Where to Find the Best Ice Cream on the Atlanta BeltLine
It’s July in Atlanta, which is exactly like living in a rainforest (without the chimpanzees). So if you are outside, be sure to find plenty of ways to keep cool. Bring some bottled water, a sweat towel, maybe a personal fan and some ice cream.
Yes, ice cream! It might be hot walking down the Atlanta BeltLine, but there are plenty of places to stop for a refreshing scoop or popsicle to cool down a bit. And forget boring flavors like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. They've been replaced with Chocolate Slap Yo Mama, Rocket Pop, Honeycomb Forest and Black Pearl. There are also plenty of non-dairy and vegan options. And even downright healthy ingredients like chai and matcha.
You can find some of the best ice cream in Atlanta on the Atlanta BeltLine's Eastside Trail. So down a scoop or two because heat stroke is serious, y'all!
Atlanta’s iconic, quirky popsicle vendor started with a used cart in front of Buddy’s gas station at the corner of North Avenue. They are now further spreading happiness (pretty much their company motto) across the South (and even into some Northern states) with flavors made from local farms, changing seasonally. You can find their cart on the BeltLine at Irwin Street on weekends, and their retail shop both inside and outside Ponce City Market. They even offer boozy popsicles now (hey, it's 5:00 somewhere). They have created over 500 flavors since they started, so you’re sure to find one you like. Chocolate Sea Salt and Orange Cream are a couple of my favorites.
King of Pops vacated its original headquarters in Inman Park, making room for Queen of Cream at the walk-up window. Their motto is "Handmade in ATL," and their scoops come from local, grass-fed cows. They pride themselves on small batches made in-house, so get it while you can get it. I am curious to try their Black Pearl or the vegan Mango Coconut Swirl or the Buttermilk Mulberry Jam. They also teamed up with Bat, Bat Soda to offer ice cream floats made with Bat, Bat coffee soda. I’m sorry, what?! I want some of that.
Remember running after the ice cream truck to get a bubble gum popsicle or fudgesicle or Sponge Bob or strawberry shortcake pop? Jeni’s in Krog Street Market is trying to recapture the ice cream trucks of our youth (without the creepy music), with flavors like Rocket Pop and High Five Candy Bar. It’s part of their Ice Cream Truck Collection this summer. I’ll take an Orange Freeze, “the classic food court beverage” made with juicy blood orange, tart OJ, and coconut cream. Or maybe Golden Nectar: “Tastes like fading summer sunlight topped with cracked caramel.” Poetry in a cone, that is.
This Decatur-based restaurant has a location in SPX Alley, next to Guac y Margys. Their offbeat flavors include Honeycomb Forest, Christmas in July (made with hot cocoa and peppermint) and Snix, which sounds like…yeah, Snickers. They also make all the yummy baked goods they put in their ice cream, like brownies, cookies and toffee. And so you can feel good about splurging on all that sugar, they are socially responsible, having teamed up with Ice Cream for Change, an initiative to “freeze out” racism.