That stream of ice cream melting down a cone is how you know that summer is here. These local hot spots serve the best, most revered, cutest and most original cold treats in Southeast Michigan. (Insert your own yummy sounds here.)
- Address: 2237 18 Mile Road, Sterling Heights
- Cost: $5-$15
Why we love it: The bakery known for its dessert pizzas also specializes in liquid nitrogen ice cream. Because it’s not already frozen, you can add your toppings (dairy free and gluten free options) and sauces before the cream is iced. Pick your favorites or select from favorite flavor combinations like Cookie Monster, Fruity Pebbles or Strawnana.
- Address: 28616 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores
- Cost: $1.50-$11
Why we love it: Three words: Ice. Cream. Nachos. Even better, if you can’t pick a flavor to try, why not sample a six-flavor wooden flight. The possibilities are as endless as the ingenuity of the sundae menu (Netflix & Chill with Heath Bar, Pecans and Popcorn! Yum!). The Italian family behind Modern Cone has also put Italian Ice and malts on the menu.
Detroit Water Ice Factory
- Address: 1014 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Cost: $2.95-$8
Why we love it: So first, all of the proceeds go to the Say Detroit charity and many of the servers are part of Detroit Youth Programs. Almost as good as doing good are the flavor combinations of Water Ice available: Not Chet Lemon, Riverfront Root Beer and Honolulu Blue Raspberry. For an extra punch to pack, add a swirl of soft serve to the top. The shop in Campus Martius Park also serves gourmet popcorn, pretzels and iced pudding.
Treat Dreams Dessert Emporium
- Address: 22965 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
- Cost: $2.40-$4.40
Why we love it: This is a micro creamery that makes flavors in small batches, so the menu is constantly changing. But with flavors like Kooky Monster, Butter Beer, Swedish Fish and Lobster Bisque, we can’t wait to see what they’ll think of next. You can’t call yourself a dessert emporium without teeming with desserts and Treat Dreams’ cookies are over-the-top scrumptious. Keep an eye out all summer for the food truck that serves up cookie/ice cream sandwiches.
Naughty Boy’s Ice Cream
- Address: 7045 Dexter Ann Arbor Road, Dexter
- Cost: $4.50-$6.50
Why we love it: Using a dairy mix and local, fresh ingredients, you can see the ice cream prepared right in front of you on a cold plate, then served in rolls. Inspired by a trip to Thailand on their honeymoon, owners Emily and Corey Russell have a few flavor options ready for you (like Banana Split, Chunky Trunk or Grateful Dread as a nod to the Dexter location) or you can customize your own. You can also find Naughty Boy’s rolling around Michigan all summer (check the website for deets).
- Address: 19605 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods
- Cost: $19-$22
Why we love it: The family-owned Venezuelan restaurant doesn’t skimp on the ingredients on anything, so when the menu reads “extreme shakes,” believe it that these are extreme! For instance, the Rockin’ Reece’s is an ice cream taco on top of ice cream on top of a Reece’s ice cream cake on top of an ice cream sandwich on top of a beverage. It’s a meal fit for the family.
Ray’s Ice Cream
- Address: 4233 Coolidge Hwy., Royal Oak
- Cost: $3.50-$5
Why we love it: Behind summer memories is an old-fashioned charm, one you’ll find at Ray’s. With a classic ice cream parlor and soda fountain feel and more than 50 flavors, the shop has been run by the same family for three generations.
Neveria La Michoacana
- Address: 4336 Vernor Hwy., Detroit
- Cost: $1-$8
Why we love it: The Mexican novelties come with a cream or water base and as big or small as you have a taste for. Water-based fruit treats include Mango con chile, Lime and Cantaloupe. Or try popsicles with a milk base like Rice Pudding, Strawberries and Cream or Butter Pecan.
- Address: 25947 W. Warren St., Dearborn Heights
- Cost: $2.30-$5.95
Why we love it: Known for its hot waffle sandwich, your family can delight its senses with this hot-n-cold favorite. Two “buns” of hot waffle of your choice contain the extra-cold ice cream flavor (of your choice) inside. The Hut also sells a wide variety of slushies, shakes, sundaes and frozen custard.
Pagos Ice Cream Rolls
- Address: 623 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak
- Cost: $4-$8
Why we love it: The Instagram-worthy creations include rolled ice cream specialties and bubble tea to savor. Creative treats like “Robert Brownie Jr.,” “The S’more The Merrier” and “Brrrberry” will have you coming back for more.