21 Union St. S.
Concord, NC 28025
Since 1923, the Cabarrus Creamery has been an important destination for generations of Concord residents, and today is a touchstone in the town’s revitalized historic downtown. Founded by the Burrage family, the beloved ice cream shop was bought in 2009 by Hunter Huss, himself a fan who grew up eating ice cream at the Creamery. Huss is determined to continue the traditions established by the Burrage family, serving 25 flavors of homemade ice cream including signature classics such as sliced lemon and Moon Pie, as well as new favorites such as chunky monkey and rum raisin, all in the generous serving sizes that customers have come to expect. This is a great place to order a banana split piled with hot fudge, pineapple and strawberries, topped off with whipped cream, walnuts and a cherry.
20801 N. Main St.
Cornelius, NC 28031
For more than 30 years, Carolina Cones has been a family favorite in Cornelius on NC 115. The little locally owned shop stocks some 50 different flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt, including kid-pleasers such as cotton candy and play dough, along with a wide variety of toppings. Other kid-friendly features include the model train and toy vending machines inside and an outside playground with a miniature merry-go-round and other equipment, along with plenty of seating and a soothing fountain for the grownups. Sundaes here range from the classic banana split to a Mexican sundae topped with hot fudge and salted peanuts to a Reese’s Boat awash in peanut butter cups, nuts and candy of all kinds. Carolina Cones closes for the season in November, reopening in early spring.
Mobile Food Truck
One of the founders of Charlotte’s food truck movement, the family owned and operated Sticks and Cones has achieved national recognition from Dish.com and Relish.com as one of the best ice cream trucks in the U.S., thanks largely to the unusual list of specialty sundaes available from its Cones truck. Starting with soft serve ice cream (unusual for a food truck), the Trauner family adds gourmet touches, including homemade baked goods, to create some memorable taste treats. Signature sundaes include Aladdin’s Delight with swirls of pomegranate syrup and pistachios, Carolina Gold topped with caramel, white chocolate and vanilla wafer crumbs, the Granny Gene with homemade lemon curd, Mexicali Blues topped with blueberries, caramel and peanuts, and the Sweet ‘n Salty, the customer favorite, with chocolate and caramel sauces sprinkled with pink sea salt. Other unusual toppings range from honey and Nutella to flavored balsamic vinegar and fresh fruit. Follow the truck on Twitter @SticksAndCones to find out where the soft serve is swirling.
Related: Best Food Trucks In Charlotte
1605 Galleria Blvd., Suite 140
Charlotte, NC 28270
This sweet spot tucked into the Arboretum Shopping Center combines the qualities of a coffee shop, bakery and ice cream parlor, specializing in design-your-own desserts. Premium ice cream in a variety of flavors can be layered with fresh-baked cookies for a delicious ice cream sandwich or enjoyed atop one of the dozen specialty cakes available. The extensive toppings bar offers your choice of candies, fresh fruits, nuts, sauces and cookie crumbs to create your unique treat. Espresso beverages, hot and cold, make excellent accompaniments for your dessert, or try a fruit smoothie or milkshake. Gluten-free items are available.
Related: Best Milkshakes In Charlotte
4203 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
No traditional sundae toppings are available at this new spot, but you are unlikely to miss them as you savor three delicious flavors of gelato or fruit sorbet nestled together in a large cup. Located in a free-standing building in the parking lot at Park Road Shopping Center, Va Da Vie is operated by owners who studied the art of gelato and sorbet making at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Winston-Salem, an off-shoot of the original in Italy. Following traditional recipes and practices, only the finest and most natural ingredients are used from locally sourced dairy and fruits to pistachios and hazelnuts imported from Italy. The small-batch process creates intense flavors with a range of both dairy and non-dairy treats available daily, priced from $4.45 for one scoop up to $6 for three.