Eat & Drink

10 Charlotte Ice Cream Shops

Charlotte ice cream parlors offer happiness in a cone. Peruse our picks for must-try craft creameries.

Photo courtesy of Carowinds.

The warm weather brings promises of late nights catching lightning bugs and fireworks after the ball game. Each day brings a new opportunity to sample the myriad flavors of the quintessential treat to beat the heat: ice cream. From Cookie Monster to Birthday Cake, soft serve or hand dipped, Charlotte ice cream parlors offer happiness in a cone. Peruse our picks for must-try craft creameries.

Two Scoops Creamery

Must try: Two scoop cone

Nestled in the heart of Plaza Midwood and with a second location at Lake Norman, Two Scoops Creamery makes their crafted ice cream with a secret family recipe. Owned by three best friends, this ice cream parlor features unique, homemade flavors and selfie ready artwork by local artist Miriam Yumet.

Golden Cow Creamery

Must try: Flights - three ping pong ball sized scoops, mix and match flavors

Taking craft ice cream to the next level, Golden Cow Creamery makes their seasonal flavors in small batches with local ingredients and offers an exclusive flavor to members of the pint-of- the-month club. This socially conscious ice cream shop donates a portion of their proceeds to a local charity each month as part of their “Queen’s Share” program.

Mr. K's Soft Ice Cream

Must try: Soft serve cone with a dip

Family owned and operated since 1967, Mr. K’s Soft Ice Cream is a Charlotte tradition. Still operating in its original location in SouthEnd, Mr. K’s serves twisty cones, mix and match milkshakes, snowballs and more.

Ninety's Sandwiches & Ice Cream - Photo by Robert Kisiah

Ninety's Sandwiches & Ice Cream

Must try: Macaron ice cream sandwich

Sandwiched between macarons, Ninety’s Sandwiches and Ice Cream treats are served in monster or mini-monster sizes. This family-run establishment touts 30 years at The Boardwalk University. Add a cookie dough pop to your order and relax at the lakefront while you eat your treats.

Elizabeth Creamery

Must try: Freshly made waffle cones

This neighborhood ice cream parlor is one of Charlotte's original ice cream shops. Take a ride on the trolley before you select the flavor to top your homemade waffle cone at Elizabeth Creamery. All flavors are made fresh in the store.

Carolina Cones

Must try: Brownie boat sundae - and check out the plant shop next door

Celebrating over 30 years in business, Carolina Cones is a local hangout. With a signature model train circling the ceiling and the seasonal garden center next door, this family friendly ice cream parlor offers a dose of nostalgia. Employees are area teens, and many former employees now bring their children to Carolina Cones for a sundae and to enjoy the playground outside.

Waxhaw Creamery

Must try: The seasonal flavors

Main Street in Waxhaw provides a small town feel and a small town tasty treat. This craft creamery is adjacent to David G. Barnes Children's Park and Waxhaw Skatepark is located behind the store. With a variety of seasonal flavors, you always have a reason to stop in to Waxhaw Creamery.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Charlotte

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Must try: Flavors rotate, but if Wildberry Lavender is available, don't miss your shot at a scoop

Known for smooth, unique flavors with a buttercream base. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams puts a premium on high quality ingredients and synthetic flavoring-free scoops. Their Charlotte shop in South End is the first in North Carolina and an Instagram favorite.

Cabarrus Creamery

Must try: Ice cream cookie sandwich

Nostalgia abounds along with generous portions at Cabarrus Creamery in Downtown Concord. Stop in and sit awhile as you devour your cone.

Tony's Ice Cream

Must try: Milkshakes

Making ice cream since 1915, this Gastonia ice cream parlor and restaurant creates their ice cream in the plant next door. Treats from Tony's Ice Cream are served in restaurants across the state and they offer over 20 flavors of milkshakes.

Bonus Treat:


Must try: Toasted Gelato Panini

While not a traditional ice cream parlor, Carowinds has upped their culinary game and is featuring an ice cream treat that rivals the pros. Ice cream is sandwiched inside a bun and toasted on a panini press, creating a decadent delight.