Nothing is more refreshing than eating ice cream on a hot, summer day. That’s why the month of July is all about the cool treat. July is the official National Month of Ice Cream and National Ice Cream Day is Sunday, July 21, 2019. In honor of this celebration, we’ve put together a list of the best ice cream shops in Orlando.
Ice cream comes in countless flavors and can be served in a variety of ways. There is definitely something for everyone in Orlando — soft serve, vegan ice cream, frozen nitrogen treats or the adventurous black charcoal ice cream. Now let’s go on an ice cream tour of Orlando!
BEST ICE CREAM SHOPS IN ORLANDO
Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream
An Orlando original! What started out as a family food truck at farmers’ markets has grown into a local, sweet sensation with two ice cream shop locations: Audubon Park and Ferncreek. Kelly’s sells a variety of sorbets and handmade ice creams with unique flavors changing seasonally.
The shops host special events like collaborations with Orlandodough for monthly ice cream sandwich nights. Both locations will offer $1 ice cream scoops on International Ice Cream Day on Sunday, July 21 from 11 am – 3 pm.
The Soda Fountain
A classic ice cream shop in Orlando’s College Park neighborhood, about 15 minutes from downtown Orlando. Besides traditional cones and cups, they offer milkshakes, floats, sorbet spritzers and even egg creams, and their sundaes are particularly impressive. For instance, The Elvis combines Nutella ice cream, candied bacon, caramel and peanut butter sauce for a hunka hunka frozen love you won’t soon forget!
The Greenery Creamery
This downtown Orlando ice cream shop offers homemade ice cream, vegan flavors and cones. There is parking available in the back of the building, metered street parking during the day and the street parking is free after 6pm. The flavors change regularly.
The black coconut cone will shock your taste buds with an unexpected smoky flavor. The toppings include crunchy basil crystals, rose crystals, unicorn dreams “sprankles” and toasted coconut. Also, don’t miss the unique ice cream cone light fixture.
Ice & Bites Cafe
This whimsically decorated ice cream shop near UCF offers taiyaki ice cream in a fish waffle cone with a variety of toppings. They also have bubble tea, shaved ice cream, macarons, snacks and more. Try the delicious affogato with a cotton candy cloud — pour the espresso over the cotton candy, watch as it melts it, and then eat the ice cream covered in espresso at the bottom of the bowl.
Frozen Nitrogen Ice Cream
Frozen Nitrogen Ice Cream near UCF makes all the other ice cream shops seem boring. At this unique shop, you can create your own ice cream science experiment. Pick your flavor and then its mixed in frozen nitrogen right in front of you so you can see the cold smoke rise up.
Try the dragon breath treat — fruity pebbles in a cup with cold liquid nitrogen. Eat the fruity pebbles and then smoke comes out of your mouth like a dragon! They have vegan flavors too. Bonus: the spoons change color with the temperature.
There’s also a Frozen Nitrogen Ice Cream shop located in Lake Mary. More are popping up around town. Search Yelp for a similar experience near you.
Dreaming of cookies? Insomnia Cookies near UCF delivers warm cookies until 3am. Choose the cookies and ice cream combo to create your own Cookiewich ice cream sandwich. There is a loyalty program to earn rewards and points towards free cookies. They also sell cookie cakes and boxes of cookies.
Dairy Queen – Oviedo location
The first Dairy Queen opened in 1940, and this iconic store will bring back those fond childhood memories. The Oviedo location has oversized ice cream spoons for the front door handles and a drive-thru. Try the soft serve vanilla cone dipped with a cherry, butterscotch or “Dreamsicle” orange-flavored hard shell. The Blizzards are so thick that the employees hold them upside down when serving them to you. They also sell ice cream cakes.
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice – various locations
Jeremiah’s has been serving up icy treats since 1996. Choose from 40+ flavors of Italian Ice or combine your favorite with soft serve ice cream or with Gelati that swirls them both together. Some locations have a drive-thru too. If you visit frequently, it pays to download the Jerimiah’s J-list app to get coupons, discounts and to earn rewards.
Big Kahuna’s Island Fin Poke
Get your Dole Whip fix outside of the Disney parks. This Hawaiian-themed poke bowl shop in Winter Springs and Celebration (more locations coming soon) features a pineapple float served in an actual pineapple.
The pineapple float can either be filled with pineapple or orange flavor Dole Whip. It is the ultimate summer treat. You can have a healthy custom-made poke bowl here too.
