.
In order to avoid any mass weight gain, sore sweet teeth and sticky fingers, this article comes with a warning label. Beware: the following list outlines some of the most mouthwatering sweet shops, most of which are in walking distance from popular college campuses.
These shops and cafes were selected for this list based on their proximity to a college or colleges, awards won, and Yelp ratings. The order in which they’re presented is not intended to imply a ranking.
50. Berkey Creamery
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 117 Reviews
College/Town: Penn State University in State College, Pa.
Also known as The Creamery, this shop is housed inside a brand new building at PSU. Penn State is the home of the largest university creamery in the U.S.; it’s no surprise that Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s are alumni of the Penn State Creamery correspondence course in ice cream making.
The Creamery offers about 100 ice cream flavors, 10 frozen yogurts and six sherbets, which are constantly changing and always interesting, such as the campus favorite, Peachy Paterno. You can buy this ice cream by the cone, pint or gallon, even if you have a long drive home ahead of you. The friendly students will pack your ice cream cartons in a special cooler bag with dry ice. One Yelp reviewer has been going to The Creamery since 1963, and he swears it has remained just as delicious.
49. UNL Dairy Store
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 8 Reviews
College/Town: University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb.
The UNL Dairy Store provides a fun and casual atmosphere in East Campus to sit and enjoy lunch as well as a sweet treat with classmates. The shop has cafeteria-style seating inside and more seating outside. The sandwiches served are fantastic, but the ice cream is very creamy and packed with fresh fruit slices, and the student workers serve up a generous portion for the price.
Monday through Friday, different items on their menu are discounted during the shop’s 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. happy hour. The ice cream flavors change on a daily basis, but all of them are listed in the shop’s “Dip Cabinet” on their Facebook page, accompanied by pictures. As expected on a college campus, the Dairy Store also sells delicious coffee.
48. Cornell Dairy Bar
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 31 Reviews
College/Town: Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
In the newly-renovated Stocking Hall in Central Campus, Cornell’s Dairy Bar serves breakfast, lunch, coffee and, of course, ice cream. Naturally, the ice cream, milk, yogurt, pudding and Big Red Cheddar are all produced right at Cornell’s dairy processing plant.
The wide variety of flavors with interesting names like Big Red Reunion Revel are sold by the pint and quart, but they also sell cones, cups, ice cream sandwiches and cupcakes. All of this comes at a very reasonable price–$2.99 for three large scoops. Students can sit inside and outside, and reviewers say this shop is a must stop for anyone passing through Ithaca.
47. Santa Barbara Ice Creamery
Rating: 4 Stars, 22 Reviews
College/Town: University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz.
Friendly Jo Jensen works with her daughter Brooke to run this small but superb ice cream shop. These two serve McConnell’s ice cream brand, which originated in Santa Barbara, but the shop itself is a local business. Although they may have just a few tables, Jo’s shop constantly carries over 46 rotating flavors, including Licorice and Expresso Explosion.
Just a short walk from campus, Santa Barbara Ice Creamery is ideal for a short hangout and a sweet snack. They cater to all customers, including diabetics. And for those looking for a healthier dessert, they offer chocolate covered bananas (buy three, get one free!). Reviewers say Jo has the best ice cream cakes in town, as well as chocolate-dipped cheesecakes, but they insist that you try a frozen chocolate peanut butter ball.
46. Ici Ice Cream
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 2,767 Reviews
College/Town: University of California in Berkeley, Calif.
All treats that Ici Ice Cream has to offer are handmade in the shop with fresh, local and organic ingredients. They only make enough for a few days in order to avoid using any artificial preservatives. Every day, you have a choice of 11 flavors of ice cream, sorbet and sherbert that can come in cups or hand-rolled ice cream cones. They even fill the cone tips with chocolate fudge to avoid melting messes in a tasty way.
The flavors, such as Lavender Vanilla Black Tea and Saffron Rose, change daily; many of them are based on seasonal ingredients. All flavors are available in pints and quarts, which are also hand-packed. Don’t be put off by the long lines—more often than not, an employee will come out to those who are waiting to offer free samples.
Rating: 4 Stars, 1,848 Reviews
College/Town: University of California in Berkeley, Calif.
Berkeley does ice cream so well, they had to be featured twice. CREAM is a franchise, but Berkeley is home to the original location, where employees happily serve some of the most delicious ice cream cookie sandwiches for just $2 each. Choose two separate cookies if you dare, but be prepared to eat it before the oven-fresh warmth melts your ice cream center!
These sandwiches come from the Shamieh family’s tradition, using Mrs. Shamieh’s secret cookie recipe. Choose any of the 24 flavors of ice cream to pair with two of the 18 types of cookies. And everyone’s invited to try one because gluten-free and vegan cookies are available. The shop is small with two tables and constantly busy, but reviewers insist that it’s completely worth the wait.
