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Food & Drink

10 Of The Best Ice Cream Parlors In Houston

By Colby Smith

10 Of The Best Ice Cream Parlors In Houston

Here’s the scoop.

Hot, cold, rain, or shine, ice cream is a good call on any day. With summer finally here, it’s only going to taste better and better as the months roll on. Here’s the scoop on where to find the best ice cream in Houston. [Featured image: @thehungrypetite]

1. Hank’s Ice Cream Parlor

Hank Wiggins, the parlor’s namesake, was once called Houston’s king of homemade ice cream. Today, his family keeps his name alive through the delicious ice cream spun out of the truly Texan hole-in-the-wall parlor on Main Street. Hank’s rotates 18 flavors by the day off a list of 100. Our personal favorites are the absolutely divine Butter Pecan and Banana Pudding ice creams. Sundaes, banana splits, and other old fashioned favorites are also available. Long live Hank Wiggins!

2. Fat Cat Creamery

With locations sprinkled throughout Houston, Fat Cat offers deliciously fresh small-batch, scratch-made ice cream with ingredients sourced from local farms. The parlor offers five flavors year-round, including Milk Chocolate Stout – made with Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout beer; Waterloo Strawberry Buttermilk – made with Waterloo Texas Gin; and Chai Tea Coconut. Fat Cat also whips out a variety of yummy seasonal flavors, such as their Salted Butter Caramel, Buttered Rum Raisin, and Raspberry Beret Sorbet. Meow.

3. Amorino

Set in Uptown, Amorino is a French-born Italian gelato parlor that creates spectacular ice cream treats. Their signature floral cones will make your taste buds fall in love. Choose from a magnificent mix of swooning flavors from Mawardi Pistachio to Amarena Cream and Black Cherries, and have it shaped into a deliciously sweet flower. Don’t forget to top it off with a house-made macaroon to complete the experience!

4. milk + sugar

As the website reads: “life is too short for plain vanilla.” While we humbly enjoy the particular flavor, it does well to mix it up here and again with a variety of creative flavors. This ice cream shop, located in Montrose off of Westheimer, specializes in hand-spun mix-ins. Such flavors include the Heart of Glass made with a cream cheese base and house-made cinnamon blondies (get it?) and the Butter Pecan Streusel, a delectable mix of house-made pecan streusel blended with a brown butter and brown sugar base. Rest assured, you’ll be rewarded in kind for mixing it up at milk + sugar!

5. Connie’s Frozen Custard

How Connie’s flies under the radar of so many top-ice-cream lists in Houston is a bit of a head-scratcher – especially when it’s racked up an average 4.8 rating (out of 5) from nearly 2,000 individual reviews. Suppose it’s because frozen custard is different than ice cream – but is it really? All the same, Connie’s in Cypress offers deliciously creamy home-spun treats that include sundaes, concretes, malts, milkshakes, and splits. If you’re new here, order the Texas Turtle from the walk-up window – or choose from literally any of their concretes. At Connie’s, you can do no wrong.

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6. Flower & Cream

This small-batch creamery shop off Kirby Dr. churns out premium artisan ice cream. Housed in an adorably cute parlor, Flower & Cream offers a rotating mix of flavors, including dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options. Present flavors include their Honey Roasted Strawberry, Creme Brulee, Raspberry Tres Leches, and Kahlúa & Cookies flavors.

7. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

The Colombus-based creamery serves dozens of unique flavors using ingredients absent of dyes, synthetic flavorings, or store-bought mixes. Some of their delectable flavors include: Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks, Pumpkin Cake Roll, Middle West Whiskey & Pecans, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, and Lemon & Blueberries Parfait, just to give you a taste. In addition to seasonal flavors mixed in with the time of year, Jeni’s offers multiple dairy free and vegan options, including: Cold Brew with Coconut Cream, Frosé Sorbet, and the so apropos, Texas Sheet Cake.

8. Red Circle Ice Cream

If you follow any food bloggers in Houston, you’re sure to have come across the dazzling treats from Red Circle Ice Cream. And at this Chinatown gem, the sweets aren’t just for show. Specializing in pairing handcrafted ice cream with an assortment of wonderful treats, including home-made churros, sandwich-sized macaroons, and traditional Hong Kong-style waffles, Red Circle is a must for foodies. Their ice cream flavors are wickedly enticing, with flavors ranging from cherry sorbet to Mint Dragon to crawfish – yes, crawfish.

9. Magnolia’s Ice Cream & More

Spick and span off their recent reconstruction, Magnolia’s Ice Cream is back to whirling up crazy good concoctions for the masses. You could opt for a simple two-scoop ice cream cone, but at Magnolia’s Ice Cream, you’d be missing out on the fun. The creamery specializes in tropical fruit, candy, and ice cream blends. Indulge your sweet tooth with the Mustang Deluxe, made with pineapple, mango, and lemon lime ice creams with spicy Chamoy, gummy bears, strawberries, and an ornamental candy stick. Magnolia might be a little out of the way for some of you, but we’re telling you: it’s worth the drive.

10. Creamistry

Thanks science! Creamistry in Cypress, Houston, utilizes liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze each order with your choice of base, toppings, and mix-ins. With a laboratory full of flavors, toppings, and upgrades, ordering could be a bit overwhelming. Instead, trust in the tasty science of Creamistry with their signature creations. Such signatures include the Cookie Monster – made with Cookie Monster Ice Cream, Chips Ahoy cookies, Oreos, whipped cream, and a drizzle of chocolate fudge; the Quantum Coffee with milk coffee ice cream, Heath, almonds, caramel, and whipped cream; and the Unicorn, a colorful concoction of Birthday Cake Ice Cream, mini marshmallows, “unicorn dust”, marshmallow cream, and whipped cream. Vegan options are also available!