Victor Protasio

When you can’t go to the ice cream shop, bring the ice cream shop to you.

Kimberly Holland
August 03, 2018

Instagram can be cruel sometimes. After all, you can only look at so many of your friends’ vacation photos before you’re itching to book a flight yourself. Or a ‘gram of that fabulous double-patty burger and duck fat fries lures you out for a Friday night dinner. Or the two scoops of brambleberry crisp ice cream piled high in golden waffle cone makes you want to grab your keys and… drive to Ohio?

Unfortunately, many cult-favorite ice cream brands aren’t out your backdoor, but thanks to dry ice and shipping companies, you can bring these sweet treats right to your door and into your loving arms. Here, 11 ice cream brands worth every penny of shipping and every minute of waiting.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni’s opened in Columbus, Ohio in 2002, and it has since grown to more than 30 locations in 10 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington D.C. You can also buy some pre-packed pints of Jeni’s classic flavors in more than 3,000 stores nationwide, or you can order your favorite flavors to ship right to you.

Jeni’s ice cream is known for its dynamic flavors inspired by Americana (Strawberry Buttermilk, for example) and high-quality ingredients, often purchased directly from farmers. Don’t miss her classic flavors like Milkiest Chocolate, Darkest Chocolate, Green Mint Chip, and Cookies in Cream, but be sure to snatch up unique and seasonal flavors when you spot them. We’re particularly fond of Salted Honey Pie.

  • Where to order: https://shop.jenis.com/
  • Minimum order: 3 pints
  • Shipping costs: from $13
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Salted Honey Pie—so unique, you’ll taste nothing like it anywhere else

Capogiro Gelato

The closest you can get to gelato this authentic requires booking a flight to Italy. Capogiro’s gelato is made in the “artigianale” manner—that is, the way Italian Nonnas know it from their old-world neighborhoods. The small (1.3-gallon) batches are made daily in Capogiro’s Philadelphia stores.

You can buy various pint packs featuring some of their 28 gelati and 8 sorbetti. They offer five custom made packs: Italian Classics (with pistachio, hazelnut, espresso, and more), Vegan (sorbetti), Herbs & Spices (featuring flavors like Lime Cilantro and Rosemary Honey Goat’s Milk), Seasonal Gelati, and Seasonal Sorbetti, plus a pick-your-own option.

  • Where to order: capogirogelato.com
  • Minimum order: 6 pints
  • Shipping costs: depends on location
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Nocciola Piemontese (hazelnut)—so classic, so delicious

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams

If you can make it in the ice cream business for almost seven decades, you’ve got some secret sauce in your sweets. McConnell’s, which scooped their first ice cream in 1949, finds their success in making every element from scratch and sourcing as locally as possible. They now have five locations in the Golden State, from Santa Barbara to Studio City, and will deliver their pints of fresh, simple, high-quality ice cream to you if you can’t come see them in California.

  • Where to order: mcconnells.com
  • Minimum order: 4 pints
  • Shipping costs: starts at $14.99
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Sweet Cream—you know a good ice cream maker by their most simple flavor; this sweet cream won’t disappoint

WATCH: How to Make Mayonnaise Ice Cream

Graeter’s

Another Ohio original, Graeter’s has been making ice cream since the 1870s with a very unique method called “the French Pot process.” The ice cream base is slowly turned as it’s frozen, which reduces the amount of air that is incorporated. (Fun fact: many “light” ice creams” are just filled with air so each spoonful contains less actual ice cream by weight compared to less airy options.) The result: a rich, creamy, ultra-decadent ice cream that is unparalleled in the frozen treats aisle at the grocery store. (Seriously, they’re actually the only large-scale manufacturer using this process, so get it where you can.)

Today, the company sells 31 flavors on their site, hand-making each batch two-and-a-half gallons at a time. You won’t find off-the-wall flavors like Prosciutto or Pickle Juice here. Instead, it’s just classic ice cream flavors done better than you’ve ever had. Be sure to sign up for their email and receive $5 off your first order.

  • Where to order: graeters.com
  • Minimum order: 6 pints
  • Shipping costs: Ground shipping is included; next day air starts at $29.95.
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Chocolate Chip—made “by accident” by the original ice cream maker’s son

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

If you left your heart in San Francisco after your first taste of Humphry Slocombe ice cream, you’ll be pleased as punch to know you can order this brand, known for its out-of-the-box flavors like Beets, Carrots, and Government Cheese. A four-pack of their best-selling Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with corn flake cookies), Malted Milk Chocolate, Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, and Tahitian Vanilla is available directly through Amazon.

