Though most town’s have ice cream options aplenty, there are always countless more out there to try. Whether experimenting with unique ingredients or aiming to perfect a vegan base, ice cream brands are ever-upping their game to appease the curious palates of consumers. And though rich, velvety classics haven’t fallen out of favor, there are new iterations that explore interesting flavors, healthier formulas and more. Many deliver across the USA, and we’ve rounded some favorites up here.
Berkeley-based Eclipse Foods makes ice cream without traditional, dairy-free or nut-based milks. Instead, they replicate the composition of the ideal milk from cows using a blend of plant components. There’s minimal bio-technology at play here, though, as the base doesn’t include any modified ingredients. Instead, it comprises a mix of potato, tapioca, heirloom corn, cassava and oats. They ship nationwide—as long as you order six or more pints. Their new Chef Series collection features collaborative flavors created with Michelin-starred chefs and cult favorites. We love Brooklyn Taiwanese restaurant Win Son’s sweet potato and salty black caramel, and Olmsted’s blackberry tarragon.
Marco Ice Cream
The storylines, flavors and the mascot of Marco Ice Cream all aim to bring variety to the category. A team of creatives and culinary talents, including Luke Christianson, Avery Henderson, Julian Plyter (an Eleven Madison Park pastry department alum and founder of Melt Bakery) and Spencer Joynt (partner and creative director at Alright Studio, which designed the packaging and assisted with all of the visual storytelling) helm the brand’s exploratory direction. Flavors like Thai coco-lime, Aztec chocolate, vanilla chai and spicy PB caramel are achieved with ingredients sourced from Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Spice Company. Marco ships across the eastern US from its Boonville, New York HQ in quantities of four or more. 1% of each sale goes to the One Acre Fund, a Kenya-based non-profit for small farmers.
Salt & Straw
Portland, Oregon’s Salt & Straw ice cream is soft and decadent—because it’s handmade and has an ultra-high butterfat content. From this base, a number of flavors are crafted, often with locally sourced ingredients. Their July flavor, called Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero, features a chevre from nearby Portland Creamery. The Birthday Cakes and Blackberries flavor uses an evergreen blackberry jam by Oregon Hill, a family-run farm in the PNW. They ship in packs of five or six, via two-day or overnight delivery, across the country.
Queer-owned Coolhaus was founded in LA circa 2009 as its founders stepped away from careers in architecture and real estate. Over a decade later, the brand continues to grow and is stocked almost universally in WholeFoods and other grocers. But, for those that cannot find any nearby, Coolhaus also ships. They offer a variety of traditionally indulgent treats and dairy-free options—in pint, pop or sandwich form. We suggest a bundle, which includes a mix of sandwiches and pints in brand-new and classic flavors. Shipping is free for the eastern half of the US, while one and two-day delivery is offered to the rest of the country.
Brooklyn-based, India-inspired ice cream company Malai was founded in 2015 by Pooja Bavishi. Ingredients native to the nation manifest in Malai’s flavors, which include Sweet Roti and Ghee ice cream and Hibiscus Chaat Masala sorbet. These and more are available in packs of four or six for delivery, courtesy of Goldbelly. Plus, Malai also has “gulab jamun in frozen form,” an impressive ice cream cake comprised of rose and cinnamon roasted almond ice cream between saffron syrup-soaked cakes.
Lick Honest Ice Cream
Lick Honest Ice Cream ships their pints nationwide through Goldbelly, but founders Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier own and operate scoop shops in Austin and San Antonio. Their “honest” ice creams (“‘honest’ simply means we use the purest ingredients we can find,” the founders say) use family farm-sourced milks and creams and plenty of other ingredients grown and produced in Texas. The queer-owned company’s Pride Fundae, a sundae comprising tri-colored seasonal flavors (Blueberry Crumble, Lemonade Pound Cake and Loquat Margarita), sprinkles, and mixed berry sauce, impressed in June and remains available through delivery, though you need to order it as a custom combination.
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
NYC-based Morgenstern’s harkens back to classic ice cream parlors. But, a vintage menu board, polished stainless steel and paper hats may be the extent of the equivalencies. The brand’s ice cream is far more culinary than it is classic scoop. Flavors like Salt and Pepper Pine Nut and Green Tea Pistachio surprise in the best ways. Themed four-packs—Parlor Favorites and American Classics—are available alongside custom combinations and delectable ice cream cakes. Delivery is available to 48 states.
Though Van Leeuwen‘s flavors can be found in grocery stores across New York and California, the NYC-based ice cream company’s most elusive flavors, the ever-changing roster on their scoop shop’s menu, have been harder to find. But now, they have introduced nationwide shipping and made an abundance of the classic flavors available alongside the exclusive suite of shop-only combinations. From flavors like Ceylon Cinnamon Toast to Honeycomb and Vegan Oat Milk Matcha Latte, there are formulations for every palate and many dietary requirements—which makes filling the minimum order (four pints) easy.
Images courtesy of respective venues, hero image courtesy of Salt & Straw