Food and Drink

The 11 Best Ice Cream Shops in Dallas

Reese's Witha-Spoon, anyone?

MELT Ice Creams Magnolia
MELT Ice Creams Magnolia
MELT Ice Creams Magnolia

Devouring a giant scoop of ice cream on a hot Texas day is like doing a cannonball into a pool-but for your insides. Few things are as immediately refreshing and smile-inducing as sugar mixed with cream (or coconut milk and other non-dairy options catering the growing plant-based crowd) and topped with just about any kind of candy or sweet sauces you can imagine. Whether you’re looking for nostalgic nibbles or new-and-noteworthy licks, we’ve got the scoop right here. (Hey, just because Father’s Day’s over doesn’t mean dad jokes cease to exist.)

Botolino Gelato Artigianale
Botolino Gelato Artigianale
Botolino Gelato Artigianale

Botolino Gelato Artigianale

Lowest Greenville & North Dallas
Trained by gelato masters in Italy, Carlo “Botolo” Gattini’s masterful touch brings deeply rooted traditions to every small batch of decadent bliss. Each ingredient must be perfect to make it into one of his creations, whether that means procuring items from local Texas farms or flying something in from across the world. You won’t find any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives here (which is why his pistachio isn’t neon green, for instance). Top choices include berries and lavender, mascarpone and figs, and white coffee (now that’s some wizardry). Consider taking home a cake, as they’re among the most gorgeous anywhere in the world.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating and specially packaged take-out.

MELT Ice Creams Magnolia
MELT Ice Creams Magnolia
MELT Ice Creams Magnolia

MELT Ice Creams

Fort Worth & Bishop Arts District
The hardest decision you’ll have to make once inside MELT is whether to indulge in an Always Flavor or a Sometimes Flavor. (Our recommendation? Never let a “sometime” pass you by, especially if it’s of the pineapple upside-down cake, peanut butter explosion, or coconut sorbet variety). They build sundaes with three scoops, so come hungry, or mark your calendar for Taco Tuesday (also known as Two-Napkin Tuesday) when any two flavors arrive sandwiched in a crispy cone shell and finished with salted caramel and chocolate sauces. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out and delivery online, or get nationwide shipping via Goldbelly.

Sweet Daze Dessert Bar
Sweet Daze Dessert Bar
Sweet Daze Dessert Bar

Sweet Daze Dessert Bar

Richardson
Make sure you’ve got your camera ready, because you’ll definitely want to snap a photo of your colorful Sweet Daze masterpiece before it melts. Soft serve comes in inventive options such as black velvet and cinnamon toast crunch that’s somehow green, while scoops can be procured in flavors like Fruity Pebbles and cookie butter. Bring your ID if you want a boozy dip like birthday cake martini or mango margarita, and consider pairing your icy treats with designer donuts, daily cake slices, cereal pops, and dessert bars.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Devious Desserts & Creamery, LLC
Devious Desserts & Creamery, LLC
Devious Desserts & Creamery, LLC

Devious Desserts & A La Mode Bake Shop

Carrollton
Everything, and we do mean everything, is made from scratch in chef Meriel Young’s pastry kitchen and as you’ve probably guessed by the name, they’re all deviously decadent. Standard flavors include salted chocolate, cafe Cubano, Vietnamese cinnamon, and ube (Japanese purple yam), as well as specials such as Lakewood Temptress Imperial Stout ice cream, plopped into a fresh waffle bowl and smothered in salty bacon and bourbon caramel sauce. Create your own devilish concoction by pairing ice cream flavors with toppings ranging from “boujee” chocolate chip and old-timey molasses cookies to roasted sweet potato pie and hummingbird cake. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out online, or get delivery via DoorDash.

Cow Tipping Creamery - Fort Worth
Cow Tipping Creamery – Fort Worth
Cow Tipping Creamery – Fort Worth

Cow Tipping Creamery

Frisco & Fort Worth
It’s all about soft serve at this Austin-born ice cream shop. 32 unique toppings and sauces (most of which are homemade) let customers showcase their culinary creativity with multi-layered sundae stackers spanning options that include brown butter Ritz cracker crumbs and peanut butter blondie bar chunks. Clever names abound for predetermined creations, too. (Reese’s Witha-Spoon, anyone?) Chocolate and vanilla ice cream are always available, but a weekly special allows the makers to go crazy with combos like Fruity Pebbles, roasted banana, and Dr Pepper.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Sweet Firefly

Richardson
We imagine it’s tough to work around ice cream day in and day out without always looking for the positive, and you’ll find plenty of silver linings in the freezer case here. Order from the walk-up window or head inside to try one of their all-time favorite handcrafted flavors (banana pudding, coffee toffee, Beltline Berry, vegan chocolate Oreo) by the scoop, pint, ice cream sandwich, or a party-size ice cream cake.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating and counter service.

