You can satisfy cravings for all kinds of frozen treats in the Triangle—shout-out to Milk Lab’s and Raleigh Rolls’ Thai rolled ice cream, Locopops’ whimsical popsicles, and Goodberry’s frozen custard—but for a good old-fashioned scoop, these are my go-tos.

Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream

10120 Green Level Church Road, #208, Cary,

The motto at Andia Xouris’s shop is “scooped with love,” and the same can be said for how her small-batch flavors are made. You’ll find signature scoops like Rose Pistachio and Baklava (a nod to Xouris’s Greek heritage) alongside fan favorites such as Chocolate Overdose, Cake Batter, and Mint Vegan Chip. Can’t decide? Opt for a sampler flight of seven mini scoops.

The Parlour

117 Market Street, Durham,

You can sample as many flavors as you want before committing, but the runaway hit is hands-down the salted butter caramel. It’s The Parlour’s most popular—and with good reason, boasting a rich, glossy caramel taste and a supremely creamy mouthfeel. There’s ample indoor seating, but getting a cone and strolling downtown Durham is a fine option, too. 

Vida Dulce

836 East Chatham Street, #104, Cary,

There are more than sixty flavors to choose from at this Mexican-style ice cream shop (and just as many flavors of paletas, or popsicles). Some of our favorites are pine nut, strawberry butter, and brownie, which is an ideal combo for a churro split, where the trio of scoops are served in a dish flanked by two hot, crispy churros and a medley of toppings.

Two Roosters

7713 Lead Mine Road, #49, Raleigh; 215 East Franklin Street, Raleigh;

We love Two Roosters’ roster of creative flavors, especially those featuring collaborations with other local food companies. At both locations, there are “the regulars” (available year-round), including Coffee Bourbon, crafted with Slingshot Coffee’s cold brew and Mystic Bourbon, as well as rotating monthly flavors (“the guests”) unified around a flavor or theme, such as bakeries.

FRESH. Local Ice Cream

6033 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh; 138 East Chatham Street, Cary;

This Raleigh-based shop (with a Cary location and a truck, too) lives up to its name by churning ice cream with locally sourced dairy. Carolina Crunch, a salted caramel ice cream strewn with pieces of Heath and Butterfinger, is a perennial favorite, but don’t overlook seasonal fruit flavors such as blueberry or peach. There’s also a Farm Fresh Doggie Sundae for Fido.


305 South Blount Street, Raleigh,

If you want to score Hillsborough’s own Maple View scoops in the heart of downtown Raleigh, head to Treat and try the Devil’s Delight, a chocolate base folded with Kit Kat, Twix, and chocolate chips, and seasonal flavors such as blueberries and cream. Treat’s City Market location and proximity to the Marbles Kids Museum make it a popular stop for downtown denizens and families alike.