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Coldstone Creamery

Does anyone else think Coldstone's ice cream is really bad...or is it just me? With all the hype I went the other day and could barely finish it, it was so bad.

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  1. I would not say I think it is really, bad, but I do not think you get your moneys worth. I personally would rather take my $6 and buy a pint of Ben and Jerrys.
    In addition, the singing bothers me. =)

    2 Replies
    1. re: ArikaDawn

      Singing? Really? What, is there something they do at Coldstone Creameries in other parts of the USA? I am both intrigued and appalled...what, do they make the serving folks sing for their tips? Please do tell!

      1. re: Morticia

        Actually, you guessed correctly. When you tip, they bust out into annoying song and dance. I've seen it both in MI and NYC locations.

    2. Give me Haagen Daz any day over Coldstone. Also, I don't know how they stay in biz with the prices.

      1. I also don't like Coldstone. Can't quite explain why. Something about the texture/mouthfeel. It just isn't the creamy, rich goodness that I love in ice cream. It's probably for the best though: I have a tremendous sweet tooth, so if I liked Coldstone it would just be one more thing to resist. :-)

        1. You are not the only one. The ice cream at Cold Stone is not that good. I went once and will never go back. HOWEVER, a lot of people seem to like their ice cream covered with, or mixed with, all kinds of stuff. This of course allows Cold Stone to use less expensive, lower quality ice cream.

          As for the prices, they are simply ludicrous. HOWEVER (again), a lot of people can and will pay these prices so Cold Stone flourishes. The one time I was there, I watched a family of four drop over $40 for their 'after dinner' ice cream treats!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ambrose

            We have a Coldstone Creamery in my town - and I've never been there. I'm not paying those prices for ice-cream (And after reading these posts, apparently I haven't been missing much.) If I'm going to spend that much money on something so fattening, it's going to be wedge of Humboldt Fog.

          2. I hate Coldstone -- their ice cream tastes like chemicals to me. I live in Austin, where we have the amazing Amy's ice cream. Coldstone simply couldn't compete, thank goodness.

            4 Replies
            1. re: bookgrrl72

              Amy's could put the smack down on Coldstone. I love Amy's and I actually like Maggie Moo, too. Coldstone's ice cream itself is awful. The trouble is you don't really notice with all the other auxiliary stuff mixed in. At Coldstone I usually get the Founder's Favorite which includes caramel, chocolate sauce, pecans, and brownies. With all that mixed in, the ice cream is just filler. One day, I just felt like having the silky, unadulterated taste of sweet cream on my tongue, so I went to Coldstone and got an order of sweet cream with nothing but almonds for a little texture variance (my stand-by order at Amy's), and I was so aghast. The ice cream was airy and insipid. It tasted like styrofoam. It was only without all the window-dressing that I noticed it though. Coldstone's strength, as many have mentioned already, are their creative combinations. That's the only reason I go back there.

              1. re: hch_nguyen

                Is Amy's really that good? I see it at the austin airport all the time but never tried. Maybe when I fly into Austin next month.

                What is the must-try flavour?

              2. re: bookgrrl72

                I moved from Austin, I miss Amy's :(

                1. re: bookgrrl72

                  yummm Amy's......

                  I went to Coldstone once while visiting my fmaily back home (it's all they have in the way of ice cream other than a TCBY). I ordered something off their menu (preset mixins) and it was terrible. I couldn't finish it. It was a combination of too much crap (too many flavors....and I got what looked to be a simpler offering) and not enough ice cream. Worst of all, the "ice cream" tasted like the gross generic ice milk my grandpa bought us as kids with air pumped into it. Almost like bad watery meringue. YUCK!

                2. I secong humbolt fog...yum! Or a wedge on Lindy's cheesecake.

                  1. The success of Cold Stone Creamery is due mainly to the ability to create your own combination. I love CSC and have since I was little in Arizona (my mom knows the founder!). If you compare it to that small little ice cream shop on the other side of town with the exact flavor ice cream that you love, yes CSC will probably come up short. The base Sweet Cream is my favorite, and I have never had a serving that was not creamy, sweet, and tasty. They use the same chemicals that everyone else does.

                    I have never seen a family of four spend $40 on ice cream anywhere. A big serving with a few mix-ins is only about $5-6 - but that is nearly a pint of ice cream per person! The small serving with 2 mixes is a lot of cream and only about $3-4. A double scoop at the local homemade ice cream parlor is about $3-4 anyway.

                    21 Replies
                    1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                      And this is why I love it. Not cause the ice cream is the best in the universe, but the fact I can "make" whatever I am in the mood for that day. I like graham crackers in my ice cream, but not so much that I wouldl go out and buy a box of them JUST in case I am in the mood to mix 'em in. But if I got to CSC, I can get my graham cracker crumbs mixed in, along with some hot fudge and peanut butter.

                      If I was having "local" ice cream (homemade small mom and pop shop), I probably would NOT opt for any toppings cause the taste of the ice cream can stand on its own.

