Erica Chats: The Triangle Ice Cream Tour

Family time at The Parlour in downtown Durham

Is your family as crazy about ice cream as mine is? The Triangle area is filled with ice cream spots that have gained national recognition while delighting the palates of locals. Here are some of my top picks from all around the Triangle. And if you can’t indulge in ice cream, don’t worry. We’ve got something for you, too.

Howling Cow: Offering a one-of-a-kind experience, Howling Cow produces its ice cream at North Carolina State University using milk from their dairy cows. You can find their ice cream sold at locations across Raleigh, including their on-campus store. It’s not just about enjoying treats; it also gives you insight into the local dairy production process. Plus, it makes a great spot for family photos with an ice cream in hand and cows as your backdrop.

Two Roosters Walk for Hope charity event at Angus Barn

The Parlour: Situated in downtown Durham, The Parlour offers handcrafted ice cream made from local ingredients. They’re famous for their mix of creative flavors. You could even grab dinner at Counting House nearby, explore art at the 21c Museum Hotel, and finish off with an ice cream treat.

Maple View Farm: Nestled in the countryside near Chapel Hill, Maple View Farm boasts views that make the drive worthwhile. Stepping into the country store feels like traveling back in time. This farm holds a special place in the hearts of Chapel Hill and Hillsborough residents.

Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream: Located in Morrisville, Handel’s continues the legacy of Alice Handel, who began crafting treats in her backyard in 1945. Their made-in-store ice cream is top notch. They even offer delivery services! They are dedicated to fundraising initiatives and supporting their community.

Lumpy’s Ice Cream: Situated in Wake Forest, Lumpy’s serves up ice cream made from natural, locally sourced ingredients. Their trademark, “Just a Scoop Away from a Smile,” captures their commitment to delighting customers. Keep an eye out for the ice cream man, sporting his infamous mustache.

Vegan ube ice cream at Andia’s

Two Roosters Ice Cream: With spots in Raleigh and Durham, Two Roosters features a changing menu of handmade flavors. They frequently team up with businesses to source ingredients, resulting in flavors that truly reflect the essence of the area. I agree with their motto: “Ice cream makes a bad day better and a good day great.” It all started on their grandmother’s farm in Piedmont, North Carolina. Find them helping with local charities like the Walk for Hope, which supports mental health research.

Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream: With multiple locations serving Cary and Raleigh, Andia’s offers deservedly award-winning ice cream. They have been featured on Good Morning America and USA Today. They ship nationwide. The Ube flavor is beautiful — and vegan! Additionally, they have treats for your pets.

FRESH. Local Ice Cream: As the name suggests, FRESH. focuses on local ingredients. With several locations in the Triangle, it’s a great spot for traditional flavors and seasonal specials. They have a catering truck too if you want to add a memorable touch to your next event.

Goodberry’s Frozen Custard: Known for their creamy frozen custard made fresh throughout the day, Goodberry’s is a Raleigh staple. They are very big on giving back to the community and participating in school spirit nights. Custard is made with egg yolks, making it even richer than regular ice cream.

Easton enjoys a cup at Kilwins in downtown Apex.

Kilwins: A family favorite because they have ice cream, fudge, caramel apples, and more, Kilwins is a national chain with over 150 franchise locations, including several in the Triangle. If you’re heading to the beach, stop by the downtown Wilmington location to grab a cone and stroll through the city.

For those who prefer a dairy-free treat …

Pelican’s SnoBalls: Pelican’s SnoBalls offers a colorful twist on traditional snow cones with over 100 flavors of icy treats to choose from, including unique selections like Dill Pickle or Tamarind.

Hills of Snow: Easily recognizable by its snowball-shaped building with two straws poking out of the top — a prominent sight in downtown Smithfield — they offer more than 101 flavors to choose from. I love the peachy delight of Fuzzy Navel! Their homemade syrups are made in 30-gallon batches because they are so popular at this Johnston County spot.

Each of these shops offers something unique, whether it’s farm-fresh ingredients, innovative flavors, or the charm of the local scenery. Enjoy your Triangle ice cream tour and stay connected @EricaDeLong

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