17 Best Ice Cream Shops in Austin – My Top Picks for Ice Cream

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Quadruple scoop of ice cream at Lick in Austin

Summer in Austin means it’s time to find the BEST ice cream in Austin! Let’s be real…I eat it year-round in this city (because it’s occasionally really hot in December), but I’m especially keen on cold, creamy treats in the hot Austin summer months.

I grew up eating ice cream daily; my dad would keep a minimum of 4 tubs in our outdoor freezer at all times, and he was always searching the ads in the mail for the “2 for $5 deal” of Bluebell Ice Cream to stock up.


Related: the ultimate guide to the best cookies in Austin


Now that I’m living in Austin, I’m a big fan of all of the ice cream shops that source their ingredients locally, provide dairy-free options, and offer some of the most Instagrammable treats imaginable. (Like number 12 on my list…)

I’m pretty sure I never want to live a life without ice cream in it. Here’s a new updated list for 2021 of the Best Ice Cream in Austin…including some vegan options!

17 Best Ice Cream Shops In Austin

1. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni's Ice Cream storefront on South Congress Austin

Jeni’s is easily one of the the top Austin ice cream spots. The concept is simple: just really, really good ice cream made from the highest quality ingredients. There aren’t any gimmicks like mix-ins, cookies, or milkshakes here. You simply pick a flavor or two of ice cream and select a cone or bowl, and that’s it. The flavors are mind-glowingly good and will have you coming back again and again. Try some of the regular flavors like Gooey Butter Cake, Brambleberry Crisp, or Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks. Or, venture into the rotating specials or vegan ice cream options. I’ve truly never had a Jeni’s ice cream flavor that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. 

Scoop of Gooey Butter Cake ice cream at Jeni's in Austin

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

1208 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

(512) 394-5038

2. DOLCE NEVE GELATO (vegan available)

Dolce Neve Gelato ice cream shop in Austin

I should really be a part-owner of this shop by now. I mean, I’m kind of obsessed with it. Dolce Neve has landed one of the top spots of this list of best Austin ice cream because of their care and attention to detail. 

It’s the cutest little gelato shop in Austin! Anytime I have guests in town, I bring them here. The small size is the perfect for a quick treat, and the flavors are ridiculously good because they use real fruits and nuts and high-quality milk. Any time they have the mascarpone + fig or the fromage black + jam I get one of those flavors.

Dolce Neve Gelato: Best Ice Cream Shops in Austin
A cup of Dolce Neve gelato in south Austin

Dolce Neve Gelato

1713 S First St, Austin TX 78704

512-804-5568

3. Lick Honest Ice Creams (vegan available)

Quadruple scoop of ice cream at Lick in Austin

Lick’s is a local Austin ice cream store with multiple locations. Their ice cream is made with yummy local ingredients like Mill King milk, Hill Country lavender, and Garrison Brothers whiskey. They hand roll their waffle cones and make all of the sauces and syrups and marshmallows are made by hand in their kitchens. It’s also worth pointing out that  all of the Lick scoop shops have the friendliest employees who encourage you to try lots of samples! 

If I had my way, I’d always keep 4-5 pints of this ice cream in my freezer at home. Lick’s approach to ice cream is simple: use the highest-quality local ingredients you can get, and the ice cream will be superb!

My favorite flavor is the Texas Sheet Cake, but the rotating seasonal flavors (Blueberry Crumble! Lemonade Pound Cake!) are crazy good, too. Also, their vegan flavors are amazing. Sometimes I even prefer them over the milk-based ones. 

Lick Honest Ice Creams

1905 Aldrich St #150, Austin TX 78723

512-502-5949 

4. Fresa’s Chicken Al Carbon

Fresa's Austin store front in downtown Austin
A pint of ice cream from Fresa's Chicken Al Carbon in Austin

This is some of the best ice cream in Austin and also the hardest sell…because it comes from a grilled chicken restaurant. Unconventional, I know, but it helps to know that Laura Sawicki, the award-winning pastry chef at Launderette, is the mastermind behind these incredible pints. 

Flavors rotate, but expect something amazing every time. A few of my favorites have been Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream with big swirls of meringue, Mexican Chocolate (spicy!), and Rice Krispy Treat Ice Cream. 

You can get it as dessert after your meal, or just go to the walk-up window and order a pint to take home. 

Flavors of ice cream at Fresa's in Austin

Fresa’s Chicken Al Carbon

1703 S First St, Austin TX 78704

512-992-9246

5. Amy’s ice Cream

3 scoops of Amy's Ice Cream in front of I Love You So Much mural
two ice cream cones in front of blue backdrop at Amy's Ice Cream in Austin

Amy’s Ice Creams is possibly the most famous ice cream in Austin. It was my first ice cream shop to try when I came to ATX for the first time. I was visiting a friend, and she took me there while we were walking near UT  campus, and I fell in love and moved to Austin!

Amy’s is sort of like Austin’s version of Cold Stone Creamery – you pick a flavor and some mix-ins, and they put it on a cold slab of marble and mix in all the candy. 

They have lots of fun flavors and mix-ins to try, but be sure to at least sample the Mexican Vanilla ice cream. It’s their best seller, and it tastes like cake batter!

Amy’s ice cream

3500 Guadalupe st, Austin TX 78705

512-886-5933

6. Nadamoo Scoop Shop (vegan)

Triple scoop of vegan ice cream in Austin

If you’re looking for the best 100% vegan ice cream shop in Austin, Austin company NadaMoo! wins. All of their ice cream is dairy-free and made with a coconut milk base. It’s Austin’s biggest vegan ice cream brand.

The South Lamar scoop shop dishes out their delicious ice cream in dairy-free cones. My favorite flavor is Birthday Cake Cookie Dough, which works really well with the coconut-milk base. They also have shakes and floats!

Ice cream cone at Nadamoo scoop shop in Austin

Nadamoo Scoop Shop

1701 S Lamar Blvd, Austin TX 78704

512-359-8441 

7. DipdipDip Ice Cream

ice cream cone at dipdipdip in Austin

WOW! This place wins as far as unique ice cream experiences go. DipDipDip’s “shabu-inspired” ice cream sandwiches and cones are full of the craziest ingredient like tamarind-soaked raisins, fried parsnips, and miso croutons. They’re pricey, but this makes a fun date night spot. Each cone is full of FIREWORKS of flavor, and somehow the mix of sweet + umami all works out. Super fun and unique ice cream experience and it easily won a spot on this best ice cream in Austin list.   [photo source]

DipDipDip Ice Cream

7301 Burnet Rd, St 101 Austin TX 78757

512-893-5561 

8. Dolce Bacio (Vegan Available)

Gelato cone at Dolce Bacio food truck in Austin
Triple scoop of ice cream at a food truck in Austin

If you want authentic Italian gelato in Austin, you must go check out the hidden truck in East Austin! It’s still relatively unknown to the tourists, but I have a feeling that’s going to change pretty soon because this stuff is LEGIT. 

A sweet Italian couple moved to Austin to start their business here, and all of the gelato and sorbet flavors are made from scratch daily with real, fresh ingredients. 

Here’s what totally wows me about this place: whether you’re ordering a milk-based gelato or a fruity vegan sorbet, the flavors are RICH! I mean, the pistachio ice cream legitimacy tastes like real pistachios (they don’t dilute it with almonds like most ice cream shops do), and the cantaloupe sorbet tastes like sweet, cold, juicy cantaloupe. 

Man holding a cannoli dessert

Dolce Bacio Gelato and Desserts

6900 Ranch Road, North 620, Austin, TX 78732

512-945-4542 

9. Sandy’s

chocolate dip cone at Sandy's frozen custard in south Austin

Go to Sandy’s Hamburgers if you want to experience a true Austin classic. (Psst: see 23 classic Austin restaurants here.) This little drive-thru burger, custard, and root beer stand has been in South Austin since the 1940s. 

Sandy’s frozen custard is one of my favorites places to get ice cream in Austin. I love getting a basic vanilla cone dipped in chocolate. It hardens instantly to make a crunchy chocolate shell around the cold vanilla custard and it’s perfect on a hot Texas day. Here’s a little tip: don’t attempt to eat the chocolate dipped custard in the car….you’ll just make a mess!

Sandy’s

603 Barton Springs Rd, Austin TX 78704

512-478-6322

10. Gati Vegan Ice Cream

vegan ice cream shop in Austin

For phenomenally smooth, creamy vegan ice cream in Austin, you have to try Gati on the east side. It’s an adorable bakery and ice cream shop that specializes in vegan treats, and the ice cream flavors are unreal! 

They have unique options like golden milk ice cream, beet chocolate cake, black sticky rice horchata, and so many more. They’re all so good! 

Gati

1512 Holly Street, Austin TX 78702

512-220-1077

11. Zed’s Real Fruit Ice Cream

Have you ever tried New Zealand fruit-blended ice cream? Zed’s recently opened in Austin and offers the most delectable made-to-order vanilla base mixed with real fruit like strawberry, mango, or cherry. 

