Food & Beverage

Get the Scoop: Where to Find the Best Ice Cream in Lexington

Lexington, Kentucky, is known for its rich history, scenic landscapes, and vibrant culinary scene – but it probably should also be known as a haven for ice cream lovers, too.

The city boasts an array of exceptional ice cream shops that cater to the sweet tooth of locals and visitors alike. Follow along on this mouthwatering journey, as we explore the ideal spots to indulge in creamy, flavorful frozen treats that are sure to tantalize your taste buds:

Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge

Located in the bustling Distillery District, Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge is a true gem for ice cream enthusiasts. With a focus on using locally sourced ingredients, this family-owned establishment crafts artisanal ice creams with inventive flavors that captivate the senses. What started out as a simple dessert option at a family-owned Thai restaurant has become a sensation that’s been featured in PEOPLE Magazine, the Cooking Channel and The New York Times.

From classics like Salted Caramel and Chocolate Fudge Brownie to local favorites like Kentucky Blackberry & Buttermilk and Bourbon & Honey, there is a flavor to suit every palate. The lounge’s cozy ambiance and friendly staff make it a perfect spot to savor your scoop of frozen bliss.

Sorella Gelateria

For those seeking the authentic Italian gelato experience, Sorella Gelateria is the place to be. Nestled in the heart of Lexington’s Chevy Chase neighborhood, this charming gelateria is known for its traditional gelato-making techniques and high-quality ingredients in every bite. Since gelato uses less milkfat, no heavy cream and has fewer egg yolks (or none at all) than traditional ice cream, you can indulge your taste buds without busting your diet.

Because they specialize in small batches, their flavor arrays vary by the day, but you can find classics like Italian lemon and other fruit sorbets, or you can indulge in modern delights like Nutella gelato and Cookies and Cream. Each bite is meticulously crafted to deliver the velvety smoothness and intense flavors characteristic of genuine Italian gelato.

Graeter’s Ice Cream

With a history spanning over a century, Graeter’s Ice Cream has become a beloved institution in Lexington. This Cincinnati-based ice cream parlor has been churning out delectable treats since 1870. The proprietors usie a French pot process that creates small-batch ice cream with an irresistibly creamy texture.

With flavors like Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip, and Buckeye Blitz, Graeter’s offers a taste of nostalgia with a modern twist. Try their renowned Flying Pig Tracks with tons of peanut butter cups and chocolate fudge or check out a Kentucky special. 

Sample their Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan, which has tons of tasty goodness folded into each creamy scoop – or maybe just indulge in one of the seasonal favorites, like Banana Chocolate Chip or the Hot Honey Crunch. Folks with dietary restrictions will also appreciate Greater’s for their vegan and gluten-free products. Best of all — they deliver.

Orange Leaf

Orange Leaf is a beloved frozen yogurt shop that has captured the hearts of Lexington’s ice cream enthusiasts. That’s probably because the folks running the place have exactly one mission: to make life sweeter. 

Located in the heart of the city, this cheerful establishment is basically self-serve, allowing customers to put together their own frozen yogurt masterpieces. With a wide range of flavors and loads of toppings to choose from, including nuts, sprinkles and sauces, Orange Leaf caters to every taste and preference.

You’ll find classics like chocolate and vanilla right beside some of their more unusual options, like pistachio or banana. The shop also offers various dietary options, including dairy-free and no-sugar-added alternatives, making this a perfect spot to head to with your group of friends or family when you want a delicious way to beat the heat.

Cold Stone Creamery

Situated right in Lexington’s bustling downtown area, Cold Stone Creamery is more than just another ice cream store – it’s an experience! They carry a huge array of gourmet chocolates, caramel apples and other candy-store treats, but the real draw (of course) is the ice cream.

Every bite of their ice cream is endlessly customizable, with flavors and extras mixed together on a frozen granite stone and hand-packed into waffle cones, cups or carry-out containers. However, you don’t just have to stick with plain ice cream – you can add in everything from strawberries and blueberries to graham cracker pie crust and gummy bears! Try one of their signature creations, like Mud Pie Mojo or The Way The Cookie Crumbles – or create your own concoction. They’re more than happy to mix you up a pint!

Freshie’s Ice Cream 

Tucked away in a charming neighborhood, Freshie’s Ice Cream is locally owned and operated, offering a delightful twist on traditional flavors. Freshie’s prides itself on using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that each scoop of frozen happiness is a taste of pure perfection. 

With more than 100 choices, Freshie’s menu is a celebration of creativity and flavor. You’ll find everything here from Caramel Cocoa Coffee Bean to Black Licorice and Mint Choco-Lotta. Your vegan and gluten-free friends or family will also be delighted at the array of tasty options Freshie’s offers. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a loyal local, a visit to Freshie’s is a must for anyone seeking to satisfy their ice cream cravings. Aside from just ice cream, they also specialize in Italian cream sodas, signature sundaes and creative coffees, making this an ideal spot for a first date or just a sweet place to spend the afternoon.

Whether you’re a fan of classic flavors or crave innovative combinations, these ice cream establishments are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. So, the next time you find yourself in the Horse Capital of the World, be sure to embark on a delicious adventure and discover the creamy delights that await at these outstanding ice cream shops in Lexington.