Independent Ice Cream Shops in Metro Detroit

We all scream for ice cream!

On sweltering summer days, sometimes a scoop (or two) can really hit the spot. So, if you and your kids are in need of a tasty treat — or something to just cool you off — head to one of these awesome independent ice cream shops nearby.

With numerous ice cream parlors scattered around southeast Michigan, there’s bound to be a perfect flavor for you that’s not too far from home.

From old-fashioned ice cream and custard to liquid nitrogen ice cream and gelato, you’ll find way more than 31 options! So have a scoop, a shake or a freeze at one of these local ice cream shops in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Looking for more things to do with kids? Check out our summer fun family guide!

Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream Parlor

With about 75 flavors in-store — including Majestic Milky Way, Play Dough and Ultimate Peanut Butter Brownie — this shop offers a wide variety.

Blank Slate Creamery

This place has handmade, all-natural flavors of ice cream — including raspberry sorbet, coffee and blueberry pancake. Check their website for a full list of flavors at each location.

Bob-Jo’s Frozen Custard

Bring your cash only to this downriver institution that draws fans from all over the region. Order up a swirl of its delicious custard and dust it to perfection with the toppings of your choice.

Browndog Creamery

Enjoy delectable frozen desserts with Michigan-made dairy, including small batches of ice cream with flavors that regularly change, handcrafted cookies, cheesecake, ice cream cakes, pints to-go and Michigan-made beverages.

Calder’s Dairy Store & Ice Cream Parlor

Try a real, fresh-from-the-farm experience. Made with milk from on-site cows, each batch is crafted by hand at Calder’s farm in Carleton and served here. Bloo Moo and Fudge Swirl are just two of its 34 flavors. Seasonal flavors, too.

Chocolate Bar Cafe

With retro 1950s-style decor, this parlor serves French Alinosi ice cream in the sundae of your choice. Also has dairy-free Italian ice flavors, such as lemon, lime, raspberry and mango.

Clark’s Ice Cream & Yogurt

With 60-plus flavors of yogurt and ice cream, the possibilities are rich when it comes to picking your cone, sundae, banana split, malt, shake or ice cream cookie sandwich.

Cold Truth

Vegan (and only vegan!) soft serve galore at this hip Detroit “ice cream” spot. Budget extra time if you plan to visit on the weekends in the summer as the line sometimes wraps around the block.

Cook’s Farm Dairy

Visit the last remaining dairy in Oakland County, where creamy choices like Cow Pie, Raspberry Chocolate Torte and Coconut Almond Fudge await you.

Crooked Creek Farm Dairy

Owners Greg and Dory Hill raise steroid- and growth hormone-free Holstein cows to produce creamy milk for 16 different flavors of ice cream at this dairy farm — including Cookie Creek, Muddy Cow Tracks and Butter Toffee Crunch.

Custard Hut

This local custard and ice cream shop has been a Dearborn Heights staple for years. Today, they are known for their famous hot waffle sandwich.

Dairy Twist

This shop touts the largest selection of vegan soft serve in Oakland County, plus hand-dipped flavors and 54 other flavors. Dairy twist also offers ice cream cookie sandwiches, custard flavors, waffle bowls and more.


One of the town’s staple ice cream shops, Dairy-Go-Round has a giant merry-go-round where kids can hang out with their treats, which include a variety of flavors and the ever-popular “The Mud” — a mix of soft serve ice cream and your choice of candy. Also, numerous vegan flavors and dips to choose from.

Dairy Freezzz

This ice cream and frozen yogurt parlor is well stocked with smoothies, malts and sundaes. With new yogurt flavors every week, the whole family’s sure to leave satisfied.

Dairy King

With a total of 38 flavors to choose from, vegan desserts, sorbets and more, there is sure to be something for everyone. They also have birthday cake, cherry, chocolate, butterscotch cone dips to choose from.

Dixie Frosty Freeze

Hand dipped ice cream (including vegan options), flurries, shakes, malts, sundaes, floats and coolers.

Doug’s Delight

This updated classic food stand flung open its doors in 2018 to offer house-made soft serve to the masses — plus classic ice cream from metro Detroit’s own Guernsey Farms Dairy. Glacier (a slushie with vanilla soft serve in it) flavors include watermelon, blue raspberry, lemonade, pineapple, banana, strawberry, grape, orange cream, sour apple and cherry.

Erma’s Original Frozen Custard

In 1942, it was a roadside stand. Now, Erma’s has two yummy ice cream shops. Beyond its traditional vanilla and chocolate, it offers unique flavors every week — such as Cherry Cheesecake, Monkey Business, Carmel Clusters and more.

Frontier Town Ice Cream Parlor

Offers a flavor of the week, sundaes, shakes and more. Plus, there’s a petting zoo on site!

Frosty Boy

Try mouthwatering toppings like toasted coconut, Oreo and Nutter Butter to specialize your cone exactly to your liking. New additions include The Cookie Monster, The Taco Tuesday (ice cream taco) and homemade Monster Cookies that are made fresh daily.

Go! Ice Cream

This small spot produces tasty treats with local ingredients and no preservatives. With flavors ranging from Toasted Almond and Cherries to Butter Maple Walnut, everyone will find something sweet here.

