Has there ever been a more perfect pair than summer and ice cream? During the hot summer months, your sweet tooth will be satisfied thanks to the countless ice cream options in the Grand Rapids area.
To find out which ice cream destinations are fan favorites, we asked the locals on the Experience Grand Rapids social media pages to weigh in.
Frosty BoyBack to Top of List
Frosty Boy's extensive menu, including vegan and gluten free options, make it a well-loved ice cream stop among locals.
Photo by Alycia Choroszucha
Frosty Boy is a local hot spot for dessert. We’re not exaggerating – opening day lines at the Grand Rapids location stretch around the block! Frosty Boy is probably best known for its unique lemon-flavored soft serve ice cream. They also rotate 12-13 hard-serve ice cream from Michigan companies Country Dairy and Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, and Ohio’s Homemade Brand.
For those with dietary restrictions, all of Frosty Boy’s soft serve ice cream is also gluten-free. They also offer vegan/dairy-free soft serve, gluten-free cake and waffle cones, and vegan/gluten-free shakes and flurries.
Jersey JunctionBack to Top of List
Locals rave about Jersey Junction's classic ice cream parlor vibe.
Photo by Experience Grand Rapids
Nestled in the heart of Gaslight Village in East Grand Rapids, Jersey Junction is the epitome of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, both in menu items and décor. It was established in 1963 by Doris “Chris” VanAllsburg, mother of “The Polar Express” author/illustrator Chris VanAllsburg, and a model of that fictional train to the North Pole runs along the ceiling of the shop.
Jersey Junction offers a diverse array of ice cream made by local manufacturer Hudsonville Ice Cream and a broad, unique candy selection that would make Willy Wonka jealous. Candy options ranging from massive jawbreakers to fruit-flavored candy canes cover the countertops of Jersey Junction, so come for the ice cream but stay for the candy from March to October.
Tippy Cow Ice CreamBack to Top of List
Homemade waffle cones and 15 hard serve flavors to choose from are just a couple reasons why local flock to Tippy Cow's ice cream during the summer.
Photo by Tippy Cow Ice Cream
Serving up scoops in Grandville since 2014, Tippy Cow Ice Cream offers “small-batch, super-premium house-made ice cream” at affordable prices. This is where locals come for unique flavors like Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, Bourbon Butterscotch Blondie, Lemon Lavender and Reverse Cookies ‘N Cream (made with chocolate ice cream and Golden Oreos). Just about everything is done by hand, from making ice cream two tubs at a time to chopping cherries and toasting coconut.
There are typically 15 or so premium hard serve choices in stock at all times. Tippy Cow also offers soft serve ice cream (with homemade waffle cones) plus a wide variety of flurries, shakes, slushes, sundaes and other frozen treats. Open March-October, with specialty pints and products available for the winter holidays.
Furniture City CreameryBack to Top of List
Handcrafted ice cream and rotating flavors make Furniture City Creamery a must-try.
Photo by Furniture City Creamery
Furniture City Creamery also specializes in handcrafted ice cream flavors. During the summer months, this East Hills destination makes more than 100 gallons of ice cream from scratch every week, but the shop is open all year-round too. There is plenty to go around since Furniture City Creamery rotates more than 65 flavors, including multiple vegan (coconut milk-based) options.
Check out Furniture City’s social media pages for daily flavor choices. If something strikes your fancy, visit soon because flavors change daily, even hourly, depending on demand.
Love’s Ice Cream and ChocolateBack to Top of List
From made-from-scratch flavors and use of local, organic ingredients, there's lots to love about Love's Ice Cream and Chocolate.
Photo by Ashley Wierenga for Experience GR
Open year-round, Love’s is praised for its hand-crafted ice cream, vegan gelato, sorbet, baked goods and confections. All of Love’s menu items are made from scratch using organic ingredients, such as grass-fed dairy and produce from farms in Michigan.
Guests can expect to find unique flavors rotating on the menu throughout the year, listed daily on Love’s website. Can’t decide? Order an ice cream flight of five different flavors, offered as part of the city’s Flights of Flavor food & drink promotion – sign up for a pass and earn prizes.
