The 8 Best Louisville Ice Cream Shops: from Cones to Sundaes (& more)!

Let’s face it, ice cream is the one food group you never grow out of. I love ice cream just as much now as I did when I was 6 years old. I don’t care if it’s messy, cold, and sticky. I have been obsessed with ice cream since my very first red, blue and yellow superman scoop. I’m a dessert first kinda gal – and no, I don’t care if it’s 90 or 20 degrees outside, I’m always down for a double scoop of some of that sweet, sweet Louisville ice cream!

Can’t satisfy that sweet tooth? Check out a few of these other posts:

See also
The 45 Best Places to Eat in Louisville, Kentucky

 
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An array of different colored ice cream cones unsplash
If there is one thing we know about Louisville ice cream shops – their flavor choices are almost unlimited!

Louisville Ice Cream Spots that are Open Year Round

In a city that thrives on excellent food and even better drinks, it’s no surprise that Louisville doesn’t skimp on dessert. Rich flavors are kinda our thing.

So it is such a treasure that these Louisville ice cream shops (or parlors if you’re fancy) stay open all year. Ice cream in the winter may not sound the most appealing, but once all the seasonal menus hit with flavors like sorghum, bourbon ball, and apple pie, you might start rethinking what is and isn’t ice cream weather.

So check out Louisville ice cream for all your craving needs.

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Woman holding Ice Cream Cone from Louisville Cream in Louisville Kentucky
Cream takes ice cream to the next level. A torched marshmallow swirl on top? Heck yeah!

Louisville Cream

We all know you eat with your eyes first, and I gotta say Louisville Cream makes some of the most beautiful ice cream creations in the city. The gourmet small-batch creamery is probably the most indulgent ice cream in Louisville.

I’m talking about Whiskey Cookies and Creme *pause for a Michael Bay movie trailer WHOMP* on a pretzel cone * WHOMP WHOMP* topped with a torched marshmallow swirl! Was that dramatic? Yes! Do I regret it? No! Because you NEED to experience it for yourself and thank me later. And that’s just, like, run of the mill here.

Don’t gloss over the pint offerings though. Truly one of the best flavors is a pint offering and also a collaboration between Louisville Cream and the best bakery in town, Blue Dog. The Blue Dog Kougin Amann is the perfect pairing we didn’t know we needed.

A Kouign Amann (for all you non-British Bake-Off viewers) is a slightly sticky pastry thinly layered with sugar and a lot of butter. They swirl pieces of this French pastry with bits of burnt sugar in a luscious pastry cream. They don’t offer this flavor all the time, but when they do :chef’s kiss: it’s totally worth a visit.

In addition to truly ridiculous ice cream cones, they also have delicious ice cream floats, made with craft soda like Kentucky’s own Ale8 and Sioux City Cream Soda.

If dessert first is your style, definitely grab your cone to go, because NuLu is the perfect neighborhood to walk around and decide your dinner at either Garage Bar, La Bodeguita De Mima, or Bar Vetti.

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Ice cream against blue wall from comfy cow louisville ky
The Comfy Cow has no shortage of creative flavors, like Brown Butter Peanut Brittle or the Chatty Cathy with espresso beans! (Photo Credit: @nicolekenders)

The Comfy Cow

Comfy Cow is a real experience, ya’ll. So to get that full experience you really should enjoy a  cone in person at one of their 5 locations around Louisville. I like the Frankfort Ave location the best. An old converted house covered in metal scoop chandeliers, a wall of music records, and a shiny tin tile ceiling.

But don’t take in the sights for too long, you don’t want to be that guy holding up the line when it’s your turn. However, don’t fear if you do! Just get an ice cream flight, it’s 3 scoops side by side and the perfect size if you can’t commit to one choice.

You’re gonna wanna start with the Brown Butter Peanut Brittle (no that’s not a theatre warm-up phrase, but totally could be if you’ve mastered “red leather, yellow leather”). This flavor is legend-wait for it– DAIRY.

It won Grand Champion at the World Dairy Expo Championship the very first year it was entered. Not surprising when you dig into the buttery cream nestled between the textured pieces of caramelized peanut brittle with just a dash of sea salt.

For scoop number two, you’ll enjoy the extra pick me up from the Chatty Cathy. A deep-roasted coffee cream base with fractals of chocolate-covered espresso beans.

And for scoop number three, go with the Cake Batter UP. A sweet indulgent cake batter base, surrounded by chunks of southern classic pound cake.

