Don’t let the heat get you all hot and bothered—scoop up some of the original Mother’s Little Helper and chill out, instead. From classic favorites at ice cream institutions to modern takes on the sweet stuff, Atlanta’s dripping with options. Read on for the scoop on where to score the best in town.

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Photo: S. Massey

Butter & Cream

All ice cream at this Decatur institution is hand-made right there in the store, and with flavors that range from classic to exotic—honey lavender fig and dark chocolate malbec, for starters—you might never leave. Check out their seasonal rotating menu for the most “now” flavors.

The Cherry On Top: Take your ice cream to go and saunter over to the nearby Little Shop of Stories—they have story times on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday!

416 Church St.
Phone: 404-378-7272
Online: butterandcream.com

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Photo: Vintage Frozen Custard via Facebook

Vintage Frozen Custard

What started as a food truck quickly took flight and now the brick-and-mortar custard store on the West Side soars above the standard coop. Whether you like your custard straight-up or mixed with a topping (a concrete, if you want to know the lingo), you’ve come to the right spot.

The Cherry On Top: Feeling frisky? Give a Leige Waffle a whirl.

1021 Howell Mill Rd.
Phone: 678-515-3053
Online: tastevintage.com

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Photo: 8 Farenheit via Facebook

8 Farenheit

For the avant-garde ice cream connoisseur, 8 Farenheit should be at the top of your sweet stuff bucket list. Known for its Thai style rolled ice cream, 8 Farenheit mixes the ingredients together on a (really) cold surface until it’s scraped into short, fat rolls. Go for the yum, but stay for the novelty of seeing one-of-a-kind flavors being made.

The Cherry On Top: Coming soon, you won’t want to miss the famous Dragon Breath ice cream, which creates dry ice-like smoke in your mouth (but is totally edible and won’t hurt)!

5090 Buford Hwy. 101, and
3675 Satellite Blvd. 720
Phone: 678-585-3818
Online: facebook.com/8ficecream/

IMG_3826Photo: S. Massey

Paolo’s Gelato

From the kid-level glass case displaying fluffy mountains of the good stuff to the wafer cookie on top of every scoop, this Va-Hi sweet shop will delight kids and adults alike. If you’re a stickler for the trifecta (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry), you might be disappointed because the flavors change and trend towards nutella, zabione, rose, and amaretto. Don’t forget your cash as this joint doesn’t take cards.

The Cherry On Top: It’s a wafer cookie, not a cherry. But it’s yummy.

1025 Virginia Ave. NE
Phone: 404-607-0055
Online: paolosgelato.com

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Photo: S. Massey

Jake’s Ice Cream

Jake’s Ice Cream can be found in many locations around town, but get it at the Irwin Street Market for the traditional ice cream parlor effect. Ice cream coolers straddle an old-fashioned ice cream bar, complete with red vinyl stools and glistening countertops. For the wobblers out there, there are also family-style kitchen tables in a lounge adjacent to the ice cream counter. Jake’s impressive list of creative (and offbeat) flavors are sure to satisfy every craving in your crowd. They’re also opening a new location in East Point this summer, so keep an eye out.

The Cherry On Top: The ISM houses breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dessert vendors all under one roof, so hit this spot if you just can’t bring yourself to make dinner… or lunch… or brunch… one day.

660 Irwin St.
Phone: 678-705-7945
Online: jakesicecream.com

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Photo: S. Massey

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Think of this sweet spot as an education for tiny tounges. Nestled in the hip haute spot of the Westside Provisions District, this ice cream counter serves up samples of fanciful flavors like Wildberry Lavender, Goat Cheese & Red Cherries and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.

The Cherry On Top: A waffle wedge comes complimentary with each scoop. Don’t forget to load up on pints to take home to use to bribe the babes later.

1198 Howell Mill Rd.
Phone: 404-355-6050
Online: jenis.com

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Photo: S. Massey

Frosty Caboose

Trains and treats? Yes, please. This sweet shop is a converted train caboose with a walk-up window serving Greenwood’s ice cream—Atlanta’s answer to Mayfield’s on a smaller scale and with wilder flavors. With a private and plentiful parking lot between the caboose and the real train track (another plus for your little train aficionados), you can either enjoy your ice cream tailgate style, or stroll the streets of downtown Chamblee as you eat.

The Cherry On Top: Can’t get enough of Greenwood Ice Cream? Check out their manufacturing location not far from The Frosty Caboose. You can score an ice cream cake from one of the coolers up front if you’re lucky!

5435 Peachtree Rd.
Phone: 770-451-4556
Online: frostycaboose.com

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Photo: S. Massey

Morelli’s

This is ice cream the way it’s supposed to be. Morelli’s churns up conventional flavors (salted caramel will make you moan) as well as more creative combinations (think strawberry balsamic, maple bacon, or coconut jalapeño). But no matter your kids’ tastes, the creamy, smooth, rich quality of Morelli’s will have them begging for more.

The Cherry On Top: The Moreland Avenue store is a perfect stop after a day at the zoo.

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749 Moreland Ave. SE, 
Phone: 404-622-0210

4515 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.
Phone: 770-454-2207
Online: morellisicecream.com

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Photo: S. Massey

Kilwins

Okay, okay—Kilwin’s is a chain—but there is only one in Georgia (in Atlantic Station) and you should go. The smell of chocolate greets guests at the door, and kids will marvel at the toys, candy cases, and decorations as they make their way back towards the ice cream. Very few things can actually distract a child from an ice cream cone, but the candy maker moulding bite-sized chocolates at the front of the store just might do it.

The Cherry On Top: They make their waffle cones in house. Yum.

1380 Atlantic Dr. Suite 14160
Phone: 404-817-7500
Online: kilwins.com

What are your favorite scoop shops in Atlanta? Tell us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey