It’s getting warmer which means one thing–ice cream season. Though I’m not opposed to eating ice cream in the colder months, there’s nothing like a good ice cream cone on a hot day.
Many of the best ice cream shops in Metro Detroit are still open for carryout, so don’t worry, you can still get your ice cream fix—and a pretty good one at that.
From frozen custard to hand-churned ice cream, banana splits to waffle sandwiches, we’re breaking down the best ice cream in the area and how to get it. (Spoiler alert: you’re going to probably need a mask or face covering.) So don’t grab a friend and get some ice cream all for yourself.
The Best Carryout Ice Cream Shops In Metro Detroit
The Custard Hut, Dearborn Heights
A fan favorite for any ice cream and waffles lover (*cough, cough our very own partnerships guru, Allie), the Custard Hut is known for its hot waffle ice cream sandwiches. They’re open for to-go orders right now, but you have to have your nose and mouth covered to enter. They’re also on doordash!
Washtenaw Dairy, Ann Arbor
I grew up in the west side of Ann Arbor which means I grew up going to Washtenaw Dairy. How many white shirts did I ruin as a kid eating a too-large cone of Triple Chocolate Overload? Ah, those were the days. It’s been a local, neighborhood favorite since 1934, serving ice cream, donuts (oh gosh, I love those too), coffee, shakes and more. Right now they’re doing walk-in orders, curbside pickup, or delivery through ubereats and grubhub. They’re also selling groceries and essentials, as well as s’mores kits and firewood. Perfect for summertime!
Cold Truth, Detroit
Cold Truth is known for their delicious dairy and vegan soft-serve ice cream made from scratch with real ingredients. They're usually served in hand-made waffle cones with toppings, but right now, they're offering pints of their soft-serve for curbside pickup. Plus, their Pint It Fwd program is helping serve ice cream to Detroit First Responder EMT workers and their families.
Ray’s Ice Cream, Royal Oak
Opened in 1958 as a neighborhood ice cream parlor and soda fountain, Ray’s is still a family-run business—and a local favorite. It’s charming with vintage character, and they have over 50 flavors to choose from. Give them a call to order their ice cream to go.
Shatila Bakery & Cafe, Dearborn
Oh, how I love Shatila. They’re known for their Middle Eastern pastries, but they also have amazing ice cream. Mango, coconut, kashta, pistachio. Anyone you choose will be a sweet, refreshing treat. You can order online and get your items shipped to you, or you can do walk-in or pick-up orders, or order on doordash.
Mangonadas Del Barrio, Detroit
This mini chain throughout Southwest Detroit sells snacks, ice cream, banana splits, and of course mangonadas: a cool, tangy Mexican treat made with frozen mangos, chili, lime, and tamarind paste. It’s like a spicy smoothie. They’re open for take out and ask that you come in wearing a mask and maintain social distancing in the store. It’s also helpful to either call in your order or look ahead at the menu to save some time. If you want to avoid all that, order through ubereats, grubhub, or doordash!
For The Love Of Sugar, Detroit
In Brush Park, For The Love Of Sugar serves up specialty cakes and macarons. They’ve also been selling frozen custard pints in limited quantities in flavors like strawberry shortcake, bumpy cake, nilla banana pudding, even knafeh. You can call in an order, or walk in to pick it up, but act fast. These bad boys sell out almost instantly.
Bob Jo’s Frozen Custard, Wyandotte
Since 1947, Bob Jo’s Frozen Custard has been a downriver staple. They change their custard and yogurt flavors once a week—which means weekly visits in the summer are always worth it. Their outdoor seating is closed right now, but you can still stop by and pick up a cone to go.
Blank Slate, Ann Arbor
If you’re walking down Liberty St. on a summer night in Ann Arbor, you’ll probably see a line down the street leading to Blank Slate. While you can’t wait in that long line right now (hey, that’s not such a bad thing), you can still order online and pick up pints, cookies, Sundae Parties in a Box, brownies/cookies by the dozen, and more. What makes Blank Slate’s ice cream so good (and worth the line)? Traditional and unusual flavors, all natural, and made from scratch. You can’t beat that!
Treat Dreams - Midtown Detroit & Ferndale
Looking for innovative flavors? Check out Treat Dreams. Their Midtown location is offering pre-scooped single cups and pre-packed pints. You can walk in the store to pick it up, but wear a mask and practice social distancing. The Ferndale location is delivering pints, sundae bars and cookies to Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Oak Park, Hazel Park, Berkley and Birmingham. You can also order on grubhub.
We have so many more favorites in the area, but many of them aren’t open right now. But don’t worry, when the ice cream biz is fully back in business, we’ll bring you a complete guide to ice cream in Metro Detroit. For now, subscribe to our blog to be the first to get that story.