July is National Ice Cream Month, which begs the question: Why isn’t every month National Ice Cream Month? Right?
In Houston, we certainly have enough ice cream choices to spread out over the entire year. The Bayou City is bursting with specialty ice creameries when you’re looking to break away from the boring standbys of grocery store pints – though those certainly will do in a pinch! But for truly memorable ice cream moments, consider a trip or two to these sweet spots. And don’t forget to bring a friend. After all, ice cream is best when shared!
Amy’s Ice Creams, 3816 Farhham Rd.
Despite having its roots in Austin, most Houstonians know the yumminess that is Amy’s Ice Creams thanks to our own Bayou City branch. With more than 350 rotating flavors to choose from – Strawberry Amaretto anyone? – there’s no worry that you won’t be able to find your favorite.
But perhaps the best part is that while you’re waiting on your sweet treat you’ll also be entertained. The employees serve up the scoops “Cocktail style,” tossing the ice cream in the air or behind their backs to a fellow server who drops into a cone before handing it over to you! Just call it ice cream acrobatics!
Hank’s Ice Cream Parlor, 9291 S. Main St.
Everyone’s a stickler for nostalgia and that’s exactly what you’ll get when you walk into Hank’s, widely known as a bona fide Bayou City ice cream institution.
Known for ice cream made by hand with only the freshest ingredients and a heaping helping of butterfat, Hank’s has been delighting customers for more than 20 years with an eclectic selection of rich, savory flavors including the stand out butter pecan and the more unusual sweet corn or banana pudding. Founder Hank Wiggins passed recently but his widow Okemah Wiggins carries on, serving up old-fashioned ice cream goodness.
Pollo Bravo, 6015 Hillcroft
Ok, ok so Pollo Bravo isn’t an ice cream shop, it’s a restaurant, but apparently the owner is so sure of his delectable dessert, helado de lúcuma, that it’s the only ice cream flavor on the menu. Call it confidence or cockiness, but it seems owner Enrique Bravo, who makes the ice cream himself, knows what he’s doing.
The helado de lúcuma, which has hints of almond and caramel, is made with the lúcuma fruit which is native to Peru. Customer reviews declare it“fabulous” and “one-of-a kind” so maybe it’s not cockiness after all.
The Chocolate Bar, 1835 W. Alabama St.
This place is fantastic. After all, it’s called The Chocolate Bar so what else would you expect? Patrons rave about the Upper Kirby destination, calling it “just plain amazing,” and “heavenly,” but of all the delicious and sinful chocolate treats to choose from, the ice cream is a stand out.
Of course there are the wacky – Candylicious Junkyard, Teddy Camp Smores, Let’s Go Oreo – but your best bet might just be sticking with good ole chocolate. After all, this is The Chocolate Bar we’re talking about.
Fat Cat Creamery, 1901 N. Shepherd Dr.
This one is the new kid on the block when it comes to Houston creameries, but it’s already developed quite the following. With its signature trio of flavors – Cat’s Meow Mexican Vanilla, Milk Chocolate Stout, and Strawberry Buttermilk – this Heights-area shop has locals heaping it with praise, calling it “a must-try for ice cream aficionados everywhere,” and “some of the best ice cream you’ll have in Houston.”
With its commitment to locally sourced ingredients, environmentally responsible packaging processes and handmade goodness, it seems a safe bet that Fat Cats Creamery is on its way to legendary status.