Top 10 Ice Cream Shops in America

The top ten ice cream/gelato shops selected by Ice Cream University were chosen for many reasons other than the fact that they all make a great product. Each in its own way is unique because each is an innovator, not a copier of someone else's ideas. This to me is the ultimate test of greatness. Visit them and see for yourself!

Jaxson's, Dania Beach, Florida

Home of the Kitchen Sink. Jaxson's is my all-time favorite ice cream and restaurant establishment. Monroe Udell, owner of Jaxson's, is still going strong at 80 years of age. Monroe has worked tirelessly to insure that Jaxson's remained synonymous with excellence in food and ice cream. No Y2K bug here- the Ice Cream has been made the same way from the beginning. The highest quality ingredients combined with low over run machinery make Jaxson's Ice Cream the finest.


Screamin Mimi's, Sebastopol, California

Maraline Olson always perceived herself as an out-of-the-box ice cream retailer. When she first opened her shop 15 years ago, she was the first woman I knew who went after an SBA loan, and got it. From day one, she has always tried to make ice cream flavors that no else had, and could care less what was the freight to get the right ingredients to her place. Her ice creams are fabulous.

Pauline's, San Francisco, California

This is the best organic ice cream in America. From both their organic dairy farm and certified organic garden, almost every ingredient they use they have grown themselves.The dessert lineup generally includes chocolate mousse, tasty butterscotch pudding, a sorbet trio, and of course the nightly sundae or banana split. At their Star Canyon Ranch in the Sierra Foothills, a dozen hens stay busy laying eggs for the dessert chef to use in ice creams, butterscotch pudding and Pauline's homemade cookies. They also like to feature their homegrown herbs and fruits in their sorbets and ice creams, which are spun weekly at Pauline's.

Shrivers, Ocean City, NJ

When someone who is in the candy business thinks about going into the ice cream business, and asks me for advice, I simply say, "go for it." If there ever was a home run in this business, it's mixing ice cream and candy. Better yet, if you are able to have a boardwalk location that's a grand slam. Shriver's has both and their gelato is simply delicious.


Cape Cod Creamery, Yarmouth, MA

This is the best ice cream/gelato onCape Cod. When you have lots of tourists, it's easy to do good business with average ice cream. Cape Cod Creamery, owned by Alan Davis, does the opposite. Great ice cream and gelato all year round not only for tourists, but to the year round residents of the Cape.

Izzy's, St. Paul, MN

If you want to be great in this business, go straight to Izzy's and watch what Jeff and Lara Sommers are doing. In my opinion, they represent the ultimate in what an ice cream shop should be. Making great ice cream and at the same time totally committed to the community they live in. They are the only ice cream shop in the USA that is operated by solar power.

Bravo Gelato, Nashville, TN

When you take a great cookie and turn it into a great gelato, you have a major hit. Christie Hauck has spent many years perfecting his cookie and gelato business to the point that when you eat one of his cookie combinations, you feel like you have gone to heaven.

Moorenko's, McClean, Virginia

Susan Sorrenko is my definition of a real entrepreneur. What does that mean? She knows how to get up time and time again dealing with adversity. The one thing she has always done well is to make great ice cream that sells to the most sophisticated restaurants in Washington, DC.

Sloan's, West Palm Beach, Florida

For the last 12 years Sloan's has been the most "talked-about" super-premium ice cream and European café concept in Florida with four stores. I call Sloan's the Disneyland of ice cream for the way it displays its products and other products like kid toys, candy and accessories. But its great ice cream has been constantly named the best ice cream in Palm Beach County.

Mulberry Street Creamery, Pittsburgh, PA

Linda and Rick Mercurio are the true artisans of Italian gelato in the USA. For many years they have honed their gelato skills like no one else I know in the ice cream business. When Dr. Rick first came to me over 15 years ago, I thought he was nuts with some of his ideas about gelato making, but he has proven me wrong. There is no better gelato in that part of the U.S.A.