Don’t be vanilla! Try funky flavors at these 11 MI ice cream shops

Don’t be vanilla! Try funky flavors at these 11 MI ice cream shops

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

By Chaunie Brusie

July 10, 2024

On a hot summer’s day, nothing hits the spot more than some Michigan-made ice cream. Here are 11 Michigan ice cream spots to try when you’re craving something a little out of the ordinary. 

Michigan is a bit synonymous with ice cream and whether it’s our plethora of beach towns that abound, family-owned dairy farms supplying fresh milk and cream, or our claim to fame as the state that invented Superman ice cream, no summer in the mitten is complete with a trip to the local ice cream parlor. 

And while everyone loves a classic chocolate or vanilla cup or cone, we’re feeling a little more adventurous these days, so we rounded up 11 Michigan area ice cream shops that offer more than just your basic flavors. From green Mountain Dew-inspired concoctions to Michigan-inspired treats like Sleeping Bear Dunes Bear Hug, here are some local ice cream shops serving up scoops of truly unique flavor combinations. 

House of Flavors

402 W. Ludington Ave. Ludington, MI

House of Flavors in Ludington, MI holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for constructing the longest ice cream dessert ever, a sundae that spanned 8 city blocks, reaching over a mile and a half long, and used nine hundred gallons of ice cream, eight hundred pounds of chocolate syrup, six hundred containers of whipped cream, and two thousand Michigan maraschino cherries. 

A third-generation family-owned ice cream shop, House of Flavors was founded when Bob Neal Sr. first opened his ice creamery on a dairy farm in 1948 when he offered five tantalizing flavors: vanilla, chocolate, lemon, French vanilla, and blue moon. Today, the Neal family has expanded those flavors just a teeny bit, with over 3,400 different ice cream recipes, including unique flavors like mint moose tracks, Milky Way, orange pineapple, carrot cake, campfire s’mores, and a special flavor of the day. House of Flavors is so popular, in fact, that they have not one but two locations in Ludington. 

Moomers Homemade Ice Cream

7263 N Long Lake Rd, Traverse City, MI 

Moomers Homemade Ice Cream Shop makes over 150 flavors of homemade premium ice cream, with 20 of those flavors available every single day. The Moomers shop also got its start from a dairy farm, when “Mama Moomer” was inspired to start an ice creamery that overlooked the family dairy farm. 

The dairy farm is still in operation and ice cream customers can get a view of the dairy cows as they enjoy their sweet treats. Moomers’ signature flavor is  Cherries Moo-blie, which features a black cherry-flavored ice cream flecked with chunks of black sweet cherries, chocolate fudge swirl, and brownies. Some of their other unique flavors include honey cornbread, molasses cookie, sticky bun, and no-bake cookie. You can also create custom flavors at Moomers or call ahead and request your favorite flavor to find out when it will be ready. 

Don’t be vanilla! Try funky flavors at these 11 MI ice cream shops

Photo courtesy of Chaunie Brusie.

Mama’s Eatery

5435 Main St. Lexington MI. 48450

Serving up delicious food along with refreshing ice cream treats, Mama’s Eatery is a skip, hop, and a stone’s throw from the beautiful shores of Lake Huron, making it the perfect pit stop after a day at the beach. And we would know, because we love stopping in there ourselves after a day in Lexington. 

My daughters and I recently enjoyed their sundaes and cookies and cream milkshakes topped with cookies as big as our faces. And this summer, they’ve introduced some ice cream classics with a twist, like a loaded banana split that includes everything you love about ice cream dishes—plus the cone to boot!

Corner House Ice Cream Parlor 

1218 N M-18, Gladwin, MI

Corner House Ice Cream Parlor in Gladwin, MI offers over 80 hand-dipped ice cream flavors, including unique flavors like peanut butter and jelly, non-dairy oatmazing superberry acai, apple crisp, chocolate cream pie, and “wizard’s brew.” They also make their ice cream waffle cones fresh every day.  

But they may be most famous for their “Pig Platter,”: a giant ice cream sundae that features two bananas, five scoops of ice cream, and five different toppings. If you can finish the entire thing alone ( no help allowed!) you earn the cherished honor of having your name added to their dining room. They also have different sundae options as well as ice cream nachos.

