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Aug 20, 2010 02:46 PM

The best ice cream in the US (reachable by JetBlue)

Dear Chow-folk,

I need help picking the best ice cream shops in the country to visit over the course of 30 days.

I got a JetBlue "all you can jet" pass for Sept 7-Oct 8, and I plan to sample the best ice cream shops in the country. Unfortunately JetBlue doesn't fly to some places with great ice cream, like Ohio, MI, and WI. I've also excluded some places that are hard to get to without a car outside of the mid-Atlantic region. And, although my list includes California places, I'm going to focus on places outside California while I have the flight pass.

I've put together a rough list of candidates based on several sources, including the great chow thread here from 2006:

I put the candidate list at the bottom of this post, and an editable version on Google docs ( ). Any input you have is welcome and can be made at either place.

Here are my specific questions:

What should I add to the list?
What should I remove from the list?
Do you recommend particular flavors?

This is primarily an ice cream list, and I want to limit distractions, but I've already got a few gelato places on the list. Frozen pop suggestions are welcome too.

To give you a sense of the kind of ice cream I like, my favorite ice cream stores so far are Bi-Rite (SF) and Scoops (LA).

My pass excludes flights operated by Cape Air (to Cape Cod and nearby islands) and foreign destinations cost extra, so I'm excluding those too.

Thanks! I haven't figured out entirely how I'm going to track my progress, but I'll post updates or links here when I figure that out.

Here's the list (Name followed by metro area):
Angel Sweet Gelato, Phoenix
applegate farm, NYC
Bassett's, Philadelphia
Bellvale Creamery, NYC
Bi-Rite Creamey, SF Bay Area
Blue Bell Ice Cream, Texas (Austin?
)Bulgarini Gelato, LA
Capannaris, Chicago
Carl's, Fredericksburg VA
Chinatown Icecream Factory, NYC
Cones, NYC
Creole Creamery, New Orleans
Dave and Andy's, Pittsburgh
Delicieuse, LA
Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Laboratory, San Louise Obispo
Downtown Bakery & Creamery, 70 miles from SF Bay Area
Dr. Mike's Ice Cream Factory, NYC/CT
Fairfax Scoop, SF Bay Area
Far Fars, Boston
Farr's Fresh, Utah
Flamingo Crossing, Key West
Franklin Fountain, Philadephia
Gerenser's Exotic Ice Cream, New Hope PA
Gifford's, DC
Herrell's, Boston
Ici Ice Cream, SF Bay Area
Jake's Ice Cream., Atlanta
Joe's, SF Bay Area
JP Licks, Boston
Kimball Farms, Boston
Kline's Dairy Bar, Harrisonburg VA
Lappert, Monterey CA and Los Angeles
Margies Candies, Chicago
Marianne's Ice Cream, Santa Cruz CA
Mariposa Ice Cream, San Diego
max and mina's, NYC
McConnell's Fine Ice Creams, Santa Barbara CA
Meyer Dairy, State College PA
Mitchell's, SF Bay Area
Moxley's Ice Cream Parlor, Baltimore
Oberweiss, Chicago
Paradis, LA
Premise Made, between Allentown and Reading PA.
Purity Ice cream, ithaca NY
Richardson's Dairy, Boston
Rick's, SF Bay Area
Robin Rose Ice Cream & Chocolate, LA
Ronnybrook Farms, NYC
Scoops, Los Angeles
Shubert's Ice Cream and Candy, Chico
Snoqualmie Gourmet, Seattle
Teo's, Austin
Toscanini, Boston
University Creamery, Penn State
Yellow Snow Ice Cream, Utah
Zozo's Juice & Grille, NYC

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  1. What a great trek.

    To add to your list.

    - Sweet Republic (Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ)
    - Elizabeth Creamery (Charlotte, NC)
    - Little Man's and Lik's (both in Denver, CO)
    - Mashti Malone's (Los Angeles, CA)

    Enjoy and report back.

    1. Well, you're not gonna get to STL on Jet Blue unless that pass affiliates with American Eagle. And Ted Drewes custard is pretty unimpressive unless it's in a concrete, which is the shake that inspired DQ's Blizzard. But since you have Ohio spots on there despite saying you can't get to Ohio, a strong recommendation for Jeni's in Columbus. Just stunning stuff.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lemons

        Ah, thanks for pointing out my list error. I meant to remove those from my shared list. I'm keeping track of them offline though, because Jeni's and Graeter's sound terrific. I'll have to plan another trip with different transportation.

      2. Graeter's ice cream, which has multiple shops in Louisville KY. I believe they have other locations as well (Cincy, OH maybe?). Wonderful iced cream

        1 Reply
        1. re: elfcook

          Yup - they're in Ohio too (although I know you can't go there...glad it's outside of Ohio!). That was what I popped on here to suggest, actually! You HAVE to get something with the chocolate chunks/ribbons.

          Seriously, I still have dreams about it and it's been almost five years since the last time I had it. I even paid theme park prices for a tiny 1/2 pint ($6 or something ridiculous like that).

          You would be seriously missing out if you didn't visit Graeter's!

        2. Add: Manning Dairy Farm in Scranton, PA. Any flavor containing vanilla as a base (there are many). This has become my new standard for great ice cream.

          Definitely remove Franklin Fountain in Philly and McConnell in Sanata Barbara from your list. Both good, not great.

          Gifford in DC does not even rate good for me. York Castle Tropical Ice Cream in Rockville, MD is the best in the DC area, especially for tropical flavors.

          Since you are including gelato, then Ottho in NYC, I can highly recommend the olive oil, burnt sugar, hazelnut and pistachio as some of the best int he world.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Steve

            Done! Thanks for helping me winnow those out. I'll definitely be checking out York and Ottho, but I'm not sure how far into PA I'm going to get. Manning will at the least stay on my "to do" list. Every time I read your Ottho flavor recommendations, my stomach contracts. Can't wait!

          2. Molly Moon's in Seattle:

            I went twice a week when I still lived there. They serve fresh flavors made with local and organic ingredients.

            Have fun on your trip(s)! What a great idea; if I were you I'd bring a videocamera and document your adventure.

            1 Reply
            1. re: twj

              I used to live in Seattle, and I've never been to Molly Moon's. Thanks for the great suggestions.