44. Diddy Riese Cookies
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 3,706 Reviews
College/Town: University of California in Los Angeles
Catering to those late-night cravings, Diddy Riese stays open until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and midnight during the rest of the week. This franchise has been around since 1983, and they’re chasing away competition by lowering their prices to only $1.75 for an ice cream sandwich and $2 for a cookie sundae.
The soft and buttery cookies are made fresh daily, and you have the choice of 10 different types, as well as 12 flavors of Dreyer’s premium grand ice cream to pack between them. So take a study break, create a virtual sandwich on their website and walk the short distance from the UCLA Labor Center for this sweet treat.
43. Bahama Buck’s Original Shaved Ice Co.
Rating: 4 Stars, 13 Reviews
College/Town: Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas
Although founder Blake Buchanan constructed the original Bahama Buck’s store by hand while attending Texas Tech University, this franchise has become a favorite among the Aggies. You only have to head down the street from the University Golf Course to “flavor your life” as the shop’s mantra suggests. This island-inspired shop and product are guaranteed to provide you with a refreshing break from the heat.
These aren’t your average snow cones. The reviewers love the “Sno’s” soft and smooth texture, and how they can choose a limitless number of flavors in a single serving. Each year, the owners develop 20 flavors for testing, but only three are approved for the menu, such as Crème Brulee, Birthday Cake with sprinkles and even Pickle Juice.
But they offer more than just edible Sno. No matter the season, you can order “Sno2Throw”—a pack of 24 or 60 snowballs that come in their own cooler; perfect for any student event on a hot day!
42. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 262 Reviews
College/Town: Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
Jeni Britton Bauer left college at Ohio State University and combined her baking skills with her hobbies of perfume blending and essential oil collecting to open Scream Ice Cream in 1996, which set the foundation for the first Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (2002). All of her ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt are made from scratch with ingredients from local farms as well as around the world (African vanilla and Dutch cocoa). She does her job so well that her first cookbook on making ice cream and dessert at home became a New York Times’ best-seller.
Signature flavors—like Brown Butter Almond Brittle—consistently remain on the menu while others are inspired by the seasons, pop culture, culinary history and world trends, such as Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam. You can buy pints at the shops and online for $12.99, but all Yelp reviewers agree that the one-of-a-kind flavors are worth the money. Many of the sorbets are rounded out with wine, beer and other spirits that pair well with their fruits. Most customers love walking in and being able to watch the employees hand-roll the waffle cones.
41. Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 136Reviews
College/Town: University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Dave & Andy’s has been a Pittsburgh staple since 1983, and their Birthday Cake flavor (pictured above) is famous among those who have tasted it. The ice cream is homemade, and they make over 200 flavors, offering different types depending on the day. The waffle cones are also hand-rolled under the eye of the customers, who can smell them from down the street. You’ll even find an M&M at the tip as a melt-blocking agent and a sweet finish.
This shop is as famous for the waffle cones as it is for the ice cream, and it comes at a nice price ($2.50 for two scoops). Many of the reviewers dub Dave & Andy’s the best ice cream they’ve ever had, and all of them love the shop’s homey mom and pop feel.
40. Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe (WSU Creamery)
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 40 Reviews
College/Town: Washington State University in Pullman, Wash.
Conveniently located in the Food Quality Building on campus, the WSU Creamery, a.k.a. Ferdinand’s, makes ice cream fresh daily using the milk from the university’s dairy cows. They offer a variety of traditional flavors—over 20—and interesting flavor-topping combinations. Students get to watch the ice cream being made while they snack, and the student-staff members enjoy explaining the process to interested customers.
This shop is specifically popular for its “Grabber” ice cream sandwiches and award-winning Cougar Gold cheese. Regardless of the long lines and weekend closures, many reviewers dub Ferdinand’s the best ice cream they’ve ever had.
39. The Fountain on Locust
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 302 Reviews
College/Town: Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Mo.
This café-style restaurant and ice cream bar was voted “Best Ice Cream in St. Louis” in 2010 by Fox2 KTVI and Yelp’s No. 1 for St. Louis Ice Cream in 2011. With its hand-painted retro art deco interior, it is also the most-photographed restaurant in St. Louis, according to The Fountain on Locust’s website. But the real reason most customers come here is for the ice cream martinis and adult desserts.
On top of the old-fashioned ice cream specialties, classic malts and milkshakes, this café serves dessert dishes like the Italian Caramelized Oranges, which are hot buttered brown sugar and Grand Marnier-sautéed oranges, poured over vanilla ice cream. But that is just one example of what they have to offer. They also have champagne and other alcoholic floats and much more. For the designated drivers, the servers can provide a list of alcohol-free Mocktails that are just as delectable.
38. Lil’ Pop Shop
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 147 Reviews
College/Town: University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa.
