Discovering the Sweet Spots: The 5 Best Ice Cream Shops in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, North Carolina, a city celebrated for its rich history, vibrant culture, and lush landscapes, is also home to a burgeoning culinary scene that caters to every taste and preference. Amidst the barbecue joints and craft breweries, a sweeter side of Charlotte emerges in the form of artisanal ice cream shops. These establishments are not just places to escape the Southern heat; they are cultural hubs where innovation meets tradition in every scoop. As we dive into the heart of summer, the quest for the perfect ice cream becomes more than a mere indulgence—it’s a journey through the flavors that define Charlotte’s community and spirit.

From the creamy classics to the avant-garde concoctions that challenge your palate, Charlotte’s ice cream parlors offer a diverse array of options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Whether you’re a local exploring your hometown or a traveler seeking the city’s hidden gems, these five ice cream shops are essential stops on your Charlotte itinerary. Each one tells a story, not just through their flavors but through the ambiance they create and the memories they help forge. So, let’s embark on a delicious journey through the Queen City, where every scoop is a testament to Charlotte’s sweet, vibrant essence.

1. The Local Scoop

The Local Scoop is more than just an ice cream shop; it’s a celebration of local flavors, craftsmanship, and community. Specializing in handcrafted ice cream made from locally sourced ingredients, The Local Scoop prides itself on creating not just desserts, but memories. With a warm, inviting atmosphere and a passion for innovation, this shop offers a unique ice cream experience that goes beyond the ordinary.

The Local Scoop emerges as a cherished destination for those seeking an extraordinary ice cream experience. Renowned for its artisanal approach and commitment to quality, The Local Scoop offers a delightful array of flavors that cater to every palate, making it a must-visit spot for locals and tourists alike. Here’s a closer look at what makes The Local Scoop a standout in Charlotte’s vibrant culinary scene.

Location:

5355 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28277 

Website:

https://www.thelocalscoopcharlotte.com/

Why It’s a Must-Visit:

Artisanal Excellence: Each scoop at The Local Scoop is a product of meticulous craftsmanship, combining traditional techniques with modern flavors. The shop’s dedication to using the freshest local ingredients ensures a rich, authentic taste that’s hard to find elsewhere.

A Flavor for Every Taste: Whether you’re a fan of classic ice cream flavors or adventurous enough to try something new, The Local Scoop has something for you. With an ever-changing menu that reflects the seasons and local produce availability, every visit promises a new delight.

Community Focus: The Local Scoop isn’t just about serving ice cream; it’s about serving the community. The shop frequently hosts events and collaborates with local businesses, fostering a sense of togetherness and making it a true community hub.

Signature Flavors to Try:

Strawberry Ice Cream: A revelation for those who thought they didn’t like strawberry ice cream. It’s a favorite among regulars, alongside the irresistible sea salt caramel.

Coffee Toffee: A visitor from South Africa describes it as “sublime”, this flavor is a must-try for anyone looking for a unique taste experience.

Honey Vanilla: This flavors come highly recommended for their rich and creamy goodness.

The Local Scoop in Charlotte, NC, is more than just an ice cream shop; it’s a testament to the power of community, creativity, and, of course, delicious ice cream. With its array of flavors, friendly atmosphere, and commitment to quality, it’s no wonder this spot has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

So, the next time you find yourself in Charlotte, make sure to stop by The Local Scoop. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic flavor or something a bit more adventurous, you’re sure to find something that will make your taste buds sing. After all, life is short, and there’s always room for ice cream.

2. Golden Cow Creamery

Golden Cow Creamery stands as Charlotte’s iconic family-owned ice cream shop, known for its commitment to quality, creativity, and community. With a mission that emphasizes philanthropy and inclusion, Golden Cow goes beyond serving ice cream; it serves joy. Each batch is scratch-made in Charlotte, using only the finest ingredients, ensuring that every scoop is as fresh, unique, and delightful as possible.

Golden Cow Creamery has swiftly risen to become a cornerstone of Charlotte’s dessert scene. Started with a humble 2-quart ice cream maker and a dream, Golden Cow now delights the city from three locations, embodying the spirit of family-owned excellence. Here’s a deep dive into why Golden Cow Creamery is not just an ice cream shop but a beacon of community, creativity, and indulgence.

Location:

720 Governor Morrison St. Charlotte, NC 28210

Website:

https://www.goldencowcreamery.com/

Why Visit Golden Cow Creamery?

Artisanal Quality: Golden Cow Creamery is stubborn about quality. Rejecting flavor bases, syrups, or commercial mixes, the creamery opts for a painstaking three-day production process. This dedication results in the smoothest, tastiest ice cream imaginable, crafted with truly unique recipes developed over thousands of hours.

