Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery makes sweet treats like gooey butter ice cream.

Our Top Licks for National Ice Cream Month

Monday June 26, 2023

By Rachel Huffman

July – in case you didn’t know – is National Ice Cream Month!

And what better place to indulge in a month-long ice cream celebration than St. Louis?

After all, this is the destination that gave the world the waffle cone.

It happened at the 1904 World’s Fair, and while accounts vary, many historians say Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian vendor, came up with the idea of shaping waffles into cones. As the story goes, Hamwi wanted people to be able to wander through the fair with ice cream in hand, so he plopped a scoop in the “cone,” and a staple of summer was born.

Friends enjoy scoops of ice cream from Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery.
Photo courtesy of Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery

St. Louis abounds with great establishments to enjoy great ice cream and its delicious variants. In fact, there are so many incredible flavors, toppings and concoctions in the Gateway City that you could try a new one every day of July – thank goodness there are 31 of ‘em! – and not get around to trying all of them.

In the spirit of National Ice Cream Month, here’s a sampling of some places to experience a chill thrill in St. Louis.

Sweets are the star at Baileys’ Chocolate Bar. Baileys’ Brownie is served with housemade Irish cream ice cream, salted caramel sauce and almond toffee. The Blondie is paired with cinnamon ice cream, white chocolate and pecans. And the Royale? Here, three scoops of ice cream – chocolate, strawberry and vanilla – top a warm brownie plated with caramelized banana, fruit purée, whipped cream and toasted nuts. The menu goes on, but you get the picture. If you’re craving over-the-top ice cream desserts, this is a can’t-miss stop in Lafayette Square.

Baileys’ Range is known for its juicy, Missouri-raised, grass-fed beef burgers and excellent beer selection, but it would be a tragedy to forget the scratch-made ice cream – especially when said ice cream comes in delicious flavors such as Irish cream, salted caramel and mint chip. Available by the scoop or as a shake with an array of mix-ins, the housemade ice cream also shines in sundaes at Baileys’ Range, which has locations in downtown St. Louis as well as in the Shaw neighborhood.

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar serves over-the-top ice cream desserts.
Photo courtesy of Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

At this sweet downtown spot, creamy treats and boozy shakes are served alongside dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan options. For those 21 and older, who want to indulge, get a double shot of tequila with your choice of sorbet or a double shot of bourbon with vanilla ice cream and a dash of bitters.

With eight locations throughout the St. Louis region, you’re never far from a scoop of Clementine’s sweet, savory and boozy ice creams, which include vegan options, too. Focused on using top-quality, all-natural ingredients, Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery stirs flavors from local growers and makers into its recipes. Boozy “naughty” flavors include chocolate-Cabernet, maple bourbon with salted candied pecans and pink Champagne sorbet, while the “nice” lineup features gooey butter cake, honey-lavender and tahini-chocolate chip.

Fitz’s is famous for its root beer, which is brewed and bottled at its historic Delmar Loop location and proudly served at its second spot in South County. The company bottles 19 unique flavors, all of which can be turned into floats such as the Trolly Car with old-fashioned cream soda, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, caramel drizzle and Oreo crumbles. The Nod to Nelly, on the other hand, features Hip Hop Pop topped with vanilla and raspberry ice creams, whipped cream, a berry drizzle and an oatmeal-raisin cookie. Craving something classic? You can’t go wrong with Fitz’s Root Beer Float or a hand-dipped strawberry shake.

Fitz’s root beer floats come in a variety of flavors.
Photo courtesy of Fitz’s

This Midtown haunt is home to the ice cream martini. Which is what exactly? Think vanilla ice cream married with crème de menthe and chocolate liqueur, otherwise known as the Thin Mint. The Toblerone blends Zanzibar chocolate ice cream, coffee liqueur, hazelnut liqueur and crème de cacao, while the Voodoo Baby presents Frangelico and vanilla vodka with a scoop of black cherry ice cream. The menu goes far beyond ice cream martinis, though, with a plethora of milkshakes, malts, floats, sundaes and other ice cream desserts on offer.

Don’t let the name fool you. Jilly’s Cupcake Bar and Café whips up housemade ice cream that’s just as delicious as its creative cupcakes. Whether you order a scoop, a pint, a sundae or a shake, you’ll have plenty of fun flavors from which to choose – think Browned Butter Pecan (butterscotch ice cream swirled with vanilla salted caramel and brown butter toasted pecans), Bee Sting (lemon ice cream mixed with vanilla cake morsels, lemon cream cheese icing, lemon curd, white chocolate shavings and sliced toasted almonds) and Strawberrylicious (strawberry ice cream adorned with a strawberry compote ribbon).

Scooping some of the region’s best ice cream, Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream in The Grove is your destination for sweet surrender. Here, you can create a one-of-a-kind ice cream sandwich with fresh cookies and a range of ice cream flavors, from Cookie Monster to Orange Dream and Black Walnut to Strawberry Cheesecake. Novelties include Dipstix, where vanilla or chocolate ice cream is covered in semi-sweet chocolate and rolled in salted and roasted almonds. Shakes, malts and floats round out this beloved brand’s menu.

The Fountain on Locust serves scoops of ice cream any way you like.
Photo courtesy of The Fountain on Locust

A refreshing blast from the past, The Soda Fountain at St. Louis Union Station serves sweets, treats and eats for everyone. Situated between the St. Louis Wheel and the St. Louis Aquarium, the dressed-up diner offers unique spins on ice cream sundaes, boozy drinks, phosphate sodas, old-time candy and Instagram-worthy Freak Shakes – massive ice cream concoctions that offer a fun, unexpected take on traditional milkshakes, with garnishes such as whole brownies, snickerdoodles and Funfetti cupcakes.

Founded by Ted Drewes, Sr. in 1930, this is an iconic St. Louis stop with ever-present lines of people waiting for their frozen custard fix. Made with egg yolk, frozen custard is richer than ice cream. Order it in a classic concrete at one of the two old-school stands in St. Louis city, and the staff will turn it upside down when handing it over, proving just how thick the confection is. Want something else? Custard also takes center stage in malts, shakes and sundaes. Bestsellers include the banana split, strawberry shortcake (shortcake topped with frozen custard, fresh strawberries and whipped cream) and Cardinal Sin (a concrete or sundae with tart cherries and hot fudge).