Cold Comfort: St. Louis Ice Cream Shops to Visit Now

Ice cream, frozen custard, ices, gelato and where to find them in St. Louis

I scream, you scream, and not just for ice cream. The panoply of frozen treats extends to yogurt, custard, ices and more. Scoop up some yummy, cooling fun at these dispensers of deliciousness.

Crown Candy Kitchen

This St. Louis ice cream shop has been serving smiles since 1913 in a corner location in Old North St. Louis that’s like stepping into a time capsule. The frozen goodies, however, are as fresh as they can get. Stop in for sundaes, floats, malts, banana splits and more made with house-made ice cream. You can also load up on legendary chilies, tamales, soups and sandwiches like the "Heart Stopping BLT."

Crown Candy Kitchen

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

The lines are long, but they move like lightning, because the servers at this St. Louis institution are trained like Navy SEALs, if Navy SEALs served frozen custard so thick they could (and do) turn the dish upside down right in front of your eyes. The custard here earns and embraces the epithet “concrete” and is festooned with a medley of toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, caramel, chocolate, marshmallow, mint and much more.

 Ted Drewes

Clementine's Creamery Naughty & Nice Ice Cream

The “nice” is small-batch ice cream made with local ingredients in flavors like gooey butter cake, manchego with truffles and honey and lemon buttermilk chess pie. The “naughty” is alcohol-infused ice cream made with a patent-pending process, yielding such innovations as chocolate stout and maple bourbon with salted candied pecans. Bonus: a visit to Clementine's ice cream shop puts you in one of the city's most charming neighborhoods, Lafayette Square. Clementine's also has locations in Clayton and South Hampton.  

Clementine's Creamery

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Check out these flavors: sweet cream biscuits and peach jam, brandied banana brulee, brambleberry crisp. All so good, and made without stabilizers and emulsifiers. The selection in this cheery Central West End emporium (right next to Left Bank Books) includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, ice cream sandwiches and a variety of sauces and toppings.

Jeni's in the Central West End

Gelato Di Riso

There’s less air in gelato than in American ice cream, and the gelato here is made with milk instead of high-fat cream. This popular corner spot on The Hill (St. Louis’ famous Italian neighborhood), also serves coffee, tea, espresso, lattes, scones, rolls, cookies, lemon bars and more—a one-stop sweet shop.

Gelato Di Riso

Jilly's Ice Cream Bar

Jilly’s burst on the scene originally as an award-winning purveyor of cupcakes and eventually expanded into the ice cream arena. We win! Classics like Chocolate Fudge Swirl and Rocky Road are joined by monthly inspirations like Jilly’s on the Beach (mango lime sorbet with lime salt) and Oatmeal Creme Pie Cookie Dough. 

Ices Plain & Fancy

What happens when you flash-churn ice cream at -321 degrees with liquid nitrogen? Very small ice crystals form for an ultra-smooth texture—silky, dense and delicious, that's what. Stop in at this ice cream shop for lots of classic and innovative flavors in nitro ice cream, boozy ice cream cocktails, sorbets, floats, non-dairy options and more, not far from Missouri Botanical Garden, a place you should visit if you haven't already.

Ices Plain & Fancy

Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream

This popular Webster Groves ice cream parlor, regularly voted “Best Ice Cream in St. Louis,” switches out flavors regularly to keep regulars guessing. Also on the menu: spirited shakes including a brandy Alexander (chocolate ice cream, cognac, creme de cacao), and a beer float with chocolate milk stout and salted caramel ice cream.

The Fountain on Locust

A super-charming art deco interior—not far from the glitz and glamour of Grand Center—sets the stage for inventive cocktails, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and a generous offering of ice cream concoctions (including adult varieties) sporting names like Wicked, Ugly Stepsister and Love Potion. Malts, milkshakes, sodas, floats, mocktails and sundaes…you name it.

The Fountain on Locust

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

This popular self-serve chain not only invites customers to craft their ideal frozen yogurt treat made with hormone-free milk, but takes the allergen issue head-on and marks every single item with every allergen. Plus they have non-sugar and non-dairy versions, and the whole menu is kosher. Mazel tov!

David Lancaster
About the author

David Lancaster is an accomplished artist and photographer whose work has been shown in galleries in St. Louis, Chica...