Although enjoying ice cream is a 365-day-a-year activity for many, the summer season means it’s officially “game” for local ice cream parlors. We’ve checked out many around Rhode Island over the years and bring you this list of “Six Picks” (with multiple honorable mentions) to consider.
Note: We have intentionally excluded restaurant chains such as Ben and Jerry’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Kilwins and Dairy Queen. (Yes, there’s a DQ on Atwood Ave. in Cranston.) We love them too, focusing only on locally owned and operated stores for this story.
Cranston/Johnston/Seekonk: Some of the best soft-services in the state can be found at Sundaes, a Rhode Island institution for over 30 years. There are literally hundreds of flavor combinations, dozens of mixes and three locations, two in RI (95 Greenville Ave in Johnston, 775 Oaklawn Ave in Cranston) and one in Massachusetts (259 Taunton Ave. in Seekonk.) and remember, Kit Kat goes great with everything! Check out their website here for more delicious details.
Narragansett: Brickley’s at 322 Main St. Wakefield, is a South County favorite for many, with long lines at the door on busy beach days. Discover over 45 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sugar-free ice cream, sorbets and sorbets. Open six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday, from noon to 8:30 p.m., 9 p.m. on weekends. Click here to find out more.
Middletown: Freezing Freeze at 496 E. Main Rd. has been an Aquidneck Island institution since 1956. They offer the best traditional flavors in regular and soft serve, mango sorbet and frozen yogurt. They also offer sundaes, banana splits and “the nor’easter”, a cup of ice cream filled with mixes including M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, Oreos, homemade brownies, Skittles, strawberries, pineapple and chopped cherries. They are open every day until 9 p.m. Full details here.
Newport: cold fusion ice cream at 389 Thames Street has a wide selection of ice creams and sorbets available daily. The flavor selection is vast, with favorites like Cake Batter, Salted Caramel Chunk, and Jamaican Mango Sorbet. They also specialize in pie flavors like Key Lime and Peanut Butter Xanadu. Click here to find out more.
Tiverton/Bristol: Gray’s Ice is an East Bay destination at 16 East Road in Tiverton Four Corners. The award-winning shop, once among the “12 Best Places to Get Ice Cream” by gourmet/com, offers classic flavors and more, including coffee, orange pineapple and coconut, with pumpkin and eggnog available seasonally. They are open all year round until 8pm in Toverton and until 10pm on weekends in Bristol.
Middletown/East Greenwich: Clementine’s homemade ice cream recently opened a second store in East Greenwich (250 Main St.), after more than 20 years at its flagship store in Middletown (62 Wave Ave.). They specialize in traditional flavors including Bubble Gum, Butter Brickle, and Mint Oreo. In addition to regular ice cream, you can find sherbet, sherbet, sugar-free, dairy-free ice cream, and frozen yogurt. Click here to find out more.
Providence: Cereal Ice Cream by Tizzy K is sold from a cart at events statewide. It’s just how it sounds…grain-infused ice cream, mostly the crunchy, high-sugar brands like Frosted Flakes, Cookie Crisp, and Fruity Pebbles. You’ll find them at the PVD pedestrian bridge every weekend. Details here.
Providence: We recently discovered Ice Tricycle on a quiet street around the corner from a pair of breweries. Tricycle specializes in ice cream sandwiches…yeah. They also serve ice cream tacos, drumsticks and good old fashioned waffle cones. They opened at 70 Battey St in 2019 and have become a destination for ice cream sandwich fanatics. Open Thursday to Sunday. Click here to find out more.
Statewide: Newport Creamery is another Rhode Island institution not to be missed. Famous for the Awful Awful, (drink three, get one free), the chain continues to offer some of the best ice cream in the world. With 10 locations across the state, “the Creamery” is a family favorite with delicious food and an ice cream menu to rival anyone. Discover the sacred cow! Sundae with 10 scoops of ice cream, 4 toppings, banana slices and nuts. Click here to find out more.