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Waffle Sundae with peanuts and cherries from Liege & Dairy in Louisville Kentucky
Get a Waffle Sundae with waffles inspired by Liège, Belgium! (Photo Credit: Liège & Dairy).

Liège & Dairy

Liège & Dairy specializes in artful ice cream sundae towers on a Liège waffle. The owner recalls fond memories of family trips to their local ice cream parlor where they would create elaborate orders mixing flavors and toppings. The owner was also inspired to incorporate the Liège waffle from their travels to Belgium.

Now if you are unfamiliar with what a Liège waffle is, forget everything you know about light and fluffy. It’s a Belgian-style waffle made from a thick batter sweetened with pearl sugar, that creates a dense chewy waffle that is already so sweet you can eat it on its own, sans syrup, butter, or anything else. But man oh man does it get better when you start adding stuff!

And as any ice cream connoisseur knows a proper sundae is designed in layers from the bottom up. The chewy waffle base, a ball of chocolate rich cookies & cream ice cream, topped with an oreo cookie butter, and drizzled with warm Nutella. Yeah, that’s the Kenny’s Cookie Jar Waffle Sundae, and it’s just ONE of the amazing grandiose concoctions.

Or just go with a scoop of the Motherload. It’s a combination flavor of Oreos, cookie dough, brownies, and chocolate chips.

You can find Liège & Dairy in the Holiday Manor shopping Center off Brownsboro Road.

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Woman holding Graeter's black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream in lousiville, ky
You can’t go wrong with Graeter’s signature flavor Black Raspberry Chip. It’s pretty, too! (Photo Credit: @amyninlawong)

Graeter’s Ice Cream

You may already be familiar with Cinci-based Graeter’s ice cream if you visit the pint aisle as much as I do. Their small batch pints are distributed all over the country. My grandmother was so excited to show me her freezer, the day she found Graeter’s pints at her local grocery store in Las Vegas.

Now even though this family-owned creamery can be found across the country, don’t let yourself believe they’ve “sold out.” This ice cream is still made in small batches (like two and a half gallons at a time kinda small!). And they’ve kept their french pot style since the beginning of 1870. 

The small cylinder-shaped French pot spins the cream and creates the signature chocolate chip style you find in flavors like the Black Raspberry Chip. The chocolate chips vary from flakes to chunks as you dig into the purple tart raspberry sweet cream.

But the thing Graeter’s really knocks out of the park – the S’mores. And it might be controversial, but I’m just gonna say it – I think it’s their best flavor. Don’t come at me!

I love s’mores, I make them at home over my stove all the time, and this ice cream flavor nails the gooey combo. The graham cracker-based sweet cream, real soft marshmallows and the signature chocolate chip chunks – one scoop and you’ll want to start a fire.

Graeter’s has many locations sprinkled all around both Louisville and Southern Indiana, so there really is no excuse to properly treat yourself to one of the best.

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M&M Ice Cream Sandwich at Ehrler's Ice Cream in Louisville, KY
You can’t beat an ice cream sandwich at Ehrler’s Ice Cream. So many combinations to choose from! (Photo Credit: Ehrler’s Ice Cream).

Ehrler’s Ice Cream

Ehrler’s Ice Cream started in 1867 as a full dairy production. Making a catalog of products like butter, sour cream, and you guessed it – ice cream! The original Ehrler’s Dairy property was partially where Cherokee Park is today and provided glass bottle milk home delivery to Louisville, southern Indiana, and Lexington.  

So although the dairy brand has been closed for almost 20 years, the ice cream brand lives on. Ehrler’s Ice Cream makes their ice cream the old-fashioned way. You know the kind. When the cream and the ice crystals are slightly separated to create an undeniable vintage texture.   

Ehrler’s sticks to the tried and true classic flavors. Hey if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. So go for a classic chocolate chip cookie sandwich creation with a scoop of fruity strawberry or cool mint chocolate chip.

Ehrler’s is located in the Carlysle building downtown with a handful of parking spots out front.

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Woman holding purple Ice cream Cone from Rawnaissance in Louisville KY
Everything from Rawnaissance is not only raw and vegan, it’s also a work of art! (Photo Credit: Rawnaissance).

Rawnaissance Raw Organic Desserts

A vegan and a dietician walk into a dessert shop… No, this is not the start of an offensive joke, this is just some of the clientele Rawnaissance was designed to serve.

This raw-only dessert shop makes delicious cakes, pies and frozen treats so pure you’ll never feel like you’re missing out. Their desserts are vegan, allergy-friendly, and made with no refined sugar! They even have specific keto-friendly options- so no cheat day is required.

