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.

A lot o’ Gelato

A gelato cake masterpiece at Westerly’s Pompelmo Gelateria.

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Photograph by Angel Tucker.

Pompelmo Gelateria owner, Melanie Wolf, has traveled half a world away to Italy to study the art of gelato making. “It is truly a passion of mine. I love the creativity and imagination it entails and I am passionate about offering only the very best quality to our customers,” she says. The result? Artisanal gelato with an authentic taste of Italy. The cake pictured showcases pistachio gelato and limoncello topped with fresh forest berries including strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, and is sprinkled with chopped pistachios ($26.99). Celebrate a special occasion or have a slice just because. We’re not judging. 31 High St., Westerly, 348-8586, pompelmogelateria.com.


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Courtesy of Rhody Fresh.

Rhody Fresh

Local flavor from the farm.

Pick up a pint of vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, coffee or black raspberry ice cream with some added local flavor from Rhody Fresh at Dave’s Marketplace. Fresh cream and milk from Rhody Fresh cows, all-natural ingredients and 16 percent butterfat are blended together for a rich, creamy and gourmet taste. It’s not just local, it’s Rhode Island local. And it’s the real deal. “Rhody Fresh is a cooperative of four local family-owned dairy farms,” says Alex Laprise, Rhody Fresh’s executive director. “It is not easy for dairy farmers to survive these days, so Rhody Fresh does all that it can to fill the gap.” Cue: Ice cream. The launch of the ice cream helps return more money into the farmers’ pockets to preserve their farmland as dairy farms and keep them more viable than ever.


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Courtesy of by Chloe, Waffle, Knead Doughnuts and Tricycle Ice Cream.

Think Outside the Cone

Expect the unexpected from little Rhody’s very best ice cream concoctions.

Waffles and Ice Cream
Waffle, 45 Weybosset St., Providence, 808-6569, waffleprovidence.com
Forget what you know about waffles. Bite into your favorite flavor of ice cream supplied by the Ice Cream Machine, stuffed between two sweet Liege waffles for a gut-busting sandwich, or create your own waffle creation with a scoop of ice cream and sprinkles or other toppings on top.

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich
Knead Doughnuts, 32 Custom House St.; 135 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, 865-6622, kneaddoughnuts.com
Picture this: The marriage of a split-apart doughnut with Warwick Ice Cream nestled inside. The flavor and texture combination? A perfect harmony of pillowy goodness with a cold front. Choose between a cake or brioche doughnut and pair it with your favorite flavor for a top-notch combo that can’t be beat. Our opinion? Definitely a Knead.

Out-of-the-box Ice Cream Sandwich
Tricycle Ice Cream, 70 Battey St., Providence, 741-3549, tricycleicecream.com
Cookies and ice cream are married in not-so-typical combinations like sweet Callebaut chocolate ice cream packed between a salty pretzel and shortbread cookie sandwich. To share with a friend (or not): Opt for a Tricycle Ice Cream taco, a tasty flavor nestled in a waffle cone shell, or one of many Instagram-worthy specialties including ice cream drumsticks, sorbet push pops and more.

Ice Cream Push-Pop
by Chloe, 223 Thayer St., Providence, 213-8798, eatbychloe.com
Childhood treats can’t be beat. Snack on a plant-based, non-dairy push-pop like the birthday cake ice cream infused with funfetti cake crumbles and rainbow frosting filling from Thayer Street’s vegan hotspot. It’s a kiddie favorite with an adult twist.

Iggy’s Doughboy Sundae
Iggy’s Doughboys, Chowder House and Creamery, 885 Oakland Beach Ave., Warwick, 737-9459, iggyscreamery.com
The single-serving features three scoops of your favorite flavors, two servings of cinnamon sugar fried dough and other toppings like whipped cream, nuts and a cherry. Go big or go home with the colossal portion size of eight scoops of ice cream and four doughboys, plus toppings.

