1. Salt & Straw — Portland, Ore.
Why we're screaming: BERRIES, BERRIES, BERRIES. Oregon is known for its berries, so be sure to try one of the joint's limited edition flavors that showcases the fruit: strawberry with cilantro lime cheesecake or goat cheese marionberry habanero, perhaps? If you're not in the mood for fruit, don't be sad. Delightful flavors like coffee & bourbon or freckled woodblock chocolate await!
2. The Comfy Cow — Louisville, Ky.
Why we're screaming: Where do we even begin? Maybe with the mouth-watering signature flavors, like Bourbon Ball, which features candy treats in a bourbon-infused ice cream? Or maybe with the INSANE ice cream pies? You can't go wrong either way. Bonus: The Comfy Cow has an Indiana location in addition to its four Louisville storefronts.
3. Island Creamery — Chincoteague Island, Va.
Why we're screaming: Island Creamery has been churning up frozen goodies for nearly 40 years. If you're feeling adventurous, try one of their many eclectic flavors, like Iced Nirvana (espresso ice cream with fudge swirl and chocolate chips) or Java Jolt (strong coffee ice cream with chocolate-covered espresso beans and brownies pieces). Oh, and for bragging rights, you can say you ate at the top-rated ice cream shop in the United States on TripAdvisor!
4. Giolitti — Rome
Why we're screaming: Yes, we know gelato and ice cream are different things. But guess what? Wandering the streets of Rome will leave you HUNGRY so we don't care! Giolitti has been serving up ice cream for more than a century, and with good reason. The classy gelateria has pleased customers like the Obamas, it used to deliver to Pope John Paul II (his favorite flavor was the marron glace), and Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn visited the shop in Roman Holiday. So save some space for dessert and be sure to try the Nutella flavor.
5. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams — Columbus, Ohio
Why we're screaming: Jeni's has "scoop shops" across the United States, but for the true ice cream aficionado, make a stop at the company's original Columbus location. There you will find classics like salted caramel and constantly updated limited-edition and seasonal flavors like roasted strawberry buttermilk.
6. Churn — Phoenix
Why we're screaming: Churn just *MIGHT* be the best way to beat the Arizona heat. The ice cream parlor makes all their frozen goods on site with no preservatives, so you know you're getting the good stuff. Churn has the standard vanilla and chocolate, and also more innovative flavors like blackberry buttermilk and peanut butter & jelly. PLUS, you might want to give one of their floats or lil' freezies a try!
7. Berthillon — Paris
Why we're screaming: A Parisian institution since 1954, Berthillon proves ice cream isn't just an American treat. Known for its seasonal and creative flavors (wild strawberry! caramel au gigembre!), the original Berthillon is located near Notre Dame. And go ahead, get a second scoop! You can work it off by taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower.
8. Blue Marble Ice Cream — Brooklyn
Why we're screaming: Hipsters (and other Brooklyn residents) rejoice! Blue Marble produces its ice cream from organic dairy and has been featured by Oprah, Martha Stewart, and New York magazine. The shop produces innovative flavors like burnt sugar and honey peanut butter.
9. Gelato Messina — Australia
Why we're screaming: In the Land Down Under, there's one way to satisfy your sweet tooth: a visit to one of Gelato Messina's locations. There you will find next-level flavors like poached figs in marsala, tiramisu, and salted caramel and white chocolate (their biggest seller). The sweet shop also makes gelato cakes for when you are celebrating that special occasion.
10. Milk — Los Angeles
Why we're screaming: There's a reason the line is always out the door. Whether it is one of the shop's delectable macaron ice cream sandwiches (definitely try the red velvet), a thick milkshake, or even a simple scoop, Milk has exactly what you need to beat the SoCal heat.
11. Bi-Rite Ice Cream — San Francisco
Why we're screaming: Don't make the bi-wrong decision, so DO stop by Bi-Rite when you are in San Fran! The joint features flavors only a mad scientist could cook up, like brown sugar with ginger caramel swirl and balsamic strawberry. If you're feeling particularly hungry, indulge in one of their ice cream cakes, pies, or sandwiches, like the s'more ice cream pie!
12. Amy's Ice Cream — Austin
Why we're screaming: Amy's has locations in San Antonio and Houston in addition to Austin, where you'll find seven standard flavors like Mexican vanilla and Belgian chocolate, plus rotating tastes like chipotle and avocado (INTERESTING). So why not live up to the adage "Everything is bigger in Texas" and go for more than just one scoop!
13. Honey Hut Ice Cream — Cleveland
Why we're screaming: Cleveland isn't just for LeBron fanatics and disappointed football fans. Ice cream connoisseurs are in for a treat at Honey Hut (there is also a spot in nearby Brecksville). Inside, expect to find classics like cookies n' cream and mint chocolate chip, along with surprises like honey pecan and orange blossom.
14. Portillo's — Chicago
Why we're screaming: Come for the hot dogs (that's what Portillo's is probably best-known for) but DO stay for dessert. While Portillo's has restaurants all across the country, it's a Chicago institution. Be sure to order the chocolate cake shake, a chocolate shake with cake pieces blended in. YUM.