Too Tall’s Ice CreamBack to Top of List
“Sweet Treats & Savory Eats” is the promise at Too Tall’s, a takeout ice cream shop not far from Riverside Park on the city’s northeast side. Locals love the towering vanilla, chocolate and vanilla/chocolate twist soft-serve cones. (As far as we know, no one’s actually complained that they’re piled “too tall.”) Each week brings a new soft-serve flavor that can be twisted with vanilla.
There are also many Hudsonville Ice Cream hard-serve flavors to choose from, as well as shakes, slushies, floats, sundaes, flurries and popsicles. The savory menu comprises a few burgers, hot dogs, chicken dishes and apps/sides. Too Tall’s is open from March-October.
Cone CityBack to Top of List
Located in the Town & Country Shopping Plaza in southeast Grand Rapids, Cone City offers everything you’d expect from a walk-up ice cream shop – including soft serve and hard serve cones, sundaes, banana splits, ice cream sandwiches, flurries, sorbets, slushes, shakes, malts and floats.
Get a burger or hot dog before or after your sweet treat (we won’t judge) and enjoy it to go or on Cone City’s covered patio from May through September.
Tastefull Vegan Frozen DessertsBack to Top of List
Local entrepreneur Kalene McElveen opened Tastefull Vegan in Wyoming in 2022, with the belief that no allergy or dietary lifestyle choice should prevent someone from enjoying frozen treats. Everything on the menu – soft-serve ice cream, milkshakes, flurries, banana splits, frozen dessert bars and more – is free of dairy, nuts, soy, gluten, eggs and refined sugar.
While it’s much appreciated by vegans and parents of kids with food allergies, Tastefull also passes muster with traditional ice cream aficionados, who say the ice cream here is rich, creamy and delicious.
Heights CreamBack to Top of List
Heights Cream is a family-owned ice cream shop in the Alger Heights neighborhood of southeast Grand Rapids. Nestled into the front corner of Alger Hardware and Rental, it serves hard and soft serve ice cream from Michigan’s Mooville Creamery. The shop rotates dozens of flavors in and out of the menu, several of which are egg and gluten free. There are dairy-free soft-serve options as well.
You can also order flurries, shakes, malts, floats, slushies and sundaes at the walk-up window. Heights Cream is open March-September, though you can grab pints and ice cream cakes throughout the year.
Dairy De-liteBack to Top of List
This longtime Comstock Park favorite is located right next to the White Pine Trail, so it’s a perfect spot to reward yourself after a bike ride or hike – or to refuel yourself in the middle of one. Dairy De-lite serves Hudsonville hand-dipped ice cream, soft-serve ice cream, flurries, shakes, sundaes, shaved ice and slushes, with limited-time flavors rotated in and out of the menu.
Dairy De-Lite is open from April through September.
Tsitsiki Ice Cream ShopBack to Top of List
Enjoy frozen treats with a Mexican twist at two locations of Tsitsiki Ice Cream Shop in Grand Rapids and Tsitsiki Paleteria y Neveria in Wyoming. You can get south-of-the border specialties like yogurt de frutas, bionico, diablito, vampiro, mangollada, churroloco and pepinanche as well as ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes and frappuccinos. There are also some snacks on the menu, including elotes, nachos and Cheetos con queso.
Both Tsitsiki locations are open year-round, with indoor seating.
Worth the DriveBack to Top of List
Affogato's Ice Cream & Coffee is an Allendale eatery serving 40 flavors of Ashby’s Sterling premium ice cream, soft-serve ice cream, flurries, sundaes, shakes and malts in addition to coffee and bake goods. Vegan hard serve and soft serve flavors are available.
Captain Sundae, with locations in north Holland, south Holland and Zeeland, is home of the “Famous Tommy Turtle Sundae” as well as Hudsonville scooped ice cream, a variety of soft-serve flavors and an assortment of other frozen treats.
Sparta Tasty Treat has served up a full complement of ice cream treats in the small town of Sparta, 15 miles north of Grand Rapids, for more than 60 years.
Flavors on the Promenade in Rockford is justly famed for its rolled ice cream – a homemade ice base rolled with a variety of ingredients (from peanut butter to cake batter to bacon crumbles) and topped with freshly made whipped cream.
Barry G's Italian Ice is located in Dutton, less than 20 minutes from Grand Rapids. It offers a rotating menu of 60+ artisan ice cream flavors and 50+ Italian ice selections, including such “adult” flavors as Rum Raisin Ice Cream and Jack and Coke Italian Ice.