Seattle Is America's No. 2 City for Ice Cream Lovers

See why Redfin ranked Seattle so highly

This story originally ran on Redfin

Ice cream is synonymous with summertime. With a few remaining weeks of summer left, it’s time to take full advantage of the hot weather and get your ice cream fix – and we are here to give you the scoop. Redfin researched which cities have the ingredients to satisfy ice cream lovers across America.

We ranked each city using the following recipe:

  • The number of ice cream stores in each city
  • The average Yelp! rating on a 5.0 scale of all ice cream stores in each city
  • The city’s Walk Score  – It’s helpful to have ice cream stores within walking distance to other places to enjoy a scoop or two.

The West Coast tops our list with cities in California, Washington, and Colorado sprinkled with the most and highly rated ice cream shops. The list expands across the country over cities with sunny weather like Miami to colder climates like Minneapolis and Chicago. Whether you prefer the latest culinary concoction of strawberry and balsamic vinegar or classic cookie dough, you’re sure to enjoy the 15 best cities for ice cream lovers.

Best United States Cities for Ice Cream Lovers


1. San Francisco, CA

Number of ice cream shops: 61
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.26 
Walk Score: 86

“San Francisco has several ice cream options but my favorite is Smitten. Smitten hand makes each scoop to order and super freezes the raw ingredients using a special freezing machine called a Brrr. Located in charming Hayes Valley, you can grab a sweet scoop and shop to your heart’s content after!” – Gabrielle Bunker, Redfin Listing Agent in San Francisco

Notable ice cream shops: Mitchell’s Ice CreamThe Baked BearSmitten Ice CreamSwensons, Bi-Rite CreameryHumphry SlocombeFentons Creamery


2. Seattle, WA

Number of ice cream shops: 50
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.26 
Walk Score: 73

“Frankie and Jo’s is an all vegan ice cream shop, and you wouldn’t know that from the line around the block they have almost nightly. One flavor, California Cabin, has a uniquely pine-ish smell… but my favorite is salted caramel ash. It basically tastes like same ol’ salted caramel, but with activated charcoal making it gray colored. It’s one of their more popular flavors!” – Roger Kilburn, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Seattle

Notable ice cream shops: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice CreamKurt Farm ShopOld School Frozen CustardFrankie & Jo’sBluebird Ice CreamShug’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream

(Note: Read about Seattle's newest ice cream shops here and here)

3. Los Angeles, CA (tied)

Number of ice cream shops: 50
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.28
Walk Score: 67

“LA has some of the most amazing ice cream I’ve ever tasted. I could write a novel about my many favorites but if I had to pick one it’d be Merci Clement. I like to frequent their truck that’s usually parked on 1st Street in Little Tokyo. Their ice cream is frozen on a stick, dipped in something sweet and sprinkled with a crunch. The whole experience is customizable. You’ll start by picking your flavor, followed by the dipper (like my favorite, dark chocolate) and topped with things like almonds, rainbow sprinkles or chocolate chips. Not only is it fun but each bit is better than the last!”  – Nikki Kilmer, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Los Angeles

Notable ice cream shops: Magpies SoftserveMerci ClementFosselman’s Ice Cream Co.Afters Ice CreamCoolhausJeni’s Splendid Ice Creams


3. San Diego, CA (tied)

Number of ice cream shops: 72
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.31
Walk Score: 51

“My favorite Ice cream shop is Creamistry and I love to order the Affogato! I’m able to get my ice cream and coffee fix all in one.” – Amando Butalid, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in San Diego

Notable ice cream shops: Mariposa Ice CreamJoJo’s CreameryCreme & SugarICMonsterTREET Ice Cream Sandwich Company


4. Denver, CO

Number of ice cream shops: 54
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.3
Walk Score: 61

“Little Man Ice Cream is hands down my favorite ice cream shop in Denver. When I’m in the area on a tour, I always make sure to stop by and invite my clients I’m touring with to join. The atmosphere, customer service, and homemade ice cream are always exceptional!” –Karla Kirkpatrick Adams, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Denver

Notable ice cream shops: Little Man Ice CreamSweet Action Ice CreamBonnie Brae Ice CreamMilkroll CreameryHigh Point Creamery


5. Miami, FL

Number of ice cream shops: 42
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.34 
Walk Score: 79

“Morelia Gourmet Paletas in Coral Gables is my favorite place to grab an ice cream bar! They serve a variety of fruit and chocolate flavors. After that, you can dress up your Paleta with melted chocolates, chopped nuts, and even Melted marshmallow topping that’s torched in front of you! Its convenient location on Coral Way is also fantastic. I usually visit in the evening while walking my 2 dogs!” –Jessica Johnson, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Miami

Notable ice cream shops: Dasher and CrankMad Lab CreameryMorelia Gourmet PaletasTaiyakiSweet MelodySerendipity Creamery


6. New York, NY

Number of ice cream shops: 51
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.17
Walk Score: 89

“Five Pennies Creamery in Rockville Centre is my absolute favorite. The staff is friendly and the ice cream is amazing! They have around 130 unique variety of flavors and also make ice cream cakes and pies. It’s irresistible!” – Peggy Papazaharias, Redfin Listing Agent in New York