Zed’s

1814 Harvey St, Austin, TX 78702

512-598-0245

12. Baked Bear

three ice cream and cookie sandwiches at The Baked Bear in Austin

Image from Baked Bear/facebook The Baked Bear has these big, decadent ice cream and cookie sandwiches. The concept is simple: pick a cookie, brownie, or donut for the top and bottom layer of the sandwich, and choose an ice crema flavor to go in between. Then select toppings like sprinkles, nuts, or chocolate chips. This is a great Austi nice cream shop for kids because the ice cream sandwiches are so bright and colorful! 

The Baked Bear

211 Walter Seaholm Drive Suite LR150, Austin, TX 78701

(512) 300-0167

13. Cold Cookie Company

purple milkshake with whipped cream at Cold Cookie Company ice cream truck in Austin

Do it for the ‘gram! Oh my goodness….the cookie sandwiches “Unshakes” at Cold Cookie Company are MASSIVE, so plan on splitting one with a friend unless you want to go into a sugar coma! 

The bright colors make this one of the most instagramable ice cream stops in Austin, but the ice cream/cookies are absolutely delicious, too!

Cold Cookie Co.

2512 Rio Grande St, Austin TX 78705

512-305-3771 

14. Luv Fats Ice Cream

Pint of Luv Fats ice cream in Austin Texas

Luv Fats Ice Cream is a small-batch creamery that celebrates healthy fats like avocado and coconut milk. It’s available every Sunday at the Mueller Farmers Market, and at Bee Grocery and Mozart’s Coffee. So while it’s a little harder to get (there’s no scoop shop), it’s well worth it for this insanely satisfying Austin ice cream brand. 

Luv Fats Ice Cream

4209 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78722

512-968-3774

15. Sweet Ritual (vegan)

Vegan ice cream cone with sprinkles at Sweet Ritual in Austin

Sweet Ritual is another fantastic vegan ice cream shop in Austin! (Gosh…we have a lot of dairy-free options in this town..) Most of their ice creams are coconut or nutmilk based, so they have an irresistibly creamy texture.

The toppings are vegan as well, and they offer gluten free cones. If you have any dietary restrictions, Sweet Ritual is definitely an Austin ice cream you need to try. [photo source]

Sweet Ritual

4631 Airport Blvd, Austin TX 78751

512-666-8346

16. Lou’s Bodega

frozen custard with sprinkles at Lou's Bodega in East Austin

Lou’s Bodega is a fun stop in east Austin; it’s a simple menu of custard + mix-ins. Start with the cold, sweet, soft vanilla custard, and select fun toppings like oreo rumble, brandy cherries, salted caramel sauce, or candied peanuts.

Lou’s has a really great outdoor patio space with turf and tables. It’s a fun ice cream spot to hang out at the end of a day exploring the east side of Austin. 

Lou’s Bodega

Street, Austin TX 78704

512-804-5568

17. The Yard Milkshake Bar

Three milkshakes from The Yard in Austin

{Photo from The Yard} Get your phones out, because The Yard Milkshake Bar in Austin has one of the most photo-worthy ice cream desserts in the city. These massive milkshakes are topped with scrumptious goodies like whole slices of cheesecake donuts, fudge drizzle, and so much more. (Go check out their menu – it’s overwhelming! ) This is one of my favorite places to stop for a treat at the Domain after a day of shopping (but be sure to check out the 20 best restaurants at the Domain.)

The Yard

3400 Esperanza Crossing, Austin, TX 78758

(512) 551-9542

Looking for more fun things to do in Austin? Here are 50+ Top Things To Do In Austin In The Summer, and the 20 Most Instagrammable Spots in Austin!

17 BEST Ice Cream Shops in Austin!
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Claudia
4 years ago

My mouth is watering girl…. I used to live by an Amy’s on 32nd st and went all the time. I don’t think I ever tried any of the others though. Pinning this to reference for next time!

– Claudia
http://www.justalittleblush.com/

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2 years ago

[…] Also see: 11 ice cream shops in Austin you should try this summer […]

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2 years ago

[…] Also see: 11 ice cream shops in Austin you should try this summer […]

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2 years ago

[…] Get a double (or triple!) scoop at some of the best ice cream shops in Austin. Here are 11 ice cream shops you should try in Austin. […]

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2 years ago

[…] Also see: The 11 Best Ice Cream Shops in Austin (With Vegan Options!) […]

Kelly
Kelly
2 years ago

Baked Bear needs to be on this list – a new fav!

Wilson Calhoun
Wilson Calhoun
4 months ago

Kudos for including Sandy’s. Serving Austin for decades with tasty soft serve. Best ice cream value in town, (even if it isn’t really ice cream).

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1 month ago

[…] ICE CREAM […]

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