Forget those flavored chunks of ice you can buy at the grocery store. The Lil’ Pop Shop offers hand-crafted ice pops from seasonal assortments of fresh, natural and locally-sourced ingredients—no neon or artificial ingredients or dyes are ever used. The small, colorful shop has indoor and outdoor seating, and a mobile cart that students may see from time to time.
For $3, you can try popsicles with names like Red Hot Mango Chile Pepper, Coconut Hibiscus and Chocolate with Salted Caramel Brownie (with brownie chunks inside). It’s a higher price for a popsicle, but the reviewers swear that these pops are worth every penny. They warn that once you’ve tasted them, you will never go back to the store-bought popsicles.
37. Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
Rating: 4 Stars, 75 Reviews
College/Town: University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.
In 1962, the Chocolate Shoppe started out as a simple candy store, but Chuck Sr. and Nancy Deadman’s ice cream gained enough popularity over the years to now own three retail stores as well as the manufacturing plant in Madison. With their sons, they make over 100 flavors, including all-natural, peanut-free, dairy-free, tree nut-free, egg-free, soy-free and gluten-free products, as well as caffeinated, sugar-free, non-dairy and non-fat ice creams.
In the dairy state, the Yelp reviewers call this shop “the absolute best Wisconsin dairy.” And you know it’s going to be good when their nutritional information reads, “Don’t even ask. This is the best ice cream made in Wisconsin, and it tastes so good because it has gobs of rich Wisconsin cream, tons of real ingredients for boat-loads of luscious flavors. That means it’s not low-fat, low-calorie or low-anything, and that’s why everyone loves it. You want nutrition, eat carrots.”
36. Francesco’s Gelato
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 66 Reviews
College/Town: Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.
Francesco’s has a wonderfully authentic Italian vibe with seating inside and outside. Each tub of gelato is handcrafted, and the employees are very friendly and ready to cater to you. If you’re craving for a flavor that you don’t see, just let someone know, and it will most likely become available within the next few days.
Francesco’s offers flavors like Honey Lavender, Blackberry Lemonade and Pumpkin Pie, as well as lunch until 3 p.m. each day. If you’re indecisive, you can pack multiple flavors together. Reviewers loved this gelato so much that one said, “If Francesco’s charged me $1 to merely walk in and take a deep breath of the symphonic combination of smells created by the wide assortment of delicious flavors, I would gladly pay.”
35. Walrus Ice Cream Company
Rating: 4 Stars, 65 Reviews
College/Town: Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.
According to their website, Walrus has won the “Best Ice Cream in Fort Collins” award for eleven years in a row. This locally owned shop has been making homemade ice cream since 1987 with all-natural ingredients and without eggs in the recipe. They also have gluten-free sugar and cake cones.
Customers get to choose how they want their cones assembled, which are sold by the weight. So, if you want a walrus-sized cone, don’t hesitate to ask! The list of flavors changes on a daily basis, and each day’s delights are listed online. If you want a flavor they don’t have, let them know and they’ll make it for you. With delightful employees and a carnival-esque atmosphere, Walrus is a fun place for friends and family. One Yelp reviewer said, “Not only should everyone make it a point to go to Walrus when they’re in Fort Collins, but people should make it a point to come to Fort Collins so they can go to Walrus.”
34. Dolcetti Gelato
Rating: 4 Stars, 60 Reviews
College/Town: University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah
Dolcetti Gelato owners Mark and Elizabeth are a husband and wife team whose travels to Italy inspired them to bring this dessert back to Utah in 2006 as Utah’s only authentic artisan gelato. All of their gelato flavors are handmade from scratch with fresh ingredients, and some are made with honey from the bees that are raised at the couple’s home.
Some flavors are seasonal and others are imported from Italy, but their other products reach further than that. They also offer French macaroons and Belgium waffles, which are incredible when topped with the gelato. The shop is refreshing and sensory-satisfactory, and the staff is friendly and always willing to hand out free samples.
33. Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 1,279 Reviews
College/Town: University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii
Bubbies‘ original store opened in 1985, just a few blocks away from the Manoa campus. Today, Bubbies is served in many hotels and restaurants throughout Hawaii, shipped to the mainland in food service and retail packages and the mocha ice creams are shipped worldwide. For those who don’t know, mochi ice cream is a Japanese sweetened rice confection with an ice cream filling in a bite-sized ball, which are available in 20 flavors with a special flavor each month at Bubbies. You can even order mochis online.
This shop has ample seating and is open until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. On top of the mochis, which reviewers dub the best they’ve ever had, Bubbies offers a number of ice cream pies with very unique names like Multiple Orgasm, Trashy Mocha and Bathtub-Toilet Sundae. The line is typically out the door for these famous treats, but it moves smoothly and quickly.
32. Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream
Rating: 4 Stars, 20 Reviews; after they changed locations: 3.5 Stars, 151 Reviews
College/Town: Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz.
This perfect old-fashioned ice cream parlor has been around since 1951 and hasn’t changed a bit. The 16 percent butterfat ice cream is made in house from scratch exactly how it was since the start. Mary Coyle offers mostly traditional ice cream flavors with a few specialties like Spumoni and seasonal favorites like Egg Nog, and the exceptional employees will always serve it up with a smile.
They also offer non-fat yogurt, non-dairy sorbet and sugar-free ice cream. The shop even has an old-fashioned look to it with a bar, black booths, white tile floor and a black and white-striped awning over the register; even the employees are dressed as if it were the fifties. For those of you who love the taste of cones but hate the mess, they make their own waffle bowls.
31. Tin Pot Creamery
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 312 Reviews
College/Town: Stanford University in Stanford, Calif.
Becky Sunseri is the Tin Pot’s pastry chef and co-founder, and she is fulfilling her obsession with ice cream through this shop. She graduated from Cornell with a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science, and after she attended pastry school at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco, she started out with a monthly delivery service for ice cream. But that quickly became too popular.
Tin Pot Creamery offers four flavors of ice cream cakes that serve up to 16 people, three types of ice cream pies that serve up to 12 people and 18 ice cream flavors, including two vegan options. The ice cream is hand-crafted in small batches to keep it fresh. One common pro among reviewers is that the ice cream is noticeably not overly sugary or super sweet. It’s just right.
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 498 Reviews
College/Town: Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
This sprouting frozen yogurt franchise is locally owned by two long-time friends, and Harvard Square is the original location. BerryLine is on boston.com’s A-List as “Best FroYo” of 2010 through 2013. This shop’s dessert is not just sweet, but also healthy. It actually contains over 40 million active probiotics per ounce. They use pure cane sugar and other natural ingredients, like flavoring with real strawberries, in the creation of their frozen yogurt.
Toppings change seasonally and randomly, but there are about 16 available at all times. If you don’t see one of your favorites, just ask for a topping and they’ll most likely offer it a few days later. A three-ounce container costs $2.34, which is set specifically as a reasonable price for the students. Many Yelp reviewers say that BerryLine is what frozen yogurt should taste like, and it’s a great, healthy treat you can enjoy as much as any other ice cream shop. Although it isn’t self-serve like most frozen yogurt establishments, the employees pile on any topping you like.
29. Sylas & Maddy’s Ice Cream
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 69 Reviews
College/Town: University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.
Sylas & Maddy’s Ice Cream is a Lawrence staple, according to reviewers. This shop is locally-owned with lines out the door during the summer. The ice cream and cones are homemade fresh daily, and the cones have a malt ball at the bottom to help prevent sticky fingers. They offer more than 31 flavors, but if you can’t settle on just one, there is a five-flavor sampler on the menu.
Most of the shop’s favorite flavors have come from ideas sent in from their customers, and if they use your flavor, you’ll receive a $10 certificate and a quart of the ice cream you helped create. They have other specials on different days of the week, like Banana Split Mondays, and KU student IDs get you discounts on Tuesday. Reviewers say that Sylas & Maddy’s is the perfect place for a date night.
28. Dane’s Drive-In Dairy
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 14 Reviews
College/Town: University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa
Dane’s Dairy has been an absolute favorite among Iowa City locals for over 50 years. The shop looks more like a barn, and it’s very simple with very low prices. You have a choice of eight different sundaes, 13 flavors of soft serve and “Twisters” of candy mixed with ice cream.
The prices range from $1.50 for a small cone up to $3.00 for a waffle cone. If you have a car, drive on up, grab your dessert from the window and either head home or stick around to park and sit outside. The barn’s lawn is ornamented with odd ceramic animals (cows, dogs and geese). If you don’t have a car, the barn is along a bike path that leads to a local park. They also give out free doggy dishes of ice cream for those who bring their furry pals.
27. Washtenaw Dairy
Rating: 4 Stars, 106 Reviews
College/Town: University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Washtenaw Dairy is just as famous for its ice cream as it is for their homemade, 0 trans-fat doughnuts, which they sell in the morning with coffee. They’re known for selling the biggest cones in town with over 30 flavors as well as hand-dipped shakes or malts. The reviewers love the massive single scoops (pictured above), and they recommend taking a walk with your ice cream through the lovely surrounding neighborhoods.
As a dairy, they also sell and deliver milk, cheese, cream and other products to local businesses. As an alternative to a sundae bar, student groups and organizations can buy large orders of individually packaged novelty treats. Many reviewers call Washtenaw’s product the best ice cream in Ann Arbor.
26. Emack & Bolio’s
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 26 Reviews
College/Town: Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.
