Ice cream season is officially upon us, and as neighborhood joints reopen their doors for the summer, you’ll be relieved to remember Rhode Island has no shortage of creameries to complement a beach day or trip to the city. Whether you’re seeking an old-school drive-thru, the nostalgia of dozens of flavors, or something truly unique, our little state is full of classic and inventive ice cream experiences. Here’s a handful to get you started.
Taiyaki, a traditional Japanese fish-shaped cake, meets helado, or ice cream and is done up with creative flavors and Latin flair. Originally a food truck, Helado Taiyaki just opened their brick-and-mortar shop on Federal Hill. Owner Linnette Lopez Torres recommends the Maria Taiyaki: Cookie crumbles with homemade guava drizzle. Providence
The perfect complement to Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House, the creamery takes their famous doughboys and reinvents ice cream treats by topping them with the deep-fried bites or making a sandwich with your favorite flavor between two doughboy “buns”. Creating a distinct boardwalk experience, signature sundaes are named after Rhody landmarks that once were. Warwick
For a coastal confection experience, this ice cream and candy shop is steps from Bowen’s and Bannister’s Wharfs, and their tried-and-true original recipe hasn’t changed since 1985, using milk from family farms. Find dozens of premium flavors, plus some that are Kosher certified. Newport
Owners Karen and Kevin Belanger opened Rhode Island’s first all-vegan soft-serve ice cream truck, nicknamed Betsy Loo, in 2010 and have been making strides in plant-based frozen desserts as they continue popping up at regional events. Their East Side parlour has everything from hard serve and shakes to unicorn blizzards and affogato. The secret? Instead of cream, they use a base of raw cashews, coconut milk, or peanut butter. Providence
A community staple, this classic ice cream joint has seen generations pass through its doors. Though it’s traded owners, the shop has remained dedicated to infusing small-town nostalgia with 46 flavors, dipped ice cream offerings, and plenty of rainbow sprinkles. Take a trip back to childhood with milkshakes, banana splits, and sundaes. Lincoln
Through a lot of trial and error, two enthusiasts set out to create Cereal Ice Cream, which combines homemade ice cream and breakfast favorites, like Fruity Pebbles and Golden Grahams. It was an instant crowd pleaser. Until their more permanent digs are open, you can order a pint online for pickup. Warren & Rumford
If you’re looking for a cone or shake on the go, Papa’s Ice Cream is the definition of “convenient”. Why? Because there’s no need to step out of the car with their drive-thru. Inside, picture old-school counter service offering classic ice cream flavors, sundaes, and cupcakes, plus outdoor seating for the summer. Note: This stop is cash only. Warwick