Summertime Ice Cream Bucket List

It’s that time of year again. The weather warms up, our bathing suits come out of their winter hibernation, and our local ice cream stands open up. Whether you like it hard, enjoy the soft serve, opt for yogurt or custard, the options abound this time of year.

Ice cream brings out the best in kids! No sibling rivalry when Ray’s is involved.

Sure, there are plenty of Dairy Queens, Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone Creamerys, TCBYs, and Yogurtopias around, and there is absolutely nothing wrong if a Blizzard or a Gotta Have It is up your alley. Heck, I wouldn’t say “no” to a cone of the dollar menu at McDonald’s. If you are someone who usually frequents one of the big chains for your frozen delicacies, take time out this summer and check out one of these local gems. Reflecting on this list, I am actually quite proud of how many of these places I have personally visited. And a little horrified. It may be time to admit I have a problem.

 What are your favorite local ice cream places? Anywhere I need to add to my growing list of new places to check out?

River Walk Café at Rivard Plaza on the Detroit Riverwalk. You cannot beat the views here. Get a cone, take a stroll to check out the art installations, wander through Milliken State Park, or sit on one of the lawn chairs and enjoy your ice cream while you watch boats on the river. Bonus if you take a walk because then it counts as exercise, not eating ice cream.

View from the River Walk Cafe at Rivard Plaza

River Freeze Dairy Breeze on Jefferson in the Marina District

Mangonadas Del Barrio in Southwest Detroit. Locations on Vernor Ave and Lawndale.

Mootown Ice Cream in Eastern Market. I am not ashamed to say that I have substituted ice cream for breakfast before. I most certainly had a bag full of produce, so it’s totally okay and appropriate for an adult.

Detroit Water Ice Factory at Campus Martius Park. Recommended by a Detroit Moms Blog Contributor and added to my 2017 Summer Bucket List. All of their profits go charity. Doing good while eating? Count me in.

Burk’s Igloo on Conant in Hamtramck. Also adding this one to my bucket list for the summer.

Cap’n Frosty on Bernice Drive in Pinckney and Twist & Shake on Milford Road in Milford. Required stops after softball and Little League.

Yum Yum Tree on Main Street in Brighton. This old-fashioned ice cream parlor is a staple in my hometown. Many a half-day in high school was spent chasing a grilled cheese sandwich and fries with a turtle sundae while the train ran along the tracks near the ceiling. Ah yes, the days where calories didn’t matter.

Yoz Yogurt on Orchard Lake Road or 14 Mile Road in West Bloomfield. Highly recommended by a co-worker because of their allergy-friendly and gluten-free options.

Custard Time on 7 mile in Northville. If you like custard this is a must! 

Dairy Twist Café on Benstein in Walled Lake

Guernsey Farms Dairy on Novi Road in Northville. If you can’t make it to the restaurant, you can find their ice cream in the freezer section of your local grocery store.

Dairy King on Main Street in Plymouth

Dairy Go Round on Main Street in Plymouth. True story, one of the biggest fights Rob and I have ever had was over a brownie mud that he didn’t finish and threw away. In July. When I was 9 months pregnant. Does it matter that I had already finished mine? It does not. What kind of animal doesn’t finish their ice cream in the first place and then throws the rest in the garbage? To this day, the thought of such senseless waste breaks my heart.

Dairy Go Round in Plymouth – The site of 2015’s Battle of the Bulge

Han-D-Dip Dairy Barn on 5 Mile in Livonia

Vicky’s Homemade Ice Cream on 6 Mile in Redford. A bucket list joint for me in Summer 2017.

Ice Cream Time on Ecorse Road in Ypsilanti

Faaaaar Westside: MOOmer’s in Traverse City. Why am I including this one on a metro-Detroit guide? Because you might be heading up north this summer, and Moomer’s has the largest selection of dairy-free options I have seen. For people with allergies, it’s nice to not always have to get orange sorbet or a slush.

Hudsonville Ice Cream. You don’t need to drive all the way to Holland to indulge in this Michigan-made ice cream. Their website includes a Scoop Locator!

