Summer days lead to warmer temperatures, and staying cool. Nothing hits the spot like ice cream, fresh and sweet, from some of the best local parlors in and around Houston.
If out for a drive, hitting The Strand in Galveston is the best place in the world as far as I’m concerned if you’re looking for that old-fashioned ice cream shoppe experience. Where? La King’s Confectionery, located right on The Strand is the place to go (2323 Strand, Galveston).
Inside, you’ll find the old-fashioned soda counter, malts, milkshakes, smoothies and more, and on the other side of the store, you’ll find the gourmet truffles and chocolates and old-fashioned retro candies. Plan to spend some time there and take a trip down chocolate heaven and memory lane, where you can sit at the soda shop tables or venture out for a stroll along The Strand. We manage to make it to La King’s a couple of times per year, just because it’s worth the half hour drive.
But you came here looking for ice cream parlors and shops in Houston, not Galveston, so let’s look at the best places around the Houston and the ‘burbs.
Piccomolo Italian Ices and Gelato
If you’ve never tried gelato instead of ice cream, then Piccomolo is going to be a treat for your tastebuds. One of the things we like about Piccomolo the most is that they use all-natural ingredients and they make the gelato fresh each day, instead of hard packing and frozen like a lot of ice cream shops do. Gelato is not that much different than ice cream. In fact, it’s sort of like homemade ice cream, with a soft-serve ice cream feel but all the flavor of the hand-dipped ice cream varieties.
We like the Piccomolo in Friendswood, Texas, because it’s close to home for us, but there is also a location in The Woodlands, Katy, Houston and Sugarland. Wherever you are in the suburbs or Houston proper, there’s sure to be one close to you. Visit their website at the link above to learn more.
The Chocolate Bar Houston
I’ve written about The Chocolate Bar before, and I will likely write about it again. Plan on going into a chocolate induced sugar coma if you walk into The Chocolate Bar. I’ve been to both the one in Rice Village and the one near downtown Houston, and they are both amazing. We managed to grab a seven layer chocolate cake that was nearly two feet high, paired it with a double scoop of white chocolate and mint chocolate ice cream, and settled down to snacking. It took four of us an hour to devour all that chocolate, but we weren’t complaining.
While it’s not exclusively an ice cream shop, there is a huge variety of chocolate and chocolate-laced ice creams from which to choose, and you can pair it with anything else chocolate from chocolate bars, chocolate-covered anything (Oreos, Twinkies, Cheerios, Oranges, Apples, Bananas, you name it!).You can even wash that ice cream down with chocolate coffee.
Check out The Original Chocolate Bar’s website for more information about their locations and hours in the Houston are.
Another Time Soda Fountain & Cafe
If you’re heading out Katy way, this is an absolute must-stop by place to schedule. If you live out Katy way, then you probably already know about it. This location was a soda shop at one time then has grown into a full-fledged restaurant with deli style foods. The main attraction is the old fashioned soda fountain drinks, malts and milkshakes, dispensed from either the original soda fountain antique dispenser or really darned good replicas. The name of the place pretty much says it all in what to expect when you’re there. It’s like stepping back into another time, back when you were a kid, and a malt at the malt shop was the best treat of the day. Located in Rosenburg, Texas, right outside of Katy, it’s worth the trip, promise.
Chain and Theme Ice Cream Shops
Of course, you can always settle for any of the larger chain or themed ice cream shops in Houston, such as: The Marble Slab Creamery, where they use a frozen marble slab and cut the ice cream flavors with real fruit, nuts and other items to your choice for you; Ben & Jerry’s, with multiple locations all throughout Houston, but we love the one on the Seawall in Galveston; or Baskin Robbin’s – yes, they are still around with all their thirty-one-derful flavors and then some.
And in case it didn’t sink in enough in the beginning, you really must stop by La King’s on The Strand in Galveston at some point. Have a Black Cow from the ice cream fountain. They’re fantastic.