                      1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                        I'm also not sure how someone can spend $40 for four here, though I imagine prices vary by location. And if everyone was getting a medium with several add-ons, figure in local tax, it could near that. I've only been twice. I don't remember the specific prices, but there was nothing available for $3. I believe the small container started at $4 something. I believe the first time I went in my mom and I had smalls with add-ins and it came to about 12 or 13 dollars. That was way too much for what we got.

                        I just don't like the flavor. I'd rather have a good ice cream flavor without having to add, add, add other ingredients to mask a not so great flavor. For me, it didn't have a particularly rich flavor and had a bad after taste.

                        I'm not sure what you mean by "they use the same chemicals that everyone else does." The ingredients for the sweet cream base you mention (which is also the one I have used) are: cream, nonfat milk, milk, sugar, corn syrup, guar gum, cellulose gum, carrageenan, mono & diglycerides, polysorbate 80, and annatto extract . These are common in many ice creams. However, there are plenty of premium ice creams and local ice creams that do not include these ingredients.

                        Edited to say: Stating that there are "plenty" of ice creams without these stabalizing ingredients is probably overstating it, but there certainly are some.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          I know of brands that do not have those ingredients (Haagen-Dazs), but without the specific nutritional data and ingredients of local/premium brands I cannot make that assumption. Commercial producers - even local guys - have to balance quality and shelf life. Owners do not want to make 80% of their ice cream on Saturday & Sunday mornings, so they will create ice cream that will last a while. That is where the stabilizers and additives come in. I have not seen a local shop advertise only using milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla in their ice cream.

                          From the Oberweis website (as referenced by a poster below):

                          VANILLA ICE CREAM


                          1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                            i love Haagen Dazs ingreidients list:
                            Vanilla Ice cream:
                            Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Natural Vanilla.

                            THAT'S IT!
                            Beats even earth-friendly Ben & Jerry's with their bGH-free etc.milk and stuff - they still put stabilizers and such in their ice cream.

                            And I'm with the OP - I only had Coldtsone ice cream once and hated it. The only reason they stay in business is that they place their shops in strategic location (high foot traffic) and their humongous ice cream cups do the self-advertising. They look so good when you see ppl with those big-a.. bowls. I wish someone opened a DQ in New york instead of all these CSC shops.

                            1. re: welle

                              Here on the northside of Chicago there is a block that has both a CSC and a DQ. The DQ has a line out the door from the second it gets warm in the spring, until it starts to snow. The CSC does well, but is no where near as busy. I've eaten at Cold Stone twice, and had an upset stomach both times. I would much rather have a chocolate dipped cone from DQ.

                              1. re: welle

                                DQ is all but dead in LA. I miss them as well. They did well through the 60s but started to tail down in the early 70s and were gone for the most part by the late 70s. With the rise of more burger chains and ice cream chains, DQ's business model was obsolete and died a miserable sputtering death with no one to bear witness.

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  There are three or four around here. Two of them are just open in the summer, but the others are open year round. I can't figure out how the summer only places manage to stay open, because they are sitting on some pretty expensive real estate.

                                  1. re: lulubelle

                                    Maybe they are the summer equivalent of businesses that do the majority of their sales - often 75% - during Christmas season. If they are drawing nonstop business during the summer, why not take the rest of the year off? It does seem pretty inefficient though. Knowing that they don't call Chicago the Windy City for nothing, I'd be selling hot chocolate and soup from October to April...

                              2. re: Sacto_Damkier

                                I guess there have been mom/pop shops where I'm gonna trust them when I ask about their ingredients. I actually understand the role of stabilizers and additives, though there are also levels to that. Frequently, for instance, you'll see the use of guar gun and/or carob bean gum but not mono/diglycerides and polysorbate 80. And I understand that someone mentioned Oberweiss below, but I'm not sure they qualify--in my mind--as a "local shop" any more. More a regional brand.

                                1. re: Iscreamfreak

                                  As someone who has eaten ice cream from a mom and pop shop and from Cold Stone, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that you have no idea what you are talking about. Somehow I doubt that the old-fashioned mom and pop places around here use guar gum (thickener and ice-crystal preventer), cellulose gum (another thickener), carrageenan (yet another thickener), mono & diglycerides (stabilizers that add body and consistency), polysorbate 80 (a stabilizer that keeps air in the mixture), or annatto extract (food coloring) in their ice cream like Cold Stone uses in theirs. Cold Stone's ice cream is more like sweetened wallpaper paste than actual ice cream.

                                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                      Don't forget high-fructose corn syrup that Coldstone uses. BLECH. Iscreamfreak is making a ridiculous statement saying Cold Stone is the same as mom & pops.

                                      1. re: Prav

                                        I agree that Cold Stone Creamery does not make a "homestyle" ice cream with simple ingredients. Their concept requires an ice cream that can stand up to the mixing without melting too quickly. CSC uses regular corn syrup, not HFCS, most likely to soften the texture and prevent crystallization.