Pokey O’s

University Park
They may not make their own ice cream here, but Texas favorite Bluebell somehow tastes better when sandwiched between two freshly baked cookies (coconut chocolate chip, maple pecan, and fudge nut brownie top the lineup). You can also choose from more than a dozen toppings, including Fruit Loops, Oreos, and butter brickle, to be rolled in or sandwiched between two completely different cookies, or, better yet, stuffed into an ice cream taco for a little sweeter-than-usual Tex-Mex fun.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out online, or get delivery via Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub.

Henry's Homemade Ice Cream
Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream
Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream

Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream

Plano
Even if you’ve never been to his Plano storefront, chances are you’ve had Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream before-that’s because this go-to brand can be found topping the dessert menus of numerous local restaurants. It’s definitely worth a trip to the actual shop, however, where the scoops are massive and the flavors range from plain ol’ vanilla to mind-blowing mixes like Hog Wild (cinnamon ice cream loaded with caramel and, wait for it, bacon). By the cone, cup, sundae, or shake, Henry’s ice cream is bound to leave a smile-and possibly some stray rainbow sprinkles-all over your face.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Howdy Homemade
Howdy Homemade
Howdy Homemade

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream

University Park & North Dallas
Before we even get into the frosty goods, let’s tip our paper soda-jerk hats to this feel-good ice cream joint because they provide employment to people with special needs. With about three dozen (and counting) flavors in their frozen arsenal, Howdy Homemade can scratch your ice cream itch with out-of-this-world options such as Dr Pepper chocolate chip, cold brew, cinnamon roll, avocado, Hot Tamales, and Chocolate As All Get Out. And if you have a special occasion coming up, a custom cake with endless flavor combos is the way to go.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Milk • Cream
Milk • Cream
Milk • Cream

Milk • Cream

Lowest Greenville
Their milk-and-cream buns bring all the boys to the yard. And the girls. Everyone, really. A donut-like bun stuffed full of ice cream is their signature offering, available in glazed or plain. Order yours as-is or mix things up by adding toppings like cookies, cereal, and nuts. The simple menu also offers ice cream by the scoop in a cup or waffle cone, with or without toppings-but, who are we kidding, you’re here for the buns.
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Baldo's Ice Cream
Baldo’s Ice Cream
Baldo’s Ice Cream

Baldo’s Ice Cream & Coffee

University Park
This elegant shop across from SMU does two things really well (spoiler alert: they’re both in the shop’s name). Ice cream comes in vintage flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and mint chip alongside more inventive additions like honey rose, coffee toffee, and vegan/dairy-free prickly pear. Pair a scoop with a latte, traditional macchiato, or French press and get a double buzz from sugar and caffeine-not a bad way to jumpstart the day.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

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Steven Lindsey is a contributor for Thrillist.

Food and Drink

The Best Ways to Dress Up Your Summer Beers

From micheladas to shandies to fruit infusions, the power is in your hands-and kitchen.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Today, just about any flavored beer a person could dream up already exists in a can, from micheladas to shandies to, yes, pickle beers. But there’s still much to be said for the DIY versions of these dressed-up beers.

For one, they’re fresher (you could squeeze your own lemonade for a shandy right this instant). For another, they’re customizable: spiciness, fruit choice, how strong you’d like the final drink to be-all those are in your hands. And perhaps more importantly, they’re fun. Whether you want to spend two minutes constructing a beer-lemonade shandy or spend an hour infusing your IPA with real chunks of pineapple, there are plenty of ways to get creative in gussying up your beer this summer.

Embrace red beer

A brunch staple across the western half of the U.S., “red beer” is essentially a stripped-down michelada: just your preferred light lager of choice, plus tomato juice. But the devil’s in the details-folks can get mighty particular about their red beer specifications.

My preference is Coors Light with just a splash of Campbell’s tomato juice. It’s a pet peeve of mine when bartenders go too heavy on the tomato juice; it’s called red beer after all, not tomato juice. To make this yourself, start with your light lager of choice, then add just a splash of tomato juice so that the beer has a strong orange hue. Sip, taste, and add more if necessary.

