I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Although, why anyone would be screaming for ice cream rather than ordering it is still a bit unclear. Regardless, the way a person asks for ice cream isn't the focal point of this ranking - it's where a person asks for ice cream. Ice cream was once a novelty sold by small shops on town street corners, specializing in things such as old-fashioned fountain drinks and sundaes. Now, ice cream has become a worldwide frozen treat that's sold by chains all over the place, and not all of them are as good as the next.
Everyone has a favorite ice cream chain which doesn't make ranking the best any easier, especially when some have certain niches. Ben & Jerry's, for example, is always premiering unique and innovative combinations such as toppings and fillings. Coldstone Creamery has the cold stone method of mixing behind them as well as rich, creamy ice cream that comes with an array of fresh ingredients. Baskin Robins finds their specialty in classic flavors and sundaes that push the limits of what's considered to be average. And, of course, Carvel is nostalgic and classic in their flavors, being known for their ice cream cake creations. So, where do the rest stand in the definitive ranking of the best?
Dippin' Dots was big, big news when it first hit the scene with its unusual beads of ice cream and unique flavors. Many people wondered how a mouthful of these would be akin to any type of ice cream at all but, alas, Dippin' Dots was able to win them over. However, there's only so much that can be done with a cup of frozen ice cream pellets - and, after a while, it just wasn't as impressive anymore, no matter how much of a mess it saved us.
Carvel will always have a special place in many people's hearts as being the original in terms of ice cream as a specialty. This is the one stop we remember making as kids with our parents and friends, the after-school treat we looked forward to, and the place where our celebratory cakes would come from. Created in 1929, according to Mashed, this chain was really something for many decades before it finally lost steam against competition from the 21st century. Even so, it's still a classic favorite that brings back fond summer memories.
There was something about ordering a sundae from Friendly's (or having a piece of Celebration Cake) that made us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Perhaps it was the warm hot fudge cascading over each scoop, or maybe it was the effort put into making a clown face out of a banana sundae. Whatever it was, it was delightful and while Friendly's locations are tougher to find now, they still remain a fun family staple. Luckily, fans can still get pre-packaged miniature sundaes at the supermarket.
Dairy Queen is still slaying the game thanks to their Blizzard game which is still going strong. The combination between soft-serve and a milkshake is something that fans love, especially with so many combinations to choose from. What's even better is the fact that fans of DQ can walk in and order a full meal prior to ordering their favorite Blizzard flavor.
The beauty of Cold Stone Creamery came in the form of the novelty that is using a cold stone to mix up a delicious ice cream flavor. While the ice cream on its own is good, it's the added toppings - which range from fresh, fudgy brownies to any candy a person could ask for - along with things like hot fudge, caramel, and fresh fruit, to create a unique, fresh-tasting ice cream sundae. Often served in massive waffle cones ranging from 'Like It' to 'Gotta Have It' sizes, the only criticism Cold Stone usually receives is being too sweet.
Baskin-Robbins is yet another holy grail for ice cream fans and, as of late, they've come up with some pretty creative themed sundae options. What caught many fan's attention was their promotion to have a different daily flavor for each day of each month, meaning there's always a diverse range of ice cream choices to choose from. With that being said, the chain has had a following due to its loyal fan base and not necessarily because the chain's ice cream is any better than another - but their history and commitment to creativity have kept the corporate chain going.
Häagan-Daz does have retail locations despite the fact that many people think the brand's ice cream can only be purchased in the supermarket. Known as one of the OG in gourmet, high-end ice cream names, this brand has been delivering serious flavor for decades. For those who don't necessarily enjoy tons of ingredients and added toppings, Häagen-Daz stands for the beautiful simplicity that is ice cream. The flavors are always on-point, each spoonful is full of flavor and tastes rich and creamy, making it the best choice for the classics.
Ben & Jerry's
Of course, coming in first had to be Ben & Jerry's. While it's more likely that this brand is tied in first with the last few, it's the one ice cream brand that has remained consistent, delicious, and wholesomely creative since 1978. When it comes to flavor creation there are no competitors who have been able to hold a candle; from the creamy freshness of a pint to the creations that can be found at Scoop Shops, not to mention the Ben & Jerry's Factory, this ice cream is the ultimate for fans around the world.