This Emack & Bolio’s location is open until midnight on a daily basis. It has a fun and casual ambiance with a classic rock setting inside, bar stools and table seating. The student-stocked staff is very friendly and helpful, and the shop is only a four-minute walk from campus.
Both the cones and ice cream come in unique flavors. The cones are dipped in various toppings such as Rice Krispies, Fruity Pebbes, Fruit Loops, etc., and the ice creams are rotated. Reviewers claim that they have yet to have a bad flavor. For $35, you can purchase the Emack Attack Special (pictured above), which consists of every flavor of ice cream, every topping, every nut and every sauce.
Aside from the occasional nights when this shop hosts live music, it’s a great place for studying away from campus.
25. KSU/Call Hall Dairy Bar
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 11 Reviews
College/Town: Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.
KSU’s ice cream is student-made, student-managed, student-served and known as a “great K-State tradition.” As a dairy, they sell all other dairy products, but everyone comes for the fluffy ice cream that’s more creamy and fatty than sugary. The $4.25 hot lunches aren’t so bad either.
KSU’s Dairy Bar makes over 35 flavors of ice cream, 30 of which are available at any one time. Most reviewers claim that it is the best ice cream they have ever had. And although the 16% Vanilla flavor with 16 percent butterfat is delicious, reviewers suggest not trying to eat more than two scoops because of how filling it can be.
24. Silver Dipper Ice Cream
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 16 Reviews
College/Town: Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
Remember Wisconsin’s famous Chocolate Shoppe ice cream? That’s right. The Boilermakers have access to the dairy state’s finest as well. At Silver Dipper Ice Cream, you can order this famous ice cream in a host of differently-dressed waffles cones and bowls as well as ice cream cakes. They also offer Italian ices as their non-dairy products.
The shop has cool decorations such as vintage and modern ice cream scoops and a bulletin board full of ice cream-related comic strips. They sell a multitude of the famous flavors, and the staff won’t get cranky if you ask to sample several of them. You can also buy the three-scoop sampler if you’re stuck between choices. Similar to the original Chocolate Shoppe, this shop’s portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable.
23. Coolato Gelato
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 45 Reviews
College/Town: University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn.
Coolato Gelato won the Metro Pulse’s “Best of Knoxville” for the last three years, and the reviewers continue to back up this shop’s reputation. Here, they make gelato fresh and feature 18 to 24 alternating flavors daily, as well as five-to twelve-inch gelato cakes. They also use traditional products imported from Italy in the creation of this tasty treat.
With the purchase of a large, you can combine up to three different flavors. But if you need a little more than dessert, this shop also sells soups, salads and panini sandwiches. The outside patio is dog-friendly and runs the length of the building. For a great study break, try the Affogato, which consists of scoops of vanilla bean gelato topped with a shot of espresso and whipped cream.
22. Sweet Dreams Homemade Ice Cream of Gainesville
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 90 Reviews
College/Town: University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.
Sweet Dreams makes their ice cream, sorbet, Italian ice and thick waffle cones in-house every Monday. They have a large selection of rotating flavors such as I’m Living on Chinese Rocks (double coffee and bourbon ice cream with chocolate “rocks”), Guinness and chocolate with peppers. Sugar-free and dairy-free options are both available.
With seating inside and outside and a convenient location on West University Avenue, students enjoy coming to the shop during specialty nights. Sweet Dreams hosts events like Chocolate Night, when they feature 42 flavors of chocolate, and Wacky Flavor Night. The service is always quick and welcoming, and they sell pints and quarts of any flavor for you to take home.
21. Goodberry’s Frozen Custard
Rating: 4 Stars, 26 Reviews
College/Town: North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.
If you didn’t think these frozen treats could get much fresher than what you’ve already read about, think again. Goodberry’s makes their frozen custard with all fresh and organic ingredients every hour in order to avoid adding air during the freezing process. Vanilla, chocolate, sugar-free vanilla and a rotating flavor are available every day, but there are over a billion combinations available in their famous Carolina Concrete, so they can make virtually any flavor any day.
Most Goodberry’s locations are in Raleigh, but they’ve opened two others in Australia. Nutrition information as well as a calendar of daily flavors are available online. With countless high-quality toppings, large portions, friendly service and light atmosphere with photographic art of the ingredients on the walls, you don’t want to miss out on this shop.
20. Hot & Cold
Rating: 4 Stars, 107 Reviews
College/Town: Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
Hot & Cold is the most recently-opened store by Bonjo Java in Nashville, serving high quality coffee, popsicles, chocolate, baked goods and ice cream “in every imaginable combination.” They use the famous and previously-mentioned Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, and top it off with an espresso or Olive & Sinclair chocolate. Their menu might seem simple, but you can fashion your dessert in many ways.
