When the summer temperatures reach 100-degree heat indexes in St. Louis, you will probably need a little help cooling off. From decades-old traditional spots to newer, innovative ones, here are some great places to get better acquainted with our growing small business scene.
Ices Plain & Fancy
2256 South 39th St., Shaw
Tucked away in STL’s historic Shaw neighborhood, Ices Plain & Fancy is the only made-to-order ice cream shop in the city. Liquid nitrogen forms a big cloud into the air as it is infused into a milk (or dairy free) base at -321 degrees in a Kitchen Aid mixer, churning into microscopic ice crystals for a silky smooth texture. Expect seasonal flavors like farm fresh strawberries and classics like mint chocolate chip and rocky road.
6726 Chippewa St., St. Louis Hills
If you’re new to the city, it is likely someone will try to take you to grab this traditional favorite. For more than 80 years, this spot is known for its walk-up windows open in the sun, rain or even snow for a concrete, which is frozen custard blended with toppings and flipped upside-down before the server hands it to you. Try one of the popular combinations like the Cardinal Sin made with tart cherries and hot fudge.
1637 S. 18th St., Lafayette Square
If trying new flavors is appealing to you, Clementine’s will not disappoint. Think olive oil lemon verbena, STL traditional favorite gooey butter cake, and manchego cheese truffle to name a few. The milk comes from local farmers and local restaurants and businesses are frequent collaborators to provide new flavor ingredients.
6602 Delmar Blvd., Delmar Loop
For a new ice cream experience, try it made for you via Thai pan-fry in St. Louis’ Delmar Loop. Choose from one of the 13 refreshing flavor combinations such as cherry blossom or unicorn and watch as the milk base is placed on a freezing surface and placed into cute little rolls for your enjoyment.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
389 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End
This Columbus, Ohio-based creamery was only available by the pint at Straub’s before St. Louis got its first location in the Central West End. Enjoy the smooth, frozen texture in many creative flavors that are free of all synthetic flavor, dyes or mixes. Check back often for new flavors like sun-popped corn, pink grapefruit buttermilk frozen yogurt and more.
Gelateria del Leone
3197 S. Grand Blvd., Tower Grove South
Stepping into this Gelateria feels like you’ve gone to a cafe in Italy. The shop sits in the diverse South Grand business district with 50 different types—around 20 per day—of gelato and sorbetto in fresh, cooling flavors like London Fog and orange creamsicle. With a coffee shop menu as well, there’s ample seating inside its two floors or out on the patio for a friendly hangout.
The Taco & Ice Cream Joint
2738 Cherokee St., Cherokee Business District
New to St. Louis’ Mexican food scene, this shop on historic Cherokee Street features vibrant ice creams in authentic Mexican flavors. Step up to the long counter and sample unique flavors like avocado or Mexican chocolate. Top your ice cream with 50-plus toppings ranging from chocolate candies to crunchy savory snacks like potato chips. There’s also an assortment of paletas (popcicles) in fun flavors like watermelon and mango-chile.