                                        It is still a misconception that "mom & pop" ice cream parlors only make "homestyle" ice cream with only milk, cream, and sugar. As I stated before, unless the store lists their ingredients, one cannot assume that these places do not use stabilizers and flavor enhancers. They are all in the business of making money; ice cream is just the medium. Without specific local examples with advertised ingredient lists, this assumption cannot be valid.

                                        I am positive that there are still independents who make ice cream without artificial flavors or stablizers/preservatives, but not enough to make blanket statements.

                                        1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                                          Agreed, SD. Just who are you all kidding? Have any of you ever worked in the ice cream business? The vast majority of indies buy their base mixes from either local dairies or major restaurant suppliers and then add their own flavors. And guess what's in those ice cream bases? All those same evil nasties that are in the (gasp!) chain store ice creams!!!

                                          There are different qualities of bases available and yes, I'm sure there are some stores that actually start from scratch, but not all that many. Get over it. Mom and Pop aren't standing in the back, cooking their custard over a four-burner stove and lovingly hand-churning it in a little old White Mountain bucket. They're sweating the books in a seasonal business, hoping to make enough to keep the bank off their backs for another few months and maybe earn a buck or two in the process.

                                          1. re: rockycat

                                            For you it's seasonal. For us here in Phoenix it's a year round treat, and we take it pretty seriously. My favorite one around here, Mary Coyle, proudly makes all of their ice cream from scratch, and has done so for over 50 years.

                                            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                              Actually, Ice cream is certainly not a seasonal thing in Boston. Just ask the 20 people in line at Herrell's today. :) We have one of the highest rates of ice cream consumption in the country.

                                      2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                        When I was growing up, there was a place called Blatz which may have been the pioneer in "mix-ins on a cold slab" ice cream. And I would go out of my way to grab a yummy waffle cone of delicious ice cream mixed with peanut butter cups and Heath Bars. As Blatz is (probably) long gone, I was excited to try Cold Stone - but it was overpriced and not as good as (my memory of) Blatz.

                                        1. re: Morticia

                                          My memory of Blatz was that it was a beer I drank while in college! Where was the ice cream place called Blatz?

                                  1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                                    where do you live? The CSCs that I have been to have all been Significantly more expensive than any other ice cream in the area. Do they jack up the prices in certain cities?

                                    1. re: rds246

                                      Sacramento, CA. Small CSC is about $3.50; single scoop cone at Gunther's Ice Cream (local shop) is about $2.50. Costs at CSC can go sky high with the options - many mix-ins, waffle cone, decorated bowl. CSC is really about the mix-ins - if you do not like the mix-in concept, CSC is not right for you. Also, the base ice creams are not optimized to stand alone on their own flavor, so do not get a plain chocolate ice cream at CSC.

                                      1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                                        I'll take a Gunthers Rum Raisin, Pumpkin (my faves) or any of the other flavors any day of the week over a Cold Stone. If I really want to mix something in, then I buy a quart and mix in heath bar or ameretti cookies at home.

                                  2. I think Coldstone is pretty bad as well. I prefer to go to a local store, and buy some Ben & Jerrys, or a local favorite shop Oberweiss Ice Cream.. I am also not enamoured with the "mix-ins" at Coldstone.. Also I think its cost of product to quality of product received ratio is very low.

                                    1. Coldstone is not good. Way too sweet, and even when you get a kiddie size, it's still way too much for one person. I guess I am just not the typical American eater...?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Papa Kip Chee

                                        I, too, think the kiddie size is too big.

                                      2. I really want to like Coldstone. The whole idea of smushing a ding dong into ice cream with twix bars "sounds" yummy. But the ice cream quality is just not there. I'd like the same concept except with Baskin Robbin's ice cream. Now we're talking.

                                        However for the moment I'm seriously addicted to Golden Spoon... Just had some St. Patrick's Mint about an hour ago and it takes like Baskin's mint chip. Pistachio yesterday... so good. And by the way you Weight Watchers... a mini is one point!

                                        1. I think the whole point of Cold Stone is that it's quanitity over quality and if you're used to it, it probably tastes pretty good. And it's true about mix-ins...if it's really good you don't need all that junk. Anyway...if you start with overly sweet ice cream and add aritficial overly sweet mix-ins, it's going to be overly sweet. Ciao Bella is a really good ice cream. Just add some hot fudge sauce, liquer, or some chopped nuts and that's enough for me.

                                          1. The mix-ins are an old idea and other companies have done it with much better ice cream. Even more, I don't understand the cake mix ice cream (my son tried it). Raw cake mix doesn't taste good. Why would they make a flavor from it? It was just as you'd expect raw cake mix ice cream to taste.

                                            1. I'm glad I'm not alone in detesting Cold Stone. I actually find it kind of nauseating that they smash in the extras into the already frozen base, which as others have mentioned, is not that high quality to begin with. Ice cream is one of my all time favorite foods, but the success of Cold Stone (especially for the outrageous prices) baffles me because it takes out everything great about a fancy, creamy, fresh gourmet ice cream.

