Lick the Heat: Some of our Favorite Spots for GF and DF Ice Cream in the U.S.

There are plenty of GF and DF ice cream options in grocers’ freezers. But what about the summertime tradition of going out for a scoop? K.C. Cornwell melts the summer season’s heat with a roundup of the nation’s top parlors providing special gluten free (and often dairy free) experiences, perhaps even with a cherry on top.

NOTE: The establishments listed here are not all entirely GF or DF, but they have a protocol for guests with allergies. Be sure to let staff know about any dietary concerns before placing your order.


City: Fresno
The Scoop
: The ice creams and sorbets at this San Joaquin Valley shop are crafted daily from direct-from-the-farmer produce and fresh ingredients.
Get This: Honeycomb ice cream (made with local honey) and Black Pepper Plum sorbet (available only during summer)

Triple scoop from Amperseand

Cocobella Creamery
City: Los Angeles
The Scoop: Hollywood’s fun and friendly shop serves 100% gluten-free, vegan, coconut milk–based ice cream plus vegan, GF cones and custom GF ice cream cakes.
Get This: Unicorn Magic (pink vanilla ice cream with marshmallows, GF animal crackers, and sprinkles on a house-made GF waffle cone)

Three Twins Ice Cream
Cities: Various Northern California locations
The Scoop
: The shops connected to this quirky brand (which has nationwide retail distribution) always offer at least two nondairy options and several gluten-free flavors, served in cups or on GF cones by request.
Get This: Butterscotch pecan ice cream (butter pecan’s more sophisticated sibling); strawberry ice cream made with fresh fruit grown near Three Twins’ California plant and flavor-boosted with a splash of balsamic vinegar

Three Twins Ice Cream


Little Man Ice Cream
City: Denver
The Scoop
: House-made traditional and vegan ice creams and sorbets are served from inside a 28-foot-tall cream can.
Get This: Purple Cow (black-raspberry ice cream studded with dark- and white-chocolate chips) on a GF cone, or mango-chili sorbet

Little Man Ice Cream


D’Lites Shoppe
City: Lakewood Ranch
The Scoop
: Gluten-free, low-sugar soft-serve ice cream; regular ice cream; vegan and paleo-friendly nice cream; and coffee star at this family-owned shop.
Get This: Cold Brew Coffee Float (fair-trade cold-brew coffee and vanilla soft serve with or without caramel sauce)


Frosty Boy
Cities: Grand Rapids and Rockford
The Scoop
: Gluten-free soft serve with two or more vegan flavors daily, locally made ice cream, and handmade GF waffle cones and GF mix-ins are served through a walk-up window at two locations.
Get This: GF/vegan “Twix” Flurry (salted-caramel soft-serve ice cream with crunchy cookies) or any of the 12 dairy-free milkshakes with GF-cookie-dough mix-in

Frosty Boy

Wally’s Frozen Custard
City: St. Clair Shores
The Scoop
: A firehouse-style brick building just North of Detroit puts out summer’s heat with 100% gluten-free frozen custard and the same GF/ DF Dole Whip treats served at Disney resorts. You can also find Wally’s fire truck, outfitted with custard machines, at events.
Get This: Chocolate-covered strawberry custard on a GF cone with Detroit Tigers sprinkles, or a Dole Whip

Wally’s Frozen Custard

North Carolina

The Parlour
City: Durham
The Scoop
: You’ll find inventive, made-from-scratch, traditional and vegan ice cream flavors and house-made toppings at this downtown, family-owned shop near Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Get This: Salted butter–caramel ice cream or vegan chocolate ice cream on a GF cone with a swirl of coconut whipped cream

The Parlour

New York

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
: New York City (Manhattan)
The Scoop: An old-school vibe meets new-school technique at this small-batch ice cream shop, where additional ingredients are “scooped in” upon ordering so flavors and textures are their freshest.
Get This: Salted-chocolate ice cream, bitter dark-chocolate ice cream, or coconut-espresso vegan ice cream served affogato (with a shot of espresso)


Mitchell’s Homemade
Cleveland area
The Scoop: At all nine locations, traditional and vegan ice creams are made from the highest-quality ingredients, including products delivered from “farmer friends” around the world.
Get This: Coffee–chocolate chunk (ice cream made from a blend of two kinds of coffee plus dark-chocolate chunks) or vegan salted caramel–pecan (toasted pecan butter and caramelized brown sugar in a coconut-cream base)

Mitchell’s Homemade


Back to Eden Bakery
: Portland
The Scoop: The baked goods and soft-serve and hard-scooped ice creams at all of this plant-based paradise’s locations are 100% gluten-free and vegan, from kombucha floats to whoopie pies.
Get This: Oregon Trail Sundae (soft-serve ice cream topped with chocolate-creme cookies, white-chocolate chips, and chocolate sauce; we recommend adding house-made fresh berry sauce)

Dick’s Kitchen
The Scoop: This real-deal burger joint with two locations welcomes all eaters with lots of paleo, vegan, and gluten-free options. It serves 100% gluten-free, from-scratch desserts and traditional and vegan ice cream.
Get This: Paleo Parfait (maple-cashew-crème ice cream with cocoa-almond cookie crumbles and raspberry compote) or a thick, vegan chocolate shake

Dicks’s Kitchen’s Paleo Parfait


Little Baby’s Ice Cream
: Philadelphia
The Scoop: With two locations and a fleet of ice cream tricycles circulating around downtown Philly, there’s plenty of opportunity to try these wildly delicious traditional and vegan ice creams.
Get This: Chipotle chocolate (sweet, spicy, and slightly smoky ice cream with vegan and dairy versions)


Spun Ice Cream
City: Austin
The Scoop
: Liquid nitrogen is used to make spun-to-order traditional and nondairy ice creams blended with mixins like brown-butter powder and edible glitter sprinkles; the delicacies are served at three locations.
Get This: Dark chocolate ice cream with a vegan salted chocolate shell and fresh berry-blend sauce

Spun ice cream with a vegan chocolate shell

Sweet Ritual Ice Cream
: Austin
The Scoop: The creative flavors made with local ingredients at this 100% vegan ice cream shop are so revered that would-be vegan-treat sellers fly to attend Cool School, which is taught by founders Valerie and Amelia.
Get This: Cookies & Creme (vanilla ice cream with GF chocolate cookies from local GF bakery Pie Jacked) or a fully loaded banana split with housemade sauces

A happy customer at Sweet Ritual Ice Cream


Frankie & Jo’s
The Scoop: Both locations feature seasonal ice creams and sorbets and waffle cones that are house-made, plant-based, and gluten-free.
Get This: Date shake (ice cream made with dates, vanilla, cocoa butter, and coconut milk) or gingered golden milk (turmeric-coconut ice cream with spices and crystallized ginger)

Frankie & Jo’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.