As we’ve all heard (and experienced), this summer is a total scorcher. It’s tough to be outside in this weather for too long without breaking a major sweat, so the search for ice cold (tasty) relief is on. We took on the very tough, sugary job of visiting some of our favorite Atlanta ice cream shops and want to share the melt-y wealth with you, especially to celebrate July’s clearly awesome status as National Ice Cream Month! Here’s where you’ll find some deliciously sweet relief.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Midtown: 1198 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA 30318 • (404) 355-6050
Decatur: 545 N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030 • (470) 891-8095
Inman Park: 99 Krog St., Atlanta, GA 30307 (inside Krog Street Market) • (470) 891-8095

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight

If you love crazy ice cream flavors, then Jeni’s is the place for you. I found Jeni’s at Westside Provisions stationed among the trendiest area, where the friendly staff is happy to give you as many samples as you’d like.

Jeni's Ice Cream

Sweet, drippy glory! Wildberry Lavender, Estate Vanilla Bean and Bramble Berry Crisp loaded into a waffle cone for $6.

I ordered a three-scoop waffle cone, featuring two of my favorite flavors and one on the wild side. My Wildberry Lavender, Estate Vanilla Bean and Bramble Berry Crisp waffle cone was a steal at $6, given all that gourmet flavor. Their varieties are always rotating and include yummy options like candied ginger, salted caramel and churro (yes, churro!) with most available in pint form to take home to the family (or for you single gals, a Netflix kind of night).

I loved every bite from start to finish — picking out the delicious flavors for that day’s treat and making a mental note for the ones I’d have on my inevitable future visits.

Jeni's Ice Cream decatur

No matter which Jeni’s you hit up (like this one in Decatur), you’re bound to love what you order.

Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream

749 Moreland Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 • (404) 622-0210

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.; Friday  and Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.

Hidden downtown, I decided to go to the original Atlanta Morelli’s location, an old-school window service shop. As soon as I walked up I was greeted by a very enthusiastic and helpful face. Happy to give me time to look over the extensive menu, I tried a few of his recommended favorites, as well as some that stood out to me.

I came to my final verdict: peanut butter chip and spicy dark chocolate, all loaded into a sprinkle waffle cone that cost $5. I was pleasantly surprised by the intensity of the flavors, as well as the flower bouquets scattered across the outside seating area, making it all the more inviting. Other fun flavor options include Krispy Kreamier (What?!?!), PB&J Sandwich (Really?) and dulce de leche (Stop now.) Not a fan of ice cream? We’re not sure why you’d be reading this article then, but Morrelli’s does offer cakes, pies and catering for larger events.

Morelli's

Peanut butter chip and spicy dark chocolate are tasty but they taste even better in this sprinkle waffle cone for $5.

Butter & Cream

416 Church St., Decatur, GA 30030 • (404) 378-7272

Hours: Sunday through Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.

I left downtown and headed toward Downtown Decatur, where I found the very quaint and homey Butter & Cream. Inside the cozy shop, it was hard to think about ice cream with all the homemade cakes, baked goods and caramels scattered across the counter top. Forcing myself to focus on the task at hand, I scoured the menu for an enticing ice cream among the other delicious desserts.

Cashew crème brûlée and green tea ginger quickly caught my eye. All “waffle-coned” out from previous stops, I opted this time for a two-scoop bowl at $5. The shop is rather small, so I headed outside to the almost-too-perfect big red bench complementing the storefront. I enjoyed every bite of my afternoon treat and will be back for another visit.

Butter & Cream

Cashew crème brûlée and green tea ginger from Butter & Cream, stacked in a bowl for $5

Jake’s Ice Cream

660 Irwin St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 • (678) 705-7945

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Heading over to the Beltline, I went to a one-stop shop: Jake’s Ice Cream. This eccentric Irwin Street landmark stands out with bright colors and carnival light signage, fitting right in as part of its trendy graffiti-covered surroundings. With offerings of breakfast, coffee, lunch options, desserts and, of course, ice cream, there’s really no way to go wrong at Jake’s.

Jake's Ice Cream

After a day of riding your bike or walking along the Beltline, it’s time for a frosty treat from Jake’s. Image: The Cultured Lens

Again faced with the task of ignoring these other tasty options (like chocolate-covered bacon) and sticking to ice cream, I scanned over my options. And then I saw the ultimate pairing: Yo’ Daddy’s Vanilla and Chocolate Slap Yo’ Momma — the perfect duo on a hot summer day. With so many food options to choose from, there aren’t as many flavors at Jake’s compared to some of the other Atlanta ice cream places but the offered flavors are so good, you won’t be missing out on anything! Definitely stop by Jake’s Ice Cream when visiting the Beltline.

SB-ATL-Icecreamshops-JakesDessertCase.jpg

So if you’re on a diet, you may want to hang outside Jake’s. Example No. 1? Cherry pie bars. Example No. 2? Everything in that display case.

Queen of Cream

701 Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 • (404) 331-0807

Hours: Monday through Friday, noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

After Jake’s, I headed right around the corner to the very trendy Queen of Cream, where the vibe is clean and sleek, with white-on-white decor. The self-proclaimed ice cream and coffee parlor is the perfect example of Atlanta cool.

By this time in my ice creamy research, I searched for a sorbet to ease my dairy overdose: “Strawberry Plum Fairy.” I didn’t even know sorbet could hold this much flavor! Sitting atop a scoop of the “Cherry & Co.” inside a homemade waffle cone, this was the perfect choice to re-energize me on my ice cream journey, costing a little bit more at $8. Other flavors include “Cold-Brew Coffee” and “Sprinkle Cookie” with more rotating seasonally,  like “Garden Party” and “Blueberry Cobbler.” Offering multiple coffee and ice cream options, this quiet spot boasts homemade flavor like no other.

Queen of Cream

“Strawberry Plum Fairy” sorbet atop “Cherry & Co.” ice cream — inside a homemade waffle cone — for $8

Honeysuckle Gelato

675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 • (404) 228-7825

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.

After trekking all over Atlanta trying out the prime ice cream spots, I made it back around to Ponce City Market. The always bustling market was not surprisingly PACKED on a hot Saturday afternoon, making the line for Honeysuckle Gelato extremely long.

Honeysuckle Gelato

Bourbon and cheesecake ice cream in a waffle cone, $5

The quick and friendly staff sifted through all the people, offering tastes and explanations for menu items, how to build an ice cream sandwich with cookies, why they put their smoothies in plastic mason jars and how exactly you make a bourbon flavored gelato. I ended my dairy adventure with bourbon and cheesecake flavors in a waffle cone for $5, flipped over into a cup so that I could relish my bites and rest easy when faced with unavoidable melting.

All the hustle and bustle at Ponce City Market can be a bit much but if you grab a good spot to sit down or walk around the shops, it’s nice to take in the scenery.

Honeysuckle Gelato

Other great flavor combos: Dark chocolate and fresh mint (right) or cheesecake and dark chocolate with raspberry sauce (left).

There are plenty of delicious options all around the city. Keep your taste buds ready and eyes open because this summer you’re sure to need one of these frozen treats to keep yourself cool. Enjoy!

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