Columbus does many things well, and one thing we do very well is ice cream. From much-loved heritage brands to soft serve pop-ups to scoop shops featuring Ohio ingredients, the city has plenty of options to celebrate National Ice Cream Day (on July 18 this year!) and cool off all summer long. Here’s your A-Z list of Columbus ice cream shops!
The nationally recognized Belle’s combines both French and Japanese traditions to craft delectable treats. Even though it’s primarily a bakery, Belle’s is also known for sweet treats like matcha soft serve, parfaits, and affogatos.
Clown Cone & Confections
The friendly and fun Clown Cone is a beloved neighborhood ice cream parlor on Cleveland Avenue serving more than 30 flavors of ice cream as well as a colorful array of candies.
CMRD in the Short North serves tasty and Instagram-worthy flavors of ice cream like Fruity Pebbles, Matcha, Viet Coffee, and Nilla Cookie Dough, wrapped in a puffle, a spherical egg-based waffle.
In Uptown Westerville, Coppa Gelato delights crowds with rich gelatos that range from triple chocolate and bourbon pecan, to chocolate-covered raspberry and Dreamsicle, plus loads of seasonal flavors. Celebrating a special occasion? Order a gelato cake!
Cream & Sugar
Cream & Sugar is a much-loved neighborhood shop in the Hilltop, offering soft serve (Dole Whip, anyone?), dipped cones, sundaes, parfaits, ice cream sandwiches, and more during the spring and summer months.
Diamonds Ice Cream
This Mexican ice cream parlor serves a wide range of classic and creative ice cream flavors, but also features paletas, frozen treats made with fresh fruits, cookies, and other colorful ingredients. Find their location at Bethel and Sawmill, or a second one attached to Tomatillos in Linworth.
This seasonal shop in the Hilltop makes their own soft serve, and puts it use on ice cream cones, in blended milkshakes, and even in coffee delicacies like affogatos. Try a caramel apple, cookies & cream, or peanut butter & jelly milkshake, and pair it with a Happy Burger and waffle fries!
Dulce Vida Ice Cream Factory
Serving up Mexican styles of ice cream and other frozen treats, Dulce Vida has three locations in Columbus: on West Broad Street, in the Short North, and on the northeast side. The bright and colorful shops feature case after case of ice cream flavors and paletas. Large hanging picture menus can help guide your decision.
Cincinnati-based Graeter’s is another local favorite around Columbus, known for their old school-style ice cream shops and classic flavors like buckeye and black raspberry chip. Graeter’s has a total of 12 ice cream parlors around central Ohio, plus a food truck often spotted at community events.
Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream
Originating in Youngstown, Ohio, Handel’s has two locations in central Ohio: one on the west side and one in Powell. They serve a huge range of ice cream flavors, as well as sundaes, smoothies, frozen yogurt, sherbets, and other sweet treats.
Hilltop Dairy Twist
Another favorite neighborhood shop in the Hilltop, the Dairy Twist serves coney dogs and cheeseburgers to go with soft serve, hand-dipped ice cream cones, and Z-Zwirls: milkshakes blended with your choice of ice creams, candies, and fruits.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s could be considered one of Columbus’ chief exports. Now with shops all across the country, Jeni’s started as a stall inside the North Market, and has eight scoop shops in Columbus. Residents and visitors alike flock for signatures like salty caramel, brambleberry crisp, and strawberry buttermilk, not to mention the seasonal creations using Ohio ingredients.
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream
Family-run Johnson’s has been serving central Ohio since 1950. Their original shop sits in Bexley, with newer outposts in Dublin and New Albany. Generations of families have gathered to savor classic scoops, sundaes, and shakes.
The Little Ice Cream Shoppe
The Little Ice Cream Shoppe is a family-run stop in Hilliard serving more than 60 flavors of homemade ice cream, plus sundaes, root beer floats, banana splits – everything you need to indulge your sweet tooth.
Little Ladies Soft Serve
This family-run truck pops up all over central Ohio, and will open a brick and mortar off Polaris this fall. They’re known for wonderfully creamy soft serve with colorful sprinkles and sundaes with creative homemade toppings.
Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream
Located in northwest Columbus on Hard Road, Mardis Gras is a family-run shop featuring both traditional and international flavors. Their ice creams draw on the cuisines of India, Pakistan, Iran, and other countries, so you’ll find delights like sweet rose, mango, lychee, ginger, and many more.
Simply Rolled Ice Cream
Simply Rolled in the Short North picks up on the trend of Thai street-style rolled ice cream, where an ice cream and toppings are mixed and flattened on a chilled plate, then scraped into rolls and served in a cup. The resulting designs are as beautiful as they are delicious.
This Italian Village shop lets you create your own gigantic ice cream cookies! Pick an ice cream flavor like Confetti Sugar, Brownie Bash, or Couch Potato, then choose a pair of soft, fresh-baked cookies and they’ll load up your sandwich. Can you eat it before it all melts?
Located on West Broad Street, Tony’s is a long-running favorite known for its hand-dipped ice cream cones, milkshakes, and sundaes.
Whit’s Frozen Custard
Whit’s is a regional favorite originating in nearby Granville, Ohio, and has locations in Clintonville, Westerville, Grove City, Canal Winchester, Gahanna, Hilliard, New Albany, Powell, and many more towns across the region. Their rich custards are a decadent treat in the hot summer months. They feature chocolate, vanilla and a rotating weekly special flavor.