Looking for the best ice cream in Lexington, KY? Look no further, I’ve done the hard work and found the best ice cream shops in Lexington.
My love for ice cream is serious. Like last meal serious. I love it and seek it out whenever I travel and have had some amazing ice cream in places like Nice, Toronto, Naples, and New York. While I won’t turn my nose up at a chain, I try and seek out local ice cream shops as often as possible and have discovered some amazing places to get my fix here in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.
7 Local Places to Get Ice Cream in Lexington, KY
1) Sorella Gelateria
Didn’t think you could find gelato in Lexington? Sorella Gelateria scoops handcrafted, small-batch ice cream in their small shop in downtown Lexington. Their artisanal gelato and sorbetto will make you think you have walked into a gelateria in Rome instead of Kentucky. Started by sisters Selma and Alma, they craft their gorgeous ice creams using the techniques Selma learned while attending gelato school in Italy.
Sorealla, which means sisters in Italian, make their products each day which means you are getting the freshest ice cream possible. And they source their ingredients from local farmers and vendors or from Italy. Their menu changes daily and includes sophisticated flavors like boozy coffee, lemon ginger sorbetto, blackberry Nutella, and double chocolate orange sticks. Their ice creams are creamy and delicious and a tiny slice (or scoop) of Italy in Lexington. Looking for vegan desserts in Lexington? Sorella’s sorbettos are perfect!
Located downtown, Sorella’s Gelateria is a great place to grab dessert in Lexington after seeing a show or eating downtown. It’s also in walking distance from downtown hotels. Enjoying a scoop of handcrafted ice cream while strolling through downtown is the perfect thing to do in Lexington.
Sorella Gelateria – 219 N Limestone St
2) Crank & Boom
Toa and Mike Green began making small-batch ice cream to serve at their restaurant, Thai Orchard Cafe. Their ice cream, made from local ingredients, was such a hit that they closed the restaurant and began the wildly successful business, Crank & Boom. Their ice creams are an ode to the agricultural bounty we have here in Kentucky using local dairy and fresh fruit from nearby farms. The Greens are hyper-focused on quality and almost everything is made in-house.
Not only will you find some of the best ice cream in Lexington at one of their two shops, but you’ll also find boozy hot chocolates and ice cream cocktails. Kentucky Blackberry & Buttermilk, Bourbon & Honey, and Strawberry Balsamic Sorbet are scooped next to classic flavors such as Cookies & Cream, SuperFudge, and more. Seasonal flavors and dairy-free ice cream in Lexington are more reasons Crank & Boom is a must-stop.
Enjoy Crank & Boom ice cream at one of their two shops and you’ll find pints and single servings at grocery stores and shops throughout Lexington. Their location on Manchester Street is in the heart of the white-hot Distillery District near restaurants, bars, and live-music venues.
Crank & Boom, 3101 Clays Mill Rd & 1210 Manchester Street, Lexington
Check out my picks for the best places to shop in Lexington!
Remember when I said that I loved ice cream so much that it would be part of my last meal? Heck, it probably would be my last meal and it would be a scoop, or two, or three of Graeter’s black raspberry chocolate chip. It is a delight from its pinky-purple color to the smooth as silk texture. It’s heaven.
I’m cheating a bit here, because Graeter’s originated in 1870 in nearby Cincinnati so it’s not technically local but I don’t mind and I don’t think you will either. Graeter’s makes their small batch ice cream using a French pot process that only churns 2 1/2 gallons at a time.
Pop into one of their two Lexington locations and have fun picking out a few scoops from their classic flavors that include salted caramel and maple cinnamon crunch, or their famous chip flavors like the irresistible black raspberry chip or mocha chip. Seasonal flavors are popular and I love the strawberry chip in the summer and the chocolate coconut almond chocolate chip in the winter. Definitely one of the best ice creams in Lexington!