Love’s Ice Cream and Chocolate

435 Ionia Ave SW Ste 106, Grand Rapids, MI

Love’s Ice Cream aims to serve up love from the inside out with intentionally sourced ingredients like grass-fed organic dairy and ethnically sourced vanilla and cane sugar. They also offer intentional choices like dairy-free, vegan gelato, and gluten and nut-free treats. They’re famous for their unique and delicious flavors like Cardamom Orange Blossom, Chai Latte, Cappuccino Brownie, Lavender Blueberry, Black Licorice, and Margarita Sorbet. And here’s the good news: Even if you’re not local, Love’s ships nationwide

Jaami’s Ice Cream and Treats 

592 Cass St, Frankenmuth, MI

No visit to Michigan is complete without a day trip to the nostalgic town of Frankenmuth, where visitors will be sure to delight in stopping in at Jaami’s for a sampling of their 40 different hand-dipped ice cream flavors, many with nods to Michigan faves, like Sleeping Bear Dunes Bear Hug or Traverse City Cherry Fudge. 

Each cone is handmade in a viewing window and coated in chocolate for that extra razzle-dazzle. If cones aren’t your thing, you create your own ice cream soft serve option, like “Jazzed up Shakes” or “Flurries.” Their milkshake options include the Peanut Butter Shakedown and cookie crumble flavors, or try your hand at the Flurrie flavors like “cereal’sly good” and “Drumstick.” 

Dairy Whip

26215 Plymouth Rd Redford, MI 48239

If you’ve ever wondered what Mountain Dew would taste like in ice cream form, you’ll want to get yourself down to the Dairy Whip in Redford, MI. Here, they serve up weekly unique flavor combinations like “Mountain Moo,” a soft serve concoction that incorporates none other than Mountain Dew pop. 

Customers on their Facebook page said sampling the green treat was well worth the drive: “Drove 30 mins for it, very good. Hoping to see rock and rye back to drive out again,” commented Jaymi Fell.  Dairy Whip is famous for all sorts of drink-inspired concoctions, many based on Michigan pops like Faygo and Rocky Rye, as well as cocktail-inspired flavors like strawberry daiquir and pina colada twist. Along with hand-dipped and soft-serve flavors, Dairy Whip also offers many vegan sorbets for dairy-free treat seekers. 

Gilly’s Ice Cream

1059 E. Long Lake Rd. Troy, MI 48085

Serving up scoops from two local farms, Gilly’s Ice Cream sources their ice cream from Browndog Creamery and  Guernsey Farms Dairy and offers unique flavors like Who Needs a Therapist, Salty Dog, Fruity Cereal, and a seasonal Lemon Lavender. They also offer soft-serve concoctions, special treats, and ice cream to enjoy by the pint. You may also get lucky and catch a Gilly’s ice cream bicycle sighting as they pedal their way around town delivering sweet treats!

Blank Slate Creamery

300 W. Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103 (with additional locations in Brighton and Jackson Road)

With three locations to choose from in Ann Arbor, Brighton, or Jackson Road in Michigan, ice cream enthusiasts can try a variety of unique flavors including Balsamic Strawberry, Blueberry Pancake, Browned Butter Cookie Dough, Coconut Caramel Cookie, Good Morning Cherry Chip Latte, London Fog, or Fresh Basil. The family-owned shop opened in 2014 and makes its ice cream mix and most inclusions completely from scratch.  There are plenty of dairy-free options to choose from as well. 

FroZone House of Gelato

2167 N Pontiac Trail, Commerce Charter Twp, MI

If you’ve got a hankering for the creamy rich taste of gelato, you’re in luck, because the FroZone House of Gelato in Commerce Charter Township just so happens to specialize in the European treat. The FroZone House handmakes over 20 in-house gelato flavors including Chocolate Brownie Brittle, Vanilla Purissima Bean, Dulce de Leche, and Coconut gelato made with fresh coconut.

Grindstone General Store

3206 Copeland Rd, Port Austin, MI

A historic 1380-year-old store in the picturesque beach town of Port Austin, Grindstone General Store is infamous for serving up the biggest ice cream cones in the thumb area. And I can personally attest that they’re not just saying that—our family visits Port Austin every summer and the cones really are enormous! The size of the cones is worth the drive alone, but you’ll also appreciate the vast variety of unique flavors to choose from, like Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake, Banana Oreo Cookie, and even the famous “Bumpy Cake” flavor. 

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Don’t be vanilla! Try funky flavors at these 11 MI ice cream shopsDon’t be vanilla! Try funky flavors at these 11 MI ice cream shops


  • Chaunie Brusie

    Chaunie Brusie is a mom of five, a native Michigander, and a Registered Nurse turned writer and editor. She specializes in health and medical writing. Her work has appeared everywhere from The New York Times to Glamour to Parents magazine.

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