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a hand holding a waffle cone topped with three scoops of ice cream with a peanut butter drizzle.
It’s time to test out Houston’s summer influx of new ice cream shops.
Lick Honest Ice Creams

22 Essential Houston Ice Cream Shops

Cool down with scoops from Lick Honest Ice Cream, Jeni’s, Milk + Sugar, and Fat Cat Creamery

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It’s time to test out Houston’s summer influx of new ice cream shops.
| Lick Honest Ice Creams

Because Texas is a magical place, ice cream is an appropriate treat all year long. But now that spring has sprung, 'tis the season for enjoying as much of this creamy frozen treat as often as you damn well please.

While thick and classic custard and sophisticated sorbets will surely satisfy a sweet tooth, Houston’s ice cream scene runs the gamut with killer gelato, ice cream sandwiches, wacky and colorful toppings, and plenty of flavors that go well beyond the traditional chocolate and vanilla — some of which make ice cream for breakfast seem all the more acceptable.

The city’s ice cream chefs — yes, chefs — take the frozen dessert to a whole new level, debuting unique flavors like Craft Creamery’s cacio e pepe and pho; ever-changing, hard-to-get weekly drops by Josh Deleon’s Underground Creamery; or new vehicles with which to eat scoops, like Cosmic Ice Cream Co.’s ice cream bars. The ice cream scene in Houston is so good, even Spain’s Roca brothers, responsible for the three Michelin-star El Cella de Can Roca, had to get in on it. And so, it was only right to update this list.

Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream and Brain Freeze have been rotated out to make more room for newer additions, like the newest locations of Jen’s, Fat Cat Creamery, and Milk + Sugary Creamery, plus Lick Honest Ice Creams and the gelato at Dante’s River Oaks. Here are the 23 ice cream businesses you need to visit ASAP.

Is your favorite ice cream spot missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Fat Cat Creamery

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With its newest location in Garden Oaks, Fat Cat Creamery is scooping some of the creamiest and most scoops in the city. Staple flavors like the Cat’s Meow Mexican vanilla and the coffee and cream — made with beans from Houston’s own Amaya roasters — will have you double-backing for more. But don’t be afraid to venture out. Its rotation of creative flavors and different vehicles to try them — on cones, in shakes, or in ice cream sandwiches — are a big part of what keeps the Fat experience exciting.

Dolce Neve Gelato

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Since opening in Houston in 2017, this Austin-based gelateria has been serving up more than a dozen flavors daily. While guests can count on delicious mainstays like Madagascar vanilla and its crema Dolce Neve — a custard with lemon zest, lovers of the frozen treat can also look forward to a rotation of flavors and seasonal scoops, like its mascarpone and figs, tiramisu, and whiskey and pecan ice cream, and its strawberry sorbet.

Tampico Refresqueria

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This tiny stand in the Heights creates some of the most refreshing raspas and frozen mango drinks in town. Score a fruity raspa topped with ice cream or chamoy, then snack on Fritos chili pie and elotes for a bit of savory balance.

Milk + Sugar Creamery

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With a location in Montrose and its newest outpost in the Heights, this scoop shop offers staple flavors with both ice cream and lofty mix-ins also made in-house. Try the Sundae Funday, made with sweet cream ice cream, brownie chunks, and a fudge ripple, and its coffee and pretzel ice cream,City that Never Sleeps, infused with chocolate flakes. Seasonal flavors keep ice cream lovers on their toes, with spoonfuls of its Hello Summer, a combo of cream cheese and lemon ice cream with a blueberry swirl and graham cracker crust, available through August.

Bubble Egg

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Switch up the standard cone and opt for a bubble waffle, with an assortment of ice cream flavors, like Thai tea, pistachio almond, and birthday cake, with a made-to-order waffle with your choice of filling, and toppings. Looking for another way to cool off? This dessert shop also features an assortment of mocktails, milk and fruit teas, and slushies.

Underground Creamery

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It’s true. Josh Deleon’s pints are hard to come by. Intrigued ice cream lovers and fans must have quick fingers when pre-ordering Underground’s limited stash on Hotplate, and they must also be available during pick-up or walk-up dates. But don’t be salty if you miss an ice cream drop. Try again. The rotation of weekly flavors, most of which will never be made again, are made with a pleasant combination of top ingredients and junk food. Deleon’s caramel cookie concoctions, sorbets, and cobbler edition flavors are truly worth it, so keep an eye on the website and Instagram for updates.

