6 Best Ice Cream Shops in St. Louis

John Voirol Group
John Voirol Group
Published on June 13, 2017

Get ready to cool down at 6 of our favorite ice cream shops in St. Louis!

It’s oh so sweet, rich, creamy, and decadent! These words come to mind when thinking of one of the most popular desserts on the planet: ice cream! There’s no better place to find this much-loved treat than in St. Louis, Missouri! As any ice cream lover will tell you, the only thing better than tasty ice cream on a hot day are the ice cream shops themselves, many of which have become part of nostalgic tradition in St. Louis. St. Louis is well known for being a city that is rich with history, full of architecturally interesting residential homes, and a low cost of living. Aside from all this though, many don’t know about some of the best ice cream shops that can be found right in the heart of the city. Ice cream is rooted in the history of our nation so it’s no wonder that the best ice cream shops in St. Louis are regarded with such fond respect and affection. Their stories are as rich and varied as the neighborhoods they’re in and of course, the flavor and selections they serve! 

If you’ve ever wondered how ice cream found its fame, you are not alone. While the origin of ice cream is something of a mystery, it is rumored that it was created as early as the mid 1500’s. Catherine de Medici, the French queen who was born in Italy, may have brought chefs with her who prepared some kinds of sorbets. There are later stories that Europeans in the 17th century began experimenting with ice creams and other ice flavored desserts, but ice cream as we know it seems to have found its real roots here in the United States in 1770 with its first gelateria shop in New York. In later years, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, were all reported to have enjoyed ice cream while in office and this led to the hailing of Philadelphia as the ice cream capital of the U.S. Since then, ice cream began to not only gain in rapid popularity but also became known as something distinctly American. For this reason, it remains a big part of our culture. 

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Today, according to the National Dairy Association, there are approximately 80,000 ice cream and gelato shops in the United States so there’s definitely no shortage of places to find this sweet delight. Now if you happen to love ice cream and to be in St. Louis, you’re in luck. We’ve assembled our list of the best ice cream shops in the St. Louis (in no particular order). Be forewarned though, any of these shops are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth but you may find yourself coming back for seconds sooner than you expect!

1) Ted Drewes in St. Louis Hills

It’s been hailed the best ice cream in the world except that it’s actually not ice cream all; it’s frozen custard. Custard differs from ice cream in that it is made with the addition of eggs, honey and other ingredients. Visit thekitchen.com to learn more about how custard differs from ice cream. The company is a family owned business that has been around since 1929 and is a frequent highlight for travelers along the famed Route 66 where this, their third location, has been attracting fans since 1941. Since the location is so popular for tourists as well locals, it has become their flagship store. Their most talked about offering is called the Concrete, which is a mix of your favorite ingredients and their world-famous custard. It is so thick with sweet goodness that when served in its big yellow cup, the spoon will not fall out when the cup is inverted! Have fun choosing your favorite ingredients or try seasonal offerings like cherry pie and pumpkin pie. Our favorite is the All Shook Up, a combination of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Bananas.

Ted Drewes is located in St. Louis Hills, a highly desirable neighborhood to live in with its immaculate streets, beautiful homes, large park, friendly residents and the tall oak and sycamore trees that gracefully line the sidewalks and add to the St. Louis Hills charm!

6726 Chippewa St., St. Louis, MO 63109 – (314) 418-2652 – http://teddrewes.com/

2) Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery in Lafayette Square 

This novel ice cream shop is famous for what they call, their “boozy” creations which blend wines, liqueurs, beer and other alcoholic brews with ice cream for a one of a kind, patent-pending fusion of deliciousness! The Creamery also serves non-alcoholic ice cream blends and are actually considered to be a microcreamery rather than just a standard ice cream shop. The result is an ultra rich, ultra light sin-sation! Clementine’s offers catering for parties and other special events. They also offer the convenience of ordering online and even provide a delivery service! 

You can find Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery in Lafayette Square, an area that also boasts rich history. Once considered the epitome of elite living and fashionable elegance, Lafayette Square continues to attract city dwellers who appreciate beautiful homes, great restaurants, and a tight-knit community. From the charming French-style Victorian homes to the gorgeous Lafayette Park, St Louis’ oldest public park, there remain many traces of past that now have a distinct, historical charm.

1637 S. 18th St., St. Louis, MO 63104 – (314) 858-6100 – http://www.clementinescreamery.com/

3) Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Central West End

 Jeni’s claim to fame is its ice cream concoctions which are considered to be artisan creations. Indeed they are as Jeni’s famous ice creams have won numerous awards for their top quality ingredients and very creative recipes and flavors. The folks at Jeni’s take the business of ice cream making very seriously and have expanded from their first store that opened in Columbus, Ohio to include 15 other locations including the shop in St. Louis, which has become an integral part of the fabric of the Central West End. Their ice creams have a “uniquely smooth texture and a buttercream body.” Their don’t use synthetic flavorings or dyes and they build texture and flavor without the addition of commonly used stabilizers and emulsifiers. They build their ice cream from the “ground-up” by buying direct and building relationships with growers, makers, suppliers and of course, customers. All this attention to detail means you’re in for a deliciously unique experience. Our favorites are the Brown Butter Almond Brittle and the Brambleberry Crisp.

