Our Five Faves

Best ice cream in the Triangle

Posted July 7, 2014

Blueberry buttermilk ice cream from The Parlour during Dishcrawl Durham.

— Not all ice cream is created equal. The summer is all about great snacks to help cool you off and these are our five favorite places in the Triangle area for ice cream: 

Sunni Sky's (Angier) - With more than 100 homemade ice cream flavors available, this is a must-visit for any ice cream fan. Try the banana pudding ice cream and you will be hooked! If you are a little adventurous, they also have some spicy ice cream (Cold Sweat and Exit Wound) that you have to sign a waiver before eating. 

Lumpy's (Wake Forest) - A staple at many outdoor events in the Triangle, Lumpy's is known for its all natural ice cream made from fresh ingredients.  Their strawberry is probably my favorite! They also have some great, fun flavors including Bacon Bourbon. Since it is made fresh, not all flavors are available all the time. The staples - vanilla, chocolate, strawberry - are always on the menu though. You can grab their ice cream at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, WakeMed Soccer Park and the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market. They also have a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Wake Forest. 

Dairy Depot (Wake Forest) - Their soft serve ice cream comes in a ton of flavors, including Plantation Praline and White Chocolate Macadamia. You can also get flavors twisted together. I am a fan of their Train Wrecks (soft served blended with mix-ins). Try the Buckeye (peanut butter and chocolate blend) or the Banana Cream Pie! Oh, and to make it super convenient - they even have a drive-thru. 

The Parlour (Durham) - This shop started as a food truck, serving out of a modified mini school bus. Now, they have a store off of Market Street in downtown Durham. This handmade ice cream is made from local ingredients, when possible, and they have vegan options made from coconut milk. Try their lavender with blueberry swirl or salted butter caramel flavors! 

N.C. State's Howling Cow ice cream - Made fresh on campus next to Schaub Hall, this ice cream is available on campus and yearly at the N.C. State Fair. It is always one of our first stops at the fair! They are currently raising money for a new creamery. 

Honorable mention: 

Goodberry's (various locations) - OK, it isn't ice cream but frozen custard is close enough! This chain started in the 1980s in Raleigh. They offer freshly made custard with tons of toppings available for mixing in. And don't forget to check out their "Flavor of the Day." One of our favorites is Jamocha!


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  • keeprightexcepttopass Jul 8, 2014

    You gotta try Quail Corners Cremery in Raleigh. Soooooo good!

  • PowderedToastMan Jul 8, 2014

    View quoted thread

    So what. Doesn't mean it's guaranteed to be the best...and nothing in Durham is worth getting shot over.

  • Sally Bethune Jul 8, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Don't have to. At all the ice creams mentioned, can you sit out on the porch or picnic table and actually watch a working farm in action? Can you see the cows who produce the milk for the ice cream?

  • Sally Bethune Jul 8, 2014
    user avatar

    I don't know who writes these silly articles, but I have eaten ice cream from a few of the mentioned shops and Maple View is the best by a long shot. Where else can you sit on the front porch of an ice cream shop and watch the cows whose milk actually makes the ice cream? Come on west of Durham and see what real ice cream taste like. Duh!

  • zonk Jul 8, 2014

    The best ice cream is what I make at home. Sunni Sky's can't touch it.

  • luvstoQ Jul 7, 2014

    Goodberrys - 'Honorable Mention'????

    Yes, I also realize it's not 'ice cream' in the truest sense - it's custard. But, for the creamy goodness you expect in ice cream, there's no comparison to their custard. It's the best of the best - hands down!! Ice cream doesn't come close!

  • Stop Making Sense Jul 7, 2014

    It's kind of shocking that Maple View Farms isn't listed here. Can we start getting people who actually live in the area to start writing these articles?

  • raleighboy524 Jul 7, 2014

    have you tried them all?

  • bacon-grits-eggs Jul 7, 2014

    Maple View farms blows all these choices out of the water.