It’s not summer without dipping into some ice cream. My go-to flavor is any form of cake batter/birthday cake with sprinkles in a waffle cone. Yes, you could describe that order as one of a 5-year-old, but it’s still delicious! I don’t go for ice cream too often, but I do love to grab a cone when I’m on vacation especially. And there is no shortage of ice cream shops in Charlotte or the rest of North Carolina. It seems especially at the beach there is one on every corner. And with well-known chains and locally owned options it can be hard to know what to choose. That’s why Yelp has created a list of the top 100 ice cream shops nationwide. And 5 North Carolina Ice Cream shops made the list.

All are locally owned spots, with one or just a few locations in an area. Additionally, 2 South Carolina shops made the list as well. Below you’ll find all 6 of the Carolina ice cream shops that received this recognition. Proceed with caution though, you’ll be craving a scoop of delicious ice cream soon. No matter what flavor ranks the best for you, one of these places is sure to have what you crave.

Methodology according to Yelp, “This is a list of the Top Ice Cream Shops in the US and Canada in 2023, according to Yelp. We identified businesses in the ice cream category, then ranked those spots using a number of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews between January 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023. This list looked at businesses in the US and Canada. All businesses were marked open on Yelp as of May 1, 2023. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of May 1, 2023.”

View the full article here. Keep reading to see Yelp’s Be North Carolina and South Carolina ice cream shops.

  • 15. Surfin Spoons (Nags Head)

    Address: 3408 S Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head, NC 27959

    Surfin’ Spoons is a local, family owned soft-serve ice cream spot in Nags Head. They have 10 flavors of soft serve, gelato, sorbet, and an almond milk flavor. They also have around 50 topping to choose from or you can get an ice cream sandwich! The menu rotates weekly, but at the time of publishing some flavors available are sea salt caramel, chocolate-covered almond swirl, and chillin’ cheesecake.


  • 17. Sugar Koi, (Cary)

    Address: 116 Kilmayne Drive Cary NC 27511

    Sugar Koi is the type of ice cream parlor owner Kai grew up visiting in Thailand. On Sugar Koi’s menu, you’ll find “fresh, unique, and delicious cones as well as specially crafted ice cream flavors”. Flavors include your typical vanilla bean, chocolate, and strawberry. But also matcha green tea, brown butter bourbon turtle, and Thai tea among others.


  • 20. Ozzie’s Ice Cream (Greensboro)

    Address: 3712 Old Battleground Rd, Greensboro, NC

    Ozzie’s is a family-owned Greensboro ice cream shop that self proclaims as the Triad’s best ice cream, and Yelp’s list doesn’t dispute that claim. Not only can you get delicious ice cream but also floats, banana splits, milkshakes, malts, and my personal favorite homemade waffle cones.


  • 23. Kirk’s Ice Cream Parlor (Myrtle Beach)

    Address: 2500 N Kings Hwy & 6101 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach SC

    With two locations, Kirk’s offers 40 Flavors in cones & cups. Like any good ice cream shop they also serve milkshakes & malts, sundaes, banana splits, as well as sodas & floats. They are only open seasonally though but you can stay up to date on their Facebook page.


  • 44. Boombalatti’s Homemade Ice Cream (Wilmington)

    Address: 1127 Military Cutoff Rd. Wilmington, NC 28405, 1005 N. 4th St. Wilmington, NC 28401, 15919 HWY 17N Hampstead, NC 28443

    A Wilmington couple decided to buy an ice cream shop and have since grown it to three locations in the area. Not only can you walk in and get delicious scoops of flavors like key lime pie, birthday cake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate cream pie, you can also buy the ice cream by the pint!


  • 53. Melt, (Myrtle Beach)

    Address: 204 Main Street North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29582

    “Craft ice cream just steps away from the beach” is what you’ll find at Melt, the Grand Strand ice cream shop that opened in 2017. It’s not just accolades from Yelp either, Melt was voted South Carolina’s best ice cream by Food & Wine. Flavors rotate but include seasonal options like Pina Colada, Biscotti, and of course chocolate.


  • 81. Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream (Cary)

    Address: 10120 Green Level Church Rd, #208 Cary, NC 27519, 1008 Ryan Road, Cary, NC 27511

    Andia’s has two locations in Cary with a third opening soon in Raleigh. They have their signature flavors year round which include cake batter, baklava, oreo latte, and more. They also have 6 rotating flavors monthly, so you can get your favorite or try something new.


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