Innovative Flavors: With 14 flavors available at any time — 6 standards and 8 rotating, including a vegan option — Golden Cow ensures variety and freshness. The rotating flavors change constantly, even throughout the day, promising a new experience with every visit.

Community and Mission: Beyond the ice cream, Golden Cow Creamery is about making people happy, providing opportunities for staff, fostering community building, and giving back to the beloved city of Charlotte. It’s a place where every lick of ice cream is filled with heart and soul.

Signature Flavors to Try:

While the flavors at Golden Cow Creamery are always rotating, ensuring there’s something new to try, the creamery does feature standard favorites that have become a staple:

Classic Favorites: Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry — perfected with Golden Cow’s artisanal touch.

Innovative Rotations: Flavors change regularly, but look out for unique offerings like Lavender Honey, Salted Caramel, and inventive vegan options that push the boundaries of traditional ice cream.

Golden Cow Creamery is more than just an ice cream shop; it’s a testament to the power of dreams, dedication, and the pursuit of happiness through quality and creativity. Whether you’re a Charlotte local or just passing through, a visit to Golden Cow offers not just a taste of the city’s best ice cream but also a warm embrace from the community it cherishes. In every scoop, you’ll find a blend of innovation, tradition, and a whole lot of love — making Golden Cow Creamery a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a sweet treat in Charlotte.

3. Ninety’s Sandwiches & Ice CRM

Ninety’s Sandwiches & Ice CRM is not just another eatery; it’s a place where the art of sandwich making meets the craft of ice cream creation. The concept is simple yet revolutionary: provide guests with the ultimate comfort food experience by combining the savory goodness of sandwiches with the sweet bliss of ice cream. This innovative approach has made Ninety’s a standout spot in Charlotte’s bustling culinary scene.

Location:

9009 J M Keynes Dr Ste 4, Charlotte, NC 28262-8476, USA

Why Visit Ninety’s?

A Unique Culinary Experience: Ninety’s offers a dining experience that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. The combination of savory sandwiches and sweet ice cream caters to all tastes and preferences, making it a perfect spot for meals at any time of the day.

Quality Ingredients, Inventive Flavors: Ninety’s prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients for both its sandwiches and ice creams. The menu features a range of inventive flavors and combinations that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

A Welcoming Atmosphere: The ambiance at Ninety’s is designed to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable, whether you’re grabbing a quick lunch or enjoying a leisurely dessert. The friendly staff and cozy setting make it an ideal spot for family outings, dates, or catching up with friends.

Signature Flavors to Try:

Although Ninety’s Sandwiches & Ice CRM frequently updates its menu, several standout ice cream flavors have particularly endeared themselves to customers. These are the flavors you must try:

The Classic Club & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: A perfect pairing of a traditional club sandwich with a scoop of rich vanilla bean ice cream. It’s a classic combination that never fails to satisfy.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich & Mango Sorbet: For those who like a bit of heat, the spicy chicken sandwich paired with a refreshing mango sorbet offers a delightful contrast of flavors.

BBQ Pulled Pork & Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream: A hearty BBQ pulled pork sandwich accompanied by a scoop of bourbon pecan ice cream provides a sweet and savory experience that’s uniquely satisfying.

Ninety’s Sandwiches & Ice CRM is more than just a place to eat; it’s a destination that offers a unique blend of flavors, high-quality ingredients, and a welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re in the mood for a savory meal or a sweet treat, Ninety’s has something for everyone. So next time you’re in Charlotte, NC, be sure to stop by Ninety’s for an unforgettable culinary adventure that will keep you coming back for more.

4. two Scoops Creamery Plaza Midwood

Two Scoops Creamery is more than just an ice cream shop; it’s a destination where passion for ice cream and community come together. Offering a wide array of handmade, artisanal ice cream flavors, Two Scoops has established itself as a key player in Charlotte’s culinary scene. The shop’s inviting atmosphere and friendly staff make it the perfect place to enjoy a sweet treat any day of the week.

Two Scoops Creamery has emerged as a beacon of joy and creativity for ice cream enthusiasts in Charlotte, NC. This locally owned and operated ice cream shop has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors alike, thanks to its commitment to quality, community, and innovation. Here’s why Two Scoops Creamery Plaza Midwood is a must-visit for anyone looking for an exceptional ice cream experience.

Location:
913 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204, USA

Website:

https://twoscoopscreamery.com/

Why Visit Two Scoops Creamery?