Maurin McCullough shows off her order at Underground Creamery on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.
Put Underground Creamery on your bucket list.
Annie Mulligan

Honeychild's Sweet Creams

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Technically, it’s not ice cream, but who cares? This creamy custard is made with organic local ingredients and churned with decadent flavors like buttermilk pie, pecan praline, peach cobbler, and dewberry. Score your own carton at Antidote Coffee or either Phoenicia location.

Rocambolesc

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The only gelateria of its kind in the U.S., Rocambolesc is a must-stop spot to impress out-of-towners. A product of the famous Roca brothers — the Spanish restaurateurs behind the three Michelin-star El Cella de Can Roca, this gelateria offers soft serve flavors like milk chocolate, hazelnut, and baked apple with the option to decorate them with vibrant Willy Wonka-like toppings. Cover your ice cream with sparkly colored stars, pop rocks, fruity jams, candy floss, and shimmering “violet clouds,” or keep it simple with a subtle nose-shaped popsicle.

A series of popsicles in different shapes, including a three-tiered cake and a nose.
Rocambolesc offers wacky, frozen fun in the form of nose-shaped popsicles and soft serve ice cream with tons of vibrant, tasty toppings.
Photo by: Nano Calvo/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Craft Creamery

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Chef Steve Marques approaches his ice cream as he would any dish, meaning not only do his scoops contain top ingredients, but they often lean into savory and sweet flavors that’ll be hard to get elsewhere. His award-winning brisket, pho, and cacio e pepe flavors are must-tries; the Bastani and miso caramel, crowd favorites; and the vanilla, a standout despite it being a run-of-the-mill flavor in the ice cream world.

Sixteen scoops of Craft Creamery ice cream in small cardboard cups.
Craft Creamery boasts flavors you won’t find elsewhere.
Stephanie Lam

Amorino

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Scoops of gelato and sorbet are transformed into stunning floral creations at this European export in the River Oaks District. In even better news, the gelato at Amorino tastes as good as it looks.

Dante's River Oaks

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By no means is this Italian restaurant a gelateria, but the gelato that the chef does put out is intriguing enough to go just for the gelato. The restaurant debuted with a dill gelato, made with real dill, paired with apple pie for a refreshing and comforting dessert, plus a rose-chocolate-pistachio flavor that was good enough to stand alone. Though these small-batch gelatos are usually limited to just a few, the chef rotates flavors, so catch them while you can.

A scoop of dill gelato topped with sprigs of gelato, and a scoop of rose, pistachio, chocolate gelato, topped with rose petals.
If unconventional flavors are your thing, visit Dante’s to taste its current flavor of small batch gelato.
CKO Digital

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

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Joining Houston locations in the Heights and CityCentre, Jeni’s makes its debut in Montrose, where the cold tubs of creamy ice cream made with some of the best ingredients await and the

same smell of fresh, Buttercrisp waffle cones wafts through the air as soon as you enter the shop. Favorites include the Gooey Butter Cake, a cream cheese ice cream littered with vanilla cake crumbles and caramel-butterscotch swirl; a chocolatey Texas Sheet Cake; and Brambleberry Crisp.

A close-up of Jeni’s ice cream cones lined up side by side.
Jeni’s Buttercrisp waffle cones make the ice cream even better.
Jen’s

Magnolia's Ice Cream & More

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Known for its crazy confections piled high with candy and infused with wacky flavors, Magnolia’s Ice Cream & More is definitely doing the most. Choose a few scoops of ice cream (vanilla is an excellent blank canvas) and add fresh fruit for a healthy vibe, or plenty of gummi worms, sour candy, and a thick drizzle of chamoy, if sugar is what you crave.

orange and green scoops of ice cream topped with gummy worms and a red sauce.
Magnolia’s Ice Cream & More is known for its outrageous combinations.
Magnolia’s

SweetCup Artisan Gelato & Espresso

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This Montrose sweet shop now offers its frozen treats in more than 40 flavors. Head to its flagship for newer flavors like strawberry basil sorbet, and curry coconut sorbet, or score some pints in Whole Foods markets throughout the Houston region, Central Market, and the Grove.

Amy's Ice Creams

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This “quintessentially” Austin ice cream company comes to Houston with a host of flavors like Mexican vanilla, Belgian chocolate, and Oreo, with mix-ins, like Fruity Pebbles cereal, fruits, Ginger Snaps, and a variety of chocolate candies. Don’t miss out on their specialty flavors like the horchata-flavored Abuela’s Snack, mixed with cinnamon sugar Buñuelo chips, or the roasted peach.

Booza’s first U.S. location here in Houston will make you rethink your definition of ice cream with its handmade, super stretchy Mediterranean version, which comes in compelling flavors like the traditional ashta, Turkish coffee, rosewater, and rainbow.

Tinys Milk and Cookies

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If desserts a la mode are your MO, this sweet shop founded on Houston’s favorite cookie also serves excellent ice cream. The milk & cookies flavor — a vanilla ice cream stuffed with chocolate chip cookie chunks — is an obvious choice, and dairy-free coconut milk chocolate ice cream is a quality option for folks who eschew dairy.

Lick Honest Ice Creams

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With the opening of its first Houston location in Bellaire in July, this Austin-based ice cream shop promises a variety of flavors, like Caramel Salt Lick, Coffee with Cream, roasted beets & fresh mint, and a combination of goat cheese, thyme, and honey. If those don’t tickle your fancy, try its seasonal flavors, which are just as creative, with flavors like spicy coconut peanut and strawberry swirl, vegan banana pudding, and cilantro lime. Great flavor aside, Licks has a great mission as well. The company promises scoops free of artificial colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup, palm oil, and preservatives, with milk locally sourced from family-owned farms with grass-fed cows. A second location is slated for Houston’s Autry Park in August.

A hand holding a waffle cone topped with three scoops of ice cream.
Find scoops on scoops on scoops at Lick Honest Ice Creams’ first location in the Houston area.
Lick Honest Scoops

An Instagram wonderland in Asiatown, Aqua S is known for its blue-hued, salty-sweet sea salt soft serve. There’s also a rotating flavor on offer that changes frequently, and each cone can be crowned with a halo of cotton candy or a shower of Pop Rocks for the perfect shot for the ‘gram.

A cloud of cotton candy topped with green soft serve ice cream.
Aqua S’s ice cream wonderland offers cold concoctions that are pleasing to the eye and the tastebuds.
Aqua S

Cool Cow Creamery

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Cool down after strolling the Kemah boardwalk at this mom-and-pop ice cream shop, which has loads of creamy, rich, and rotating flavors, plus toppings and delicious desserts like brownies and cookies. Finding it hard to choose just one flavor? Try the skateboard flight, which comes with an assortment of 12 flavors on, you guessed it — a mini skateboard.

Cosmic Ice Cream Co. - Clear Lake

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This Clear Lake-born ice cream shop slings a rotating menu of scoops that will keep you looking for the next flavor.

This spring alone, the shop debuted a lemon key lime pie ice cream and its limited-time-only Birthday Cake cake bar — a dangerously delicious house-made vanilla cookie cake stuffed with Birthday Cake ice cream and a layer of house-made buttercream frosting. Can’t make it to the Webster or Spring Branch location? Find pints at League City’s Cupcake Cachet or in Houston, at Spindletap Brewery & Coffee Co. and Craft Beer Cellar.

Rollie's Frozen Custard

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This family-owned business will ensure you get your custard fix, with a rotation of flavors that change monthly, plus a host of indulgent sundae combinations, like the Elvis custard, topped with banana, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff, and sundae combinations like the Red Cookie, which is loaded with strawberries, cookie dough, and fudge.

Fat Cat Creamery

With its newest location in Garden Oaks, Fat Cat Creamery is scooping some of the creamiest and most scoops in the city. Staple flavors like the Cat’s Meow Mexican vanilla and the coffee and cream — made with beans from Houston’s own Amaya roasters — will have you double-backing for more. But don’t be afraid to venture out. Its rotation of creative flavors and different vehicles to try them — on cones, in shakes, or in ice cream sandwiches — are a big part of what keeps the Fat experience exciting.

Dolce Neve Gelato

Since opening in Houston in 2017, this Austin-based gelateria has been serving up more than a dozen flavors daily. While guests can count on delicious mainstays like Madagascar vanilla and its crema Dolce Neve — a custard with lemon zest, lovers of the frozen treat can also look forward to a rotation of flavors and seasonal scoops, like its mascarpone and figs, tiramisu, and whiskey and pecan ice cream, and its strawberry sorbet.

Tampico Refresqueria

This tiny stand in the Heights creates some of the most refreshing raspas and frozen mango drinks in town. Score a fruity raspa topped with ice cream or chamoy, then snack on Fritos chili pie and elotes for a bit of savory balance.

