Here’s the Scoop: The 12 Best Places in the World to Satisfy Your Ice Cream Cravings

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Be it in single-scoop style, piled high in a waffle cone, laid out on a banana in a syrup-laden split, or simply served in a cup and gobbled up spoonful after supremely satisfying spoonful, that creamy, luscious treat we call ice cream is an almost universal dessert with an appeal that knows no bounds. We understand that inner yearning for mint chocolate chip or mocha almond fudges, so we’ve decided to help you out.

Click next, fellow sugar addicts, to see our bucket list of the world’s twelve most delicious, inventive, interesting, revered, and otherwise awesome ice cream shops. Enjoy!

MILK – Los Angeles, CA

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Most people go to Los Angeles to stalk celebrities, scope out Grauman’s Chinese Theater, gawk at the Hollywood sign, or stroll down Rodeo like a Pretty Woman-era Julia Roberts, but when we head to this mecca of fame and fortune, we go straight to MILK. Why? Let’s put it this way… Butterscotch drumsticks, make your own ice cream sandwiches, red velvet and watermelon macaroon ice cream sandwiches (seriously, OMG!), and ice cream flavors like blueberry crumble pie, jasmine, nutella, and banana dulce de leche. You might want to head to The Grove to see what celebrities are hitting the shops, but we get our kicks from coffee toffee ice cream mashed between a couple chocolate chip cookies. Can you blame us?

Gelato Gusto – Brighton, UK

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Located in the beautiful seaside city of Brighton, Gelato Gusto is a traditional little shop offering a rotating slate of homemade gelato, sorbetto, Belgian waffles, and coffee. Spend the afternoon at the nearby Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Jubille Library, or Theatre Royal Brighton, then treat yourself to a serving of small-batch deliciousness like sea salt caramel, dark Ecuadorian chocolate, banoffee pie, jaffa cake, or syrup sponge pudding gelato, or try sorbetto creations like Guiness, tomato and basil, or gin and tonic. There’s even an earl grey flavor, so you can take your traditional tea time in lickable form.

Island Style Ice Cream – Mount Rainier, MD

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If we had our way we’d spend our days with our feet in the sand, basking in the hot Carribean sun as a balmy breeze ruffled our artfully styled tresses. Alas, real life always interrupts our little day dream, which is why places like Island Style Ice Cream are so important for the the collective sanity of the working class. One taste of Jamaican-born Pancita Brydson’s tropical-themed ice cream and you’ll practically be transported. A whole lot less expensive than a plane ticket and a lot more delicious, flavors like Grapenut (vanilla ice cream and Grape-Nuts cereal, a combination very popular back in Jamaica) and Reggae Ginger will make your lunch break seem almost like a mini vacation.

Fifty Licks – Portland, OR

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From the minute we read the text on the Forty Licks website describing small batch ice cream made using a high-butterfat and egg-custard base, we knew were we were headed the second our plane landed in Portland. As usual, our foodie instincts were right on the money. Their handmade ice cream includes flavors like lavender mint chip, jasmine tea with apricot, chocolate brown butter, and Tahitian vanilla, with sorbet flavors like grapefruit rose and Rhode Island-style lemonade for those craving a lighter snack. Wash it all down with some Cuban coffee or cool (no pun intended) sorbet-based cocktails like the odd-sounding but crazy-refreshing Velvet Shiso (shiso leaf, umeshu plum wine, AlexEli Riesling, and coconut lemon saffron sorbet) and you’ve found a place that can make your tummy happy morning, noon, and into the booze-filled night.

Martine Lambert – Paris, France

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Martine Lambert’s motto is “passion is a renewable energy,” and that love for cold and creamy desserts is evident in each and every scoop this legendary shop serves. Fruit lovers will be particularly at home here, as the owner infuses her Normandy lait cru (French-sourced unpasteurized milk) and crème fraîche-based mixtures with fruit imported from all over the world. The result is intensely thick, rich, and smooth ice cream redolent with more flavor than you can imagine. Our suggestion? Stop dreaming about it, book a ticket, and try it for yourself – after all, this Rue Cler shop has been around since 1975 for a reason.

Dutch Dreams – Toronto, Canada

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Owners Thea and Dino Aben claim the secret to their shop’s success is a highly-guarded family recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation, but the quirky atmosphere and fun-filled selection of non-ice cream treats probably helps a little too. The shop itself is full of oversized decorations and a litany of randomly hung copper cookware, but when you taste their imported Dutch desserts and the cacophonous decor will fade into the background. Fill a house-baked waffle cone with any one of the shop’s numerous daily flavors, sip on a 1-liter milkshake (ice cream headache almost optional), or grab some cotton candy – it’s all delicious.