There is a lot to love about Grand Rapids, from its great museums to its fantastic craft brew scene to the Grand River itself, and all of the recreation opportunities that it provides. Grand Rapids is also known for its fantastic food, which isn’t surprising given that Western Michigan provides over three-quarters of all crops harvested in the state. When summer rolls around, you can cool off with some truly great ice cream at one of Grand Rapids’ many ice cream shops.
If you love ice cream as much as we do, then you may already have a favorite spot to hit up for frozen sweet treats. Our list of the 17 best ice cream places in Grand Rapids may inspire you to try out a new place – or even do an ice cream tour of the region. But don’t delay – many of these ice cream shops are only open during the summer!
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The Top Places to Get Ice Cream in Grand Rapids
When it comes to ice cream, it is hard to pick just one favorite. That is why we have compiled a list of what we think are the 17 best ice cream shops in and around Grand Rapids. We even suggest some of the most popular menu items for each place so you can try the customer favorites!
With two locations in Grand Rapids and Rockford, Frosty Boy is an incredibly popular destination for sweet treats. What truly makes Frosty Boy stand out is its unique flavors, such as its incredibly popular lemon-flavored soft serve ice cream. They also offer a range of flurries and sundaes, like the Flintstone Sundae, which features lemon soft serve, cherry cone dip and Fruity Pebbles cereal.
Frosty Boy is also a great destination if you have dietary restrictions. Its soft serve ice cream is gluten-free, and they offer a range of vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free options, including cones, milkshakes, and flurries.
Next up on our list is a Grand Rapids institution: Sweet Rewards. This family-owned ice cream shop on Division Avenue has been serving up ice cream and more for 21 years. It is open from March to October, and offers great food like chili cheese dogs in addition to its shakes, malts, glaciers, and flurries.
Like Frosty Boy, Sweet Rewards has vegan options. It also offers the ever-popular Dole Whip, which you can get by walking up to the counter or by going to the drive-up window.
Jersey Junction Ice Cream Parlor
Located in Gaslight Village in East Grand Rapids, Jersey Junction is a classic old-fashioned ice cream parlor. In addition to its diverse selection of hand-packed Hudsonville ice cream served in house-made waffle cones, you can also choose from a great selection of candy.
Jersey Junction has a 1950’s diner feel, and even has a train – the Polar Express – that runs along its ceiling. Its unique decor makes it a fun destination for kids and adults alike!
The Cone Shoppe
The Cone Shoppe is a favorite among residents of Grand Rapids, and for good reason: it has offered a wide range of sweet treats at its Michigan Avenue location for more than 40 years. The Cone Shoppe is known for its soft serve, with more than 24 different flavors. Their ice cream is served in cones, blended with candy in Razzles, in sundaes, and with flavor bursts.
There is something for everyone at the Cone Shoppe, with flavors like pina colada, coconut, key lime, apricot, and pistachio nut. They also offer a range of munchies like onion rings, mini, tacos, hot dogs, and chicken strips. Newcomers should be aware that this walk-up shop is cash or check only, although there is an ATM on site if you only have a card.
Love’s Ice Cream and Chocolate
Love’s Ice Cream and Chocolate is known for using “real food” rather than artificial flavors and colors. Their ice cream, gelato, sorbet, baked goods, and chocolates are all made from scratch using organic ingredients, including grass-fed dairy and local produce.
Love’s is open year-round, and offers catering in addition to its regular counter service. In addition to classic flavors, Love’s Ice Cream has a rotating menu of “scoop flavors” that changes weekly, with flavors like almond toffee crunch, salted caramel, and lavender blueberry. Their menu always has a selection of vegan non-dairy flavors, as well as low carb/keto options. For people with dietary restrictions, you can check out the Love’s menu for the ingredients of each option, including known allergens like nuts, eggs, wheat, and dairy.
Village Cone Shop
Located in the Breton Village Shopping Center, the Village Cone Shop often has a line of people waiting to taste its ice cream, flurries, and slushies. This ice cream place offers 23 different hand-dipped ice cream flavors from three different brands, 8 FlavorBurst soft serve flavors, Dole Whip, and even Dippin’ Dots. It also has ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, and other treats.
