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Signature Item: Strawberry ice cream

All the ice creams here are certified organic from the milk to the fruit blended in.

Signature Item: Cherries Moobilee ice cream (made with local cherries)

The hands-down favorite of locals. The deck offers views of grazing dairy cows.

Signature Item: Huckleberry ice cream (made with local berries)

The inspired flavors range from El Salvador Coffee to Honey Porter.

Signature Item: Carolina Crunch (vanilla ice cream with bits of Heath Bar, Butterfinger, caramel cups, and a caramel swirl)

This family-owned dairy farm just outside Chapel Hill opened its ice cream shop in 2000.

Signature Item: Mint Summer Night's Dream (mint chocolate ice cream with dark and white chocolate chunks)

This hugely popular shop right on the Portsmouth waterfront serves all-natural ice cream in more than 30 regular flavors, plus rotating seasonal ones.

Signature Item: Wicked Chocolate ice cream

Among the local ingredients used at this Pearl District shop: Oregon bing cherries for its Bing Cherry Almond Chip and hazelnut butter and toasted hazelnuts from orchards 20 miles away for its Willamette Valley Hazelnut.

Signature Item: Goat Cheese and Honey ice cream

Christopher Elbow is just as boundary-pushing with his ice creams, in flavors like Salted Pretzel and Persian Spice, as he is with his stellar artisan chocolates.

Signature Item: Swiss Chocolate ice cream

A Bainbridge Island favorite owned and operated by two Argentinean expats; the superb ice cream, made in small batches, comes in flavors like Dulce de Leche and Gianduja.

Signature Item: Black Bear (red raspberry ice cream with chocolate chips and chocolate raspberry truffles)

The ice cream here is made in small batches from a 40-year-old recipe.

Signature Item: Theo Chocolate (dark chocolate ice cream made with melted Theo bars)

Molly Moon Neitzel uses mostly local fruit to flavor her ice creams—the farthest south she goes for fruit is Napa Valley for blood oranges.

Signature Item: Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream

Graeter's ice cream, made just two gallons at a time, is slowly swirled and folded into itself in a French Pot so no air gets whipped in. The technique makes for an extra-dense and creamy ice cream—each pint weighs almost a pound.

Signature Item: Strawberry Je Ne Sais Quoi (strawberry ice cream with a splash of balsamic vinegar)

Owner and former Peace Corps volunteer Neal Gottlieb puts a big emphasis on sustainability: The ingredients for his ice cream are local; all bowls, spoons and napkins are compostable; and the shop's emissions are offset with renewable energy certificates.

Signature Item: Fresh Peach and Coconut ice cream

This Cape Cod institution, housed in a tiny white cottage, has been serving supercreamy house-made ice cream every summer since 1934.

Signature Item: Mexican Vanilla ice cream

Amy's offers more than 300 flavors on a rotating basis, including the Shiner Bock, made with the iconic Texan beer of the same name.

Signature Item: Peanut Butter & Jelly ice cream

The ice cream at this 1796 farm is made with the super creamy milk from the resident Jersey cows.

Signature Item: Baklava ice cream

The constantly changing, inspired flavors at this 100 percent wind-powered ice cream shop include Oatmeal Stout and Strawberry Balsamic.

Signature Item: House-made ice cream cones

Mary Canales, a former pastry chef at Berkeley's illustrious Chez Panisse, is now famous in her own right for phenomenal ice creams in flavors like brandied cherry and rose.

Signature Item: Salted Caramel ice cream.

Almost everything at this excellent ice cream shop is made from scratch, including the marshmallows for the Rocky Road.

Signature Item: Creole Cream Cheese ice cream (made with a curdled cream cheese local to New Orleans)

This desserts shop has fountain-shop classics like banana splits and sundaes, along with rotating ice cream flavors.

Signature Item: Sea Salt and Caramel with Praline Pecans

Barb Zapzalka's exceptional ice cream is made with organic milk and cream from a small dairy farm in Wisconsin.

Signature Item: Green Tea mochi ice cream

One fan of Keith Robbins' bite-size mochi (ice cream wrapped in a sweetened rice confection) is superchef Nobu Matsuhisa.

Signature Item: Burnt Caramel ice cream

In contention with Christina's for best local ice cream. The floor-to-ceiling windows are superb for people watching.

Signature Item: Cheese Course Duo (blue cheese with Arizona Medjool dates)

This two-year-old shop prides itself on using exceptional ingredients, from milk and cream from local dairy farms to single-origin, fair-trade coffee beans for its espresso flavor.

Signature Item: Jack Daniels ice cream

This already popular shop gained even more attention when President Obama and his family stopped in for cones at the Main Street location in July. (He ordered the coconut.)

Signature Item: Salty Caramel ice cream

Jeni Britton Bauer creates some of the country's best ice creams, sorbets and frozen yogurts in imaginative flavors like wildberry lavender and Thai chili.

“I usually order the English toffee with their handmade waffle cones, which are amazing,” says 2012 F&W Best New Pastry Chef Devin McDavid, of San Francisco’s Quince restaurant. “The ice cream has great flavor and mouthfeel, and a large flavor selection that changes with the season. It always reminds me of childhood trips to the ice cream shop.”

2012 F&W Best New Pastry Chef Stella Parks, of Table Three Ten in Lexington, Kentucky, loves the signature Izzy Scoop. “It’s a tiny top hat-like scoop of ice cream that you can order on top of any cone, giving you the joy of two flavors in a much more manageable format than a classic double scoop,” she says. “Plus, it looks adorably jaunty.”

“I rather enjoy a butterscotch sundae with vanilla ice cream but they have much more than that,” says Bryce Caron, a 2012 F&W Best New Pastry Chef. “The sandwiches are delicious. Margie’s is the kind of place you visit to forget the fact that you live in a major urban environment. Just grab a club sandwich and a banana split and call it a day.”

Shawn Gawle, a 2012 F&W Best New Pastry Chef from Saison restaurant in San Francisco, made pilgrimages to this spot as a child, when visiting his grandparents. “I’m a sucker for classic mint chocolate chip and Oreo, and they now do a coffee Oreo ice cream, which is great,” he says. “The ginger is nice, too!”

“I go there only for the brown butter brownie ice cream,” says Shawn Gawle, pastry chef at Saison restaurant in San Francisco, and a 2012 F&W Best New Pastry Chef. 237 Commercial St., (508) 487-6888.

Laura Sawicki, the pastry chef of La Condesa in Austin, and a 2012 F&W Best New Pastry Chef, loves this beachy spot that makes incredible waffle cones. “You can smell them a mile away and the line wraps around the block,” she says. 12 Broad Street, (508) 228-5799.


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