                                              1. I was a Celebrity Scooper at Cold Stone tonight for a fund raiser for a local high school club. I never actually tasted more than the tiny little tasting spoon's worth of ice cream, but I have to say the whole business of slapping the ice cream on the refrigerated stone counter and smashing Oreos and candy bars and bananas and everything else into the ice cream is an awful lot of fun. I can scoop out 6 - 7 oz from the big tubs by sight and feel. I have nearly mastered the skill of making the mixed ice cream into a ball with the little paddles they use. How much more fun can a man have on a Thursday night?

                                                1. I absolutely loathe the greasy, fake butter smell that wafts out of CSC. I can't imagine entering the shop, let alone eating any of that stuff. The stink coming out of Subway does the same thing to me. Turns me right off.

                                                  1. I wouldn't say that Coldstone is the BEST ice cream i've ever had, but its certainly not bad! I would definitely rather go and buy a pint of Ben and Jerry's (preferably Peanut butter cup), but every once in a while when i desire ice cream i will go over to coldstone because I know i can get exactly what i desire!

                                                    1. If you eat most of the flavors from CS straight up, then you'd probably be disappointed. However, it's hard to deny that when they slap it on that cold stone and work some ingredients into it, the final product becomes a totally different animal. I think they purposely mute the flavors because the added mixings are supposed to sing. I really like the German Chokolatcake to be my weakness, but I could be happy with at least a half dozen other combinations as well.

                                                      1. I think how you feel about it depends on whether or not you pick the right combo of flavors & ice cream when you're spending all that money. My first try was a hit, so any time I go back (1x per year?) I get the same thing and love it every time. It's their "Cheesecake Fantasy" creation which is cheesecake ice cream, graham cracker crust, strawberries and blueberries BUT (a key but) I substitute M&Ms for the blueberries. Yes it's expensive at $5 for a small but that price every now and then is worth this winning taste sensation.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: marlyd

                                                          I've had the same experience with the strawberry shortcake 'creation'. Not the best ice cream I've ever eaten by far, and yeah, it's overpriced, but I do like the vanilla cake mixed in with the sweet cream ice cream and the fresh strawberries every so often... and the cake batter ice cream is different (in a good way), too, although I'm always disappointed when I stray from my favorite...

                                                        2. I have to agree. I don't understand what all the hype is about. I think it's over-rated, and you could pull better ice-cream out of a Dreyers' tub.

                                                          1. I like ice cream plain and simple--just by itself. So i like good quality ice cream. The point of Cold Stone seems to be to add STUFF into it, cookies, M&M's, all sorts of junk. To me, that's akin to supersizing at McDonald's. Yuck.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: slacker

                                                              In general, in fact most of the time, I am like you. However, sometimes I like things mixed up, and IMHO, CS does have some tried&true combinations that work. Again, I really like their German Chokolatkcake. If you like chocolate with a hint of coconut, this will do the trick.

                                                              1. re: slacker

                                                                I think they have one called Turtle (caramel, pecans, sweet cream, etc.), and that was pretty good. I tried it once. The waffle cup wasn't bad either. I haven't liked the other combinations that I have tried there, because they tasted too artificial. There are better ice cream options, but they tend to be farther away.

                                                              2. I like Cold Stone Creamery a lot. That's because I really like one of their flavors: "cake batter". I went to their website to see what ingredients could possibly taste like cake batter, and the first flavoring ingredient was flour.

                                                                And if you don't like the "stock" flavors at Cold Stone Creamery, you can have them mix in whatever flavorings you choose to make a flavor you DO like.

                                                                I can't stand Ben and Jerry's for the same reason I like Cold Stone Creamery: I don't like any of B&J's flavors.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                  I like ice cream in general, as I think it is one of the perfect nonessential foods ever invented. With that, I will take either Cold Stone or Ben & Jerry's - it's just whatever mood I'm in... I like B&J's Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey, as well as some others on their fresh waffle cones. Likewise, when I'm in the mood for something a little softer and very decadent, I'll go for Cold Stone's German Chokolatcake in a Love It size. I actually like my ice cream/gelato neat as a rule though, so I normally just get something neat, like Zabaglione flavored gelato and let the flavor speak for itself. I have room for just about any ice cream where it is obvious that they've made an effort to put the effort and quality into making a great product! When it comes to ice cream, we can all be friends!

                                                                2. I hadn't been able to stand it even before I worked at one for about 2 months.

                                                                  1. I actually have just gone there for the first time about a month ago...and admit that it is incredibly expensive. I can't handle much sugar, so asked which regular kind has less sugar---and tried the Sweet Cream flavor ice cream. The mouthfeel was amazing and not too sweet. I have tried it once since and have mixed it with bananas and almonds. Really great treat and didn't taste artificial at all.
                                                                    Also, asked for the children's size...which was still a bit large for a single serving, but cheaper and kept me from thinking I should eat a huge bowl of it.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: nieves

                                                                      I also really like their sweet cream ice cream, as well as their coffee flavored ice cream. It is way too expensive to have more than once in a while and I am not a fan of all the mix-ins. The most I will go for is a little swizzle of chocolate, and I usually ask them just to drizzle a tiny bit on top of my scoop.

