The dog days of summer are upon us and what better way to cool down than by indulging in ice cream and other frozen delights?
Sure, you can pick up a gallon of Blue Bell at your local market, but we staked out some locations where the fun-factor makes it worth the drive. (It was a tough job, but hey, someone had to do it.)
by Suzan Dees
Rita’s Italian Ice
With locations all over, this convenient stop packs a lot of punch. A unique feature here is the Italian Ice “Flight” offering four separate flavors—a perfect amount to share…or not! We sampled Sour Patch Kids, Wild Cherry, Cotton Candy and Birthday Cake. Wild Cherry was the clear winner for me. Another home run is the Gelati. This amazing concoction combines the Italian Ice flavor of your choice with creamy frozen custard.
816 W. McDermott Drive | Allen, TX 75013 (Multiple other locations)
214-383-2785 | ritasice.com | Mon-Sun:12 pm–9 pm
Located in the adorable Canyon Creek neighborhood in Richardson, this gem is a must visit. I hit frozen utopia with the Slowpoke ice cream—chocolate ice cream with salted caramel ribbons and pecans. It’s almost as wonderful as the staff! The location also boasts a beautiful party room for showers and birthdays, and really, who wouldn’t love an ice cream party? Fun for the whole family, including your pooch who can enjoy a Puppy Cone on the patio with you.
2701 Custer Pkwy | Richardson, TX 75080
972-635-5635 | sweetfirefly.com
Mon: Closed; Tue-Thu: 12 pm–9 pm; Fri-Sat: 12 pm–10 pm; Sun: 1 pm–9 pm
Highland Park Soda Fountain
Step back in time and hop up on an old-fashioned circular stool to experience the “soda jerks” mixing up your favorite treat. Milkshakes and Malts (extra malt, please!) are just the start. Maybe a Float is your thing or Egg Cream Soda? Order what you like and while you wait, you can wander around and check out all the goods for sale. Everything from lotions and candles to baby clothes and artwork line the walls of this historic shop.
3229 Knox Street | Dallas, TX 75205
214-521-2126 | highlandparksodafountain.com
Mon-Fri: 7 am–6 pm; Sat: 8 am–6 pm; Sun:10 am–5 pm
Henry’s Homemade Ice
With a tagline like “Ice Cream Makes You Pretty” this stop was a no brainer. Homemade ice cream with unique flavors, such as Corn, Strawberry Marshmallow and Triple Oreo—we were able to sample many and then take some for the road. After devouring my Pecan Praline, I will say I felt a little prettier.
3100 Independence Pkwy #215 | Plano, TX 75075
972-943-3639 | henryshomemadeicecream.com
Sun-Thu:11 am–9:30 pm; Fri:11 am–10:15 pm; Sat: 10:30 am–10:15 pm
Frozen hot chocolate. Need I say more? Stop by this unique chocolate shop for a decadent treat and stroll through the resort-style shopping center for a truly special day or after dinner treat. (While you’re there, you might take home a few pieces of “bean to bar” chocolate and ask Troy for a lesson in how real chocolate is made.)
908 Watters Creek Blvd | Allen, TX 75013
214-383-6776 | sublimechocolate.com
Mon-Thur:10 am–9 pm; Fri-Sat: 10 am–10 pm ; Sun: Closed
Dozens of unique flavors are served up by high school employees who seem to be having as much fun making the concoctions as you will have eating them. Try the Caribbean Cola, a soda with vanilla flavoring and tropic cream. Another favorite for the teen scene is the Super Sour Sno Cones. Apple, Blueberry and even the Atomic Warhead are all winners for those who like to make pucker faces with their icy treats. The list of flavors is dizzying, and then with the add-ons like ice cream, chocolate syrup and more, you can really customize your creation.
8700 Preston Rd #127 | Plano, TX 75024 (Multiple other locations)
214-618-8395 | bahamabucks.com
Mon-Thu:11 am–10 pm; Fri-Sat:11 am–11 pm; Sun:1 pm–10 pm
Andy’s Frozen Custard
The choice between a massive drive-thru and walk-up ordering makes this a unique stop on our list. There are a few benches outside, but be warned, there is no indoor seating here. Frozen Custard is a change of pace from all of the ice cream, and since blueberries are in season, we went with the Blue Bonnet Jackhammer, which mixed vanilla custard with blueberries and a marshmallow center. Not your thing? Try a Malt, Shake or even a Banana Split. No matter what you order, the whole family will be impressed. Don’t forget about bringing Spot along—Andy’s is dog friendly!
1731 E Hebron Pkwy | Carrollton, TX 75010
972-394-7555 | eatandys.com
Sun-Thu: 11 am–11 pm; Fri-Sat: 11 am–11:30 pm
Is there anything more indulgent than gelato? How do they pack in all that flavor with 70% less fat than ice cream? I don’t know, but I do know that I love the Salted Caramel Gelato here. Give me a giant scoop in a waffle cone, and my inner fat kid is happily fooled. You can also find sorbets and lattes if that’s more to your liking. Most locations are open late so this is a great place to head after a movie or dinner if you want that night to go on just a little bit longer. (Hint, hint fellas!)
936 Garden Park Drive | Allen, TX 75013 (Multiple other locations)
972-359-8586 | paciugo.com
Mon-Thu:10 am–9 pm; Fri-Sat: 10 am–11 pm; Sun: 12 pm–9pm
Double Dip Frozen Custard
This cute open-air venue in Downtown Frisco hosts a multitude of different unique Sundaes and Caliches (blended custard with toppings) with names like “Pie in the Sky” and “The Gizmo.” Try the “Grasshopper” with custard, creamy mint topping and a scoop of Oreos. What about having your cake and eating it too? There’s even a Caliche with pieces of bundt cake mixed right in! Want a cool treat but without the ice cream? Try one of their true old-fashioned sodas—cherry, chocolate and key lime, just to name a few.
7511 Main Street | Frisco, TX 75034
972-377-8668 | doubledipfrozencustard.com
Mon-Thur: 11 am–9 pm; Fri-Sat: 11 am–10 pm ; Sun: 12 pm–9 pm
Howdy’s Homemade Ice Cream
Howdy’s is the best way to my heart or anyone else’s! This unassuming blue door in a shopping center holds a delight that is worth a drive. Incredible flavors like Dr. Pepper Chocolate Chip and Hot Tamales (yes, like the candy) are just a few of the gems here. The real treat though, is the staff. 14 out of the 16 employees are people with special needs, who love their job. It shows. We couldn’t eat the samples fast enough—the staff is so proud of their flavors and product that they can’t wait to share it with everyone. They handed us spoonful after spoonful of every delicious flavor, and we couldn’t get enough. I left with a bag full of pints and a huge smile on my face.
4333 Lovers Ln | Dallas, TX 75225
469-930-8494 | howdyicecream.com
Mon-Thu: 11 am–9 pm; Fri-Sat: 11 am–10 pm; Sun: 2 pm–9 pm