  • Where to order: Amazon or Goldbely
  • Minimum order: 4 pints or 6 pints
  • Shipping costs: free in some cases
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Black Sesame—you’ve never tasted anything quite this intense

Salt & Straw

Portland’s Salt & Straw does small-batch ice cream the way only people in Portland can: unconventional flavors that are somehow just magic in the mouth. Take, for example, Oregon Wasabi & Raspberry Sorbet or Fresh Sheep’s Cheese & Strawberries. They’re unique and unexpected, which is exactly why you need to experience these ice cream flavors for yourself, even if you can’t make it to the Oregon coast.

Salt & Straw ships a pack of their top flavors: Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, Double Fold Singing Dog Vanilla, Grandma Malek’s Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache, Coava Coffee & Cocanú Craque, and Chocolate Gooey Brownie. All the ingredients are sourced locally to Oregon or from small batch producers from around the world.

  • Where to order: saltandstraw.com
  • Minimum order: 6-pint Classic Pints Pack
  • Shipping costs: based on destination
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Double Fold Singing Dog Vanilla—dang good vanilla, done remarkably well

Ice & Vice

This New York City’s scoop shop produces the wild flavors you see all over Instagram but can never find in a store near you. Now, Opium Den (white sesame-poppy seed ice cream with lemon-bread croutons) and Basic B (Mexican vanilla ice cream with black lava sea salt) are yours with a few clicks of your computer mouse. Ice & Vice’s ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt are wild, and they’re often just limited edition experiments, which means if you see something you like, snatch it up. It may not stick around. 

  • Where to order: goldbely.com
  • Minimum order: 5 pints
  • Shipping costs: free
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Milk Money—dulce de leche with sea salt and dark chocolate ganache

Lick Honest Ice Creams

Deep in the heart of (Austin) Texas, Lick Honest Ice Creams is serving up classic flavors alongside quirky new varieties like Roasted Beets & Fresh Mints or, as only a company in the Lonestar State can make, Sweet Grits. Pre-packed pint kits with six flavors are available for purchase, but the options change occasionally, often seasonally. They also offer dairy-free ice creams and some truly special ice cream sandwiches with tender, crumbly cookies on either side of the scoop shop’s signature flavors. Save $10 with code LICK10.

  • Where to order: ilikelick.foodydirect.com
  • Minimum order: 6 pints
  • Shipping costs: from $9.95
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Texas Sheet Cake (chocolate ice cream with a chocolate-pecan swirl)—because Texas

High Road Craft Ice Cream

Just as the word “craft” was becoming trite in the culinary world, Atlanta’s High Road Craft Ice Cream became the epitome of a true craft food product. The attention to detail shows in each bite, and founders Keith and Nicki Schroeder, plus their staff of 10 full-time chefs, pour their soul into creating flavors that are unique, but perfectly balanced and thoughtful.

You can now buy pints of flavors, like Bourbon Burnt Sugar and Cherry Almond Chip, at some stores, but you can also purchase one of several eight-pint (two pints of four flavors) collections and ship to your door.

  • Where to order: highroadcraft.com
  • Minimum order: 6 pints
  • Shipping costs: starts at free
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Super Chocolate—the deepest, darkest chocolate you’ll ever eat

Van Leeuwen

Vegans don’t have to miss out on the mail-order frozen fun. Beloved dairy-free ice cream brand Van Leeuwen is made—where else?—in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Instead of cow’s milk and cream, these ice creams use cashew milk, coconut milk, extra virgin coconut oil, cane sugar, cocoa butter, and carob bean. (Van Leeuwen also has classic ice cream for the non-vegans in your household.) Their iconic pint design belies seriously impressive and complex flavors like Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam and California Coconut Crunch.

  • Where to order: goldbely.com
  • Minimum order: 6 pints
  • Shipping costs: free
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Vegan Sicilian Pistachio

Tipsy Scoop

If you’ve ever spooned up chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream while sipping on a glass of riesling and thought to yourself, “What if someone saved me the time and combined these two?” you’ll be happy to know someone was listening. Tipsy Scoop’s liquor-infused ice creams have 5 percent alcohol by volume—not enough to get you drunk, most likely, but enough to be really fun to eat. Plus, this is really just a great time-saver: you’re taking care of your drinks and your dessert at once.

  • Where to order: goldbely.com
  • Minimum order: 4 pints
  • Shipping costs: free
  • Flavor you shouldn’t miss: Spiked Hazelnut Coffee—because it could be breakfast if you try hard enough

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