Summers in Middle Tennessee are both hot and humid, making it tricky to get out of the house and enjoy outdoor adventures. Luckily for us, our region is home to a long list of outstanding ice cream, gelato, and shaved ice shops that are the perfect remedy to our intense summers. Today we’re sharing our picks for the 10 Best Frozen Delights in Middle TN!
Mike’s Ice Cream is located in the midst of Nashville’s most active hub. While this means you’ll likely need to line up and wait to order a cone, don’t let impatience keep you away from this nostalgic parlor’s seriously tasty treats. Stop by for traditional ice cream, sundaes, soft serve, milkshakes, egg creams, malts, coffee creations, and more.
Hattie Jane’s Creamery has had such great success in Middle Tennessee that this women-owned-and-operated business has gradually become a local chain. Their in-house, from-scratch ice cream is made from top-quality local ingredients and include both gluten- and dairy-free alternatives. Classic Southern desserts are the inspiration behind flavors like Nana Puddin’, Brown Butter Pecan, and Honeycomb, while their Mulekick ice cream is made with local roaster Muletown’s beans. Visit them in Franklin, Murfreesboro, Columbia, or Nashville.
Open since 1951, Bobbie’s Dairy Dip is a beloved local icon that will take you back in time with their classic 50s aesthetic. For over 70 years, Nashvillians have headed to Bobbie’s to order the first soft serve, ice cream, or milkshake of the season, ushering out the cooler months with a meal and a sweet treat. Whether you’re in the mood for a cone, sundae, banana split, float, ice cream sandwich, or one of their dozens of milkshake flavors, this laid-back, independent shop is sure to hit the spot.
The Soda Bar 1500 Medical Center Parkway, Suite 1C | Murfreesboro
The Soda Bar is located within the Fountains at Gateway, which is why we love their convenient indoor/outdoor design. Stay engaged with the events taking place in the plaza while you order, wait for, and enjoy made-in-house ice cream flavors (we recommend the freshly-made warm waffle cone), soda floats, craft sodas, shaved ice creations, and classic coffee drinks. Intended to bring families, friends, and loved ones together, this modern take on the mid-century soda fountain is a must-visit spot when you’re next at the Fountains.
Legendairy Milkshake Bar serves up wildly decadent shake creations that are as beautiful as they are rich—very much so. Perfect for a birthday, graduation, or congratulatory treat, Legendairy’s Instagram-worthy shakes are served in glass jars, the rim of which is covered in icing, coated with cookies, candy, or crunchy sprinkles, layered with extra goodies, then topped with whipped cream and an entire extra dessert (a donut, whirl of cotton candy, stroopwafel, or a slice of New York Cheesecake, for example). If their milkshake confections sound daunting, don’t worry; you can order a single or double scoop of house-made ice cream in a cone or a dish and still enjoy watching a parade of fanciful shakes as they go by.
Once you’ve had shaved ice at Cotton & Snow, you’ll forever wonder how they manage to create ice so smooth and creamy—but this little shop holds its secrets close to the vest. In addition to their famous shaved ice, they make ice cream, soda floats, milkshakes, sno-ball drinks, and coffees. Even if you order a completely new creation each time you stop by, it’ll take you dozens of visits to work your way through their menu of high-quality creations. Skip corn syrup and artificial flavors and head to Cotton & Snow where their shaved ice flavors are made from fruit purees, cane sugar, and nothing less.
Founded in 1939, Elliston Place Soda Shop is one of the longest-running dessert shops in town. Until their move to an updated location, they were recognized as being Nashville’s oldest restaurant still operating where it was originally opened. Their new spot is still fully retro-chic and will give you a fully nostalgic experience. Stop by, grab a seat, and order a delicious ice cream, milkshake (served in the metal mixing cup in which it’s prepared), malt, egg cream, phosphate-packed “zinger,” float, ice cream soda, sundae, or banana split.
Janarty’s takes homemade ice cream to the next level by making 2-quart micro-batches right behind the shop’s front counter. This family-owned shop creates each of its flavors using the highest-quality ingredients from local farms and dairies. Enjoy a from-scratch waffle cone, gluten-free cone, or milkshake without any added stabilizers or preservatives.
Vegans of Nashville, this summer you can get out and enjoy an ice cream cone that can throw down against any creamery in town. KOKOS serves up plant-based desserts that are also nut-free, making it a suitable “treatery” for nearly everyone. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavor and texture as a vegan, and KOKOS is here to make sure that—at least where frozen goodies are concerned—you won’t have to.
As anyone who has tasted authentic, house-made Mexican ice cream will tell you, the flavors can’t be beat. If you’re craving the flavor explosion you last experienced in Mexico, come to The Bee Ice Cream Shop! Mangonadas, 41 flavors of homemade ice cream, frozen fruit pops (including flavors encased in a layer of cake frosting), fresh fruit water, and delicious street snacks can all be enjoyed at The Bee.
We must know: did we include your favorite frozen dessert shop on our list? If not, leave a shout-out in the comments below, and we’ll go check it out. Have a safe and happy summer here in gorgeous Middle Tennessee!