When Georgia heat and humidity kick in, there are few things we crave more than a couple scoops of extra-creamy ice cream on a waffle cone (or an extra-thick, frosty milkshake)—especially when it’s a race to eat your dessert before it melts. We love a good challenge. There are plenty of fro-yo chains and Bruster’s parlors to choose from, but don’t miss out on the bevy of other ice cream shops to scoop up a sweet treat. Here’s an OTP hit list to get your sundae fix on a sticky Southern evening.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams opened its fourth metro-Atlanta scoop shop (and first ‘burbs location) in Alpharetta’s Avalon this spring. Sure there are plenty of classic flavors to choose from (we all know someone whose favorite flavor is vanilla, after all), but their unique flavor options are a fun culinary adventure to explore. Try the goat cheese with red cherries, wildberry lavender, brown butter almond brittle or some sweet cream biscuits & peach jam, among other options, served in house-made waffle cones or to-go pints.
800 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 678-894-1483. jenis.com.
Also located in Avalon in Alpharetta, Caffè Antico is the first bakery outside of New York to serve Ferrara gelato. Ernest Lepore, gelato master and president of the famed Ferrara Bakery and Café in NYC, has brought their handcrafted gelato to the ATL in classic flavors—as well as Italian-inspired varieties such as Stracciatella and Amarena Cherry—and our favorite, Nutella. Fruity sorbet options are also on offer (try the pomegranate). In addition to Ferrara gelato, Caffè Antico serves espresso if you’re in need of a caffeine fix and a selection of Italian desserts, like tiramisu, cannolis and more.
2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 770-647-8811. centrostorico.it.
Mountain Fresh Creamery
Mountain Fresh Creamery is perhaps a longer haul than most of our other stops on this ice cream road trip, but its adorable location and super-creamy, house-made ice cream from their very own dairy farm make it worth a visit. Located about an hour north OTP in Clermont, Mountain Fresh Creamery churns up an 18 percent butterfat, premium ice cream mix made on-site in about 20 flavors. Visitors to the creamery can sample ice creams and even watch it being made (they offer tours of the dairy farm and creamery by reservation online at mountainfreshcreamery.com or by calling 770-983-1MOO). Local flavors use Georgia-grown ingredients, like the salted caramel made with Georgia-grown praline pecans or the strawberry and peach made with locally grown fruit. Walk up to The Silo, attached to the candy apple red barn, and order up some scoops at the window (their milkshakes are decadent treats you should also try while you’re there), then grab a fun photo with their kid-pleasing, oversized cow statue out front. Consider a visit here the quintessential wholesome family fun summer activity.
6615 Cleveland Hwy., Clermont. 770-983-1666. mountainfreshcreamery.com.
Morelli's Gourmet Ice Cream and Desserts
With one OTP shop located just outside the perimeter and sharing the same space as Farm Burger, Morelli's Gourmet Ice Cream and Desserts makes homemade ice cream in a plethora of exotic flavors . Unique creations run the gamut of the flavor spectrum, from coconut jalapeno to cream cheese and guava to PB&J, strawberry rosewater and even a variety made with real chunks of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, among many others. If you’re craving a particular flavor, check out their Facebook page in advance to see daily updates on the flavors available at all three locations. Bring your appetite and a little curiosity and you’ll leave sweetly satisfied.
4514 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. 770-454-2207. morellisicecream.com.
Frozen Cow Creamery
An adorable little cottage in downtown Kennesaw is home to Frozen Cow Creamery, a dog-friendly quaint ice cream shop complete with a sweet front porch and hanging flower baskets. Better yet, inside you can nosh on a multitude of ice cream flavor combos—apple pie a la mode, red velvet cake, banana pudding, pina colada and “joyful almond” are just a few of them (although the peanut butter pretzel chip has a nice sweet and salty mix that makes it hard to branch out). At Frozen Cow, they make the ice cream right in front of you from scratch, using liquid nitrogen and fresh ingredients. It may look like a science experiment, but it packs a tasty punch.
2870 Cherokee St. NW, Kennesaw. 678-324-7459. frozenbluecow.com.
Daddy O’Brien’s Irish Ice Cream and Dessert Pub
Part ice cream shop and part pub, Daddy O’Brien’s Irish Ice Cream and Dessert Pub in Sugar Hill (Buford) is an interesting twist on your local ice cream parlor, serving up everything from cakes, crepes and waffles to ice cream, beer and cocktails. But what makes their menu unique are the “adult” flavored ice cream options. Sample “The Dude” White Russian, the Bailey’s Irish Pistachio or, if you’re really adventurous, the Devil Went Down To Georgia (a concoction of Fireball whiskey and Sriracha, plus peaches and pecans). A host of other adult flavors are available in addition to plenty of family-friendly flavors too, like caramel crunch, “O’reo Fudge” and many more.
5910 Suwanee Dam Road, Sugar Hill. 404-513-1118. daddyosicecream.com.
Butter & Cream
Downtown Decatur favorite Butter & Cream will be launching its first OTP ice cream shop in historic Roswell , located just a few steps off the main drag of Canton Street (they are hoping to open their doors on July 3, as of press time). The small batch, house-made ice cream purveyor makes all their ingredients on-site (think brownies, cookies, toffee), and scoops classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan, mint chocolate chip, etc., in addition to rotating/seasonal flavors (green tea ginger!) and signature flavors such as butterscotch brownie and cashew crème brulee, among others. Sorbets, shakes, sundaes and ice cream sandwiches round out the line up.
26 Webb St., Roswell. 770-998-0366. butterandcream.com.