Craving Rolled Ice Cream? These Are the Best Places for It
Nobody thought ice cream could get better until rolled ice cream showed up in the streets of Thailand. Also known as stir-fried ice cream, the frozen treat quickly became the street-food rage for locals and a must-try food for every backpacker and vacationer who arrived in the country.
Thailand is still the best place to eat rolled ice cream, which is mixed by hand in a freezer and then cut into rectangles and rolled. But, thankfully, you don't have to take a plane to try this delicious dessert.
Instead, head to one of these 9 best rolled ice cream shops in the U.S.
9. Taiwan Ice
Location: North Miami Beach, Florida
What can be better after a day at the beach than a rolled ice cream treat? Taiwan Ice helps you beat the Florida heat with fresh flavors like piña colada and mango go-go. For those who like sweet and creamy, the perfect choice is the dark knight, made with Hershey and Nutella.
Other mouthwatering menu items include Taiwanese snow ice — which is made by pouring flavored syrup over shaved ice — milk teas and fruit teas.
Location: San Francisco, California
What started as a single rolled ice cream store in San Jose has evolved into a small empire of locations throughout California, New Mexico and Arizona.
As far as originality goes, Icicles doesn't have much that differentiates it from other stores, but sometimes, it's nice to go to a new city and know exactly what you're going to get. Plus, with 20 flavors and several non-dairy options, anyone can find something that fits their taste.
Some of their more unique flavors include a flan-inspired one, avocado ice cream with condensed milk and the famed cereal killer, which turns your favorite childhood cereals into ice cream.
7. Blendid Rolled Ice Cream
Location: Hackensack, New Jersey
With seasonal flavors and toppings that tower up high and reach for the sky, Blendid has managed to make a name for itself in the game of rolled ice cream. It doesn't hurt that the shop has Instagram-worthy spots that guarantee people will be snapping pictures on a swing with a faux-floral backdrop and a neon pink sign. Hey, if they happen to tag the shop, even better.
We love Blendid's carnival-themed seasonal flavor for daring to be as extra as possible. With wild colors, an explosion of sprinkles and a lot of whipped cream, it's pretty close to perfection.
6. Legend Tasty House
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Did you know ice cream is great for beating the cold? OK, not really, but we like to tell ourselves that so we can keep eating it, even when temperatures are below freezing in the Windy City.
With 21 rolled ice cream flavors, you definitely won't suffer from a lack of choices at Legend Tasty House. If anything, you'll suffer from too many choices, which is always the better of the two.
If you love the mix of sweet and tangy, try the Key lime pie base flavor and add some fruits on top. Or go for the red dragon, made with a dream team of passion fruit and dragon fruit. But if you like to keep it simple, you can order any of the fruit flavors and skip the toppings altogether.
Location: Tampa, Florida
Claiming to be the best Thai rolled ice cream parlor in Tampa, Snowrolls is located right next to the city's international airport. You can choose from one of nine signature flavors, of which we prefer the creme brulee and banana split because there's nothing like a dessert that tastes like another dessert.
Otherwise, you can make your own by starting with a vanilla or chocolate ice cream base and then adding whatever toppings float your ice cream boat. Plus, what we really love about Snowrolls is that it also has vegan options, so all the people who don't consume dairy can still enjoy this frozen dessert.
4. Minus Celcius Ice Cream
Location: New York, New York
The competition for rolled ice cream in New York City is tough, and not all shops survived the pandemic. Thankfully, Minus Celcius Ice Cream did.
This Manhattan shop also serves bubble tea and egg waffles. Forget the Spiderman crossover, the real crossover of the decade is Thai-styled ice cream with Hong Kong egg waffles. All the other signature flavors are great, but the choice of what to get is simply too obvious.
Make sure you plan to eat on location. For one, you'll probably be too full to move for a bit, and you can also get some cool pictures with the store's penguin murals.
3. Absolute Zero Ice Cream
Location: Montclair, New Jersey
What sets Absolute Zero Ice Cream apart from its competitors is its creative commitment to unique toppings. You can get Vietnamese coffee, pretzels, toasted marshmallows and Reese's peanut butter cups. You'll be oh-so-full but oh-so-satisfied.
With only 12 flavors, its menu is definitely more limited than that of other places on this list. But each flavor it features is so well thought out, and it's such a cool experience to see them working quickly and masterfully to make them, that we really don't mind.
2. I-Ce NY
Location: New York, New York
I-Ce NY has seven base flavors, more than 20 ingredients you can mix in and more than 30 toppings. But really they had us at mango sticky I-Ce.
Taking two of the best desserts that originated in Thailand and putting them together is a genius idea worthy of a culinary Nobel Prize (if such a thing existed).
Despite its name, I-Ce NY serves Thai rolled ice in several states, from New York to Texas. Its original location in Manhattan will reopen in September 2023.
1. Holy Roly
Location: Los Angeles, California
In true L.A. fashion, Holy Roly serves organic rolled ice cream within a blush-pink store that is always picture-ready. Fresh fruit, dessert-inspired flavors and plenty of plants throughout the shop guarantee a loyal following.
To keep up with the vibe of Holy Roly, get the green tea flavor, which will be sweet but not overwhelmingly so. On the other hand, if you want to go all-in, get the Ferrero, which has deep chocolate, Nutella, almonds and a couple of Ferrero Rocher.