Summers in Baltimore get pretty steamy, and the best way to cool off is with a scoop of ice cream. These gelato and ice cream shops serve up homespun twists on creamy classics that will make you want more. So, check out our picks for the best ice cream shops in Charm City.
Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream, Vegan, $$$
The Charmery, first founded in Hampden, has only been around since 2013, but it’s quickly staked its claim as one of the best ice cream shops in Baltimore. They’ve mixed the charm of Charm City into many of their homemade flavors, from Old Bay® Caramel to Maryland Mud to Tell Tale Chocolate, along with staples like Salty Caramel and odd guests like Earl Grey Gingersnap and Black Sesame. They also offer vegan flavors and have two new locations opening in summer 2018. With all this, The Charmery truly brings “happiness through ice cream.”
Founded by Noah Dan, who grew up on Italian gelato and decided to recreate it stateside, Pitango Gelato first opened in Fells Point in 2007. Though it has since expanded throughout Maryland and Virginia, the flagship store is still a special experience. Their rich gelato and sorbet flavors are made on premises with simple ingredients, often sourced from Italy or organic farms and growers. And with a location by the water, who could ask for anything more?
Taharka Brothers is bigger than an ice cream shop or their now-signature electric pink truck—it has a mission at its core to encourage leadership in urban youth as a force for social change. With flavors like Coffee Oreo, Honey Graham, and Matcha Mochi, the Baltimore-based handcrafted brand is sold in stores, restaurants, and universities all over Baltimore and D.C., as well as through their headquarters. Their crowdfunded truck, the Change-Maker Mobile, can be found at area events and through Twitter. For more about the company, check out the short documentary A Dream Preferred.
Vaccaro’s, which originated in Baltimore’s Little Italy, is known for their cannolis. But did you know that they also serve gelato and granita (Italian ice)? With a mix of American and Italian flavors, it’s great for a hot day when you’re not in the mood for pastries. If you dine in the café, they also have a menu of sundaes and Colosseos (gelato over a homemade Belgian waffle) that are to die for, including the Brownie Lover’s Sundae or Morte di Cioccolato (chocolate cannoli cake or cheesecake with Chocolate Chocolate Chip gelato, hot fudge, and whipped cream). There is also a Canton location. Mangia!
The family-owned BMORE LICKS lies right on the edge of the picturesque Patterson Park, with a variety of fun, homemade hard ice cream, soft serve, specialty flavor cones, cookiewiches, milkshakes, ice cream tacos, and more. They even make Snowballs, a local summer treat made with shaved ice, flavored syrup, and marshmallow fluff. You may find a line when you get there, but don’t let that or the number of choices discourage you because whatever you get will be worth it. Also, it’s vegan-friendly.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream is a Philadelphia company at Remington’s popular R. House food hall and specializes in locally sourced Philadelphia-style and non-dairy ice creams. But it’s not for the unadventurous. Though they have some simpler flavors like Vanilla Cardamom Cream and Chocolate Salt Malt, they’re known for their more unique creations like Smoked Cinnamon, Earl Grey Sriracha, Buttered Popcorn, and Maryland Bar-B-Cue. It’s a little on the pricier side, but if you’re up for the challenge, give Little Baby’s a whirl—you may find you can’t get enough!
Uncle Wiggly’s has been a part of northern Baltimore for many years, and they feature over 40 flavors of ice cream. They’re a popular supplier of Taharka Bros. flavors like Berger Cookie® and Key Lime Pie, as well as classics like Cookie Dough. They also whip up some of the best milkshakes and malts in Baltimore for around $5. The counter-serve venue has outdoor seating and is also a deli, dishing out overstuffed sandwiches.