Milk + Sugar Creamery

With a location in Montrose and its newest outpost in the Heights, this scoop shop offers staple flavors with both ice cream and lofty mix-ins also made in-house. Try the Sundae Funday, made with sweet cream ice cream, brownie chunks, and a fudge ripple, and its coffee and pretzel ice cream,City that Never Sleeps, infused with chocolate flakes. Seasonal flavors keep ice cream lovers on their toes, with spoonfuls of its Hello Summer, a combo of cream cheese and lemon ice cream with a blueberry swirl and graham cracker crust, available through August.

Bubble Egg

Switch up the standard cone and opt for a bubble waffle, with an assortment of ice cream flavors, like Thai tea, pistachio almond, and birthday cake, with a made-to-order waffle with your choice of filling, and toppings. Looking for another way to cool off? This dessert shop also features an assortment of mocktails, milk and fruit teas, and slushies.

Underground Creamery

It’s true. Josh Deleon’s pints are hard to come by. Intrigued ice cream lovers and fans must have quick fingers when pre-ordering Underground’s limited stash on Hotplate, and they must also be available during pick-up or walk-up dates. But don’t be salty if you miss an ice cream drop. Try again. The rotation of weekly flavors, most of which will never be made again, are made with a pleasant combination of top ingredients and junk food. Deleon’s caramel cookie concoctions, sorbets, and cobbler edition flavors are truly worth it, so keep an eye on the website and Instagram for updates.

Maurin McCullough shows off her order at Underground Creamery on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.
Put Underground Creamery on your bucket list.
Annie Mulligan

Honeychild's Sweet Creams

Technically, it’s not ice cream, but who cares? This creamy custard is made with organic local ingredients and churned with decadent flavors like buttermilk pie, pecan praline, peach cobbler, and dewberry. Score your own carton at Antidote Coffee or either Phoenicia location.

Rocambolesc

The only gelateria of its kind in the U.S., Rocambolesc is a must-stop spot to impress out-of-towners. A product of the famous Roca brothers — the Spanish restaurateurs behind the three Michelin-star El Cella de Can Roca, this gelateria offers soft serve flavors like milk chocolate, hazelnut, and baked apple with the option to decorate them with vibrant Willy Wonka-like toppings. Cover your ice cream with sparkly colored stars, pop rocks, fruity jams, candy floss, and shimmering “violet clouds,” or keep it simple with a subtle nose-shaped popsicle.

A series of popsicles in different shapes, including a three-tiered cake and a nose.
Rocambolesc offers wacky, frozen fun in the form of nose-shaped popsicles and soft serve ice cream with tons of vibrant, tasty toppings.
Photo by: Nano Calvo/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Craft Creamery

Chef Steve Marques approaches his ice cream as he would any dish, meaning not only do his scoops contain top ingredients, but they often lean into savory and sweet flavors that’ll be hard to get elsewhere. His award-winning brisket, pho, and cacio e pepe flavors are must-tries; the Bastani and miso caramel, crowd favorites; and the vanilla, a standout despite it being a run-of-the-mill flavor in the ice cream world.

Sixteen scoops of Craft Creamery ice cream in small cardboard cups.
Craft Creamery boasts flavors you won’t find elsewhere.
Stephanie Lam

Amorino

Scoops of gelato and sorbet are transformed into stunning floral creations at this European export in the River Oaks District. In even better news, the gelato at Amorino tastes as good as it looks.

Dante's River Oaks

By no means is this Italian restaurant a gelateria, but the gelato that the chef does put out is intriguing enough to go just for the gelato. The restaurant debuted with a dill gelato, made with real dill, paired with apple pie for a refreshing and comforting dessert, plus a rose-chocolate-pistachio flavor that was good enough to stand alone. Though these small-batch gelatos are usually limited to just a few, the chef rotates flavors, so catch them while you can.

A scoop of dill gelato topped with sprigs of gelato, and a scoop of rose, pistachio, chocolate gelato, topped with rose petals.
If unconventional flavors are your thing, visit Dante’s to taste its current flavor of small batch gelato.
CKO Digital

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Joining Houston locations in the Heights and CityCentre, Jeni’s makes its debut in Montrose, where the cold tubs of creamy ice cream made with some of the best ingredients await and the

same smell of fresh, Buttercrisp waffle cones wafts through the air as soon as you enter the shop. Favorites include the Gooey Butter Cake, a cream cheese ice cream littered with vanilla cake crumbles and caramel-butterscotch swirl; a chocolatey Texas Sheet Cake; and Brambleberry Crisp.