Crazy Milkshake
Kaffeology, 359 Thames St., Newport, kaffeologycafe.com
Walk too fast and you might miss it. Tucked in a small, unassuming shop in the heart of Newport is a cafe with a crazy twist. Besides typical food fare and coffee, you can sip an outrageous milkshake like the Bam Bam, Fruity Pebbles infused in a vanilla frosted rim glass and topped with cotton candy, half of a frosted Pop Tart, gummies and whipped cream.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream
Mobile food cart, various locations in Rhode Island

Nostalgia served in a cone, Cereal Milk Ice Cream is churning milk from the bottom of the cereal bowl into creamy cereal-flavored ice cream. Varieties include the kind your mom never let you eat like Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and more.


Blackbird Farm Ice Cream Trailer

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Courtesy of Blackbird Farm.

A new life for an old horse trailer.

When the thermometer creeps past 60 degrees — a sure sign that warm summer days are soon to come — it’s the best time to ditch whatever I have going on, get outside and run to the nearest ice cream shop.

In this case, however, it’s an ice cream trailer. Not a food-truck-like service window, but a real repurposed horse trailer converted into something sweet.

On the corner of Douglas Pike and Limerock Road sits the Blackbird Farm Ice Cream Trailer, a silver stationed mobile bedecked with a walk-up rear window, hay bales and leather saddles. What once transported horses now holds fourteen flavors of ice cream, including classic favorites and out-of-the-box options like blueberry cheesecake.

“We drove to New Hampshire to purchase this trailer we saw on Craigslist,” says owner Ann Marie Bouthillette. “I originally had the idea of setting up a tent with ice cream underneath, but the health department wanted me to sell ice cream sandwiches rather than traditional offerings. My husband and I wanted the real deal.”

So, with daughter-in-law Sarah, the Bouthillettes went searching. Once the trailer was in their hands and parked on the corner lot of Blackbird Farm, a quick, four-week renovation made their sweet dreams a reality.

The farm to cone experience? It’s the real thing. Though Blackbird Farm’s cows are raised for the purpose of Black Angus beef, ice cream lovers can enjoy a super fresh, sweet treat from other local Rhode Island cows.

“I sat down with executive chef, Jonathan Cambra, from Roger Williams University,” Bouthillette says. “He was my biggest inspiration on where to go for our ice cream and other ingredients and how we could get it done.”

A budding relationship with other local businesses like Rhody Fresh and Winsor SB Dairy began. The milk used in the milkshakes is produced by dairy cows from Rhody Fresh’s four local cooperative family-owned farms and the ice cream comes from Winsor SB in Johnston. But it’s not just the dairy that Blackbird Farm Ice Cream Trailer uses to support Rhody-based businesses.

“A major aspect of this endeavor was to focus on making sure that everything we use, where possible, is local,” Bouthillette says. “Supporting people that have everything to do with giving back to Rhode Island is important to us and so, in turn, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality products at our farm. It is truly the most important aspect of this business. Nothing else surpasses that.”

Other local tried and true favorites including Yacht Club Soda are available for purchase. At Blackbird Farm’s trailer, guests can bask in the glory of a delicious combination consisting of fizzy pop paired with a plop of ice cream to create a float. Syrups from Rhode Island Fruit and Syrup Company are drizzled on ice cream too, for an extra burst of flavor.

And whether your base is cup or cone (we aren’t judging), enjoy dessert with the locals who know their way best around Blackbird Farm. The farm’s Brown Swiss oxen mascots, Sugar, Maple, Apple and Cider, provide wagon pull rides while Grandpa Ted guides the way. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a sweet treat on the farm where it’s as local — and delicious — as it gets. Blackbird Farm, 660 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, 232-2495, blackbirdfarmri.com


Stick a Straw in It

Ditch the diet, sip back and relax.

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Courtesy of Getty Images, Newport Creamery and Harry’s Bar and Burger.