This shop is located in the historic and vibrant Central West End. This area is popular for its numerous nightlife spots, restaurants, galleries, and landmarks like the magnificent Basilica Cathedral of Saint Louis. The CWE, as it is informally known, is another highly desirable part of town to live in and has seen quite an incredible surge of residential development in recent years such as the condominium project at 4101 Laclede. With the architecturally diverse homes and buildings in the area, the good public transportation, lovely tree lined streets, and proximity to Forest Park, there’s never a dull moment in the Central West End. 

389 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108  – (314) 361-1700 – https://jenis.com/scoop-shops/jenis-central-west-end/

4) Pastaria in Downtown Clayton

Pastaria is not only a fantastic Italian restaurant led by chef-owner Gerard Craft, who happens to be a James Beard award winner, but is also the home of some of the best gelato this side of Italy! Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, but the real deal is a bit different from American ice cream. Gelato is more dense because of the way it is churned and contains less cream and more milk. Besides gelato, they serve other Italian desserts like tiramasu and sorbetto, and this is a very popular and highly rated restaurant for other Italian entrees and main dishes.

Downtown Clayton is rapidly becoming quite a trendy part of the St. Louis area and is home to Pastaria and other exciting restaurants, bars, art galleries, hotels and more. Because of its unique personality and highly rated public school district, businesses and residents flock to Clayton. Clayton is an attractive choice because of its unique combination of small town feel with big city vibe. The homes are beautiful (with many being historic) with a mix of single family and condominium offerings.

7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton MO 63105 – (314) 862-6603 – http://pastariastl.com/

5) Ices Plain and Fancy in Shaw

What makes Ices Plain and Fancy different from other ice cream parlors is its unique use of liquid nitrogen in the churning process. The recipe involves a method called flash-churning where the ice cream is exposed to temperatures of -321C, resulting in the formation of miniature ice crystals that cause the ice cream to have a fluffy, delightfully airy texture that is sure to be unlike anything you have ever had before! Don’t forget to try their “Cocktail Ice Cream” offerings. Because liquid nitrogen is cold enough to freeze alcohol, these boozy creations retain  the original proof you’d get in a traditional cocktail!

Ices Plain and Fancy is located in Shaw which aside from also having a lot of success with the sale of recently renovated home sales, is a neighborhood that residents are proud of and that captures the interest of many people who get the opportunity to check it out. There are a vast array of attractive homes of different architectural styles and the community is adjacent to great amenities like Tower Grove Park and Missouri Botanical Gardens.

2256 South 39th St., St. Louis, MO 63110 – (314) 601-3604 – http://www.icesplainandfancy.com/

6) Gelateria del Leone in Tower Grove

Another of St. Louis’ top Italian gelato spots is called Gelateria del Leone, a family owned business, and at this quaint little cafe the gelato, coffee and other Italian pastries are served up fresh from old school recipes made on-site. They even roast their own coffee! This is the place to find very authentic Italian ice cream and a small selection of other sweet offerings that have a distinctly homemade taste that is simple and delicious.

Gelateria del Leone can be found in Tower Grove in the South Grand business district, which is south of Shaw and a very popular and urban residential neighborhood. Tower Grove Park is incredibly vibrant with young couples, active parents, joggers, tennis players, and residents taking their doggies for a stroll. In addition to free concerts in the park, don’t miss events like Food Truck Friday and the popular Farmer’s Markethttp://www.tgmarket.org/ on Saturdays.

3197 S. Grand, St. Louis, MO 63118 – (314) 776-3500 – http://thegelateria.com/

So the next time you decide that you want to have some ice cream for dessert, be sure to check out one of these delightful shops in St. Louis. After satisfying that sweet tooth, you might also consider taking a look around at the uniquely St. Louis communities that surround these shops. With the low housing prices in St. Louis as well as the rich, exciting and dynamic opportunities for stylish and affordable living, its never been a better time to see some of the properties on the current market. If you are interested in learning more about homes and other residential properties for sale in St. Louis, please give me a call today so that we can discuss the other sweet options that St. Louis can offer you!

About the Author: The above article 10 Best Ice Cream Shops was written by John Voirol, a local leader in the field of St. Louis Real Estate sales, online marketing, and social media.

You can contact John Voirol here, or at 314-366-0454. He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the St. Louis area for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a strong track record of success in helping clients buy and sell St. Louis City homes & St. Louis County homes. I’d love to have the chance to use my expertise to help you get the best price and terms in your next St. Louis real estate transaction.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following St. Louis cities & neighborhoods: Clayton, Central West End, Ladue, University City, Lafayette Square, Tower Grove, St. Louis Hills, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Southampton, Frontenac, and many more.

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