May 25, 2021

8 amazing places to get ice cream in Alabama

3.9 min read

Around these parts, ice cream is a year-round endeavor. However, the cold, creamy treat is especially satisfying when the weather warms and the humidity starts creeping in. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic scoop or an outrageous milkshake, our state has plenty of places to chill out.  

Big Spoon Creamery (Birmingham)

The flavors at this small-batch, artisan ice cream shop owned by former chefs are a far cry from your run-of-the-mill Neapolitan trio. Seasonal offerings include Goat Cheese Strawberry Hibiscus, Key Lime Yuzu Pie, and Buttermilk Corn Cookie. In addition to scooping delectable flavors, owners Geri-Martha and Ryan O’Hara flex their pastry chops with signature sammies in which they pair their ice cream with honey graham and dark chocolate cake cookies.

Trowbridge’s Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop (Florence)

In 1917, Paul Trowbridge stopped in Florence on his way to a dairy convention in North Carolina. He fell so in love with the small Alabama town that he moved his family there and opened an ice cream shop the following year. In the more than 100 years since, the shop has passed through five generations and is now recognized as the oldest continuously operating business in Florence. Orange pineapple, a signature flavor developed by Paul, is still one of the shop’s top sellers.

Mrs. Story’s Dairy Bar (Opelika)

This small, walk-up restaurant in the tiny town of Opelika is known for three things: foot-long chili dogs, old-fashioned milkshakes, and the winning combination of the two. In fact, both dishes were included in the list of “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.” A truly one-of-a-kind Alabama gem, Miss Story’s also offers a ultra-creamy soft serve cone that will take you back to simpler days.

Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream (Gulf Shores)

Setting itself apart from the hordes of beachside ice cream shops, Matt’s makes its own ice cream in house. With around 40 flavors to choose from at any given time, including many offered only seasonally, Matt keeps things interesting for locals and visitors alike. Be sure to try one of his signature beach-themed creations like the Seafood Fizz, sorbet blended into a refreshing, fizzy treat.

K&J’s Elegant Pastries and Creamery (Alabaster)

Owner Kristal Bryant initially opened her business as a home base to sell her custom cakes and specialty cupcakes, but when another endeavor swiftly went viral, she happily expanded her focus. Kristal’s massive, over-the-top milkshakes, also known as Kollosal Milkshakes, are truly feats of sugary, sweet art. Often defying gravity themselves, these shakes are piled high with every dessert known to man, from brownies and cookies to cotton candy and even entire slice of cake.

Bendy’s Cookies and Cream (Birmingham)

Also owned by a husband-and-wife duo, Bendy’s (owners Ben and Wendy’s couple name) started out as a food truck in 2016 and opened its storefront in 2019. The shop specializes in creative ice cream and cookie pairings, served together (preferable) or apart. Wendy, a former recipe developer for Southern Living and Cooking Light, is constantly churning out new flavors for both cookies and ice cream, meaning you can go as many times as you like and never try the same thing twice. Longstanding favorites include Ooey Gooey Cake and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Durbin Farms Market (Clanton)

A popular roadside attraction for Alabamians on their way to the Gulf Coast, Durbin Farms is known for its farm-fresh produce, famous Chilton County peaches, and specialty food products (pickles, preserves, and butters!). The market is also a must-stop for one other reason—their homemade ice cream. The peach pecan is a mainstay that locals swear by and those passing through absolutely have to brake for.

Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe (Mobile)

This Mobile institution has a legendary history dating back to 1969 when Edwin Widemire first opened the creamery as Widemire’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe. When Cammie Wayne purchased the shop, which also happened to be her first employer, in 1998, she changed the name but left most everything else the same. Today, the shop is still full of old-school soda counter vibes and plenty of Dutch memorabilia. It’s also the only ice cream manufacturer and wholesaler in Mobile. In other words, Cammie’s 47 flavors are the real deal.

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