In addition to ice cream and other desserts, the Village Cone Shop has a basic food menu with options like double cheeseburgers. It is open from March to September.
Double Dip Depot Ice Cream & Mini Golf
As its name suggests, the Double Dip Depot doesn’t just offer ice cream – it is also a great place for a fun night of mini golf! It has an extensive menu of 18 flavors of hard-packed ice cream as well as soft serve ice cream and flurries. Many of its flavors are unique and exclusive to the Double Dip Depot – like the Double Dip Decadence and Honey Lavender.
This ice cream shop also caters to those with special dietary needs, with lactose-free, cholesterol-free and dairy-free options. It also has fun options for the kids (and the young at heart), like the Blue Monster, which features vanilla soft serve, blue magic shell, monster eyes, and gummy tentacles. You can enjoy your ice cream on the Double Dip’s gorgeous patio or while playing a round of mini golf!
The Parlor at Cherry Hill Market
Based in a historic building in Cherry Hill, the Parlor at Cherry Hill Market is a family-friendly, old-fashioned ice cream shop. It is known for its 28 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream flavors from Michigan brands Moo-ville and House of Flavors. They combine these ice cream flavors into concoctions like the Cookie Monster (Blue Moon ice cream with Oreos) and the Take Me for Coffee (coffee ice cream with whipped cream and caramel).
Like many ice cream places in Grand Rapids, the Parlor at Cherry Hill Market is only open during the summer. Be sure to catch them between Memorial Day and Labor Day to taste these frosty treats!
Furniture City Creamery
Like Love’s Ice Cream, the Furniture City Creamery makes its ice cream in-house, from scratch. Each of its 65 flavors has its own mix recipe, and is made in small batches. This means that if your favorite ice cream flavor is featured, you better hurry in to get some before it’s all gone!
Furniture City Creamery also makes its waffle cones and sauces in-house. They also strive to include a vegan version of all of their offerings, including coconut milk-based ice cream, so that everyone can enjoy their confections. This ice cream shop is open year-round.
Underground Cookie Club
The Underground Cookie Club (UCC) bills itself as a “frozen dessert sanctuary,” and in our opinion, it is just that. This isn’t your average ice cream shop. The UCC designs and builds artisan ice cream sandwiches from scratch – including both the ice cream and the cookie . Many of its concoctions take their ames from pop culture, like the Dingleberry (cotton candy and blue raspberry), the Baby Yo (for Yoda, featuring mint ice cream and brownie) and the Dude, with coffee and chocolate.
In addition to ice cream sandwiches, the UCC makes its own ice cream bars and sorbet. It even has a secret menu that is only available to its social media followers. The Underground Cookie Club got its start as a food truck, and now has a shop in the Kentwood area that is filled with nostalgic finds, like VHS tapes and Pogs. Its food truck can still be found at special events throughout Grand Rapids.
Spad’s Twisters Soft Serve Ice Cream
If you’re in the mood for soft serve ice cream, then Spad’s Twisters Soft Serve Ice Cream might be the spot for you. In addition to chocolate, vanilla and twist soft serve, you can get a range of FlavorBurst flavors and Dole Whip. Spad’s Twisters’ menu also features milkshakes, malts, sundaes, slushies, flurries, and smoothies.
Customer favorites include the Trash Can Sundae, with cookie dough, M&Ms, oreos, peanut butter cups, whipped cream and gummy worms atop the ice cream of your choice – all served in a plastic trash can. Spad’s Twisters also offers treats for your dogs: vanilla soft serve topped with a treat.
Pinkie’s Ice Cream and Desserts
If you like the color pink, then Pinkie’s Ice Cream and Desserts is a can’t miss destination in Grand Rapids. Inside of a store that features a LOT of pink, you can choose from 30 flavors of Sherman’s of South Haven Ice Cream. Pinkie’s has a lot of unique flavors, like Honey Lavender, Chocomania, and Grasshopper. Many of their options are gluten free and/or vegan.
