The Southern Agenda

Classic Southern Ice Cream Parlors

Everybody clamors for frozen confections from these six classic southern parlors

Illustration: Tim Bower

  • Creole Creamery

    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Buttermilk lemon pie, orange blossom honey with saffron, and white chocolate truffled popcorn are just a sampling of the flavors dreamed up by Bryan Gilmore for his ever-changing menu. (Don’t worry; there’s vanilla, too.) Struggling to pick just one? Consider the sundae as big as its name—the eight-scoop, eight- topping Tchoupi-toulas.—

  • Doumar’s

    Norfolk, Virginia
    Created at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by a Syrian immigrant named Abe Doumar, the waffle cone became an American favorite. The same four-iron waffle machine he built is still in use today at this curbside barbecue and ice cream joint in Norfolk, where the classic flavors reign supreme: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.—

  • Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour

    Dania Beach, Florida
    Black-and-white photos cover the walls at Jaxson’s, and the ice cream menu is just as nostalgic—hot fudge sundaes, parfaits, and frosted floats, all prepared with ice cream churned by the batch. If you’re road-tripping with a crew, order the Original Kitchen Sink, a twenty-seven-scoop mountain of the sweet stuff piled so high it arrives, literally, in a sink.—

  • La King’s Confectionery

    Galveston, Texas
    The Lone Star State’s first ice cream brand, Purity, which dates back to 1889, died out in 1979, but its original formulas found new life when Jack King bought the company’s recipes and vintage equipment in 1984. Today, at his soda fountain in downtown Galveston, he re-creates Purity classics, including the best-selling mint chocolate chip.—

  • Leopold’s Ice Cream

    Savannah, Georgia
    Ever since three Greek brothers started dishing out ice cream, milk shakes, malts, and banana splits here in 1919, Savannah natives and tourists alike have snaked lines into the street for a taste. Johnny Mercer loved the Tutti-Frutti flavor so much he wrote a song about it—even before Little Richard’s hit of the same name.—

  • Trowbridge’s

    Florence, Alabama
    A century ago, a Texan named Paul Trowbridge set out for a dairy convention in North Carolina. But when he stopped off in Florence, he was so charmed he decided to stay and open a creamery. Today, generations know the spot for its mint-green booths, peanut-butter-and-mayo sandwiches, and Paul’s favorite flavor, now dipped by his grandson—orange pineapple.—256-764-1503