I make no secret of my devotion to ice cream. Indeed, my Twitter bio reads, “I will probably hug you when I meet you. If you have ice cream, I will hug you twice.” While choosing “favorites” is almost impossible for someone like me, I’ve whittled it down to the best ways to get your cold, clean ice cream fix during the dog days of August (and beyond!) in New Orleans. Of course, because there’s just so much to say about NOLA ice cream options, I’m going to introduce you to three of my favorite straight-up ice cream places this week. Next time, I’ll highlight innovative New Orleans ice cream styles. So stay tuned and get thee to an ice creamery!
Creole Creamery‘s bustling stores Uptown on Prytania and out in Lakeview operate under the simple motto, “Eat ice cream. Be happy.” (Stealing this would be a real possibility, if I were to consider a tattoo.) Kids and adults alike pour over the freezers of flavors, which include an entire freezer devoted to shades of chocolate (some of my favorites: Mexican hot chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate amaretto cheesecake) plus rotating and standard flavors that shift with the seasons, both Mother Nature’s and mighty football’s. From lavender honey to red velvet, blueberry pie and Black & Gold. With a freezer full of intensely fruity sorbets, plus standards like vanilla, cookies n’ cream and mint chocolate chip, this is any ice cream lover’s playground.
Tip: Check out the four mini-scoop option, so you can choose as many flavors as possible!
In the family of New Orleans’ ice creams, Creole Creamery and Sucre are among the most debated. Like everything else culinary in New Orleans, people will amiably bicker for hours about which is “the best.” The best way to figure it out? An ice cream tour of New Orleans, of course. While both are made daily and locally, and feature oodles of rotating flavors, Sucre’s “ice cream” is actually gelato or sorbeto. Rather than ice cream, it packs an incredibly smooth, dense flavor, with a lighter feel than Creole Creamery’s full dairy spread.
Tip: Equally popular at Sucre are their handmade sweets, including an entire section of handmade chocolates, multiple flavors of oh-so-airy-macaroons, and miniature desserts, like a recreation of s’mores in a baby skillet, and the divine strawberry shortcake that my best friend gets every time we go. Consider these extra treats icing on the ice cream, so to speak.
Tradition lives and thrives in New Orleans. Tradition melts in the mouths of the thousands of visitors Angelo Brocato sees every year. If Sucre is polished, refined and dainty like, say, Audrey Hepburn eating tiny bites of gelato out of multicolored mini octagonal ice cream bowls, Angelo Brocato is the scrappy, outspoken Italian family like in a Scorsese film, minus all the violence. Italians in New Orleans have been getting their made-like-the-motherland Italian cookies, biscuits, and cannolli at Angelo Brocato for generations. The building’s facade needs no ornament to highlight what’s inside – dozens of different types of Italian specialties made from family recipes. But we’re talking about gelato here, and for that Angelo Brocato delivers. From standard flavors to Italian favorites, including stracciatella, baci, and a Sicilian pistachio which may or may not be responsible for my drastically-reduced savings account after I moved in around the corner.
Tip: Take the streetcar down Carrollton for a day in City Park, and pick up some Angelo Brocato as the perfect cool note at the end of a summer’s day.