                                                                      They do have pretty tasty ice cream cakes though for special occasions.

                                                                      1. re: Nestra

                                                                        I have been meaning to try the red velvet ice cream cake -- my SO is a red velvet fiend, so maybe when his bday rolls around again...

                                                                        1. re: spyturtle008

                                                                          I've wanted to try that as well. Nothing like a good Red Velvet, although, the technique escapes me. I cannot seem to get that velvety texture when I bake them at home.

                                                                    2. I didn't get a chance to read through the entire thread here, but I agree with most of you - CC is absolute crap. Went there once and tried some abhorrent mix-in creation. (What can I say, I'm a hound and try everything once!). I couldn't even get past the first few bites, because it was like eating frozen butter. WAY too rich, sugary and fake tasting. To me, CC is marketed to fool the average dumb American into thinking their product is gourmet. I think there was a thread on the Ruby Tuesday super prime burger - similar situation - crap marketed as gourmet to people who don't know any better.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: hypertomatoes

                                                                        CSC ice cream is far from grand. It's a mix prepared by some guy who learned how to turn on the machine the week prior, now he's making every customers ice cream; it's just wrong. There is a science to creating decent ice cream and gelato that equipment and even decent ingredients can't help. People who make artisan ice cream have been perfecting their mixtures and techniques for years. Coldstone is basically a glorified Dairy Queen once you look at their process. Open jug, pour jug, wait for it to come out the other end.

                                                                        I think I've been to three different CSCs over the years, and every time, I've ended up with "butter tongue" from over churned ice cream. They just crush stale Oreo's into the frozen Crisco and call it gourmet so people who subsist on fast food and Safeway ice cream will pay outrageous amounts of money.

                                                                      2. i go there occasionally, love their sweet cream ice ceram with walnuts(i aske them not to chop them up). Most of the other mix-ins are too sweet.

                                                                        1. I entirely agree with others! Coldstone is over-rated, over-priced, & under-flavorful.

                                                                          1. I don't like their ice cream, but their sorbets are excellent!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                                                              I will eat Coldstone for the appeal of going out and getting something made just as healthy, or disgusting, as I want it. It's mass appeal as something fun to eat while out - my closest one around here is swarmed by the hormone-raging masses post-movie before curfew. I don't go expecting amazing flavor, but I am occasionally surprised by a good sorbet or 'nice' combo.

                                                                            2. I've walked in but never could bring myself to try it because the sweet-ish chemical smell in there is so awful. Glad to know I'm not missing anything.

                                                                              1. In another city I lived near both Coldstone and one called (?) Marblestone Creamery, which had similar mix-ins. The Marblestone one had much better ice cream. Obviously, it wasn't as successful a franchise.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Kvon

                                                                                  Are you sure it wasn't Marble Slab Creamery??? Where I grew up in Texas, Marble Slab was the originator of gourmet ice cream with hand mix-ins. If this is what you're referencing, then yes, the ice cream is FAR FAR superior, but they don't have the pre-fab creations that seems to be the appeal of Coldstone.

                                                                                  1. re: Kvon

                                                                                    If you are talking about Marble slab ice cream then we obviously had completely different experiences because i have found cold stone to be one of my favorite ice cream places where as marble slab was so disgusting... i couldn't even finish my ice cream

                                                                                  2. I don't know where a lot of people are getting that they hate Coldstone.. i absolutely love them! i think it may be because i get custom shakes... i definitely love Coldstone more than most other places. ( and plus... i see people saying they hate their singing... i have yet to see their singing for it to annoy me lol)

                                                                                    1. I agree, I think that it's pretty mediocre. I even like a few store brands better. I also think that the portions are ridiculously over the top.

                                                                                      1. As a note of comparison: I worked at a Baskin-Robbins as a 9th-grader at the beginning of the '70s. Single scoop cones were 18-cents, 30-cents for a double. A milkshake or sundae was $.50. On the other hand, my beginning pay was $1.15, and after a few weeks I got my big raise to $1.25/hour. But I was drinking 2-3 malts a night, for free, and not gaining weight because I was hustling so hard.

                                                                                        1. Back near the dawn of time I lived in Somerville, Mass. Herrell's and Steve's were duking it out for ice cream supremacy. Both of them offered a spectacular quality product with a dazzling variety of smoosh-ins. A friend got a job working the ice cream counter, and the focus of many a late evening became closing time, when we could help the crew eat the "mistakes" they'd made over the course of the evening.

                                                                                          So a few years ago, when my kids told me about a similar kind of place nearby, we jumped in the car and went to Coldstone. What a disappointment. Too much air, too much sugar, too much gum (note to owners: guar gum is NOT a substitute for manufacturing cream). I've had better ice cream out of a store-branded carton from the grocery.