Beyond cups and cones, Pinkie’s also offers homemade brownie sundaes, donut sundaes, and house-made ice cream sandwiches. In addition to their storefront, Pinkie’s has a vintage ice cream truck that can be booked for special events.
Woody’s Cone Stop
If you like variety, then Woody’s Cone Stop is the place for you. Featuring both soft serve and hand-dipped Hudsonville Ice Cream, you can also get a full meal at this ice cream place. Their menu features popular items like Polish sausages, cheese curds, pulled pork, Chicago dogs, and even sloppy Joe’s.
On Friday, Woody’s offers its special funnel cake fries, which can be incorporated into a sundae with vanilla ice cream, your choice of sauce, and whipped cream. You can also get flurries, banana splits, and a whole range of sundaes like Strawberry Cheesecake and Mackinac Fudge. Be sure to check out their non dairy and vegan options as well.
Bad Habit isn’t located in or near Grand Rapids (located in Grand Haven), but it is the ultimate milkshake destination if you need an escape from the city. Its motto is “if you can imagine it, we can create it” – something that you will discover firsthand when you visit this shop. Its menu features 10 milkshake flavors like the Day Dreamer, which contains vanilla ice cream, strawberry drizzle, powdered donuts, cotton candy, whipped cream, unicorn item, with a vanilla frosting and unicorn bark rim. Hudsonville vegan, non-dairy ice cream can be substituted in any milkshake that contains vanilla ice cream.
In addition to milkshakes, Bad Habit offers sundaes, speciality floats, and mini Dutch pancakes. You can also come up with a combination of your own based on Bad Habit’s ingredients. This shop is open year-round.
Do you love a good ice cream sundae? If so, then Captain Sundae can’t be missed. This ice cream shop features 35 speciality sundaes plus 12 classic sundaes. The crowd favorite sundae is the Tommy Turtle, which has vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge, caramel, honey roasted pecans, whipped cream, and a cherry.
Beyond sundaes, Captain Sundae also offers both scooped and soft serve ice cream, milkshakes, malts, old fashioned sodas, slushies, Skipper’s Whips, glaciers, popsicles, ice cream cakes, and packaged treats. They also have a full menu of food. Gluten, non-dairy, and no added sugar options are also available.
The Pump House
The Pump House is designed in the style of a modern day soda shop that carries artisanal yogurt, gelato, sorbet and custard. The concept is simple: you fill up your cup with the frozen treat of your choice, then add whatever toppings you want from their toppings bar. You can also get rolled ice cream at the Pump House, where liquid frozen yogurt base is poured onto an icy cold surface along with your favorite toppings before being scraped into rolls and served in a cup.
The Pump House has four locations in and around the Grand Rapids area (Knapps Corner, Studio Park, Rockford, and Grand Haven). It’s a great choice for someone who wants to choose from a range of toppings to make something that is truly unique. It is open year-round, and also offers full-service and “party pack” catering for parties and special events.
Houseman’s Ice Cream
Houseman’s Ice Cream has been open for 30 years, and offers a great range of classic ice cream treats – in addition to dairy-free and no sugar added options. They carry both soft serve and hand-dipped ice cream with unique flavors like coconut almond chip and salted caramel.
Their shop in Byron Center has a great patio where you can relax and enjoy your treat. Houseman’s is located close to Kent Trails, so you can take a nice walk afterwards to burn off those calories. Be aware that Houseman’s is cash only.
How Budget Branders Helps Michigan Businesses Thrive
Running a food service business has always been a challenge, and never more so than during the past few years. Between the pandemic, supply chain issues, and inflation, many independently-owned businesses are struggling to remain profitable. We’re here to help.
Budget Branders understands the pressures facing small businesses. That’s why we offer all of our branded products – including cups, bags, and bowls – at prices and in quantities that make sense. We know that branding your disposable products can increase your marketing efforts – so we make it as easy as possible to do just that.
To learn more or request a quote, reach out today by filling out our online contact form or hitting the live chat button on the bottom right of your screen.