Coffee Cabinet
Three ingredients, a whirl in a mixer and presto: an iconic Rhode Island beverage is ready to sip. A few squirts of housemade coffee syrup, a swift pour of milk and a few scoops of coffee ice cream are blended together into a frothy, thick drink with an impossibly smooth finish. Delekta’s Corner Store, 496 Main St., Warren, 245-5921

Root Beer Float
Some things just go together like the refreshing spritz of A and W Root Beer and creamy vanilla soft serve. The drink is served ice cold in a frosty mug and is matched to any deep-fried fare you choose to chow down on. Guzzle it drive-in style and worry about the calories later. A and W, 460 Putnam Pike, 949-9892, awrestaurants.com

Creamsicle Frappe
How do you judge the greatness of a summer day? Slurp on a creamsicle frappe and you’re there. Vanilla ice cream blended with orange soda brings you back to childhood days of creamsicle pops on the playground. It’s like a burst of liquid sunshine you can drink. Somerset Creamery, see website for multiple locations, somersetcreamery.com

Awful Awful
Awfully big and awfully good, Rhode Island’s signature summertime drink (buy one get one free on Mondays) is not made from ice cream. Instead, frozen ice milk and flavored syrup are blended together. Ask for it extra thick and you’ll need a spoon. Newport Creamery, see website for multiple locations, newportcreamery.com

S’mores Milkshake
Ice cream and alcohol. What’s better than that? Try a booze-flavored milkshake concocted with vanilla ice cream and Tippy Cow chocolate cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with a graham cracker and toasted ’mallow rim. Harry’s Bar and Burger, see website for multiple locations,
harrysbarburger.com

 


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Photograph by Angel Tucker.

The deconstructed Ice Cream Sundae

Whipped Cream
Wright’s Dairy Farm and Bakery, 200 Woonsocket Hill Rd., North Smithfield, 767-3014, wrightsdairyfarm.com
Purchase heavy cream to make your own pillowy plouffs at home.

Recipe:

Combine 12 ounces heavy cream, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of sugar into a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix the ingredients together on the lowest setting. Once the mixture begins to thicken, turn up the mixing speed. When it can stand on its own, it’s done. Tip: Be careful to not over-whip or you will have butter!

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
Gray’s Ice Cream, 16 East Rd., Tiverton; 259 Thames St., Bristol, 624-4500, graysicecream.com
A pink hue bedecked with bits of maraschino cherries buried within, the ice cream boasts a crisp and fruity hint of cherry.

Chocolate Sauce
Coops MicroCreamery
Made with European chocolate and local dairy ingredients, this delectable hot fudge boasts a deep, rich flavor. Vegan hot fudge, salted caramel and cold brew mocha sauce are also available for a luscious next-level topping. Find Coops MicroCreamery at your local Dave’s Marketplace.

Toppings
Nana’s Ice Cream, 28A Pier Market Place, Narragansett, 500-1900, nanasgelato.com
From rainbow sprinkles to chocolate pretzel poppers, choose from more than fifty toppings at Nana’s Ice Cream. Go ahead: Have it your way and enjoy it, too.

Almond Butter Toffee
Anchor Toffee, 8 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport, 619-1044; 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, 753-7726, anchortoffee.com
This brittle-like bark made from almonds, sweet cream butter, pure sugar, salt and dark chocolate creates a sweet and salty crunch you can’t resist.

Dave’s Coffee Syrup
Dave’s Coffee, 341 South Main St., Providence, 521-1973; 5193 Old Post Rd., Charlestown, 322-0006, davescoffee.com
Coffee syrup can be used for far more than coffee milk. Drizzle cold brewed and craft roasted syrup on your fave scoop for a sweet coffee finish.

Cherry
You can’t have a sundae without the cherry on top. Pop a sweet but ripe cherry in your mouth for a fruit explosion. Find this fresh garnish at your local farm or at Dave’s Marketplace.

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