The shop offers Las Paletas (Mexican popsicles) for $2 or $3, or you could have it dipped in chocolate for $3 or $4.50; however, the crowd favorite is a Bongoleta—a mini paleta that comes with espresso for dipping—the perfect student snack. Espresso and/or chocolate can be added to any of the popsicle flavors—from Avocado to Mexican Hot Chocolate—and any of the ice creams. Who needs milk and sugar when you have a popsicle? For a healthier alternative, try the frozen bananas dipped in the Olive & Sinclair magic shell chocolate.
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 75 Reviews
College/Town: Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Inspired by Las Paletas, LocoPops’ founder quit her job and sold her house to apprentice in Southwestern Mexico and learn how to craft the perfect popsicle; reviewers are convinced that she has mastered the craft. She now has her own store front as well as a food truck that offers flavors like Key Lime Pie with fresh-tasting pie crust inside. Other flavors include Coconut Mojito and Grapefruit Basil.
For every 10 pops bought, you get one free, and non-dairy and vegan-friendly options are available. “Regulars,” are flavors that stay on the menu year round and “Guest Stars,” are seasonal creations that vary each month. They also offer a weekly special and puppy-safe pops. Nutritional information is available in the store and online for each individual pop. The online menu separates popsicles depending on whether they’re water or cream-based.
18. Sundaes And Cones
Rating: 4 Stars, 702 Reviews
College/Town: New York University in New York, N.Y.
Opened in 1991, Sundaes and Cones relocated to this shop in 2006. This shop offers homemade ice cream flavors that range from classics—vanilla and chocolate—to Wasabi, Corn, Tiramisu and Black Sesame. They also offer non-fat and sugar-free ice cream as well as frozen yogurts. As for ice cream cakes, the shop has a multitude of designs listed on their website.
Prices range from $3 to $8 depending on scoop count, but you will get your money’s worth, according to reviews. Multiple reviewers call this shop “dangerous” due to its delicious products. There are tables inside and benches outside, and friendly servers who allow as many samples as you wish to try.
17. Ashley’s Ice Cream Café
Rating: 4 Stars, 110 Reviews
College/Town: Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Ashley’s Ice Cream Café is typically crowded with students on a hot day, but the line always moves quickly. This ice cream is handmade, perfectly creamy and richly flavored with daily rotating selections such as Nutella Chip and Grape Nut; and they’re churning only five gallons at a time. Out of the 30 years this shop has been open, it has been voted “Best of New Haven” by the New Haven Advocate’s Readers Poll for 29.
All ingredients are natural and fresh from the waffle cones to the whipped cream, which are baked and whipped in the store each day. The shop is just a short walk through campus to the other side of York street. The founders were avid Frisbee players, so the shop’s walls are decorated with the Frisbees they’ve collected over the years.
16. The Mochi Store
Rating: 4 Stars, 59 Reviews
College/Town: Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Yes, Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream makes it all the way to New Haven so that The Mochi Store can share these mouthwatering treats. This small shop offers about 21 flavors daily—like Lychee and Sakura—as well as a flavor of the month. Each mochi costs $1.50, but if you buy 12, you’ll get a deal.
The owner is typically behind the counter and ready to chat with his customers. Most reviewers call this store a hidden gem because it shares a storefront with Jake’s Hotdogs, which offers an extensive menu of specialty hotdogs alongside the mochi.
15. Flayvors of Cook Farm
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 45 Reviews
College/Town: Amherst College in Amherst Mass.
Being that this shop is on a farm, customers can enjoy the warm ambiance of the barn for inside seating or the awesome views of rolling hills and the farm’s calves and pet cows, which they can pet. Flayvors of Cook Farm is part of a farm that has been passed down through five generations of the family. And, of course, all of the ice cream, cakes and dairy products were produced right here.
They offer a multitude of flavors that change with the seasons, such as Orange Pineapple and Java Crunch, and they’re all listed online. The super friendly staff always welcomes phone calls of prospective customers inquiring about the day’s flavors. The shop also offers lunch, and the reviewers agree that this is the highest-quality ice cream around.
14. Halo Dairy Farm
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 78 Reviews
College/Town: College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, N.J.
Halo Dairy Farm is a dairy with a store attached because the owner wanted to eliminate the cost of trucking perishable foods. Because of eliminating that cost, the farm now sells high-quality products at low prices. The dairy sells 48 flavors of ice cream—which are listed online as “Some of our flavors”—milk, fruit juices, iced tea, sports drinks and other dairy products.
With a buy two, get one free special on ice cream pints for just $6, you would think that would be good enough. But the locals call this dairy a staple, and describe the ice cream as rich, smooth and creamy. One even said they have trouble eating other ice creams after having this for so long. You can see how it’s all made through the glass windows when you visit “Lawrenceville’s best-kept secret.”
13. UConn Dairy Bar
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 77 Reviews
College/Town: University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.
