WhereTraveler has the scoop on the best scoops in New Orleans (see what we did there?). On July 18, celebrate National Ice Cream Day and treat yourself or your friends to a cone of ice-cold confection. There are plenty of spots for artisan gelato and sweetly layered sundaes. Check out a few neighborhood favorites.
Enjoy a throwback to the ice cream parlors of the 1950s at Creole Creamery. Ice cream Chef Bryan Gilmore has been scooping up joy for New Orleans residents since 2004. The insanely creative flavors and seasonal offerings are a welcome respite when the temperatures climb, and the humidity makes the air thick. Eighteen standard flavors are available all year long at all four locations and a rotating seasonal menu that may differ from place to place. Flavors like Creole cream cheese, nectar cream sherbet, peanut butter fudge pie, and salted caramel are all tried and true staples available 365 days a year. Seasonal flavors that rotate include Thai coconut basil, goat cheese and mission fig, strawberry jalapeño cheesecake, and pear and balsamic caramel. If you're looking for a genuine soda shop feel, order a banana split or an ice cream float. Come hungry and try the "Tchoupitoulas" challenge. It's eight scoops of ice cream of your choice, eight toppings, whipped cream, cherries, sprinkles, and wafers.
Adding sea salt to soft-serve ice cream originated in Okinawa, Japan, but Aqua S has made this unique style popular in New Orleans. There are more than 100 unique flavors that rotate bi-monthly. The bright colors and innovative flavors are what keep people coming back for this extraordinary soft serve. The signature bright blue sea salt flavor has been twisted in with raspberry, cupcake, blood orange, Hawaiian punch, and popcorn flavored soft serve. You don't have to include the sea salt; you can get the non-signature flavors just as they are. Enjoy strawberry yogurt or coffee milk tea. No matter what you order, it will be photo-worthy and impossible to resist.
Ice cream is a love language at Sundae Best. With the support of the community, it made it through the worst of the pandemic by selling its small-batch ice cream in to-go pints. Locally sourced, seasonal ingredients are used to make New Orleans-inspired flavors as well as traditional fan favorites. There are currently six handcrafted flavors on offer, including vanilla bean, dark chocolate, cookies and cream, butterscotch pecan, toasted coconut, and mint chip. Floats and shakes are available, as are two specialty sundaes. "The Cold Testament" is two scoops with whipped cream, hot fudge, homemade dulce de leche, and a cherry on top. "Three Wise Men" ups the ante even more as a banana split with scoops of butterscotch pecan, toasted coconut, and dulce de leche topped with whipped cream, hot fudge, pecans, and homemade dulce de leche.
Hoodoo Ice Cream
Hoodoo Ice Cream takes its New Orleans roots very seriously. From the locally sourced ingredients to the NOLA-inspired flavors, you can feel the pulse of the city in every spoonful. Like most fresh, homemade ice cream places, the menu rotates seasonally. The crunchy waffle cones only enhance the seasonal flavors like blueberry pie, peach bourbon habanero, and mint chocolate matcha. NOLA-centric flavors have included delicious confections like Creole cream cheese, red beans and rice, and Campbell's coffee. Take a seat at a cozy wooden booth and enjoy a local confection.
The small, artisan batches are made in-house daily at Piccola Gelateria. The owners' dream of opening a traditional Italian gelateria was brought to reality in 2016, and the warm, stress-free environment keeps locals coming back. Piccola also has a line of dairy-free gelato or sorbetto and also offers gelato cakes. Gourmet flavors include caramelized fig and goat cheese, Amarena cherry, mascarpone, and pear. Of course, there are traditional Italian offerings like stracciatella (Italian chocolate chip), vanilla bean, and rich chocolate. Fill sweet crepes with your favorite flavors. Piccola Gelateria is a small business worth supporting this summer.
Drip Affogato Bar
Is there a way to improve ice cream? Sure! Pour espresso over it! Drip Affogato Bar is a coffee shop and ice cream parlor pairing icy confections with caffeinated delights. The minimalist, trendy interior evokes the hip coffee shops in Brooklyn, but the warm, southern hospitality makes it feel distinctly New Orleans. Drip doesn't stop at espresso as the only topping for ice cream. It uses matcha, hot chocolate, and chicory too. Decide how many scoops you'd like and what flavor profile. Delicious combos like "bananas foster" mix caramel drizzle ice cream, brûléed bananas, whipped cream, and espresso drip. C is for cookie in the "Cookie Monster" with chocolate ice cream, cookie crumbles, whipped cream, and hot chocolate drizzle. Can't decide? Order a flight and get a sampling of four popular affogatos. Affogati? It doesn't matter. It's still delicious.