In 1984 Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July National Ice Cream Day.
In honor of this wonderful month long event, here’s a short list of some of our favorite spots to grab a scoop or three.
Treat Dreams (Ferndale)
Walk into Treat Dreams once a week and you’re almost guaranteed to find something new on the menu. Whether it is Hot Jalapeno, The Abomination (garlic, cream cheese, bacon, and black pepper), or Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Curry, owner Scott Moloney is not afraid to try something new and/or outrageous. Speaking of outrageous, Moloney’s newest concoction? Lunch cones! Savory waffle cones filled with macaroni and cheese, pulled pork, or chicken salad.
Calder Farms (Lincoln Park)
Ever noticed the cool, old school milk bottles in your grocer’s dairy section? If you live in the Detroit area, chances are those are probably Calder Farms bottles filled with milk, buttermilk, or (addictive) chocolate milk. Did you know Calder also makes ice cream? Available in some stores (Honey Bee Market in Detroit comes to mind), Calder ice cream is always available at the parlor in Lincoln Park. With over 30 flavors, it is definitely worth a trip.
With flavors like pistachio, cantaloupe, and kashta (rose water), Shatila should be known for more than their baked goods. Shatila’s ice cream is rich and full flavored. There are more traditional flavors like strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla, of course. My recommendation is a three scoop bowl of kashta, pistachio, and strawberry.
Traffic Jam and Snug (Detroit)
Not only does Michigan’s oldest brewpub serve beer, they also make their own ice cream (and bread and cheese). And while the Traffic Jam does serve great food, it’s no secret a lot of folks visit strictly for dessert. Don’t miss out on the Carlotta Chocolatta Ice Cream Cheesecake. It may seem strange to combine cheesecake and ice cream, but the fantastic coffee ice cream enmeshed with chocolate cheesecake is a decadent artery clogging treat.
Mootown Creamery (Detroit)
The new kid on the block, Mootown doesn’t make their own ice cream, rather they sell locally produced Hudsonville Ice Cream. Located next door to Supino Pizzeria in Eastern Market, what’s better than a big scoop of mint chocolate chip after a slice of Detroit’s best pizza? Or if you’re shopping the farmer’s market on Saturday or Sunday or Tuesday nights (starting July 12), stop in to Mootown for a quick cool down.
Ray’s Ice Cream (Royal Oak)
Of this list, Ray’s is the mostly widely available in grocery stores. Gallons of Ray’s can be found Nino Salvaggio’s and Plum Markets just to name a couple of places. A plethora of restaurants also offer scoops for dessert. With good reason, too, Ray’s Ice Cream has a high butterfat content making it exceedingly rich and creamy. Close to 50 flavors are available, but I have fond memories of their cinnamon ice cream.
Erma’s Frozen Custard (Shelby Township/Warren)
Frozen custard is much different than the ice cream we’ve talked about so far. It is a soft serve ice cream rather than hand scooped. The list of flavors at Erma’s is nearly endless. Not because they keep all of the flavors on hand, but because soft serve ice cream is easily mutable with flavored syrups and other add ons. For an especially fun summer treat, try the creme de menthe custard dipped in dark chocolate.
Pizzeria Biga (Southfield)
Gelato is yet another ice cream variation. With lower butterfat, gelato is a lighter yet still creamy treat. At Pizzeria Biga, the gelato is made fresh daily and held at the perfect temperature. When the gelato is brought to the table, it already appears to be melting, but that’s OK. The airy texture and delicateness of Biga’s gelato is outstanding. Even with its lightness, the flavors are still bold.