If you love indulging in delicious ice cream, I strongly urge you to keep reading this post. There is nothing quite like experiencing your favorite ice cream on a hot summer’s day. If you are watching your calorie intake, perhaps you can take a break from your routine but given our love of ice cream (come on folks, we all love ice cream right!), we figured it was time to share what we consider as the best ice cream in Memphis.
Whether you prefer soft-scoop ice cream, frozen sorbet or frozen yogurt, there are ample ice cream types to satisfy your desires. All across America, ice cream parlors are a popular attraction and a great way to enjoy dessert or a snack at any time of the day.
You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream. And that’s kind of the same thing.
Ice cream shops have become incredibly popular all year round, and why not? Long gone are the days where the stereotype associates ice cream with just summer sun and now you can experience your favorite ice cream treat whenever your cravings desire.
Best Ice Cream in Memphis
Where do you even begin to pick the best ice cream shops in Memphis? Any lists are subjective and personal opinion will always influence your decisions to pick the best. Based on our experiences, we want to share a variety of ice cream parlors that we have visited while on our travels exploring Memphis.
Whether you’re just visiting or a local Memphis resident, these ice cream shops are must-tries! I am convinced that none of these will disappoint you and each of them offers something unique.
Sheridan’s Frozen Custard
I am going to try to be impartial in this review and suggest that all these alternatives are equally amazing, but I really do have a soft spot for Sheridan’s Frozen Custard.
I can’t believe it took us so long to eventually find this location on Macon Road off Germantown Parkway, but now that we have discovered this amazing spot, it is undoubtedly our ‘go-to’ place for ice-cream in Memphis.
Located in five different states, Sheridan’s Frozen Custard offers a wide variety of delicious desserts, though of course, their infamous custard is the most popular choice. What is frozen custard?
It looks like ice cream, but it has a much smoother texture and the rich tastes immediately hit your taste buds creating an experience you will want to revisit time and time again.
Sheridan’s Frozen Custard is a people magnet.
When you read about Sheridan’s story, it’s understandable that they emphasize their position in the market as being a ‘people magnet’. The beauty of Sheridan’s is not only the taste of the custard but also the variety on the menu.
Whether you are intrigued by the seasonal specialty such as the Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae or perhaps you prefer to go for the children friendly ‘Dirt and Worms’ concrete, there is plenty to choose from.
From sundaes to smoothies and from shaved ice to the infamous ‘Wowieccino’, the most difficult aspect when visiting Sheridan’s is figuring out what you want. There is a wide selection of toppings and whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer something fruity, you can be assured that Sheridan’s has it available.
Our Top Picks
- ET’s Charming Cheesecake – Fresh vanilla custard blended with a slice of New York style cheesecake and the topping of your choice. I personally opt for either caramel or butterscotch. It’s as good as it sounds!
- Mount Rush S’More – Fresh vanilla custard, hot fudge (I usually substitute this for caramel), marshmallow creme, and graham crackers all blended up to create a delicious concrete.
- Peach Concrete – A concrete that combines fresh peaches with vanilla custard. It’s simple yet extremely effective! A definite recommendation for a hot summer’s day.
Jerry’s Sno Cones
It may not be the most attractive ice cream shop, but Jerry’s Sno Cones in Memphis offers the infamous “snow cone supreme” which helps put this location on the map around the city. The story behind Jerry’s Sno Cones is particularly intriguing as it dates back to the 1920s when this location was actually a Sinclair Gas Station.
Rumor has it that snow cones were served even during these times but it wasn’t until the 1970s when the gas station closed that this was transformed into a burger and snow cone shack.
Jerry’s didn’t invent the snow cone…just the world famous snow cone supreme
Snow cones are not the only attraction at Jerry’s Sno Cones. In fact, there is a full menu where you can enjoy lunch or dinner by sampling a fine burger followed by your favorite snow cone supreme.
Our Top Picks
- Shrek Snow Cone – If you love the thought of caramel and apple, the Shrek snow cone is a great option.
- Wedding Cake Snow Cone – Perhaps those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the wedding cake snow cone special which includes a sweet and delicious vanilla cake flavor.
Parker’s Water Ice
If you love shaved ice, Parker’s Water Ice on Winchester Road will be the perfect spot for you. Grab a refreshing Italian ice with your favorite flavor and enjoy this delicacy before it melts!
Run by the brother and sister team of Therman and Veronica Parker, Parker’s Water Ice has a physical location that it is not the easiest to find along with a mobile truck service that is perfect for local food truck events.
We headed to Parker’s Water Ice with very different expectations. I am not a huge fan of shaved ice as I prefer something with a little more substance (i.e. frozen custard!) but Heather LOVES this, primarily based on her experiences around the country at Rita’s Italian Ice.
Entering the store, we were quickly introduced to the variety of water ice flavors and ice cream selections available.
From basic flavors like strawberry and mango to more interesting options like sweet tea and granny smith apple, there is likely something here to spark your interest.
The interior of the store, although very basic with a couple of tables and chairs, was vibrant and colorful with a plethora of artwork promoting everything associated with Parker’s, ranging from the infamous water ice varieties to the food truck.
There were several folks in front of us which gave us ample time to figure out our options. Another menu provided the variety of ice cream flavors which we soon found out are just syrups added to soft-served vanilla.
A variety of sizes are available including the option to purchase a quart or even a gallon of water ice to take away and enjoy from the luxury of your home.
We strongly recommend opting for a ‘gelati’ which is a layered parfait of water ice and frozen custard/ice cream.
Our Top Picks
Our recommendations are purely based on what we purchased. If you buy a medium water ice or gelati, you can have up to three different flavors of ice. You can also sample up to two different flavors for free.
- Black Cherry and Banana Gelati – It may not sound too appealing but this combination actually works really well! The layers of black cherry and banana ice combined with vanilla ice cream created a delicious concoction that I would definitely have again. (above image, this is on the right)
- Black Cherry and Blue Raspberry Gelati – Heather opted for a similar choice but had a preference of blue raspberry over banana. Be wary that your tongue may get a little colored if you go for this option but regardless it’s still a refreshing combination! (above image, this is on the left)
The epitome of satisfying your sweet tooth comes to fruition when you visit Sweet Noshings, a candy shop that also offers a variety of other delicacies including homemade ice cream which we sampled during a visit to Overton Square.
If you read our post on the best Memphis neighborhoods, you will know that Overton Square is a vibrant part of the city offering an eclectic blend of restaurants, boutique shops and spots like Sweet Noshings where you can indulge in your favorite sweet.
Delicious fudge, a myriad of candies, popcorn and even candy covered pizzas can be found at Sweet Noshings but our visit was all about experiencing the ice-cream selection and we didn’t leave disappointed.
There are 16 different flavors to choose from and whether you prefer a cup or cone or perhaps a milkshake, the friendly staff will cater to your needs.
There is a small seating area by the window where you can enjoy your ice cream and watch the world go by in the gorgeous Overton Square neighborhood.
Our Top Picks
The Jack Daniels Honey ice cream is one of the most popular flavors for obvious reasons but honestly, all of these homemade concoctions look delicious.
We opted for a cup and you can choose two different flavors for only $3.52. I really don’t think you could go wrong with any of the flavors and we can’t wait to return to Overton Square to sample more.
- Banana Pudding Ice Cream – I love banana flavored ice cream and this was one of the best that I have sampled. It was very apparent that this was homemade ice cream and certainly helped differentiate this from anywhere else that we have sampled across Memphis.
- Berry Sangria and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Heather was a little more adventurous and sampled two different flavors with contrasting tastes yet they combined to produce a delicious option.
It’s always nice to save the best until last and after visiting La Michoacana, we arguably did given the amazing variety of ice cream treats awaiting us at this location. Heading here for the first time we really had no idea what to expect.
La Michoacana recently opened a new location a short distance from their previous retail space because it offered a much larger area which is understandable after visiting here.
Visiting a Mexican ice cream parlor is not something we have experienced before. In fact, we headed to La Michoacana with a rather pessimistic mindset though reviews suggested otherwise hence the reason we wanted to give this place a chance to impress us. It did way more than this! We left amazed at just how awesome Mexican ice cream is.
Whether you want to sample one of the many flavors of ‘paletas’, also known as popsicles, or perhaps try the ice cream flavors, there is plenty to choose from.
Every fruit you can think of can be combined with ice cream or perhaps you want to experience the ‘Aguas Frescas’, a light, non-alcoholic drink typical of authentic street vendors in Mexico.
There is plenty of seating space inside the new La Michoacana location though it may take a while to sit down given the myriad of menu options available.
Our Top Picks
Although the fruit paletas looked really inviting, we both opted to sample some of the ice cream flavors. We were offered various samples but we finally went with the following flavors. A medium sized cup is a generous offering and reasonably priced especially in comparison with other ice cream options around Memphis.
- Strawberry with cream – After sampling the Mexican caramel which sounded really appealing (I LOVE caramel!), I decided to try the strawberry with cream and this was definitely a great choice! Chunks of strawberry are visible and this is a really refreshing option.
- Lemon Ice Cream (or Key Lime Pie) and Mexican Cake – We are still debating whether Heather got the key lime pie or the lemon mixed with Mexican cake! She asked for the lemon but as you can see from the picture, it really has a lime colored look to it. Either way, Heather indicated that it tasted great and would definitely buy this again.
Don’t worry, we didn’t experience all five of these locations in one day…though after sampling all of the amazing deliciousness I could certainly see why someone would try! If you are looking to find the best ice cream in Memphis, I hope we have given you a few spots that are well worthy of this title.
Here are our picks in order based on the five places we visited:
2. La Michoacana
3. Sweet Noshings
4. Jerry’s Sno Cones
5. Parker’s Water Ice
2. Sweet Noshings
3. La Michoacana
4. Jerry’s Sno Cones
5. Parker’s Water Ice
It’s pretty conclusive that we both agree Sheridan’s is home to the best ice cream in Memphis. But please don’t take our word for it, the next time you are in Memphis, try several of these and let us know which is your preference.
Do you have a sweet tooth and enjoy sampling ice cream spots? Which of these spots appeals to you the most? Have you experienced any of these in Memphis?