I scream, you scream
by Julia Sayers, food columnist
Chill out at six of the area’s best places to enjoy ice cream with your family.
Summer in Birmingham is hot, but there’s nothing like a cold treat to make the heat slightly more tolerable. Here are our recommendations of six places that will satisfy your ice cream cravings.
Bendy’s Cookies and Cream: Originally an ice cream truck, Bendy’s became known for offering homemade ice cream paired with fresh-baked cookies. At their storefront in Cahaba Heights, which opened last summer, you’ll be able to mix and match cookie and ice cream flavors to customize your sandwich (and yes, you can choose two different cookie flavors!). Our favorite combination? Ooey Gooey Cake ice cream with Pretzel Toffee cookies.
3029 Pump House Road, Vestavia Hills | eatbendys.com
Mountain Brook Creamery/Edgewood Creamery: These two sister shops have been family favorites in Birmingham for decades. In fact, Mountain Brook Creamery has been open since 1957 (it originally was a Baskin Robbins). Edgewood followed later in 2008 after the success of the Mountain Brook location. The creameries are reminiscent of traditional ice cream parlors, known for their classic flavor offerings. The most popular is mint chocolate chip.
2715 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook | 936 Oxmoor Road, Homewood
The Whole Scoop: This ice cream shop in Hoover was designed with families in mind. On the walls, you’ll find pictures of kiddie customers, friends, and families. With 32 flavors of ice cream to choose from, including favorites like Krazy Kookie Dough and Butter Finger, customers are encouraged to sample as many as they’d like. You also can try a Moon Pie Sundae or design your own sundae with more than 20 topping choices. The shop also has customer-decorated spoons, enhancing The Whole Scoop’s dedication to their patrons.
1021 Brock’s Gap Parkway, Hoover | thewholescoopicecream.com
Big Spoon Creamery: Big Spoon was the first to pioneer artisan ice cream in town, but that doesn’t mean it’s not family friendly. The shop uses only the finest ingredients in their ice cream, and tries to incorporate locally sourced items (like Chilton County peaches and Hero Doughnuts) wherever possible. You can opt for the ice cream flight to try several flavors.
4000 3rd Avenue South, Avondale | 927 Oxmoor Road, Homewood | bigspooncreamery.com
Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe: This little shop in Bluff Park offers more than 100 ice cream flavors in a fun, retro atmosphere. They sell super-premium ice cream shipped in from the award-winning The Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company in Madison, Wisconsin. The ice cream uses only all-natural ingredients and is creamier than most due to their method of making it. Try unique flavors with fun names like “Heaps of Love,” “Munchie Madness,” and “Exhausted Parent,” in a milkshake or float, as well.
815 Shades Crest Road, Birmingham | bluffparkicecreamshop.com
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: The new kid on the block, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams opened in Pepper Place in June. The fast-growing company started in Ohio and now has locations in 12 states. Founder Jeni Britton Bauer was ahead of the game by using whole ingredients and dairy from grass-pastured cows instead of ice cream mix for her artisan ice cream. You’ll find some of the most unique flavors at Jeni’s, including Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Savannah Buttermint, and Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns.
219 29th Street South, Birmingham | jenis.com