You can go to summer festivals, free concerts and farmers’ markets all you want, but it’s not really summer until you’ve gotten your fill of sweet handmade ice cream.
While we love a good cone of ice cream scooped at nationwide shops, let’s take a look at our favorite local ice cream shops in Omaha and Council Bluffs. We are, in fact, drawn to all things local!
1. Christy Creme
Christy Creme is a family-owned business serving their community in Council Bluffs for over 60 years. You’ll find a great selection of ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, burgers and fries at Christy Creme — but pay special attention to their chocolate malt, as it was recognized as the best in the area by the Omaha World-Herald! Or grab a cone of their delicious homemade ice cream or sherbet (check out their Daily Sherbet Calendar!) and make yourself at home at this adorable shop. Even your four-legged buddy will enjoy a visit to Christy Creme!
2. eCreamery Ice Cream & Gelato
The Omaha World-Herald considers eCreamery Ice Cream & Gelato the place to get the best ice cream (and vanilla ice cream, specifically!) in the entire Omaha area. This boutique parlor in the heart of Dundee has locals and visitors raving about their small-batch creations. Take a look at their best-selling pints — that can be personalized! — to get your pallets prepared for your visit. Stay up to date with eCreamery’s list of 16 fabulous daily flavors updated every day at noon!
If Omaha World-Herald’s accolades weren’t enough, keep in mind that eCreamery has garnered recognition throughout the country from ABC’s “Shark Tank,” The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, EveryDay with Rachael Ray, Esquire, ESPN, and more!
3. Ellie’s Deli and Ice Cream Shoppe
Ellie’s Deli and Ice Cream Shoppe is a Council Bluffs favorite offering incredible specialty sandwiches and our favorite feature, ice cream and sundaes. This is your one-stop-shop for grabbing a meal and topping it off with a homemade dessert. Pile on the toppings or keep things simple by digging into one of their tried and true ice cream flavors! Whatever you choose, you’ll have a blast at this cheerful shop located downtown across from Bayliss Park. Make sure you don’t delay your visit, as Ellie’s is only open between March and November!
4. Helado’s Santa Fe
Helado’s Santa Fe is a hidden gem in South Omaha, offering a variety of exotic flavors like papaya and cactus as well as more traditional ice cream options. Their homemade paletas are to die for as well! The Omaha World-Herald gave the bread ice cream at Helado’s the most creative flavor award, as it includes bits of bread and dark chocolate pieces swirled in vanilla ice cream. But perhaps the best part about all of this is Helado’s extremely affordable pricing, making your regular visits to their shop during the summer completely budget approved.
You may not think about a full-service restaurant when you are looking for places to grab ice cream, but one bite of a dessert from Petrow’s is sure to change your mind! Their Fremont “Original” Clown Sundae is out of this world, made with vanilla ice cream, chocolate topping, Spanish peanuts, chocolate ice cream and marshmallow topping!
6. Tastee Treet
Tastee Treet is another Council Bluffs staple during the summer, offering a variety of ice cream flavors out of their walk-up window in a quaint log cabin building along the Wabash Trace Nature Trail. Escape the sun with your frozen treat at their tables inside or under the covered roof at one of their picnic tables overlooking the activity on the trail. Hop onto the trail after you finish your dessert — or better yet, eat it on the go!
7. Ted & Wally’s
Ted & Wally’s has been an Omaha tradition since they opened their doors in the Old Market in 1984. They produce some of the most high quality homemade ice cream in the area, made from scratch with fresh ingredients. In fact, Ted & Wally’s is the only ice cream parlor in Omaha that makes their ice cream completely from scratch (with cream, eggs and sugar) using antique machines. Offering lots of healthier options (including vegan and sugar-free ice cream), Ted & Wally’s is dedicated to meeting your specific needs — and the exact flavor you’re craving. It’s no mistake that they were named the best ice cream shop in town in the Best of Omaha 2016!
8. Zesto Ice Cream & Grill
Zesto Ice Cream & Grill is a common stop for Omaha residents — at either of their two locations. Not only do they serve up amazing ice cream, Zesto has a full-service lunch and dinner menu with extremely affordable prices. This fun and family-friendly environment is the perfect destination to spend your summer evening savoring your ice cream dessert of choice.
Happy Ice Cream Hunting, Omaha!
Let us know which delicious, unique and satisfying flavors you discover this summer!