This restaurant is famous for being one of the most popular ramen restaurants in Orlando. They also have soft-serve ice cream in a waffle cone or a cup with flavors that change regularly. The rotating flavors include matcha green tea, taro, black Belgium chocolate and cookie monster.
- Kilwin’s: You can’t walk by without noticing the sweet smells from this The Park Avenue shop. Stop in for fudge, chocolate and ice cream treats.
- Phenomenon Nitrogen Ice Cream & Bake Shop: This unique shop offers the latest trend in ice cream making: nitrogen. Pick up a super cold treat and warm cookies.
Maitland Farmer’s Market at Lake Lily: Try the unique vegan, black cake batter gelato with activated charcoal from the Jamaican Patties booth.
Wondermade in downtown Sanford doesn’t just have marshmallows. They also service toasted popsicles and gourmet ice cream. The delicious ice cream flavors include maple bacon, avocado and cornbread.
Walt Disney Disney World Resort
No trip to Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom is complete without having a Nestle Mickey’s ice cream bar. Fortunately for all Mickey fans, this ice cream treat is now available to buy in stores at Walmart, Target and some Publix locations.
- Coca-Cola Rooftop Beverage Bar: This rooftop beverage bar has ice cream floats and even a float flight tray with eight options or with international flavors from around the world.
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop: Chocoholics will love this dessert shop featuring specialty sundaes, intense dark sundaes, shakes, floats, scoops and cones.
- HÄAGEN-DAZS at Disney Springs West Side: You can get this signature ice cream in a cup or a cone. They also have shakes, frozen beverages and a variety of ice cream flavors.
- Dole Whip at the Marketplace: You don’t have to pay admission for a Disney theme park to get the signature Dole Whip treat. At the Marketplace kiosk, you can get a pineapple Dole Whip float (with or without alcohol) or the regular Dole Whip.
Universal Orlando Resort
Wizards and Muggles can enjoy Butterbeer ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley. The other ice cream flavors include granny smith, earl grey and chocolate chili.
- The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen: This Steampunk themed restaurant offers one-of-a-kind, huge desserts and of course lots of chocolate. The milkshake flavors include marshmallow crisp, red velvet and chocolate X5.
- Cold Stone Creamery: Serves ice cream mixed up on a frozen slab, shakes, cakes and smoothies.
- Ben & Jerry’s: Choose from 36 flavors of ice cream and sorbet.
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: Fill up your cup and pick your own toppings.
International Drive Area
- Sugar Factory: Located on International drive in ICON Park near the Wheel with free parking in the garage. This celebrity hot spot serves over-the-top desserts like insane milkshakes, gourmet ice cream sandwiches and sundaes for two.
- Mr. Cool Ice Cream & Boba Tea: Thai style rolled ice cream and boba tea.
- Edy’s Ice Cream and Subs: Enjoy traditional ice cream or a triple scoop sundae.
- Ginther’s Swirls Ice Cream: This family-owned business offers many flavors and a Dole Whip pineapple float.
- J-Petal: Thai restaurant serves up rolled ice cream with many flavors and toppings. They also have milkshakes and bubble tea.
More ice cream shops:
- Quickly Boba & Snow: Go for the macaron ice cream sandwiches and snow ice. Located on East Colonial Drive.
- DaJen Eats: Serves up vegan Jamaican ice cream. Located in Eatonville.
- Gelato Fiasco: 20+ flavors of gelato. Located in the Sodo Shopping Center.
- Twistee Treat: This Florida-based chain is known for the soft-serve, ice-cream shaped building. You can’t miss it!
- I.CE.NY: Order rolled ice cream with toppings. Located in Baldwin Park.
- Before it Melts at Boxi Park in Lake Nona: Boxi Park is a unique collection of shipping containers that contain different food vendors. Before It Melts offers on-trend black ice cream and soft serve.
- Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory: This shop in Kissimmee uses liquid nitrogen to make ice cream combinations.
About the Author/Photographer:
Melody Larson has lived in Orlando for 21 years and is a UCF alumna. She always has room for ice cream. Her favorite desserts include ice cream, gourmet chocolate and cookies. She only buys ice cream birthday cake and has an “ice cream to try” list. Find her on her Instagram at @orlandoadventuring Find out more about Melody here. All images courtesy Melody Larson unless otherwise noted.