                                                                                          Too bad, but not terribly surprising. It's a national chain. Inconsistency is the only unforgiveable sin; mediocrity, if not actually encouraged, is readily tolerated and should be expected.

                                                                                          1. Really bad? I wouldn't say "bad". I've had worse. I love ice cream and I'm likely to eat anyone's.

                                                                                            I found the flavors interesting, and the texture different, but not unpleasant. My DH called it "fluffy". You could tell they were fake though. I also had a lot of fun creating combinations at first.

                                                                                            After I had been to my neighborhood Coldstone a few times though, I found myself ordering the same mixins in my ice cream all of the time, I always got more ice cream than I wanted (because even the small is huge) and I was tired of paying so much for ice cream.

                                                                                            I guess my neighborhood felt the same way because the place was always bustling when it first opened about a year ago and after this last summer it closed its doors.

                                                                                            There is now a mom-and-pop gelato place in the neighborhood that is connected to the most popular pizza place in the area, so I can still get ice cream when I want it.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                              I think that overall the ice creams are really sugary and less flavorful than others that I like. Mouthfeel is kinda waxy. Normally I would say that ice cream is like sex (even when its bad...) but I just don't care for this stuff.

                                                                                              The idea of mixins is novel at first, but I guess I'm a flavor purist in the end. Just seems like gilding the lily.

                                                                                            2. Never had it. Almost waited in line for ages to try it and decided against it. My family usually goes to a small family run ice cream place that has yummy homemade ice cream and about 50 flavors. They were the only place that have blue moon ice cream that I remember as a kid.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: libgirl2

                                                                                                It's bad. Go to the mom and pop places for ice cream. I always regret when I don't (though i do have a weakness for dairy queen)

                                                                                              2. I love ice cream. I could exist on only ice cream. All of my friends know this, and one introduced us to Coldstone. First time was odd - grainy texture, too sweet, and way too much (I ordered the kids size). Second time was off (like sour milk). Third time was sour again. All three times were at different locations. If I'm out with friends and they want to go I'll go, but I'm not partaking.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: odkaty

                                                                                                  I haven't tried the CSC by the Regal Cinema in Live Oak.We also have a Marble Slab that just opened in Schertz,and we also have a Baskin Robbins now.
                                                                                                  I like Baskin Robbins and may try the Marbel Slab.I have no desire however to pay someone $6.00 for icecream when I can go to H.E.B. Grocery store and buy a half gallon for 4 or 5 dollars.they have someone make their icecream and it is very good.
                                                                                                  I can even buy Blue Bell there,a half gallon for around the same price.
                                                                                                  Or buy Blue Bunny or Dreyers or Breyers half gallons as well.
                                                                                                  Had a coupon for the Skinny Cow products one.They were pretty tasty.

                                                                                                  1. re: odkaty

                                                                                                    it probably tasted sour b/c you ordered the cheesecake flavor.

                                                                                                    1. re: odkaty

                                                                                                      probably b/c the cotton candy had so much sugar in it, it lowered the freezing point.

                                                                                                    2. I used to lovvvee their cake batter ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and graham cracker crust. It's sooo tasty BUT I always feel gross after eating it whenever I get it :)

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                                                                                                      1. re: Chew on That

                                                                                                        Hmm yea...I just went there again for the first time in awhileee and I don't even like it anymore. I tried their chocolate cake batter and it wasn't good at all. I much prefer yummy fresh gelato from Whole Foods!

                                                                                                      2. Coldstone is to ice cream as McDonald's is to hamburgers. Their frozen product has no resemblance to ice cream, and the junk they mix in has no resemblance to the real thing, either. It's sad that generations of Americans are growing up thinking that this is the way food should taste.The first time I went to Coldstone, I couldn't understand why my mouth felt so weird, so I went home and went online to check out the ingredients. What a horror show.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                          OK, this one is over-the-top. Cold Stone Creamery produces a product similar to, if not better than, most ice cream sold in the supermarkets and most local parlors (if you are lucky to live near one). Almost all local ice cream places use the same ice cream mixes and bases that CSC uses, unless you have a special place that makes all their ice cream fresh each hour.

                                                                                                          1. re: Sacto_Damkier

                                                                                                            Check out the Tristate board. The Coldstones around here are dropping like,well, stones! the ice cream customers in the Westchester, N.Y. are voting with their wallets and buying ice cream elsewhere.

                                                                                                            1. re: lucyis

                                                                                                              This may have to do more with overexpansion and a recession than the quality of the ice cream. I would guess that more people are eating ice cream at home and saving the $$$.

                                                                                                            2. re: Sacto_Damkier

                                                                                                              Perhaps that is true...but, then, one is eating in the wrong parlors and buying wrong ice cream in supermarkets. Coldstone is loaded with artificial flavors, colors, high fructose corn syrup, and stabilizers. I suppose it might still taste OK or even good to many (clearly)....but I'll stick with Haagen Dazs (especially the Green Tea, zowie) and my local parlors.

                                                                                                              1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                haagen dazs has plenty of crap in it.