Graeter’s Ice Cream Lexington, Ky – 836 Euclid Avenue & 1925 Justice Drive
4) Steel City Pops
Technically, Steel City Pops isn’t a local shop, but their popsicle shops are only found in the South which is good enough for me. Their popsicles come in a rainbow of flavors with classics, seasonal, small-batch, and territory flavors, offerings unique to each state.
Located smack dab in the middle of the Summit, a dining and shopping destination on the south end of Lexington. Grab a bite to eat at one of the amazing restaurants and then hang out on the lawn as you cool off with a sweet treat from Steel City Pops.
Steel City Pops – 111 Summit at Fritz Farm
Here are some of the best things to do in Lexington!
5) Sav’s Restaurant and Gourmet Ice Cream
Sav started with a small restaurant on the University of Kentucky’s campus making food from his home in Guinea, Africa. Soon he opened Sav’s Chill across the street where he sold his homemade ice cream playing around with local ingredients including Ale-8, a soda made in nearby Winchester.
He recently combined his two businesses into one location, Sav’s Restaurant and Gourmet Ice Cream. Now you can enjoy his delicious West African cuisine and gourmet ice cream without running across the street! I loved the hot banana flavor, sweet creamy banana ice cream with a hint of heat.
Sav’s Chill – 630 East Main Street
6) Freshie’s Ice Cream & Soda Fountain
Freshie’s Ice Cream & Soda Fountain describes their shop as modern retro. And that’s exactly what it is, with pink and green accents as a throwback to 1950’s soda fountains and the wall of white framed black and white photos giving the space a cool, modern vibe. But we’re here to talk about the best ice cream in Lexington!
Freshie’s menu includes a wide variety of ice cream flavors available by the scoop that can be eaten alone or in one of their sundaes. The cookie monster and cotton candy sundaes are sure to be a hit with kids while adults can try a turtle, brownie, or peanut butter cup. Heck, have the cotton candy sundae if that makes your heart sing! I felt a wave of nostalgia seeing the old-time milkshake machines as I remembered my dad making his beloved shakes in one. Looking for vegan ice cream in Lexington? Freshies will make any of their milkshakes flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate peanut butter, strawberry banana, and more vegan for an extra buck. You’ll even find floats, brown cows, and a classic egg cream on the menu. Can’t decide what to get? Order an ice cream flight and select six flavors and two sauces.
You’ll find this locally owned spot in a shopping center in a residential area on the south end of Lexington. There’s even a drive-thru window making it super easy to get your ice cream fix! While it’s not in the middle of the action here in Lexington, it’s definitely worth seeking out and would be a great stop on the way to Talon Winery just down the road.
Freshie’s Ice Cream & Soda Fountain – 3851 Kenesaw Drive
Want to grab a bite to eat before (or after) you enjoy your ice cream? Check out some of my favorite local restaurants in Lexington. And more local restaurants in Lexington!
7) Panchitos Ice Cream Lexington
Panchitos Ice Cream offers a taste of Mexico in Lexington. Their ice cream shop was such a surprise with so many interesting things to choose from. All of the thirty plus flavors of their ice cream and other treats are made in-house using fresh ingredients. Their beautiful paletas come in so many interesting flavors and jeweled colors you’ll have a hard time just choosing one!
You’ll find Latin-inspired twists on ice cream classics including a churro sundae and churro shakes. I’m kicking myself for not trying customers’ favorite, the mangonada. Mango ice cream is topped with a rich red sweet sauce called chamoy, sprinkled with a lime chili powder, and topped with fresh mango. I had the mango ice cream and it was fresh and creamy with teeny pieces of fresh mango throughout! Simply delicious and the perfect way to cool off during Lexington’s sticky summer weather.
Panchitos Ice Cream Lexington – 481 New Circle Road, Suite 155
More Ice Cream in Lexington, KY
I’ve focused on mostly local ice cream shops in Lexington, but there are plenty of other options too! You’ll find many national chains of shops around town including Baskin-Robbins, Coldstone Creamery, Dairy Queen, Culver’s, and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. Honorable mention to Spotz Gelato whose colorful ice cream shops can be found in several towns outside of Lexington!