Our 13 favorite ice cream parlors


The temperature rises in the 90s. Mosquitoes attack our legs. Space City Weather throws the “H” word more often. There is no going back: summer is here.

We don’t have to moan and moan … at least not all the time. Look, there’s ice cream, creamy, dreamlike, sweet (sometimes salty?) Ice cream. In honor of gift-giving season (us sweaty clothes), here are our favorite ice cream parlors in the Houston area.

Aqua S

If an ice cream in Houston can be called whimsical, it’s the treats from this magical Australian-born factory. With locations in Asia Town and the heights, Aqua S specializes in sea salt ice cream colored in (what else) aqua blue. You can garnish your cone (charcoal, of course) with fun toppings like toasted marshmallows, popcorn, and cotton candy.


Expandable ice cream! Booza – ice cream in Arabic – has been a Palestinian delight for decades, and this family-owned store does it as well as anyone in America. Look for traditional flavors like lemon, rose water, and ishta (sweet cream). Booza also makes sherbet and ice cream (almonds with salted peanuts for the win), as well as split bananas and coffee.

Brain freeze

Don’t let the madness get to your head at this stopover in Pasadena. Brain Freeze makes some of Houston’s craziest ice cream creations, like a rich chocolate shake (in a mason jar) topped with Oreos, scoops full of chocolate ice cream, and a Klondike bar. For the color, and for the pleasure, the edge is “salty” with fruity pebbles. But that’s not all: the menu has just about all the wacky ideas under the sun. Just pay attention to the cast iron.

Cloud 10 Creamery

Houston’s quintessential modern ice cream features both traditional flavors (dark chocolate, vanilla bean, mint chocolate chips) and innovative dishes (café sua da, grilled rice, marzipan). It also offers ice cream for good dogs, with peanut butter, bananas, honey, and fat-free yogurt. (Can that also be for humans?) Cloud 10’s popularity is so strong that it now has three locations – be sure to hit them all this summer.

Fat Cat Creamery

Recently adding a location to the Stomping Grounds development in Garden Oaks, Fat Cat is one of the most popular places in town to get ice cream. The secret to the shop is a small menu of great flavors like milk chocolate stout made with oatmeal stout and strawberry jam and buttermilk ice cream made with gin. Fun, seasonal flavors come in and out, and nostalgic treats like push-up pops and ice cream sandwiches complete the experience.

Hank’s Glacier

Long live Hank’s, the king of homemade ice cream in Houston since 1985. Although Hank Wiggins himself passed away in 2011, his family kept his legacy alive by continuing to carefully craft batches of banana, strawberry pudding. with banana, cookies and cream, etc. Hank’s favorite perennial, the buttery pecan.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Taking over the former Carter & Cooley Co. space, the national chain that started out in Ohio has taken to the heights with its creative, chef-worthy flavors. There’s salted peanut butter with chocolate chips, brown butter almond cake and gooey butter cake, plus frozen yogurt, like rainbow buttermilk, and dairy-free offerings. , like a cold infusion with coconut cream.

Kwality ice cream

When you want a traditional Indian ice cream known as kulfi, or maybe the cold drink known as falooda, there is Kwality. In both chain locations (Mahatma Gandhi district, Sugar Land), get flavors like royal mango Alphonso and the wonderful kulfi falooda, made with rose, malai and takmaria (watercress seeds). You can go in a cone or a cup, or even put it in a falooda with ingredients like basil seeds and sprinkles.

Magnolia ice cream and more

In the East End, Magnolia’s offers everything from raspas and Frito pies to rich sundaes like banana caramel. Flavors of homemade ice cream, which we recommend over staples like vanilla and chocolate, include mango, pineapple, and lime (with chamoy, of course). For an extra-indulgent treat, try Magnolia Supreme, which combines three scoops of homemade ice cream with fresh fruit.

Milk + Sugar

Montrose ice cream suspension naturally does not make vanilla and chocolate. Find fun and cheeky combinations like a cereal milk base with Froot curls (called Follow Your Nose) and a cream cheese base with cinnamon sugar blondies (called Heart of Glass). Also make sure your balls go into a brown sugar waffle cone.

Red Circle Ice Cream

No ice cream shop in Houston asks you to taste the rainbow more than Red Circle. The small local chain has neon flavors like Elmo Crunch, Donkey Kong, and Green Goblin. He also gets adventurous with balls like durian, crayfish and Hot Cheetos. The big draws at Red Circle are the churros – just get your favorite and add a scoop of the ice cream of your choice. And no churro hits like the daddy churro, a circular creation that wraps around your ice cream scoop for an unmistakably Instagrammable treat.

Sweet corruption

With its calming pink and white hues and old-fashioned living room feel, Sweet Bribery certainly feels like a throwback. But then you discover flavors like tiramisu, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and bourbon espresso, and you notice alcoholic treats like the porter’s chariot made with a local dark beer … creativity is pretty high here. We recommend Southern Grasshopper for a refreshing summer moment: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Cream of Mint Brownie, Hot Fudge and Andean Mint.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

The city’s newest kid, Rice Village, is one of America’s most popular ice cream parlors. Van Leeuwen uses a whole bunch of eggs in his ice cream, making their offerings a little more velvety and rich than sweet. The result is a highly addicting product, from the elderflower and lemon royal wedding cake to the hazelnut fudge cookie. A number of vegan ice creams, some made from oat milk, are incredibly delicious. For example, dig a layer cake with passion fruit.

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