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Scoop, There It Is: Durham's Best Ice Cream Shops

Beat the summer heat with one of these cool and creamy treats.

When it's hot outside, the answer is always ice cream. With flavors like Tuscan melon white nectarine and strawberry black sesame brittle on gingersnaps, Durham's ice cream flavors crush the competition.

If you're craving a cold, sweet treat on your visit, or if you're on a mission to try every unique flavor in the Bull City for bragging rights, here's the inside scoop on all our unique, destination-worthy shops where ice cream comes in an array of flavors, textures, and vessels. Enjoy this sweet guide to all things creamy with a little sprinkle and crunch.

La Monarca Michoacana

Mango tango, pina colada mimada, coco bongo ... we’ve got your attention now, right? La Monarca has the flavors. Now, you get to decide whether you want to enjoy them in a cone or in a cup.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Splendid, indeed. Jeni's is a recent addition to Durham's ice cream scene, nestled in the Brightleaf District between Goorsha and Gojo. Relax with a cone on the patio, sampling flavors like the signature brown butter almond brittle, wildberry lavender, and brambleberry crisp. Touting the "milkiest chocolate in all the world", Jeni's makes for a fine destination on National Chocolate Ice Cream Day in June.


Everyone and their dog is going loco for Locopops! To indulge in some ice cream on a stick, try the Mexican chocolate pop blended with semi-sweet chocolate, rich cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. For those looking for vegan options, there are vibrant flavors like cherry lime, pomegranate ginger, and passionfruit margarita. Don’t forget a pup pop for your four-legged friend.

The Parlour

Fans of The Parlour know their staples (cookies n’ cream, salted caramel, Vietnamese coffee, etc.) very well, but their limited and seasonal flavors are always unique and delicious. It's blueberry lemon season now, so nab a creamy peach and mascarpone scoop before it’s going ... going ... gone. Vegans rejoice, there are typically at least two to three flavors that are dairy-free and still remarkably delicious.

Pincho Loco Ice Cream

You may love sprinkles as an ice cream topping and a waffle cone as an ice cream holder, but have you ever had a homemade sprinkles waffle cone? Mind blown. Stop by Pincho Loco for a delicious rainbow-colored cone filled with all kinds of yumminess. Try the native Latino flavors on the menu: tequila, Tiger Tail (vanilla, Mexican vanilla, and chocolate), guava, tamarind, and more.

Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets

The only thing better than a scoop of ice cream is a scoop of ice cream between two cookies! Rose’s takes the ice cream sandwich to a whole new level. If your tastebuds are craving something complex, try the strawberry black sesame brittle on gingersnaps.

Salt N Cocoa

This casual, modern spot for trendy Thai-style rolled ice cream is an ideal stop for a treat in South Durham. They serve organic coffee, soft serve ice cream, and Asian treats like made-to-order taiyaki: fish-shaped waffles with your choice of filling like red bean, custard, or Nutella.

Scoop Local

This classic ice cream stand situated in the heart of Brightleaf District gives quintessential summer vibes without the artificial flavors. Every flavor is made fresh on premises using a classic French pot-style technique. Follow the Instagram account for daily menu changes, and hustle over if you see something you like – the specials never last long!

Simon Says Dip This

With 24 different Belgian chocolate-dipped flavors and tons of toppings including cotton candy, the flavor combination possibilities at Simon Says Dip This are endless. You can go classic cookies n' cream. Or for a pairing of your salty-sweet dreams, try the butterscotch dip with potato chip toppings.

Two Roosters Ice Cream

If you’re looking to cool off in a wide-open space with a scoop of ice cream, head to Two Roosters at Golden Belt and check out the specialty flavors. Try the custom lemony concoction recommended by a fan of Two Roosters: lemon ice cream with lemon curd and yellow sprinkles. With locations in Raleigh and Durham, Two Roosters has been named the best ice cream in the state by Food & Wine magazine.