The Best Ice Cream & Frozen Treats In Houston

Where to get ice cream, gelato, and frozen desserts.
The Best Ice Cream & Frozen Treats In Houston image

photo credit: Quit Nguyen

The weather in Houston is good for a few things, one of which is appropriate temperatures for enjoying ice cream year-round. Sure, you can do this anywhere, but it feels absolutely luxurious here, especially when the heat index is north of 110 degrees. Whether it’s gelato from your favorite Italian restaurant or a giant cup of sorbet, this list of some of the best spots around town can help you find the frozen treat you need.


photo credit: Cloud 10 Creamery

Ice Cream

The Heights

$$$$Perfect For:Feeling Hot
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There are several locations of Cloud 10, and the one in The Heights looks like a pleasant little house. Inside, alongside a fierce early 2000s pop playlist, there are rows of decadent ice cream and a handful of non-dairy flavors. Get whatever seasonal flavor is on deck, keep it classic with a couple scoops of mango sorbet, and add a questionable number of toppings and then kick back on the porch out front to enjoy your frozen treat, one lick at a time.

The Galleria area Palestinian shop Booza serves, well, booza, an ice cream from the Levantine region made with mastic, a resin from the mastic tree, and orchid flour called sahlab. Both make the ice cream sticky, stretchy, and a little less rich than other kinds of ice cream. Go for flavors like pistachio or the aromatic orange flower water—although every flavor tastes just as sweet and delicious—and watch the staff stretch out every scoop.

Flower and Cream really loves the color pink. Not only is the inside of this modern ice cream shop in Bellaire mostly pink, you can also order bright pink waffle cones. It also serves 15 different ice cream flavors, including five vegan flavors that rotate in and out, like unicorn tracks with lucky charm marshmallows or vegan peanut butter cup. If you can’t decide between two flavors, Flower and Cream allows you to order half scoops, so you can try two ice cream flavors without having to get two full scoops.

Craft Creamery, a small scoop in Montrose, makes excellent ice cream. Try fantastic savory flavors, like cacio e pepe, alongside classics like cookies and cream or seasonal strawberry and basil. Or, when available, the brisket-flavored ice cream, which is creamy, smoky, and somehow tastes like all the flavors of a well-made, flavorful barbecue, without the meat. Or, completely bypass flavor decision paralysis and order a scoop flight of either five or all 16 flavors.

Underground Creamery is Houston’s hottest ice cream, functioning like a weekly hype sneaker drop, but, you know, if those sneakers were pints of ice cream. The tiny outpost next to Dinette in The Heights makes two flavors a week—like labneh with sour cherries, or vanilla bean and salted caramel—selling the pint in its online shop. Fanatics log on early, and once the drop happens, nearly 900 pints of ice cream are snatched up in a matter of seconds. Move fast.

When a sense of childlike wonder falls over you and the ice cream truck is nowhere to be found, head to Popston. The walkup East End popsicle shop has rows upon rows of colorful dairy and non-dairy iced treat lovers. Get something tropical and refreshing like the guava, or completely commit to your tongue being stained neon blue for the rest of the day and get the four-flavored Rodeo Clown pop. Your inner child will thank you.

The frozen custard at Honeychild’s Sweet Creams in The Heights tastes like every scoop was whipped up to order from farmers market produce, as if it were fruit plucked from the tree right in front of you. With flavors like dewberry (native blackberries), Texas sheet cake, peach sorbet, and buttermilk pie, Honeychild’s embraces Southern and local contingencies in a bright, modern space. Order the personal five-scoop flight and admire the surrounding wildflower garden.

Fat Cat Creamery in Garden Oaks has something for everyone, like orange sorbet push pops or milkshakes with a lot of booze. The local shop has scoops, popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, and an entire back bar to shake up ice cream cocktails. Make your own soft serve sundae topped with hot fudge or toasted pecans, or grab an old-fashioned egg cream soda to-go. You might need a cat nap afterward.

Rocambolesc in Uptown hails from the team behind the famed molecular gastronomy haven El Celler De Can Roca in Spain, which kind of explains why there are chocolate popsicles shaped like fingers. The soft serve gelato and sorbet are exceptional, with a near velvety texture. Top cups with your choice of freeze-dried berries, lavender marshmallows, guava sauce, and a gummy candy nose or two.

The Greater East End location of Magnolias Ice Cream & More, a Mexican chuchería, stocks everything you need to indulge in a chamoy-doused-candy-fueled sugar rush of epic proportions. Want to throw some gushers on a banana split? No problem. Want a milkshake smothered in fruit syrup and sour candy? Done. Magnolia’s makes anything junk food and ice cream-related, possible. If you want to avoid throngs of elementary-aged children clamoring for tajin sour worms, we suggest going to Magnolia’s after school hours.

Cosmic Ice Cream Co. in Spring Branch embraces an alien-abduction aesthetic when it comes to ice cream. We’re not sure why, but the ice cream is pretty damn good. Get scoops of birthday cake, mango sorbet, and honey lavender topped with sprinkles. Or opt to try the signature cosmic bar: lemon poppyseed ice cream smashed between crispy Fruity Pebbles marshmallow wafers, which may or may not momentarily send you into outer space.

$$$$Perfect For:Feeling Hot

You’ll find the Montrose gelato and sorbet shop Sweet Cup Artisan Gelato in a mostly empty strip center. There are an almost overwhelming number of flavors to choose from, but with four free samples allowed, you can create a combination tailored to your frozen treat palate. Maybe you want a guava and pistachio dynamic duo, or perhaps you prefer something sophisticated, like grapefruit lavender sorbet to fill your waffle cone. And while there are a couple tables outside, they’re usually filled, so plan to devour scoops in your car.

Getting gelato from the Austin import Dolce Neve in The Heights feels like buying yourself a bouquet of flowers just for the hell of it. Indulgent, fulfilling, and somewhat necessary. The Italian-owned shop serves some of the best classic gelato in Houston. While the flavors rotate frequently, if you ever see something with goat cheese, it’s an immediate yes.

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