Aside from these free splash pads, there’s no better way to cool off this summer than with the delicious taste of ice cream. Or, make that a snow cone. No, wait, a banana split! Whatever it is you’re craving at the moment, you and the kids can find it at one of these favorite ice cream spots in and around Dallas (or Fort Worth)—all of them known for their wild and crazy flavors, amazing add-ons, or outside-the-pint thinking.
Ice Cream Shops in Dallas
Baldo’s Ice Cream
Their ice cream cone flights are simply the cutest ever. Split a flight of three or six mini cones with the kids, choosing from about a dozen flavors. Elsewhere on the menu are skillet cookies, floats, ice cream sandwiches and birthday cakes covered in rainbow sprinkles. Coffee lovers will especially appreciate the cold-brew infused Java Chip and the affogato (hot espresso poured over ice cream) courtesy of Oak Cliff Coffee.
SMU Dallas and White Rock Lake Dallas; 972/913-4001
The pros at Creamistry use liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze liquid into ice cream right in front of you. To get this science experiment going, choose your base (dairy, nut or fruit for sorbets), your flavor (there’s no skipping the matcha green tea) and toppings, and watch as the fog cloud billows from the mixing bowl to reveal your dessert. Ice cream cakes, sandwiches, pints and NitroShakes are also available.
Dallas, Lower Greenville; 972/685-6512
Dallas, Uptown; 972/803-4052
Fort Worth; 817/782-9670
Las Colinas; 972/629-9474
Cow Tipping Creamery
Clients love Cow Tipping Creamery as much for its elevated soft serve as for its amazing toppings piled sky high.Ask for the Stacker of the Week to discover new signature treats, like The Warhol with roasted banana pudding cake crumbles and Nilla Wafer dust. You’ll also be hard-pressed to find their cookie butter hard shell dipped cone anywhere else.
Fort Worth; 817/894-8422
The Dolly Llama
The traditional flat and crispy waffle cone takes a big step up at The Dolly Llama, a brand new ice cream shop in Uptown Dallas and the LA-based company’s first foray into Texas. The brand specializing in Belgian waffle and—even more daring—the Hong Kong Bubble Waffle wrapped around a scoop of ice cream. Mini ice cream sandwiches, waffles and milkshakes are also available for kids.
Howdy Homemade has found the right formula with their signature flavor Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip, and prized in the community for their policy of employing people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and autism. Visit the North Dallas store and find their pints for sale at H-E-B stores.
The only way to improve upon Joy Macarons’ soft and chewy French cookie (as if perfect needs improvement) is by adding ice cream. Cue their ice cream sandwiches and waffle cones scoops. Stop by one of three locations to experience the ever-changing flavors. The Cereal Milk sandwich, made with Fruity Pebbles and a white chocolate shell, is always a hit with the kids.
Dallas, Oak Cliff; 214/434-1922
Dallas, Lower Greenville, 469/372-0415
Fort Worth; 682/707-3604
Paciugo Gelato & Caffè
Paciugo (pronounced “pah-CHOO-go”), owned by Jeff and Courtney Sinelli, excels in its authentic Italian gelato and at its newer, more imaginative creations like the sprinkles-covered “Paciunicorn” cones. Their summer menu includes the refreshing cantaloupe sorbet, and you’ll have to see their “gelato spaghetti and meatballs” to believe it.
Saturday Morning Ice Cream
The creatives behind The Standard Pour and Dude, Sweet Chocolate present Saturday Morning Ice Cream, soft serve ice cream paired with some of your favorite childhood cereals (Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks), plus powdered donuts and all topped with sprinkles and whipped cream. Try the nostalgic treat on your visit to The Exchange, the food hall open daily at the new AT&T Discovery District. The treat pair best with watching cartoon on the 104-foot-tall media wall.
Andy’s Frozen Custard
Is old-fashioned custard making a comeback? It certainly feels like it at Andy’s, a business in operation for 35 years and now with more than 15 locations in Dallas-Fort Worth alone. The frozen custard is always made fresh every hour, and if you like, topped with seasonal fruits, freshly roasted pecans, and baked goodies like brownies (available year-round), pumpkin pie, shortcake and cookies that are baked fresh at the store.
Multiple locations; eatandys.com
Soda Fountains in Dallas
Beth Marie’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream & Soda Fountain
At its original location on the Denton Square, Beth Marie’s churns ice cream from a machine designed in 1927. Climb onto a stool at the antique wooden bar and choose from well over 100 flavors of ice cream, plus sundaes, banana splits, shakes and malts, ice cream sodas—and really old-fashioned options like egg creams and phosphate sodas. Two additional locations offer much the same menu.
Denton Square; 940/384-1818
Denton, Unicorn Lake; 940/591-1010
Did you know that 100 years ago nearly every drugstore had a soda fountain? That’s why Dougherty’s Pharmacy, one of the oldest independent pharmacies in Texas, when it moved to its new location on Preston Valley in 2021, they also opened up a soda fountain inside. (They’ve got a gift shop, too.) Stop by to check out the place and sip on a fizzy soda, milkshake, float, malt or sundae while waiting for your grilled cheese or grilled PB&J. Soda fountain hours are 10am–6pm Monday–Friday and 11am–4pm Saturday.
Farm Luck Soda Fountain & Dry Goods
Say howdy to Farm Luck (or “The Farmacy,” as the owners originally wanted to call it). This treasure is housed in the late 1800s-era Waxahachie Bank & Trust building, with the bank’s safe door on view. Order up a banana split or banana pudding, brownie fudge sundae, ice cream soda or, for small appetites, the World’s Smallest Sundae. Not craving sweets? The menu also features more hearty foods like sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads.
Snow Cones Stands in Dallas
It’s a pirate’s life for the owners of Scallywags, two 22-foot-tall, custom-built pirate ships, offering 16 flavors of shaved ice from a stand hidden below deck. Upgrade to a cone with ice cream on the bottom, and for the best deal, get a snow cones every day this summer with the purchase of a $25 reusable glass mug. You’ll find the ships marooned at two locations, both open daily 11:30am–9pm until mid-August.
2771 FM 544, Wylie
3850 W. Eldorado Parkway, McKinney
Sno Gourmet Shaved Ice
Craving a snow cone? (Or sno cone?) Sno Gourmet Shaved Ice will take care of you while you browse the summer veggie options at Dallas Farmers Market. Stop by Sno’s storefront for the sweet, sour and spicy flavors (like tamarind), add candy or fruit toppings to your cup or stuff with frozen yogurt, and have a seat at the retro diner-style booths.
Nod your head to ‘90s hip hop at HipPop (get it?) on Main Street in Historic Downtown Grapevine. Choose from slushies, popsicles (fruit and milk-based), or shave ice served in those brightly colored flower cups that you remember from your last Hawaiian vacay and with condensed cream or coconut cream poured over. Their must-try popsicles? Cap’n Crunch Cereal pops and toasted marshmallow. Wow.
Have a favorite ice cream or treat shop that’s not on our list? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top photo courtesy of The Dolly Llama