Jim’s on 11 Mile in Royal Oak. Come for the phone booth. Stay for the Frostie Treats.

Ray’s on Coolidge Highway in Royal Oak. Three words for you: cinn. a. mon. (You thought I was going to say Superman, didn’t you?)

Dairy O on Main Street in Clawson. This was my jam when I lived in Clawson. I would walk up, get a cone, and head home to eat it on my porch with my cat.

Treat Dreams on Woodward in Ferndale. I have been lucky enough to sample from their food truck. Delish.

Clark’s on 12 Mile in Berkley

Dairy Deluxe on Woodward in Birmingham. How can you go wrong with a neon sign shaped like an ice cream cone?


Ringing in the summer with cones from Shakers on 12 Mile between Madison Heights and Warren

Shaker’s Dairy Bar on 12 Mile in Madison Heights

Nice Modern Creamery on John R in Madison Heights

Erma’s Original Frozen Custard. Locations on 14 Mile in Warren, Harper Avenue in St. Clair Shores, and Auburn Road in Shelby Township. This place had the longest line I have ever waited in for anything in my life. And it was totally worth it.

KC’s Dairy Twist in Eastpointe

Custard Spot on Van Dyke in Utica

Lori’s Lick ‘Em Up Ice Cream on Jefferson in Harrison Township. Comes recommended by a friend and east-sider.

Wally’s Custard on Harper Avenue in St. Clair Shores

Sweetie’s Ice Cream & Candy on Kercheval in Grosse Pointe Park. I am adding this one to my Summer 2017 Bucket List.

World’s Finest Frozen Custard on 23 Mile in New Baltimore

Rita’s on Hayes in Sterling Heights

Leone’s Frosty Treats on Auburn in Pontiac

Dairy Dream on Williams Lake Road in Waterford and on Sashabaw Road in Clarkston

Jam’rs on Van Dyke in Washington

Frontier Town on Van Dyke in Romeo

Sander’s Chocolate and Ice Cream Shoppe on Main Street in Rochester. If you aren’t feeling ice cream on any given day, might I suggest the Bumpy cake?

Oberweis on Rochester Road in Rochester. Additional locations throughout metro-Detroit.

Eva’s Dairy Café on Park Blvd in Lake Orion

Frosty Boy on Ortonville Road in Ortonville. The broasted chicken also passes muster.

Faaaaar Up North: Alcona Coffee Company in Harrisville. This is where I fell in love with Butter Pecan ice cream. Thanks Noonie.

Bob Jos on Fort Street in Riverview. 70 years in business can’t be wrong. This is also on my Summer 2017 bucket list.

Grant’s Soft Serve on Allen Road in Allen Park

Here’s the Scoop! on Pellham Road in Taylor

The Custard Hut on Warren Street in Dearborn Heights

Calder Brothers Dairy on Southfield Road in Lincoln Park. My summer ice cream bucket list is getting dangerously long.

Sander’s Chocolate and Ice Cream Shoppe on Biddle Avenue in Wyandotte. Sander’s is a Detroit original; there are also shops at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, Laurel Park Place in Livonia, in St. Clair Shores and in Grosse Pointe Park.

Trenton Ice Cream Shoppe on West Road in Trenton

My beautiful niece carrying on the family legacy.

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5 Responses to Summertime Ice Cream Bucket List

  1. Phil S. June 15, 2017 at 8:47 am #

    You need to check out Custard Time on 7 Mile Rd. In Northville. After moving from downriver, my wife and I found our wedt side Bob Jo’s.

    • Elizabeth Lewis
      Elizabeth Lewis June 15, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      Thank you so much Phil. We’ll be adding this one to the list.

  2. Chrissie
    Chrissie June 15, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    Can’t wait to try that one. It’s in my neck of the woods so might even swing by tonight!

  3. Emilie June 15, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

    Custard Corner on Scott Lake Road in Waterford is a home town favorite!

    • Chrissie
      Chrissie June 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm #

      Thanks! I’ll have to check it out.

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