You may not realize this but July is National Ice Cream month. A whole month to celebrate the cold drippy goodness that is ice cream!
In an effort to bring you, our valued readers, a list of some of the best ice cream spots in our fair city, I made the HUGE sacrifice of testing out some places around town. It was rough, let me tell you. So rough. But my waistline and I muddled through just for you.
So here it is.
Oh, and be sure to check the bottom of this post for places you can get free or great deals for National Ice Cream Day on July 21!
First, let me just say that this place is so stinking cute! I love the setup. It’s a small quaint little shop on Main Street just a few steps away from the Nickelodeon. When I stepped into this shop and saw the ice cream flavors, I knew I was in for a real treat.
Sweet Cream Co. offers unique flavors like Earl Gray, Lemon Poppyseed, Cherry Coke, and Whiskey Pecan. They also have a variety of delicious sorbet flavors including honey lemon ginger and strawberry basil (with local strawberries from Cottle Farms!).
I sampled both Earl Gray and Lemon Poppyseed. Besides having the most amazingly rich flavors, it was also the creamiest, smoothest ice cream I have ever had! So, next time you’re on Main Street, be sure to stop at Sweet Cream Co. for an ice cream experience like none other!
**Note** Sweet Cream Co. sells pints of ice cream as well! You can take your favorite flavors home with you.
Many of you may already be familiar with The Baked Bear but I had actually never been there until this month. I’m happy to say that this place lives up to all the hype. Located in Five Points, this magical ice cream store allows you to make a dream-worthy ice cream sandwich.
You can choose from a variety of cookie flavors or brownies (or you can even do one of each!) and then you choose your ice cream flavor. They also have toppings, if you want to add a little something extra. Then, it’s all put together in one large yummy sandwich. They’ll even warm the cookies up if you want.
Anyone else drooling right now? If you don’t want an ice cream sandwich, don’t worry, they’ve also got cones and brownie bowls. You can’t go wrong at The Baked Bear!
Sweet Pea’s is a cute little place tucked away in downtown Blythewood serving up some yummy goodness. They Proudly serve Hershey’s ice cream and offer a variety of super fun flavors your kids will love!
My son especially enjoyed the Crazy Cookie Dough flavor (colorful cookie dough ice cream!). Here you’ll also find fun ice cream inventions like ice cream nachos and the Awful Waffle (ice cream) Taco. Mmmmmmm!
As a bonus, Sweet Pea’s sells pints of Columbia born Epworth ice cream (all proceeds from pints go to support the Epworth Children’s Home). Not only do they serve up delicious ice cream, but Sweet Pea’s also offers a variety of café foods like sandwiches, wraps, hot dogs, and soft pretzels. If you swing by on a Tuesday-Thursday, you’ll want to stop in for happy hour from 1-4 p.m., when the ice cream is buy one get one!
I saved this one for last because while they do offer ice cream, their specialty is actually shaved ice. But, shaved ice is also a delicious summertime treat, so I decided to include Manny’s on my list. Trust me. You’re gonna thank me.
Located in a small plaza on Augusta Rd. in West Columbia, Manny’s Shaved Ice offers 60 different shaved ice flavors. Flavors vary from Classic/Natural (cherry, bubble gum, strawberry, etc.) to Mixed (Mango Strawberry, Berry Lime, Pina Berry, etc.) to Creamy (Vanilla ‘n cream, Coconut, Chocolate, etc.) to Spicy (Mango Diablo, Chamoyada Tamarind, Pina Diablo, etc.). I tried the Guava Mango flavor. It was amazing! It even had small chunks of mango in it.
Manny’s also offers Frapps and Milkshakes (more ice cream!), plus a variety of traditional Hispanic snacks and treats (Flavored corn, Corn bowls, and Mexican Wagon Wheels). A crazy bonus to this place is that it’s super cheap! Shaved ice prices start at just $2.00 and go up to just $4.oo. Manny’s is a place you MUST check out!
Now that I’ve given you the low down on some outstanding ice cream joints around Columbia, let’s get to the deals for National Ice Cream Day (July 21).
National Ice Cream Day Free Deals (July 21)
Download the Baskin-Robbins app and you’ll get a free regular-sized scoop for joining. And be sure to check out Retail Me Not for other BR coupons and deals!
If you sign up for My Cold Stone Club Rewards, you’ll get a coupon for a BOGO Creation. In addition to the BOGO offer, Cold Stone Creamery is offering a special gift card promotion on National Ice Cream Day. Purchase $30 in gift cards online and receive a bonus $10 e-Card.
Download the Marble Slab app for some great deals and free ice cream! Once you sign up you’ll get a $5 reward after your first purchase. Earn one point for every $1 you spend and $5 off for every 50 points you earn. Enjoy sweet treats and rewards during special holidays, birthdays and more.
Even your furry friends can celebrate National Ice Cream Day! Petsmart is giving away free dog-friendly ice cream sundaes. In order to get Fido his special treat, you’ll need to visit a PetSmart store with PetsHotel facilities. Ice cream will be available until supplies run out.