Eating ice cream in the summer is basically your patriotic duty. President Ronald Reagan signed an official proclamation in 1984 declaring the third Sunday in July National Ice Cream Day and all of July National Ice Cream Month. Mr. Reagan encouraged all Americans to enjoy this “nutritious and wholesome food”, and who are we to say no? Ice cream is the ultimate politician’s dessert because nearly everyone agrees it’s awesome. The average American eats about 20 pounds of ice cream every year, according to the International Dairy Foods Association

So, in honor of National Ice Cream Month, we are taking you on a little tour of Charlotte shops. 

Insta-worthy Ice Cream

You’ll want to snap a selfie with your shake at Ninety’s Dessert Bar. They have ice cream treats and baked goods that are a feast for your eyes as well as your taste buds. Their menu of specialty milkshakes includes the magical unicorn, orange creamsicle, campfire s’mores and bottom of the cereal bowl. Other treats include the brookie monster – an ice cream sandwich with a chocolate chip cookie on one side and a brownie on the other. They have coffee treats too, like the Lucky Charms Latte (it’s probably magically delicious!).

Ninety’s Dessert Bar is family-owned. They have two locations: one in the University Area and one in Rock Hill. The unique flavor combinations were inspired by their childhoods.They cater too.

Ice Cream for the kids (of all ages)

How about a cookie topped with ice cream, mini-marshmallows and sprinkles? Or a milkshake made with the sweet cereal your mom would never let you get? SWIRL Dessert Bar claims to be the world’s first (and only) made-to-order cupcake, cookie and ice cream shop. You can even combine all three with a Super Swirl. That’s a milkshake topped with a cupcake and a cookie (swoon). Take it down a notch with an ice cream float or a Squish custom-made ice cream sandwich with unlimited toppings. SWIRL has two locations: Oakhurst and South End. 

Ice Cream for the refined palate

Our Insta feeds are filled with friends taking European vacations. You can get a taste of Italy without a passport at Tutti Gelato. This family-owned shop features the traditional flavors of Italy and all gelato is made fresh on site. Their menu changes weekly, but you can often find pistachio, amaretto disaronno, almond salted caramel and gianduia (think Nutella but better).

Ice Cream for people with food allergies

Seemingly Overzealous just opened its first brick and mortar shop at Camp North End. All of their flavors are dairy-free and handmade. Technically, they can’t call it ice cream since there’s no actual cream in their products but we won’t argue. Their flavors have unique names like Easy to Love, Dream Boat, Paper Cup Love Notes and Don’t Call Me Inefficient (formerly known as unnamed experiment #3). 

Ice Cream with locally-sourced ingredients

Eating ice cream from The Local Scoop is good for the environment. This family-owned shop partners with several local farms for their ingredients. For example, their honey vanilla ice cream is made with honey from a farm in Monroe and their strawberry ice cream and sorbet is made with berries from a Richland farm (flash frozen to last all year). There are two locations: one in Parktowne Village off Woodlawn Road and the other in Promenade on Providence off Ballantyne Commons Parkway.

Whether you like your ice cream fancy or no-frills you’re sure to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth at one of these places.