                                                                                                                1. re: fara

                                                                                                                  Such as?

                                                                                                                  The Vanilla Bean contains

                                                                                                                  Ingredients: CREAM, SKIM MILK, SUGAR, EGG YOLKS, NATURAL FLAVOR, GROUND VANILLA BEANS.

                                                                                                                  Here's Mango

                                                                                                                  Ingredients: Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Mango Puree, Mango, Corn Syrup, Egg Yolks, Orange Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Pectin.


                                                                                                                  Ingredients: Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Cocoa Processed with Alkali.

                                                                                                                  Sure, flavours like Rocky Road, cookie dough etc are going to have ingredients added to the ice cream that have crap in them, but the ice cream itself is as natural as I've seen.

                                                                                                          2. I have to agree with those of the thumbs down to Coldstone (Coldstone Crapery).

                                                                                                            1. the flavor is okay, but the ice cream is far too expensive and the carageenan makes me sick to my stomach. i therefore give CSC and overall thumbs down as well.

                                                                                                              1. We had one open in our town recenlty - it took my youngest for a treat and it cost me $10 for one small kiddie cone and one small adult cone - we didn't even add any extras - what a rip-off. We will NOT be going back there again! I could have purchased 3 pints of Haagen Dazs for less.

                                                                                                                1. i haven't been to either marble slab or coldstone, since i don't care for things mixed in my ice cream. my husband made the mistake of calling one of those ice cream stores "cold slab" , so for us, they will both be referred to as the cold slab creameries--which is where you'll end up soon if you eat too much of it!

                                                                                                                  1. I think the ice cream at Coldstone is inferior. They want to add all those extras into the order to disguise the inferior nature of the prduct.

                                                                                                                    1. I don't care for cold stone, the ice cream is not great as others have said. I do like Marble Slab a little better, my favorite is honey ice cream with walnuts. I think that Marble Slab has more of the traditional ice cream mouth feel. I grew up with my mom making ice cream the old fashioned way, we even got the cream from a local farmer, so I am spoiled, and have never been able to duplicate that flavor.

                                                                                                                      1. I don't know why everyone is hating so much on Coldstone. O_o I go there all the time, it's not that expensive, and I love the cake batter ice cream. They've never sung at me, which would be pretty creepy. I've only been to one location, in MI.

                                                                                                                        I don't feel that I need to mix anything in at all to eat the ice cream. I enjoy mixing yellow cake and blueberries into the cake batter ice cream but I could eat it alone. I've never had an upset stomach from eating there unlike DQ...it's actually Dairy Queen that nauseates me. I can't eat there. :/

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                                                                                                                        1. re: aprilness

                                                                                                                          Re-read the other 90 posts. It's extremely overpriced and tastes just OK at best. A joke compared to Oberweis (in the Chicago area).

                                                                                                                        2. I hate their singing as well..."I've been working on the coldstone all the live long day". UGH. Just walking by and hearing ppl singing made me avoid going to CSC. I have only been their once and did not really care for it. I would just rather spend my calories on either an actual sundae or soft serve....However, there is a CSC-like place in Philly and it is SO much better, which proves to me that this concept can work well, especially if the base ice cream tastes good to begin with!

                                                                                                                          1. Dis-gust-ing. Total waste of money, too - The ice cream tasted horrible, and was overpriced. I learned my lesson, now I will only buy locally made independent stuff, or Haagen-Dazs.

                                                                                                                            Two different pints, to go.. One of them was 'cotton candy' and the stuff was packed out of the display case half way to liquid, and even two days later when the other pint was rock solid the cotton candy wasn't. Scary.

                                                                                                                            1. At Coldstone you're not paying for really gourmet ice cream like Haagen Daz. Rather they're selling a concept of creating any type of concotion imaginable--usually-over-the-top.

                                                                                                                              1. I'd have to say, I think most of the people posting are holding CSC to too high of a standard. Most of the negative opinions seems to be biased towards "natural-local-grown-farmers-market" style of food. I think this sort of mindset discriminates against any sort of chain-based fast food, whether consciously or unconsciously. This leads me to ask, do the same people who dislike CSC's ice cream also dislike Mcdonald's and Burger King's food? The standards that we hold fast food chains and local operations to are different, so comparing two different products aimed at two different markets is unfair to the respective products. You expect the dairy man at the farmer's market to make his ice cream fresh, with no preservatives, because his profit margin is low. But you also expect the chain ice cream joint to have a more efficient asset retention system, because of the volume they move through their store.

                                                                                                                                What I'm really trying to say is, if you like "old fashioned" or "organic" or whatever, that's great, but you also have to consider the ways larger business's go about making money.

                                                                                                                                1. A recent WSJ article described the pitfalls of being a Coldstone franchisee. Not only the overpriced product in a belt-tightening economy but also corporate mandates that franchisees buy a certain amount of product from one supplier, over-expansion and too many coupon specials. There are other problems outlined in the article as well. So if your local Coldstone suddenly closes down, or seems less and less busy, here's why. Many franchisees have lost a lot of money, banking on what they thought was a sure thing.