15. Carnival Barker's — Dallas
Why we're screaming: What should you expect from the ice cream shop whose website is "damngoodicecream.com"? How about CRAZY flavors like Nutella vodka, Fat Elvis (peanut butter and banana with candied bacon and honey), and the aptly-named "Munchies" (sweet peanut butter with chocolate covered potato chips). If your stomach is Texas-sized, indulge in the Rice Krispie Treat ice cream sandwich! And be sure to get there early, because once the ice cream is out for the day, Carnival Barker's closes shop!
16. OwowCow Creamery — Ottsville, Penn.
Why we're screaming: OwowCow features three locations in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey area, where you can pick up the most delightful of frozen treats. There, you will find classic flavors like maple walnut, black raspberry, and pistachio made with local ingredients in small batches. Sounds tasty!
17. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory — New York
Why we're screaming: Describing itself as ice cream "with an exotic Chinese twist," the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory serves up sweet flavors like mango and pineapple, favorites like black sesame, and lives up to the "exotic" name with tastes like Sriracha ice cream!
18. The Bent Spoon — Princeton, N.J.
Why we're screaming: Princeton students are spoiled at The Bent Spoon, which even offers sweet treats for study groups and residence halls. While you are here, enjoy spunky flavors like sea salt caramel and beer-infused dark chocolate. So why not play an Ivy Leaguer for a day, and enjoy a scoop in the process.
19. Diddy Riese — Westwood, Calif.
Why we're screaming: Located near UCLA's campus, Diddy Riese serves up their signature ice cream sandwiches to hungry customers. You can mix and match ice cream flavors with your choice of cookie, which are baked FRESH every day!
20. Coolhaus — Culver City, Calif.
Why we're screaming: SoCal isn't just about kale and juice cleanses. You can indulge your sweet tooth here, and to do so, look no further than the ice cream sandwiches of Coolhaus. With scrumptious cookies like potato chip & butterscotch or chocolate chunk pretzel hugging frozen flavors like brown candied bacon or blueberry sweet corn, everyone will find something to try and enjoy at the sweet shop. As an added bonus, you can find Coolhaus trucks in L.A., Austin, Dallas, and the Big Apple!
21. Gannon's — Syracuse, N.Y.
Why we're screaming: Yes, Syracuse is cold AF during the winter. But Orange students and locals alike get to enjoy Gannon's during the warmer months, and you should too. Gannon's has EVERYTHING on the menu: soft serve, scooped ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, and more. You'll definitely want to try their scooped ice cream, which is homemade, and features flavors like caramel cashew and chocolate bavarian torte. And for the Orange fans out there, be sure to try Cuse Trax, a vanilla-based ice cream with fudge swirl and mini PB cups.
22. CREAM — Berkeley, Calif.
Why we're screaming: CREAM stands for "Cookies Rule Everything Around Me" and you will want to submit to their reign too. CREAM has several locations in Northern California, but you will want to pay a visit to their Berkeley location. You'll find mouth-watering ice cream flavors like cinnamon chill and royal caramel swirl, along with cookies like butter sugar and turtle. And yes, CREAM has their own ice cream and cookie recipes. When it comes to sweets, NorCal DOESN'T mess around.
23. J.P. Lick's — Boston
Why we're screaming: Boston is an ice cream town through and through (it lays claim to the highest ice-cream consumption in the U.S.), so if you're in town, be sure to grab a scoop — and if you're serious about your sugary treats, you will head to J.P. Lick's. The scoop shop has several locations in the Boston area where you will find monthly flavors like fresh mojito sorbet and root beer float, and monthly sundaes like their peach sundae. They even have dairy-free options like pineapple ice cream made with coconut and pistachio ice cream made with hemp milk. Sounds tasty!
24. Golden Reef Diner — Rockville Centre, New York
25. Bubbies — Honolulu
26. Gelateria Del Teatro — Rome
Why we're screaming: Gelateria Del Teatro is not easy to find, but if you're down for an adventure, it's well worth the effort. Once you locate the hidden sweet spot, you'll find insane artisanal flavors like cioccolato fondente (that's 80% dark chocolate!!!) and ricotta fico e mandorle (ricotta with fig and almonds). And if it is available — and you're in the mood for a boozy treat — be sure to order the dark chocolate with red wine!
27. Big Gay Ice Cream — New York City
Why we're screaming: With spots in L.A. and Philly in addition to their two New York City locations, sweet tooths across the country can satisfy their cravings at Big Gay Ice Cream. Perhaps the best part is the store gives all of their treats sassy names — from the Salty Pimp (vanilla soft serve, chocolate shell, sea salt, dulce de leche) to the Bea Arthur (vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, crushed vanilla wafer coating).
Have your own to-die-for ice cream shop? Be sure to add it in the comments below!
In the sweetest of mistakes, the second photo for Salt & Straw actually was of Joan's in L.A., which featured marketing for a Salt & Straw opening in the city later this year.