A close-up of Jeni’s ice cream cones lined up side by side.
Jeni’s Buttercrisp waffle cones make the ice cream even better.
Jen’s

Magnolia's Ice Cream & More

Known for its crazy confections piled high with candy and infused with wacky flavors, Magnolia’s Ice Cream & More is definitely doing the most. Choose a few scoops of ice cream (vanilla is an excellent blank canvas) and add fresh fruit for a healthy vibe, or plenty of gummi worms, sour candy, and a thick drizzle of chamoy, if sugar is what you crave.

orange and green scoops of ice cream topped with gummy worms and a red sauce.
Magnolia’s Ice Cream & More is known for its outrageous combinations.
Magnolia’s

SweetCup Artisan Gelato & Espresso

This Montrose sweet shop now offers its frozen treats in more than 40 flavors. Head to its flagship for newer flavors like strawberry basil sorbet, and curry coconut sorbet, or score some pints in Whole Foods markets throughout the Houston region, Central Market, and the Grove.

Amy's Ice Creams

This “quintessentially” Austin ice cream company comes to Houston with a host of flavors like Mexican vanilla, Belgian chocolate, and Oreo, with mix-ins, like Fruity Pebbles cereal, fruits, Ginger Snaps, and a variety of chocolate candies. Don’t miss out on their specialty flavors like the horchata-flavored Abuela’s Snack, mixed with cinnamon sugar Buñuelo chips, or the roasted peach.

Related Maps

Booza

Booza’s first U.S. location here in Houston will make you rethink your definition of ice cream with its handmade, super stretchy Mediterranean version, which comes in compelling flavors like the traditional ashta, Turkish coffee, rosewater, and rainbow.

Tinys Milk and Cookies

If desserts a la mode are your MO, this sweet shop founded on Houston’s favorite cookie also serves excellent ice cream. The milk & cookies flavor — a vanilla ice cream stuffed with chocolate chip cookie chunks — is an obvious choice, and dairy-free coconut milk chocolate ice cream is a quality option for folks who eschew dairy.

Lick Honest Ice Creams

With the opening of its first Houston location in Bellaire in July, this Austin-based ice cream shop promises a variety of flavors, like Caramel Salt Lick, Coffee with Cream, roasted beets & fresh mint, and a combination of goat cheese, thyme, and honey. If those don’t tickle your fancy, try its seasonal flavors, which are just as creative, with flavors like spicy coconut peanut and strawberry swirl, vegan banana pudding, and cilantro lime. Great flavor aside, Licks has a great mission as well. The company promises scoops free of artificial colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup, palm oil, and preservatives, with milk locally sourced from family-owned farms with grass-fed cows. A second location is slated for Houston’s Autry Park in August.

A hand holding a waffle cone topped with three scoops of ice cream.
Find scoops on scoops on scoops at Lick Honest Ice Creams’ first location in the Houston area.
Lick Honest Scoops

Aqua S

An Instagram wonderland in Asiatown, Aqua S is known for its blue-hued, salty-sweet sea salt soft serve. There’s also a rotating flavor on offer that changes frequently, and each cone can be crowned with a halo of cotton candy or a shower of Pop Rocks for the perfect shot for the ‘gram.

A cloud of cotton candy topped with green soft serve ice cream.
Aqua S’s ice cream wonderland offers cold concoctions that are pleasing to the eye and the tastebuds.
Aqua S

Cool Cow Creamery

Cool down after strolling the Kemah boardwalk at this mom-and-pop ice cream shop, which has loads of creamy, rich, and rotating flavors, plus toppings and delicious desserts like brownies and cookies. Finding it hard to choose just one flavor? Try the skateboard flight, which comes with an assortment of 12 flavors on, you guessed it — a mini skateboard.

Cosmic Ice Cream Co. - Clear Lake

This Clear Lake-born ice cream shop slings a rotating menu of scoops that will keep you looking for the next flavor.

This spring alone, the shop debuted a lemon key lime pie ice cream and its limited-time-only Birthday Cake cake bar — a dangerously delicious house-made vanilla cookie cake stuffed with Birthday Cake ice cream and a layer of house-made buttercream frosting. Can’t make it to the Webster or Spring Branch location? Find pints at League City’s Cupcake Cachet or in Houston, at Spindletap Brewery & Coffee Co. and Craft Beer Cellar.

Rollie's Frozen Custard

This family-owned business will ensure you get your custard fix, with a rotation of flavors that change monthly, plus a host of indulgent sundae combinations, like the Elvis custard, topped with banana, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff, and sundae combinations like the Red Cookie, which is loaded with strawberries, cookie dough, and fudge.

Related Maps