Notable ice cream shops: Ample Hills CreameryVan Leeuwen Artisan Ice CreamBig Gay Ice CreamMomofuku Milk BarFive Pennies CreameryEmack and Bolio’s Ice Cream


7. Philadelphia, PA

Number of ice cream shops: 50
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.14 
Walk Score: 79

“Little Baby’s is one of my favorite ice cream spots in Philly because of their creative and unusual flavors. From Everything Bagel to Burnt Sugar Absinthe, from Ramen to Earl Grey Sriracha, it’s always an adventure trying a new flavor.” –Trey Dodge, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Philadelphia

Notable ice cream shops: Little Baby’s Ice Cream ShopPhilly’s FlavorsBassetts Ice CreamCustard & Cakes CreameryWeckerly’sThe Franklin Fountain


8. Portland, OR

Number of ice cream shops: 48
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.21
Walk Score: 65

“Salt & Straw is Portland’s quintessential ice-cream shop for locals and travelers. While flavors like Freckled Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Chocolate Gooey Brownie, and Green Fennel & Maple make the menu interesting and offer exciting alternatives to more basic flavors, it’s the business’s relationship with local producers and farmers who offer high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients that make Salt & Straw more than just another ice cream shop.” – Nathan Boutcher, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Portland

Notable ice cream shops: Salt & StrawBeaux BerryRuby Jewel ScoopsFifty LicksCool Moon Ice CreamWhat’s the Scoop?


9. Chicago, IL

Number of ice cream shops: 50
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.13
Walk Score: 78

“Walking into Margie’s Candies takes you back to 1933 when they first opened and since then, very little has changed. From the nearly-original interior, homemade ice cream and candies, sundaes served in dishes the size of your head, and silver gravy boats filled with hot fudge and caramel – some things don’t need to change with the times.” – Daniel Close, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Chicago

Notable ice cream shops: Jeni’s Splendid Ice CreamsMargie’s CandiesLickity SplitOriginal Rainbow ConeScooter’s Frozen CustardBobtail Ice Cream Company


10. San Jose, CA

Number of ice cream shops: 49
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.19
Walk Score: 51

“I love visiting Willow Glen Creamery for their selection of frozen custard and ice cream. I never get bored visiting Willow Glen because they serve waffle cones, milkshakes, ice cream cookie sandwiches, and even soft serve in a waffle taco!”  Manny Dena, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in San Jose

Notable ice cream shops: Treat Ice Cream CompanyCREAMWillow Glen CreameryMilk & WoodSweet RendezvousSmitten Ice Cream


11. Austin, TX

Number of ice cream shops: 50
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.24
Walk Score: 40

“Cow Tipping Creamery beats out everyone, in my opinion! They make amazing creations and it’s hard to choose but the flavor At The Ritz is a family favorite and brings us back to this local spot regularly.” – Abby Alwan, Redfin Agent in Austin

Notable ice cream shops: Sweet RitualProhibition CreameryLick Honest Ice CreamsCow Tipping CreamerySPUN Ice CreamDolce Neve


12. Dallas, TX

Number of ice cream shops: 98
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.12 
Walk Score: 46

“It may not technically be ice cream, but Epic Gelato is my favorite place to stop for a sweet iced treat. The gelato is fabulous and the employees are enthusiastic to make each customer’s experience memorable.” –Katrina Wiggins, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Dallas

Notable ice cream shops: Azucar Ice Cream CompanyEpic GelatoPokey O’s Cookies & Ice CreamSweet FireflyLake Highlands CreameryMilk • Cream


13. Las Vegas, NV

Number of ice cream shops: 155
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.15 
Walk Score: 41

“Handel’s is my first choice for ice cream. The high-quality ingredients and homemade flavors create a taste that you can’t get anywhere else.” – Sebastian Galas, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Las Vegas

Notable ice cream shops: Lappert’s Ice CreamLuv-It Frozen CustardPerfect Scoop Ice CreamHandel’s Homemade Ice Cream & YogurtSloan’s Ice Cream


14. Minneapolis, MN

Number of ice cream shops: 58
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.04
Walk Score: 43

“A fun activity to do in Minneapolis is take advantage of the bike trails and breweries and the sprinkle on the top is when you stumble upon the Minnesota Nice Cream truck!”
– James Garry, Redfin Buyer’s Agent in Minneapolis

Notable ice cream shops: MN Nice CreamSebastian Joe’s Ice Cream CafeMilkjam CreameryIzzy’s Ice Cream CafePumphouse Creamery


15. San Antonio, TX

Number of ice cream shops: 50
Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.21
Walk Score: 38

“I enjoy going to a local place called Lick Honest Ice Creams because they have unique flavors and use all local dairy products. They buy from a local dairy out in McGregor, Texas close to Waco and purchase ingredients from Austin and fruit from the Texas Hill Country.” – Jim Seifert, Redfin Seller’s Agent in San Antonio

Notable ice cream shops: Brindles Awesome Ice CreamsLick Honest Ice CreamsJustin’s Ice CreamEl Paraíso Ice CreamAmy’s Ice Creams



After discovering the top 100 cities in the United States with the most ice cream shops, we factored in average Yelp rating and Walk Score. We ranked the average rating for all shops to be twice as valuable compared to Walk Score and amount of shops to account for a quality over quantity factor. Finally, the cherry on top of our report was our real estate agents providing their local expertise on their favorite ice cream shops to visit.

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