Best Ice Cream in Des Moines


ICE CREAM DES MOINESAcross the Des Moines metro, an abundance of incredible ice cream shops await, offering a delightful array of options. From seasonal pop-ups to year-round establishments, the selection spans funky, innovative flavors and timeless soft serve.

Here’s a roundup of some great places to get ice cream or other frozen treats on a hot Iowa summer day.


The Outside Scoop
2410 SW White Birch Drive
Handmade artisan-style batches, hand-packed, and full of robust flavor thanks to their use of local ingredients. Get your ice cream in homemade waffle cones, specialty sundaes, root beer floats, shakes, and storms.

Sweet Swirls
303 SW School St.
They have been rolling ice cream on a cold plate with lots of mix-ins and sauces to top it off since 2017. Rolled ice cream is their specialty but also check out their cakes, shakes, hand-packed pints, and cookie sandwiches!


Billy’s Ice Cream Store
308 Nile Kinnick Drive S
Stop by Billy’s while out on the Raccoon River Valley Bike Trail. Beyond ice cream, they have ice cream pies, walking tacos, burgers, and other fare to keep you fueled for your ride.


Monarca Paletas
9901 University Ave, Suite 150
Monarca offers customizable paletas or ice cream popsicles! First, you choose your favorite flavor from their fresh and locally made gourmet paletas. You then can choose to dip it in a chocolate of your choice, top it with many different topping combinations and finally drizzle it with even more options.

Des Moines

Black Cat
2511 Cottage Grove Ave
Black Cat is back in a new location in the Drake neighborhood. Their funky, yet yummy, flavors include Saturday Cereal, Cherry Dutch Letter, Coffee & Donuts, and more.

Classic Frozen Custard
400 SE 14th St.
This is a southside gem known for its rich, creamy custard. Their large portions and fun flavors make them a great old-school neighborhood ice cream place.

Dairy Zone 
2219 E. University Ave.
DairyZone is known for its “Tornadoes” which are soft-serve ice cream whipped up with all kinds of goodies. Their most popular are Monster Cookie and Jolly Rancher.

Granny’s Sweet Freeze Shoppe
3417 Hubbell Ave.
This east-side shop has been a family business for more than 30 years. They have a vast assortment of ice cream, old-fashioned sodas, doggie dishes, and arctic swirls.

Snookies Malt Shop
1810 Beaver Ave
This walk-up (and drive-thru) shop has been a long-time local favorite serving ice cream, malts, shakes, and other treats. Dog lovers appreciate their pup cones too!


Heavenly Delights
105 E. 1st St
Nestled in quaint Grimes, this shop has “Monster Cones” that have little candy eyes. They have Bourbon Pecan Pie and Blueberry Cream Pie as ice cream flavors to satisfy your pie cravings.

Al’s Dairy Freeze
1220 NE Station Crossing Drive
Inspired by the classic ice cream shops, Al’s serves soft-serve specialty sundaes, shakes, and other frozen treats to create family memories over.


Van Dee’s Ice Cream Shoppe
5915 Merle Hay Road
The candy eyes on their “Eye Scream” cones make for extra friendly ice cream at this seasonal, neighborhood landmark. Check out their soft-serve ice cream in rotating weekly flavors and other treats.

Pleasant Hill

Over the Top
955 NE 56th St.
They make all their own ice cream and waffle cones here. And, “over the top” of your scoop of ice cream, they put a small bite of a different flavor for you to sample as well!

Polk City

The creamery
221 West Broadway
This seasonal shop, open from April to October features soft serve, hardpack ice cream, frozen yogurt, dole whip, and slushies. Enjoy your treat on their spacious patio or stroll across the street to the town square park.


Home Sweet Cone
1188 SE University Ave
Their premium, handcrafted hard ice creams in flavors like Salted Oreo are just the tip of the iceberg here. Try their homemade waffle cones, cakes, pies, and more.

Waukee Ice Cream Shoppe
530 Walnut St.
Family-owned and operated ice cream shop featuring 30 soft serve and 20 hard-pack ice cream flavors and specialty sundaes. They recently added a drive-up window, making it even easier to get a treat.

West Des Moines

Home Sweet Cone
5045 Bentley Drive
Coming soon, Home Sweet Cone is bringing their fun and tasty flavors to West Des Moines!

Totally Rolled
5545 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 103
Watch them roll each individual ice cream order on a cold plate with the freshest ingredients right in front of your eyes. Customize your order with mix-in ingredients, such as fresh fruits or your favorite candy bar.

The Des Moines area has some amazing local shops for frozen treats. There are also several chain locations that are good as gold like Baskin Robbins, Coldstone Creamery, Dairy Queen, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt.

Bonus: If you like gelato, be sure to check out Chocolaterie Stam!

What’s your favorite place to cool off with a sweet treat?


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