If you happen to visit the Uconn Dairy Bar during their production schedule, you’ll get to watch your ice cream being made as you order. This college dairy makes 20 ice cream flavors as well as seasonal options. They also make custom ice cream cakes, sundaes, cookie sandwiches, milkshakes, ice cream sodas, ice cream floats, cultured yogurt and a variety of cheeses. They even promote a sundae of the month.
Voted amongst the “Best of Connecticut” in 2012 and 2013 by Connecticut Magazine, the dairy was first opened in 1953, and they continue to churn out the ice cream that reviewers call “fresh, amazing and creamy.” The shop has red, blue and white tile décor with bar and table seating inside as well as tables outside.
12. Thomas Sweet Ice Cream & Chocolate
Rating: 4 Stars, 64 Reviews
College/Town: Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.
Thomas Sweet Ice Cream & Chocolate is open until midnight Friday and Saturday, where students can snack on house-made creams, waffle cones and Blend-Ins. The shop is just a short walk from campus, and many local reviewers visit multiple times per week. This location is surrounded by restaurants, and it has a casual interior with colorful tiling and dry-erase menus.
The ice cream and Blend-Ins—made with all natural ingredients—are what make the shop famous, according to reviewers; although, the service and ambiance are just as wonderful. They offer a huge variety of flavors and ingredients to blend in, and their Blend-Ins are not to be compared to Dairy Queen Blizzards or McDonalds Cyclones—not even close.
11. UDairy Creamery
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 20 Reviews
College/Town: University of Delaware in Newark, Del.
The UDairy Creamery is student-centered and faculty-supported and one of the newer university dairies (opened in 2008). They recently added on the Moo Mobile ice cream truck with 20 flavors that travels around UD’s campuses, events, the Delaware State Fair and other events.
Their website lists the multitude of flavors unique only to the UD campus, such as All Nighter and Holy Fluffernutter!, as well as each treat’s nutritional information. You can purchase up to 2.5 gallons of their incredibly thick and rich ice cream, and some dry ice to take your sweets on the road. One major plus among the reviews is that the student managers—newly hired each academic year—allow you to sample all of the flavors without a complaint. The shop also sells blankets made from UD sheep wool and honey from their apiary.
10. Kurver Kreme
Rating: 4 Stars, 45 Reviews
College/Town: University at Albany in Albany, N.Y.
Kurver Kreme has “The best soft ice cream you’ve ever had,” built exactly how you want it, according to the website. They use all fresh ingredients as well as homemade waffle bowls and cones. Depending on your taste, employees will douse the ice cream with Krunch, candy Krunch, sprinkles, a dip and more.
About nine different flavors rotate each week as well as twists of those flavors. The shop also sells ice cream cakes, sundaes the size of your head with tons of toppings and massive milkshakes. This shop only has outdoor seating and they may only have soft serve, but don’t be fooled, it is one of the locals’ hot spots.
9. MSU Dairy Store
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 87 Reviews
College/Town: Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.
The MSU Dairy Store ice creams are becoming so popular that they are beginning to sell them throughout the state. Here, students sell ice cream, floats, cookie sandwiches, sundaes, smoothies, shakes and more. The ice cream is hand-packed and sold in quarts, half gallons, 3-gallon tubs and 5-ounce sundae cups.
The dairy makes over 30 flavors, some of which represent other schools like the Purdue Tracks and the Nittany White Out and they’re sold at reasonable prices ($3.75 for a triple scoop). Here, you’ll find seating inside and outside and service with a smile. The menu and flavors are written on chalkboards as well as the glass above each tub. Reviewers also suggest trying the grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch.
8. Andy’s Frozen Custard
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 169 Reviews
College/Town: Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
This franchise has been open since 1986, and that’s because customers cannot get enough of this custard made with all fresh ingredients. Andy’s Frozen Custard sells concrete custards, malts, sundaes, cups, cones, seasonal treats and more. You have a lot of options to choose from amongst the concrete flavors and toppings, and you receive large portions for the price.
Some reviewers complained about the boisterous college crowd taking over the seating within the restaurant, but that’s a student’s natural habitat; plus, they have seating outside as well. Either way, the custard is made fresh by the hour, and the shop is constantly offering promotions and giveaways.
7. IceKrimski Café
Rating: 4 Stars, 86 Reviews
College/Town: University of California in Davis, Calif.
IceKrimski Café is a purveyor of Caffe Classico Gelato, which is regarded as the top gelato maker in the U.S., made with 80 to 90 percent high-quality fruit imported from all over the world. Here, they sell over 20 flavors of gelato and six flavors of sorbet.
The quaint shop is attached to Varsity Theater, and you have to look closely to find it. Because of this, it’s a great ice cream joint that isn’t typically crowded—a difficult thing to come by in Califnoria. You get a wafer cookie with every serving you order, and reviewers say you can’t go wrong with any of their flavors. They do have higher prices ($5 for a regular), but it’s totally worth the cost.