Artisanal Quality: Every scoop at Two Scoops Creamery is crafted with care, using only the finest ingredients. The shop takes pride in its artisanal approach, ensuring that each flavor is rich, creamy, and full of character.

A Flavor for Every Palate: Whether you’re a fan of classic flavors or looking to try something new and adventurous, Two Scoops Creamery has you covered. The shop’s ever-changing menu features a mix of traditional favorites and innovative creations, all designed to delight your taste buds.

Community-Centric Vibes: Two Scoops Creamery isn’t just about ice cream; it’s about bringing people together. The shop’s location in Plaza Midwood, a neighborhood known for its eclectic charm and vibrant community, makes it the perfect spot to meet friends, enjoy family outings, or simply soak in the local culture.

Signature Flavors to Try:

While the menu at Two Scoops Creamery Plaza Midwood is always evolving, there are a few signature flavors that have captured the hearts of many:

Queen City Crunch: A tribute to Charlotte itself, this flavor combines rich vanilla ice cream with a mix of chocolate-covered pretzels, peanuts, and a caramel swirl.

Blueberry Lavender: For those who enjoy floral notes, this refreshing blend of blueberry ice cream with a hint of lavender is a must-try.

Salted Caramel Brownie: A decadent choice for chocolate lovers, featuring creamy salted caramel ice cream with chunks of fudgy brownie.

Two Scoops Creamery Plaza Midwood is more than just an ice cream shop; it’s a celebration of flavor, quality, and community. With its wide range of artisanal ice creams, welcoming atmosphere, and commitment to bringing people together, it’s no wonder why Two Scoops has become a beloved destination in Charlotte. Whether you’re a local resident or just passing through, a visit to Two Scoops Creamery is sure to be a highlight of your Charlotte experience.

5. Seemingly Overzealous

Seemingly Overzealous stands out as a pioneering ice cream shop (technically serving frozen desserts) that specializes in 100% egg and dairy-free options. With a commitment to inclusivity, Garrett and Jess have created a menu that caters to those with food allergies, ensuring that their handcrafted flavors are accessible to all. From their egg, dairy, and gluten-free waffle chips and cones to their meticulous allergen labeling, Seemingly Overzealous is a haven for dessert lovers seeking guilt-free indulgence.

Seemingly Overzealous is redefining the frozen dessert scene with its innovative approach to dairy-free treats. Owned and operated by partners Garrett and Jess, this local gem is dedicated to crafting delicious, allergy-friendly options that everyone can enjoy. Here’s a closer look at why Seemingly Overzealous is a must-visit for anyone seeking a delightful twist on traditional ice cream.

Location:
Camp North End 701 Keswick Ave, Suite 102, Charlotte NC 28206

Website:

https://seeminglyoverzealous.com/

Why Visit Seemingly Overzealous?

Allergy-Friendly Delights: Embracing a philosophy of openness and accommodation, Seemingly Overzealous offers a menu designed with food allergies in mind, making it a safe space for those with dietary restrictions to enjoy a sweet treat without worry.

Handcrafted with Love: Each flavor is handmade by Garrett and Jess, infusing every scoop with personal care and attention to detail. This hands-on approach ensures the highest quality and taste in every batch.

Community and Mobility: Not confined to their Keswick Ave location, Seemingly Overzealous also brings their delightful offerings to various locations around Charlotte in their charming Shasta camper. Follow them on Instagram or check their events page to catch them on the go.

Signature Flavors to Try:

8 MiLE RADiUS: A standout flavor that combines the rich taste of salted caramel with the satisfying crunch of dark chocolate-covered waffle cone pieces, offering a perfect balance of sweet and salty.

Seemingly Overzealous is more than just an ice cream shop; it’s a testament to the power of creativity, inclusivity, and passion in the culinary world. Garrett and Jess have created a space where everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions, can come together to enjoy the simple pleasure of a frozen dessert. Whether you’re a long-time fan of dairy-free treats or curious to explore new tastes, Seemingly Overzealous in Charlotte, NC, promises an experience that’s as satisfying as it is inclusive. Don’t miss the chance to support this local business and indulge in some of the best dairy-free desserts the city has to offer.

Charlotte’s ice cream scene is as diverse and inviting as the city itself. Each of these five shops offers something special, making them must-visit destinations for anyone looking to enjoy a scoop of the finest ice cream Charlotte has to offer. Whether you’re in the mood for something uniquely Southern or a flavor that pushes the boundaries of traditional ice cream, Charlotte’s best ice cream shops are sure to delight and surprise you. So, next time you’re in the Queen City, be sure to stop by one (or all) of these spots for a tasty treat that will keep you cool all summer long.

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