Upgrade your salt rim

Another component of some micheladas, salt rims are more versatile than they might seem-and they complement several styles of beer. Just coat the rim of a beer glass with lime juice or water, then dunk the glass in a shallow dish of salt. Try the following combos:

• Mexican lager with a Tajin rim: Try substituting Tajin seasoning for straight salt for a bit of a chilli-lime kick. Pair this with a red beer for a michelada-like vibe.
• Gose with a herbal-salt rim: Goses are a beer style with a light salinity already, so pouring them in a glass rimmed with a rosemary salt or basil salt can add an additional flavour that doesn’t clash. Try mixing and matching fruited goses with herbal salts-how about a watermelon gose with a basil-salt rim?
• Dark lager with a smoked salt rim: Smoked salt is a surprisingly versatile ingredient because it’s way less powerful than liquid smoke. Try a dark lager (like Modelo Negro or a bock) in a glass rimmed with smoked salt for a subtle campfire vibe.

Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/iStock/Getty Images
Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/iStock/Getty Images
Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/iStock/Getty Images

No shame in a shandy

Radlers and shandies are often used interchangeably to refer to a light-coloured beer blended with fruit juice (typically lemonade or grapefruit). Packaged versions exist, but with so many fruit-flavoured non-alcoholic beverages on the market, it’s worth playing around with some creative combos in your own kitchen. A good rule of thumb is to start light with the base beer, either a pale lager, cream ale, blonde ale, or (if you’re really a hop head) a pale ale. From there, most people blend in a splash of their favourite juice.

But here’s my preference: Use a fruit-flavoured soda. I find that adding straight fruit juice to beer often makes it too sweet and a bit flat. A high-quality fruit-flavoured soda, like the ones from Sanpellegrino, adds carbonation and fruit flavour with too much sweetness. Also, go easy on the ratio of soda to beer to start, because you can always add more soda. I find a ratio of about one part soda to three parts beer is ideal.

Infuse your beer with fruit

Your French press isn’t only for coffee-it can also act as a device for infusing fruit or other flavours into beer. If you end up with a bumper crop of strawberries or melons from the farmer’s market, this is a great way to use them.

1. Start with a new or perfectly clean French press to avoid coffee flavour leaching into your beer (unless that’s what you’re after).
2. Pour in your beer of choice. Almost any style could work here: light lagers, blonde ales, saisons, IPAs, even porters and stouts. Pour the beer into the French press, leaving a couple inches empty at the top.
3. Add some cut-up fruit. The possibilities are limitless: porter and raspberry, IPA and pineapple, blonde ale and mango, wheat beer and oranges, saison and cherries…
4. Allow the fruit to infuse. How long to leave the beer in contact with the fruit is up to you, knowing that the longer the mixture sits, the more pronounced the flavours will be. Start with 10 minutes, push the plunger down slightly, pour and taste some of the beer, and wait longer for a more intense flavour.
5. Push the plunger down all the way. Pour your infused beer into a glass and enjoy!

Make a mighty michelada shrub

Micheladas are typically a mixture of Mexican lager, lime juice, tomato juice, and salt. But recently, premixed michelada shrubs (like those from Pacific Pickle Works and Real de Oaxaca) have popped up, adding some vinegar tartness and other ingredients like Worcestershire sauce and spices to the mix.

A shrub combines vinegar with fruit or, sometimes, vegetables, and they’re easy to experiment with at home. Michael Dietsch, author of Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times, suggests that if you’re creating a shrub to mix with beer and tomatoes, beginning with a base of apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar (to match the malt in beer) plus lime is a smart start. From there, savoury additions like soy sauce will lend a Bloody Mary feel-just be sure to use a light hand with those umami-packed additions. Because vinegar and soy or Worcestershire sauce are tangy and savoury, Dietsch notes that you may want to add just a pinch of sugar to your shrub for balance.

From there, the sky’s the limit. Swap apple cider for white balsamic if you’re feeling bold, or add orange juice as well as lime. But regardless of what ingredients you use, Dietsch says it’s important to let a shrub sit and mellow for a couple days before using it. That time will let the intensity of the vinegar mellow and will ensure all the flavours meld together in perfect harmony. Once the shrub has sat a few days, give it a taste, then add a few splashes of it to your favourite Mexican lager.

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Kate Bernot is a certified BJCP judge and freelance reporter whose work regularly appears in Craft Beer & Brewing, Thrillist, and Good Beer Hunting. Follow her at @kbernot.

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