Food & Drink
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This Summer, Head to Atlanta's Best Mom-and-Pop Ice Cream Shops

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You scream, I scream, we all scream... because it’s June in Atlanta and it’s fucking hot out. Our dreaded nickname (don’t you dare say it) has again become our hated reality. As everyone attempts to mooch off other people’s pools and/or air conditioners, some of us are beating the heat with a hearty scoop (or three) of fresh, delicious ice cream. The city has great options no matter if you prefer a cone, a cup, or a sandwich. Now the only question you have left to answer is: are you team ice cream, or team gelato?



If you spot the giant ice cream cone on the curb, Paolo’s is ready to scoop its gelato for you. The flavor you should absolutely demolish is the “Straciatella,” a scrumptious blend of milk-based gelato and rich chocolate shavings. It’s the right amount of sweet, no matter your palate. Get a second scoop of one of his floral ice creams -- lavender or rose. If you happen to run into Paolo, ask him his favorite scoop. He has a habit of whipping up some unique one-offs.

Morelli's Ice Cream

East Atlanta

This ice cream shop, owned by a former pharmaceutical rep, lives up to its tagline -- “Atlanta’s Favorite Ice Cream.” Morelli’s ice cream is as thick as it is creamy. And its signature salted caramel is totally worth standing in line for at the East Atlanta location. The spot is also known for churning some crazy flavors, too: sweet corn, oatmeal cream pie, krispy kreamier, dark chocolate chili, and rosewater are just some of them. Visit the online library for the full... scoop (sorry not sorry).

Queen of Cream

Old Fourth Ward

This is the only company in Atlanta making its ice cream from scratch. What’s that mean? For starters, it means that it’s damn good. From homemade marshmallows to unique flavors (like candied fennel), this gal knows how to think outside the box… or carton… or whatever ice cream comes in. Try the Ooey Gooey Butter, or a scoop of the dairy-free coconut -- if you’re intolerant. If you need a pick-me-up, pair your favorite flavor with an affogato, a scoop in a mug with espresso, or stop by for Milkshake Mondays, where you can snag a shake for a measly $5.

Butter & Cream

Downtown Dectaur

Small-batch? Check. From scratch? Double check. Butter & Cream offers about 20 flavors at any given time, made with real cream right behind the counter. Honeycomb Forest, Cashew Creme Brulee, and Caramelatte Crunch should top your list of flavors to try first. If you’re lactose-intolerant, rest easy, as the dairy-free sorbets are also to die for. Pick up a scoop of the Grapefruit Campari or Good Word Brewing Passion. And sprinkles are always free, so go crazy, you animal.

Honeysuckle Gelato
Courtesy of Honeysuckle Gelato

Honeysuckle Gelato

Old Fourth Ward

Honey fig, fresh mint, brown butter, Meyer lemon -- are you drooling yet? Honeysuckle has some of the creamiest flavors in the city. Stop by its Ponce City Market storefront to pick up a scoop and make it a sandwich. Again, make it a sandwich! Choose between brownie, pie crust, or doughnuts for the ultimate delectable treat. Don’t want a scoop? Fine, no worries! Pick up a milkshake instead. Also, 5% of the profits go to the Atlanta Food Bank, so your meals mean a meal for someone else.

Vintage Frozen Custard


The first frozen custard in Atlanta landed on the Westside and we’re so, so glad. This spot offers the classic vanilla and chocolate along with a flavor of the day. Our favorite? Definitely Froot Loops. Each flavor is fed into a barrel and the mix is rapidly frozen with very little air and small ice crystals, giving you an incredibly smooth spoonful. Come for the ice cream, but stay for one of its Everydaes -- a sundae concoction that comes in salted caramel, s’mores, and other dope flavors. Tip: there’s no seating available, so plan to take your picnic elsewhere.

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Muriel Vega prefers salty over sweet. Follow her food adventures at @murielvega.