The largest city of South Carolina is steeped in the Southern charm. It also can get hot, so you’ll need to find refreshment somewhere. For ice cream lovers, it’s heading off to find some of the best ice cream in Charleston.
Best Ice Cream Parlors in Charleston, South Carolina
Were you looking for a sweet treat when roaming around the Charleston area? Feast your eyes on these best ice cream spots.
Off Track Ice Cream
You’re guaranteed to find the frozen dessert you crave at this charming ice cream shop just off King Street in the heart of downtown Charleston.
Whether you’re craving traditional ice cream or vegan options, they have it all. They also specialize in allergen-free ice cream, which is perfect for those with food allergies – dairy-free and gluten-free options are aplenty here.
What’s impressive is that they use only the freshest, Lowcountry-sourced ingredients and make all their ice cream from scratch without additives, artificial flavorings, or stabilizers. That’s milk, cream, egg yolks, and cane sugar, and for the vegan options, it’s raw cashews, cane sugar, organic coconut cream, and sunflower oil.
With classic and inventive flavors, your tastebuds will be singing with every bite. Popular choices include Chocolate Pretzel, Salted Pretzel Toffee, and Key Lime Pie. Vegan ice cream options include Coconut Cake, Fluffernutter Blondie, and Brown Sugar Oat Milk & Cookies.
And if you can’t decide on any one flavor, you can pick their flight of any four flavors to help you make up your mind.
Other choices for treats include milkshakes, craft soda floats, ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, and Nitro Affogato. You can have all this the traditional way or vegan.
The large floor-to-ceiling windows will give you a glimpse of their ice cream-making process from start to finish.
- Off Track Ice Cream, 6 Beaufain St, Charleston, SC 29401
Belgian Gelato is a premium ice cream shop next to Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston.
While there are popular tourist attractions like Waterfront Park and Pineapple Fountain, Belgian Gelato seems like the more famous attraction – it’s always packed!
Father-daughter duo Hugo and Joany Heule-Missotten learned the art of gelato and moved from Belgium to Charleston to open this shop. Using the finest ingredients, they make the creamiest and smoothest gelatos, considered some of the city’s best.
Apart from mouthwatering gelato, they also serve sorbet gelato products, granitas, and specialty coffees.
Among their gelato flavors are Apple Pie, Butter Cookie, Tiramisu, Stracciatella, Creme Caramel, and White Chocolate Praline. Try their Pink Grapefruit sorbet gelato; it’ll tickle your tastebuds.
- Belgian Gelato, 8 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401
Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Cafe
It may have started as a small neighborhood restaurant selling only hotdogs and ice cream. But today, it stands as a proud local institution spread across seven locations – N Main St, Mount Pleasant, Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Goose Creek, Old Trolley, and North Charleston.
Despite their sumptuous meal offerings, including burgers, fries, sandwiches, and hot dogs, their multi-award-winning ice cream is the star of Ye Ole Fashioned. It’s a great place for a complete meal with desserts.
There are over 32 flavors, including seasonal fun and classic flavors. Equally popular are their famous banana splits and massive sundaes.
And their portions are huge, I mean REALLY huge – great for indulging solo (if you have a large appetite) or sharing on a date night!
Some exciting flavors include Caramel Turtle Cheesecake, Rainbow Sherbet, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, and Jolted Cow ice cream.
- Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream, 474 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407
Marble Slab Creamery
This ice cream shop is popular for hand-crafted small-batch ice cream with oodles of mix-ins.
From ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and shakes to ice cream scoops and sundaes, anything you pick here will have you craving more. The Ice Cream Kit is just the perfect at-home ice cream kit for your family – a choice of five ice cream flavors and four mix-ins.
Whether you go for their Chocolate ice cream or Cool Mint, don’t forget the mix-ins; you can select up to six! You’ll most likely take home a pint or quart once you’ve had a scoop of your favorite flavor here; it’s absolutely delish.
- Marble Slab Creamery, 1812 Sam Rittenberg Blvd #20, Charleston, SC 29407
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
For an Ohio-based chain to have become an icon in Charleston says a lot about Jeni’s. The founder, Jeni Britton Bauer, worked for more than 20 years building ice creams completely from scratch using a unique recipe.
With a smooth texture and a buttercream body, they’ve set high standards for even the classic flavors.
You’ll be spoilt for choice at Jeni’s; some extraordinary flavors include Jeni’s Homemade Banana Bread, Brambleberry Crisp, Goat Cheese With Red Cherries, and Middle West Whiskey & Pecans.
The list obviously goes on; a personal favorite is the Frosé Sorbet (Sangria-style frozen rosé with strawberry, pear, and watermelon, not surprising since my other blog is the cocktail blog, A Lush Life Manual). It makes the perfect indulgence for the summer months.
Unlike any other scoop shops, Jeni’s is so popular that you can find Jeni’s ice creams in thousands of grocery stores across the country.
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, 501-A King St., Charleston, SC 29403
Other Places With Delicious Ice Cream in Charleston, South Carolina
Here are some other places in Charleston with excellent ice cream to soothe those hot summer days:
- Beardcat’s Sweet Shop, 2063 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482
- Life Raft Treats
- Republic Ice Cream & Custard, 431 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
- Park Circle Creamery, 1069 E Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405
- Peace Pie, 223 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
The cherry on top!
The hunt for the best ice cream shop in Charleston will bring forth many contenders, each unique in its own way. Looking for some good soft serve ice cream or a sandwich shop that serves equally delicious frozen treats? Then explore the best ice cream in Charleston for a great experience; it will have you returning for more.