                                                                                                                                  1. My kids like Coldstone, but then again they are not even 4 yet. On the other hand, the last time we went, neither one finished his/her little scoop.

                                                                                                                                    When we go there, I have no problem resisting. And the prices are absurd.

                                                                                                                                    1. I'm glad other people agree with me about the texture. I tried it once and thought the texture was odd, as if they put gelatin in the ice cream to make it more... pliable (could be the word I'm looking for lol) for smooshing stuff in.

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                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                        I'm in Sherman Oaks, California, and there's a CSC right around the corner. Of course, I had to try it; it gets awful hot 'round these parts come summer.

                                                                                                                                        The main thing that bothered me was the total inefficiency with regard to the "mix-on-a-slab" preparation. Sorry, but I don't have anywhere from five to ten minutes to wait for this laborious procedure to finish. Considering there were two customers ahead of me, it took a total of fifteen minutes from walking in the door with my cash-money to walking out the door with the product.

                                                                                                                                        Meanwhile, was I supposed to stand there, transfixed, watching some bezitted teenage summer employee play with my food the way a toddler might play with her own bodily waste? I don't think so.

                                                                                                                                        The product was, in a word, abysmal. As otters have mentioned above, the "ice cream" is too sweet, too airy, and too lard-like to pass for the real thing. I was left with a curiously oily coating within the confines of my otherwise pristine mouth -- an annoying sensation that lingered for hours, no less.

                                                                                                                                        Aside from the Dow Chemical-like consistency of the "ice cream", the unrelenting sweetness killed it for me. This thing was sweet with a capital "F". Beyond enjoyable, frankly.

                                                                                                                                        Although I chose to leave a small tip in the counter-top jar, I was not vocally serenaded -- something for which I am forever grateful.

                                                                                                                                        No, thanks, I'd rather gorge myself to the point of paralysis on Haagen-Daaz bars or Ben and Jerry's.


                                                                                                                                      2. The hype about Cold Stone Creamery being the best ice cream was started by the chain's founders.

                                                                                                                                        You can go to www.coldstonecreamery.com and click About Us and read that.

                                                                                                                                        1. Holy jeez I don't know what kind of Coldstone you have where you live or what your smoking. Coldstone is fricken delicious. It's my favorite brand of ice cream. It is super rich there so don't have it right after you eat or else your dinner will come right back up. I love the fact that you can decide on what exactly what you want in your ice cream. They also are very generous with the portions. The pricing is a bit high but in my opinion, it's some of the best I've tried.

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                                                                                                                                          1. re: veona654

                                                                                                                                            "The pricing is a bit high but in my opinion, it's some of the best I've tried."

                                                                                                                                            Yeah! I mean, it's almost as good as that Yellow Snow flavored ice cream that the kids in the neighborhood keep bringing me!

                                                                                                                                            It is *lousy* stuff. There's a reason that the chain is doing so poorly, and lousy product is Reason Numero Uno.

                                                                                                                                          2. I think people need to remember what Coldstone really is and the purpose of the place. It's not an organic, locally made ice cream shop, rather his a chain and you're paying for a concept. The food obviously needs to be good, but you're paying for the experience and final product here. The ice cream isn't really meant to be eaten on its own, rather it's a base for all the add-ins, which usually ends up in a pretty delicious concoction of some of our favorite candies and sweets. You're also paying/waiting for part of the "show" the employees put on.

                                                                                                                                            I rarely go here, and much rather get some fro yo or occasionally gelato, but I think people forget the "purpose" of this place.

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                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jacey

                                                                                                                                              They call it.......A Creation! Sounds like a monster.

                                                                                                                                            2. I think Coldstone is hyped up. If you taste their ice cream without any toppings, its pretty mediocre. It's obvious that they are hiding their bad ice cream under mountains of toppings.

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Violist11

                                                                                                                                                But, can you really call it an ice cream? Isn't it more of a custard, like DQ and not comparable to ice cream?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                  Wow, old thread. I remember it as being ice cream, not frozen custard, if that is what you are referring to.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                    I think what he means is that coldstone's product is "rubbery", "gelatin-like", "gummy", "spongy" or some other identifier that people have said on this thread. I called it gummy and it has a very different mouth feel than any other frozen product I have had before.

                                                                                                                                                    If you take a look at their ingredients they do seem to use more thickening and viscosity modifiers than other ice creams.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                      Haven't had any in years, but I remember blah and kind of "off" flavor.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                        It's probably obvious to many, but I think all the thickening agents are added so the base holds up to the manipulating while the ingredients are added. It also might affect the melt time as well.

                                                                                                                                                2. Not just Coldstone, but all these "mix-in" places, generally use mix in items that are quite stale and not well cared for.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Funny thing is I just had some last night with some friends - The ice cream is gummy and too sweet for me. I noticed that about 25% of the crowd didn't finish there's and just dumped it in the trash. That is not something you see at Baskin Robbins or Ben and Jerry's