Guernsey Farms Dairy, McGuire’s Family Restaurant & Specialty Store

Try this family-run ice cream shop’s one-of-a-kind, Michigan-made treats. (It’s tradition to enjoy your snack on the “famous rock under the tree” outside.) Pick from cones, shakes, banana splits, hot fudge sundaes, brownie fudge treats, hot fudge cream puffs and more.

Han-D-Dip Dairy Barn

Since 1963, this red barn has been the place “where Livonia meets for treats,” as its tagline puts it. Stop by for classic cones, flurries, sundaes and more — which, true to its name, you can dip to your specifications. Be on the lookout for their rotating Dole whip flavors, too.

Iorio’s Gelateria

Savor some Italian ice cream in Tree Town with authentic artisan gelatos and “sorbettos.” Find espresso drinks and Italian sodas, too.

Jim’s Frostie Treats

Sundaes, smoothies, flurries and shakes are just some of the menu options at this superhero-themed spot, operating since 1970.

Michigan Creamery

Not only is it located on U of M’s campus, but it also supports the state by proudly serving Michigan products in shop — including candy, coffee and hand-dipped ice cream.

Milkster Nitrogen Creamery

These spots boast being Michigan’s first nitrogen creameries — they use liquid nitrogen to custom make your super creamy “nice cream” without extra preservatives and emulsifiers.

Miller Bros Creamery

Choose from 50+ flavors including chocolate covered strawberry, salted caramel pretzel, outrageous oatmeal cookie crave and more at this local spot.

Modern Code

Has many unique ice cream items to choose from including ice cream nachos, Samoa cones, carrot cake ice cream bars, French toast crunch cones and create your own stackers. Also, homemade pop tarts and cake pop magnum bars, too.

Neveria La Michoacana

This ice cream shop in Detroit’s delicious Mexicantown area serves up scoops of flavors ranging from praline pecan and mango con chile to classic strawberry and Superman. Try the fruit popsicles, paletas or other refreshing picks.

Ray’s Ice Cream

Family owned since 1958, Ray’s offers award-winning ice cream in over 50 different flavors, including Mackinac Island Fudge, Butter Pecan and its famous Fat Elvis flavor.

Scoop and Twist of Macomb

This ice cream place offers waffle nachos, frozen custard, milkshakes, floats, sundaes and more.

Scoopy’s Ice Cream Shoppe

Offers ice cream nachos, mini donut sundaes, pineapple dole whip floats, chocolate covered cheesecake and more. Also, unique toppings such as boba in mango, strawberry and passion fruit, butterscotch and toasted coconut.


Founded in 2010, this establishment has tons of sweet treats on the menu, plus rotating ice cream and yogurt of the week flavors.

Spad’s Twisters Soft Serve Ice Cream

Cones, flurries, shakes and more: Enjoy the soft-serve ice cream shop’s staple flavors in fun mocha cappuccino and even harvest apple varieties.

Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlor — Bloomfield Hills

Stroh’s has served Bloomfield Hills for more than 50 years with a wide range of tasty treats — including floats, shakes, ice cream cakes, pies and more. Get a single, double or triple scoop of ice cream, and add your own toppings.

Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlor — Wyandotte

Family owned and operated since 1992. Offers flavor of the moment and 34 of the 44 flavors are made in-house. Also, has sundaes, shakes, sodas, malt and floats on the menu.

Swirlz Frozen Custard

Love custard and frozen yogurt? This spot, conveniently located across the street from Friendship Park, is worth a stop. Grab a speciality sundae, parfait or flurry, and be sure to ask about the flavors of the week.

The Creamery on Main

Has gluten-free Ashby’s ice cream flavors, 24 coolers, milkshakes, hand dipped ice cream nachos, blended coffee drinks, parfaits and more.

Treat Dreams Dessert Emporium

Photo credit: Treat Dreams

Indulge in offbeat ice cream flavors like Hot Jalapeno, Avocado Chocolate Chip and Kooky Monster. It also serves up vegan ice cream and sorbet.

Wally’s Frozen Custard

In firehouse-inspired digs (complete with fire truck), Wally’s has perfected the classics. Try ice cream between two cookies, called a “Chocolate Cookie Monster” — plus banana splits, hot fudge cream puffs, strawberry shortcake and more.

Washtenaw Dairy

Washtenaw Dairy has been serving the Ann Arbor area since 1934, so it’s not surprising that they tout an extensive list of delicious flavors.  Some of the flavors include blueberry waffle cone, peanut butter brownie crunch and raspberry chip cheesecake, just to name a few.

World’s Finest Frozen Custard

This iconic small town ice cream shop offers two weekly rotating flavors of soft-serve alongside the classic chocolate and vanilla options, plus hand-dipped cones. Stop by with the whole family for a rousing game of putt-putt (featuring larger-than-life animal statues) and a playground for the little ones. Note: it’s cash only at this spot!

Ziggy’s Ice Cream

Has 34 hand-dipped flavors, cinnamon roll ice cream sandwiches, flurries, dip coats, dole whips and much more.

Zingerman’s Creamery

Find at least 10 single-serve gelatoflavors — more by the pint. Faves include Stone-Ground Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate, Lemon Sorbet and Coconut Macaroon — but they’re always whipping up something new. Get your cheese here, too.

Looking to get a little DIY? Discover how you can create your own homemade ice cream, too!

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Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.



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