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Indulge Your Sweet Tooth: The Best Ice Cream Shops in the Triangle

Heat waves, 100+ degree days, the unforgiving rays of the sun—we’ve been through a lot this summer. It’s only right to treat yourself to some cold, sweet flavors! Tons of ice cream shops around the Triangle not only source from local dairies, but are also constantly bringing (delicious) innovation to classic flavors.

If you’re trying to beat the heat—and want a little treat—here are the top ice cream shops to try in the Triangle.


A man holding an ice cream cone.

A cute little mom & pop shop that has grown to become one of the most popular ice cream spots in the area, FRESH has been making mouths water with freshly handmade, locally sourced ice cream since 2011.

They’ve got some pretty iconic and tasty flavors, like Carolina Crunch, Sea Salt Caramel Fudge, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup—not to mention dairy-free and gluten-free options!

Sunni Sky’s

A person holding up a pink and white ice cream cone.

Sunni Sky’s is only open from March through the end of November, but they’ve racked up quite the following in the Triangle. Based in Angier, the ice cream shop boasts over 120 different homemade flavors, from the classics to more creative options—like whiskey, eggnog, bacon, and burnt sugar.

They also carry sorbets and fat-free, sugar-free options. You’ll never know which is your favorite until you try all 120+ flavors!

Mama Bird’s Cookies + Cream

A person holding up an ice cream cone outside.

Based in Holly Springs with a new location in Raleigh’s Morgan Street Food Hall, Mama Bird’s Cookies + Cream makes small batch, handmade ice cream using fresh and local ingredients. Since they source locally and only make so much ice cream at a time, they’re flavor offerings are constantly changing!

In addition to ice cream, Mama Bird’s also makes some of the most delicious ice cream cakes, cookie cakes, and ice cream pizzas (yep, that’s a thing), that you’ll ever try.

Two Roosters

Strawberry ice cream.

Two Roosters is another ice cream shop with a focus on local sources. Their milk and cream originates from Homeland Creamery in Julian and the NC State Dairy in Raleigh, and it fuels the creation of both their permanent and revolving flavors, which change every month.

In July, the guest flavors included a tart Key Lime Ginger Snap, a deliciously colorful Leprechaun’s Delight, and a rich Hazelnut & Dark Chocolate Ganache. Permanent menu flavors that we love include the Sola Cinnamon Donut, Coffee Bourbon, and Blackberry Hibiscus—all of which feature collaborations with local businesses!

Howling Cow

A person holding up an ice cream.

Made right on NC State’s campus by the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science’s Feldmeier Dairy Processing Lab, Howling Cow has been satisfying sweet tooths for over 70 years. Not only can you find a few stands on campus, but you can also buy pints from several Harris Teeter locations!

Discover Life in the Triangle

Every one of the top ice cream shops in the Triangle has one thing in common (besides the delicious flavors)—an emphasis on sourcing locally. That passion for the community is just one of the many things that sets the Triangle apart from other areas!

If you’re thinking of making a move to the Triangle, then take some time to browse our in-depth area guides and explore our buying resources. Ready to get started? Just give us a call!

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