And while they technically don’t make ice cream, their gelato deserves a proper mention. For me, I’m grabbing a scoop of the Raspberry-Rose. It’s a cashew and coconut cream base that’s been sweetened with coconut nectar, but still puckers with some tang from the raspberry. 

And hey, don’t be surprised if you get distracted by the cake slices too. They’re all beautiful and brightly colored with layers and swirls. Or get both cake and gelato! I mean it is healthy after all…

Just note that this little slice of heaven (pun totally intended) is open for very limited hours, so check the website before you come in, and it’s located in the highlands next to Purrfect Day Cafe.

See also
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Cherry Dip Vanilla Ice Cream Cone from Dairy Kastle in Louisville KY
Dairy Kastle has a rainbow of flavors – like soft serve vanilla with a cherry dip! (Photo Credit: @bone_x_resin)

Louisville Ice Cream Places that are Open Seasonally

I don’t care what the groundhog says, I never really feel like winter is gone until these Louisville seasonal ice cream shops open. 

The opening of the seasonal mom-n-pop ice cream window is like the first official kick-off to all the good things. Good soft serve. Good weather. And of course good times. 

These seasonal shops are so nostalgic, and remind me to enjoy the good things while they’re here. They usually open up around March and close around October. So check out these Louisville ice cream shops when you get a chance!

See also
The 12 Best Desserts in Louisville: from Ice Cream to Pie (& more!)
Woman holding vanilla chocolate swirl ice cream from Dairy Kastle in Louisville KY
You can’t go wrong with a classic vanilla chocolate swirl soft serve; it may be the perfect summer treat! (Photo Credit: Megan Brady).

Dairy Kastle

With swirling soft-serve creations, Dairy Kastle (yes it’s really spelled with a “K”) is what dreamy summer nights are made of – and I know what you’re thinking. Tell me more, tell me more…

The walk-up window on Eastern close to UofL is usually open from March to October. And once that opening day comes, there is almost a permanent line to order, but don’t get discouraged the line moves really fast. 

Important to note, Dairy Kastle only accepts cash, and there’s not really an ATM within walking distance- so come prepared. However, if you’re scrounging around your car looking for any loose bills and all you find is a crumpled-up 5 – you’re in luck! These prices are CHEAP (and tax is already included in the displayed prices)!

The menu will definitely bring you back to all the simple flavors childhoods were built on. Providing all the classic offerings, dipped cones, frozen bananas, and pick-your-topping mixed flurries. Dairy Kastle will feel warm and nostalgic. But the one thing that’ll have you singing you’re the one that I want, is The Fat Elvis thick and creamy peanut butter banana milkshake.

The only thing that makes this place better, is the fact that all leftover profits are donated at the end of the season to charity. Or get a freakishly tall cone from their delicious vanilla chocolate swirl soft serve (pssst you can also get it dipped in fudge, cherry or butterscotch)!

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Dairy Del

Open since 1951, Dairy Del is authentically retro. The neon lights and round umbrella tables invite you directly to the walk-up window for their massive menu. And I mean like MASSIVE. The order window is covered in options, so don’t get overwhelmed.

I love sticking to something more old-fashioned. Like a Strawberry Shortcake Sundae with layers of jammed strawberries, soft served swirled vanilla ice cream and spongy cake square to absorb it all up!

The best part is, any menu item can be made with a vegan almond milk soft serve ice cream!

And hey if you’re looking for some really cheap eats before your show at Old Forester’s Paristown Hall, you’re in luck. It’s directly down the street, only 5 minutes away!

About the Author: Allie Nova lives in Louisville, KY with her 2 dogs, 2 cats, and high school sweetheart husband. She is obsessed with all things food, wine, beer, & gin and is currently working her way through the Master Sommelier and Cicerone certifications. She is always down to get a drink and dish on true crime (hey, hey fellow murderinos,) books from the Rory Gilmore reading list, or award worthy movies. But most importantly, Allie is a proud first generation American who believes diversity is key to beauty.


Where’s your favorite Louisville ice cream spot? What questions can we answer? Drop us a comment below!

Can’t satisfy that sweet tooth? Before you go, be sure to check out these other posts:


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Let’s face it, ice cream is the one food group you never grow out of. I love ice cream just as much now as I did when I was 6 years old. I don’t care if it’s messy, cold, and sticky. I have been obsessed with ice cream since my very first red, blue and yellow superman scoop. I’m a dessert first kinda gal - and no, I don’t care if it’s 90 or 20 degrees outside, I’m always down for a double scoop of some of that sweet, sweet Louisville ice cream!
 
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