6. Prince Puckler’s Gourmet Ice Cream
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 116 Reviews
College/Town: University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore.
Conveniently within campus, Prince Puckler’s dishes out huge servings of both somewhat-unusual and traditionally-flavored ice cream, ice cream pies, dairy-free sorbets and low-fat frozen yogurts. They’ve been open for over 38 years, and with their low prices and daily specials, they continue to have people line up through the front door.
The U of O Emerald Newspaper voted this shop “Best on Campus,” and reviewers called it an old-school classic. Other than your traditional ice cream treats, you can buy chocolate-dipped frozen bananas rolled in almonds as well as the Euphoria Ultra Chocolate Sauce made in Eugene, Oregon to take home and add to other desserts or eat by the spoonful. Yelp reviewers also gave this shop an A+ when it comes to customer service.
5. Slickables Ice Cream Sandwiches
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 114 Reviews
College/Town: Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.
Slickables is another college shop with $2 cookie ice cream sandwiches to add to your list! This shop is family-owned and family-run, and the employees are quick and willing to offer up their favorite combination suggestions. It’s just a brisk two-minute walk from campus.
Many restaurants surround this shop, making it a great stop for dessert. The cookies are baked fresh every day with ingredients from local sources. They offer 12 or more ice cream flavors that change periodically and seasonally and 10 cookies choices, which you can mix up, as well as a brownie option.
4. Mallard Ice Cream
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 184 Reviews
College/Town: Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.
Mallard Ice Cream is created with fresh, local and organic ingredients, and the produce is all hand-processed. They stay open until 11:30 p.m. for the local college students, and they’ll always have a line out the door on Saturday nights and sunny days. Because of the nice and efficient staff, the wait time flies by. These employees also encourage mass sampling of their quirky flavors like Cookies and Coconuts and Lemon Mint. They also offer vegan options that are just as rich and delicious as the rest.
Most reviewers gave this shop five stars because of the incredible ambiance. The inner décor is fun and colorful with plenty of seating and board games. They use reusable stainless steel spoons and ceramic bowls for dine-in and tasting. They also have two gender-neutral bathrooms, and a rubber duck collection!
3. Chillz Frozen Custard
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 38 Reviews
College/Town: University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M.
The locally-owned Chillz Frozen Custard has the kind of exceptional customer service that will still greet and serve customers minutes after closing time without a complaint. The employees also dish out generous portions for great prices.
Each day comes with a new flavor, and the calendar of flavors is listed online. This shop offers a velvety smooth and flavor-rich treats with less calories and fat than brand-name ice cream. The first two toppings cost 75 cents, and the rest after that are free. They have about 27 topping options.
Feeling adventurous? Try the Chillz Challenge! If you can eat eight scoops, eight waffles and eight toppings under 30 minutes, you’ll get it all for free (pictured above).
2. The Maryland Dairy
Rating: 4 Stars, 5 Reviews
College/Town: University of Maryland in College Park, Md.
After being around for over 90 years, The Maryland Dairy has recently moved to the Stamp Student Union in the center of campus. They can also be found outside during the campus farmers’ markets. The Dairy’s products were originally produced by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, but they’re now made by University Dining Services. Don’t worry; everything is still just as delicious.
This shop sells food, coffee, ice cream, sundaes, banana splits, root beer floats, hand-spun milkshakes and half gallons and 3-gallon tubs with flavors directed toward the caffeine-hungry students. After existing for so many years, The Dairy has become a student tradition. Even one of the Yelp reviewers returned for another taste of the dairy after being gone for 30 years.
Now that UMD has joined the BIG 10, they had to invent an ice cream to celebrate (pictured above). The flavor is described as “a rich and creamy bourbon vanilla bean ice cream swirled with a raspberry and cream de cassis Melba sauce, accented with pieces of three historic uniquely Maryland Cakes: Kossuth cake, Smith Island cake and Lord Baltimore cake, splashed with a hint of Triple Sec.”
1. Two Spoons
Rating: 4 Stars, 63 Reviews
College/Town: University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo.
When it’s cold out, this restaurant focuses on specialty soups; when it’s hot out, the attention turns to Gelato. Two Spoons uses all natural and organic ingredients to make gelato entirely from scratch, one pan at a time, as well as frozen yogurt, which is cultured in-house and pasteurized for 10 hours. Oh, and the yogurt contains less than 2 percent fat.
Two Spoons stays open until midnight Friday and Saturday, and they offer $1-off specials from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The gelato comes in creative flavors like Almond Amaretto, Pina Colada and PB&J. Their products cost more than average ($3.46 for a small), but the friendly employees pack as much as they possibly can into the container so that it’s overflowing. And you can get two different flavors with a small. Reviewers really enjoy the casual ambiance and the outdoor seating.