Five Places For Amazing Chocolate Ice Cream

I love unique ice cream flavors, as you may know, but when it comes to classic ice cream flavors, chocolate is hard to beat. I will often try chocolate ice cream at a new place and use it as my quality reference: if they can’t do chocolate, they probably can’t do anything else either.

Here are some of my favorite places for delicious chocolate ice cream!

Pumphouse Creamery, Minneapolis, MN

If you’re looking for a great cup or pint in Minneapolis, you should run, not walk, to Pumphouse Creamery. Not only is this stuff the creamiest and most flavorful around, but it’s actually their dairy-free, coconut milk-based chocolate ice cream that completely blew my mind! Super smooth, kind of a Dutch chocolate, and you’d never know this was dairy-free. While you’re there, eat every other flavor you can get your hands on, especially their cinnamon trio.

Pumphouse Creamery, Minneapolis, MN | In Search of a Scoop

Pumphouse Creamery, Minneapolis, MN

Jeni’s, Charleston, SC

You can of course visit Jeni’s in a variety of locations across the country. And you should. But I can personally attest that the Darkest Chocolate flavor at Jeni’s is rich and well worth a scoop. Their other chocolate options were tasty, but this one is truly memorable.

Emack & Bolio’s, Albany, NY

Emack also has other locations across the country (and the world) but it was in their Albany location that their Chocolate Moose ice cream blew my mind. I highly recommend this, their Pumpkin, and everything else you can fit in the bowl.

Gelato Fiasco, Brunswick, ME

Okay, it isn’t technically ice cream, but their Dark Chocolate Sea Salt is one of the best chocolates I’ve tasted. They also have several other locations, including a new one in Florida. This is dark, rich and the sea salt makes it pop. Honorable mention goes to Gelato & aMore in Fort Collins, CO for their own chocolate gelato.

Gelato Fiasco, Brunswick, ME | In Search of a Scoop

So many flavors from Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick, ME, including their Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.

L’Artisan des Glaces, Epcot (France Pavilion), Kissimmee, FL

This chocolate is perfect and perfectly delightful, especially when you pair it with their (best I’ve ever had) mint chocolate ice cream. Only catch? If you include the cost of admission into Epcot, it’s the most expensive one on this list. But if you’re visiting Disney World, do yourself a favor and go here. Honorable mention goes to Ample Hills (which has a location on the Boardwalk and therefore doesn’t require park admission) for their Dark Chocolate flavor.

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The Best Chocolate Ice Cream – Ever!

Some of you may know that I’m currently on an elimination diet (the Auto-Immune Protocol) to heal my health challenges through diet and lifestyle changes. One of the things I had to cut out of my diet completely is dairy. (The horror, right?!) Unfortunately I’ve realized that I cannot have dairy daily without feeling some of its effects. BUT thankfully, having a treat on occasion is still working well for me, so don’t worry, faithful readers – there is more ice cream in my future. 

After spending months religiously avoiding dairy, I began traveling the country with my husband in an RV. When we found ourselves in Minneapolis for a couple of days, I knew the time had come to have some real ice cream. After all, the city is known for some great restaurants, and it’s the Midwest – I had a feeling they knew how to do ice cream here.

Of course I love to compare different ice cream places, but since I needed to watch my sugar intake and since I wasn’t sure how dairy would affect my body, I limited myself to one: Pumphouse Creamery.  

I chose it because of this – coconut milk ice cream. I can tolerate coconut milk, and amazingly they make it without any of the preservatives (like guar gum) that is standard in commercial ice cream. Basically, that meant they had some options that would be guilt-free for me – 100% on my diet! I decided that as long as I avoided gluten (my number one intolerance so far), I could indulge in their five scoop sampler.

The sampler is extremely reasonably priced. The scoops are small, but for $4.50 you to experience an indulgent variety of flavors. My husband Ross went with a double scoop, which is a little pricey at $5.10, and it seemed fair in comparison since he had more ice cream than I did. They will let you get two flavors at any size which is awesome!Here’s what we thought:

Pumphouse Creamery offers a trio of cinnamon ice creams! A very unique idea and since they were all gluten-free, I tried them all. It was fun to compare them.

Sri Lankan Cinnamon – It has a touch of almost heat. Subtle and it’s creamy too. Delicious. 

Vietnamese Cinnamon- A very fun kick to it! I really liked it. Ross thought it tasted like fall. 

Indonesian Cinnamon – Very mild, subtle and creamy like the first. Strong initially, and a pleasant light taste lingering after; it was reminiscent of Cinnamon Toast Crunch to Ross. 

Mint and Cookies – coconut milk, gluten-free – This is such a light mint! It’s strong and yet light, a real melt in your mouth ice cream. It’s like the inside of a York peppermint patty that fills your mouth – and yet it’s light and airy. So nice – particularly as I’d been craving something like cookies and cream and finding that as a gluten-free option is really tough. 

Chocolate – coconut milk – This chocolate is heavenly. Hence the title of this post. This is legitimately my favorite chocolate ice cream ever. It’s like brownie batter! It’s rich, and has a touch of a fudge feel and yet it still melts in your mouth. Amazing. I never would have guessed it was coconut milk and I certainly never would have anticipated that a coconut milk chocolate ice cream would be better than all of the other chocolate ice creams I have had. Isn’t life full of surprises? After all, if I wasn’t cutting out dairy, I would probably have never discovered this flavor!

Buttermilk Lemon Bar – Ross had to evaluate this one. I confess I took a couple of bites of buttermilk but sadly had to avoid the lemon bar chunks due to gluten. Ross found the base delightful and the perfect amount of sweetness – it’s just a bit sweet. Ross said that the lemon bars accentuate the sourness of the buttermilk. Pretty fun! 

Buckwheat Honey – Ross says it’s excellent. “Almost crumbly like a muffin”. It’s thick and reminiscent of cake batter – not too sweet and with buttery chunks. Honestly it’s a dramatically unique flavor I’m glad I got to try. The swirls of honey are fabulous and the rest is more savory. (As you’ll see in the photo, they first thought Ross wanted a sampler too…which meant more ice cream for us!)

We were so enamored with the chocolate ice cream that we had to find out if we could get some to take with us. They had pints and quarts. $11 for the quart seemed fair, but I think we would have paid anything. It was just that good. We couldn’t have made a better choice for my first ice cream after a long time away. If you’re ever in Minneapolis, this place is an absolute must. The owner and staff are super-nice too. It’s a small location with only a couple of places to sit, so be prepared to stand or walk outside if it’s nice (or come at a weird time of day like we did). But whatever you do, check it out – and bring a cooler! p.s. Thanks for doing your usual Amazon shopping via my affiliate link