39 Cool Places for Ice Cream in Rhode Island
Whether you're into classic cones or fancy gelato cakes, we've got the scoop on the state's best ice cream joints.
Wait for your prescription with a root beer float in hand.
Christina Procaccianti, pharmacist and owner of Green Line Apothecary in Wakefield and Providence, creates a personal and more enjoyable experience for customers picking up or dropping off refills at her pharmacy. How? With a root beer float, of course.
Generations ago, pharmacists would mix up tonics to help ease their patients’ ailments. Much like pharmacies from years past, Green Line Apothecary boasts not only top-notch health care, but glorious soda fountains with all the bells and whistles, too. The soda fountain became a fixture in many American drugstores, so it is no surprise that Procaccianti wanted to bring her shops back to the pharmacy’s roots with an authentic, restored 1940s fountain.
In the center of the Wakefield shop sits a long bar, the sides covered in beautiful marble tile and the top a long slab of dark stained wood equipped with spigots. Swivel stools offer an inviting spot to gather around the counter. What better way to wait for a prescription refill than to grab a seat and sip on a tonic, lime Rickey or ice cream float? We don’t know one.
Most soda syrups were created by pharmacists for medicinal purposes — to make medication more palpable. Then, the idea of introducing ice cream to pop evolved. For Procaccianti, it’s all about recreating an authentic soda fountain including all sorts of fizzy drinks much like in the ’40s, but also featuring ice cream in a unique way.
“The sodas here at Green Line are made from cane sugar, have no dye and nothing artificial in them. They are made as close as possible to the original recipes of what soda was originally intended to be,” says Procaccianti. “We then add fun things to them like ice cream. Dare I say we are adding some whimsy to the experience? I mean, there truly is no better way to wait than with a float.”
The fan favorite? Without a doubt the classic root beer float, notes Procaccianti. However Green Line Apothecary encourages people to get creative; mix any flavor of ice cream and any flavor of soda to your liking and it’s made to order. Green Line also makes an effort to offer classic and wholesome items on the menu, too.
A whole lot of research has gone into making sure the ingredients and ratios are just right, and that the items they use, whenever possible, are either local or all-natural sources.
The best part of the soda fountain for Procaccianti? (No, not the ice cream.) Seeing the memories that these authentic, specific tastes evoke for her customers.
Whether it’s a traditional classic like a root beer float, a cherry Cola float with a scoop of chocolate ice cream (it tastes like a Tootsie Roll) or non-dairy or gluten free options, Green Line Apothecary sure knows how to cure any sickness: With an ice cream float in hand. Green Line Apothecary, 203 Main St., Wakefield, 307-2555; 905 North Main St., Providence, 633-8100, greenlineapothecary.com
An Ode to Rhody
Warwick Ice Cream goes beyond Rhode Island’s roots.
Autocrat coffee syrup in a glass of cold milk is how you slake your thirst in Rhode Island. Turn that tall glass of coffee milk into coffee ice cream and you’ve got it made. A tried and true favorite of locals and tourists alike, family-owned Warwick Ice Cream does the hard work for you. The result? Quality premium ice cream made from scratch.
It starts with fresh dairy sourced from local farms in New England including Munroe Dairy, and a handful of clean label, natural ingredients. Once raw ingredients — including the 100 percent natural coffee extract — have been received 500 gallon-sized batches are made from scratch, pasteurized and processed.
What makes the coffee ice cream taste so good? Select ingredients including milk, cream, organic sugar, natural coffee extract and natural stabilizers that aid in mouth feel and heat shock provide a smooth and creamy texture with a full roasted coffee profile. Open a pint, grab a spoon and dig on in.
Warwick Ice Cream offers a variety of flavors for every taste bud:
Del’s Lemon: What every Rhode Islander dreams of: a lemon ice cream made from white mix and infused with natural lemon zest extract.
Moonstone Beach Vanilla: Locally sourced dairy from farms in New England, finished off with Bourbon vanilla extract.
Coffee Milk N’ Cookies: Traditional coffee milk ice cream embedded with cookie chunks.
Blizzard of ’78: Whole roasted almonds and chocolate pieces buried in coconut ice cream to commemorate the iconic blizzard of 1978.
Every Child Every Day: All-natural chocolate ice cream with toffee crunch and caramel swirl. Part of the proceeds from every pint sold support the kiddos in partnership with Hasbro Children’s Hospital. warwickicecreamco.com