The temperatures are rising, and that means time by the pool, a cold drink, and – summertime’s best accessory – a cold treat. What is summer without Birmingham staples like Steel City Pops, Mountain Brook Creamery, or Doodle’s? Here are eight spots to satisfy your sweet tooth – and cool you off – now that the Alabama summer has rolled in.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s ships nationwide, but that’s not something us lucky Birmingham residents have to worry about – we can just pop over to Jeni’s Pepper Place location and get some of the best ice cream around. After a very rigorous and arduous taste testing process of Jeni’s revolving menu of flavors, this writer highly recommends the Gooey Butter Cake and Milkiest Chocolate in a waffle cone bowl. Thank me later! (Though you really can’t go wrong with any of the flavor combinations.)
Steel City Pops
Is it even summer without a trip to Steel City Pops? The popsicle shop – which also sells delicious floats – began as a dad and his four sons selling their family recipes at a farmer’s market. It has now taken off from Birmingham to more than a dozen stores around the Southeast. All pops are gluten-free and made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients – again, you can’t go wrong, but don’t miss out on the Buttermilk or Strawberry Lemonade pops.
Big Spoon Creamery
Want to get a Fruity Pebbles ice cream sandwich and a scoop of Blueberry Cobbler ice cream all in one place? Well, you’re in luck! Big Spoon Creamery – with storefronts in Avondale and Homewood – can provide those flavors and more for the adventurous sweets lover among us. You simply can’t miss out on their ice cream sandwiches, which they affectionately call “Sammies”; if you’re in the mood for ice cream, sundaes, shakes, malts, or floats, they’ve got you covered, too. And their menu is constantly changing, so pop in frequently for new flavor experiences.
Doodle’s Italian Ice is legendary amongst Birminghamians – especially Birmingham kids. Though it is open year-round, summertime is magic time for Doodle’s, which is the Magic City’s only hand-crafted shaved Italian ice and sorbet shop. In business for over 35 years, the menu at Doodle’s runs deep, and its Cahaba Heights location is not only a great place to cool off in the summer, but to congregate with like-minded people looking for the best Italian ice in town.
Mountain Brook Creamery and Edgewood Creamery
These sister shops hit the spot when it comes to delicious ice cream. In addition to its bread and butter – ice cream – the creameries have frozen yogurt, shakes, malts, floats, and ice cream cakes and pies that will make your mouth water. Mountain Brook Creamery has an old-fashioned feel and over 300 flavors in its arsenal; Edgewood Creamery is more modern but still provides a classic ice cream shop feel that will bring you back to childhood summers, where your biggest worry was if your ice cream melted before you could eat it.
Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe
Mountain Brook and Edgewood have their creameries, and Bluff Park has its incredible Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe, a father-and-daughter operation that provides a family atmosphere for all – one that caters to and cares for the kiddos in our lives. Bluff Park Ice Cream Shoppe’s deep menu is constantly rotating and evolving (this writer is especially a fan of its seasonal flavors), and its gourmet, super-premium ice cream ships from The Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company in Madison, Wisconsin for the highest quality experience.
Bendy’s Cookies and Cream
Ever wonder how Bendy’s Cookies and Cream in Cahaba Heights got its name? It’s pretty cute – Bendy’s is a portmanteau of husband-and-wife owners Ben and Wendy’s names. Originally a food truck, you can now visit its storefront and enjoy its ice cream, its cookies, or – a must-try! – the shop’s famous ice cream sandwiches.