There’s nothing that says summer more than scoops of your favorite ice cream flavors piled high in a waffle cone and topped with confetti sprinkles. Or maybe you prefer your ice cream on a stick, in a bowl, or split; the possibilities are endless.  There’s also gelato, sorbetto, frozen yogurt, and soft serve. And so many flavors and toppings! Plus, an added benefit, did you know that eating ice cream makes you happy? It’s a scientific fact.

Whichever way is your favorite and for whatever reason you eat it, you are sure to find a place that has your favorite in our list below. Indulge and enjoy! 


1)  What tastes really, really good after an authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza? Artisanal gelato from Napoli Pizzeria & Gelateria. Just thinking about these new flavors for summer: Blueberry Lemon, Blackberry Peach Ginger, Raspberry Prosecco, and Tiramisu has us dreaming of a summer vacation in Italy.


Chapel Hill

2) Paco's Shaved Ice. Located at 102 S. Merritt Mill road, this family owned business is serving up 32 flavors of hugely portioned, naturally flavored shave ice. They also feature terrific shave ice specialties and wholesome organic smoothies.

3)  Yogurt Pump, affectionately called YoPo, is the place to chill on the hill. Since 1982 (it was North Carolina’s first frozen yogurt shop) the family owned yogurt shop has been serving Chapel Hillians and students from their ‘80s décor style shop located in an alcove just off of W. Franklin Street. What’s currently swirling? Cookie Dough, Sweet Coconut, Expresso, Oreo and Blueberry Tart & Razz Pom Sorbet and the menu changes up a bit weekly.

4)  Insomnia Cookies is a favorite among UNC-Chapel Hill students for late night pick me ups! We recommend the Super Insomniac Celebration Pack. It comes with a 10" cookie cake, a quart of ice cream and a Sugar Rush 12 pack. 

5)  La Vita Dolce Café serves up gelato and sorbetto that is made on-site using fresh fruit and spices, fine chocolate, and ingredients imported from Italy. Enjoy a scoop on their spacious outdoor patio.


6)  How does fried ice cream sound? A scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in special coating and deep fried, topped with honey, whipped cream and chopped nuts. Delish! You'll find it at Bandidos Mexican Cafe. They also have Oreo Fried Ice Cream and a Fire and Ice Sundae.

7)  Every town should have a Ben & Jerry’s. They are tried and true. You know you’ll always be satisfied. And they have an annual FREE cone day! Opt-in for a chocolate dipped waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles filled with Chunky Monkey, a nutty chocolatey chunky concoction gone bananas.

8)  Another tried and true maker of the cold stuff, Cold Stone Creamery, has smooth and creamy super-premium customizable ice cream creations for the ultimate ice cream experience. You have to try the tiny, tasty, terrific ice cream cupcakes which come in a take home DIY 6-pack ready to decorate and enjoy.


9)  Probably the most popular of all ice cream venues is Maple View Farm Country Store. It’s slightly off the beaten path and the first thing you notice when you arrive is the cows grazing in the pastures at the farm across the street. Well, those are THE cows that produce the milk for Maple Views award winning ice cream. It’s true cow to cone. Besides the cream from the cows, local ingredients like North Carolina pecans, Orange County honey and local berries make up just a few of the ever-growing list of available flavors. Maple View is offering drive up service and their lawn is open during limited hours.

10 & 11)  Two more farms, Eno River Farm and Broken Spoke Farm, are making home made ice cream a part of their summer offerings along with berry picking, fresh picked produce and ornamental flowers.

12)  Look for a different flavor of the week at Whit’s Frozen Custard of Hillsborough. Their custard is made daily and they have over 25 toppings to chose from.


Fun Facts about Ice Cream

One scoop of ice cream needs about 50 licks to finish.

The average American eats 48 pints of ice cream each year.

The USA is the world's leading producer of ice cream.

Yes ... vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor (followed by chocolate and strawberry). We don’t really understand this one when you can have strange ice cream flavors like jalapeno, dill pickle, garlic, bacon, bleu cheese and shallots, squid ink and curry carrot.

What's your favorite flavor?

(Photo credit: header, The Yogurt Pump)