Chelsea is a Registered Dietitian by day and a self-proclaimed foodie by night. She is a Detroit transplant who’s established strong roots in the food industry here in Indianapolis. If you don’t bump into Chelsea at a local brewery or the newest restaurant, you can find her running up the War Memorial stairs, biking down the Cultural Trail, or walking her dog around town.
The Top 6 Ice Cream Shops in the Indy Region
When it comes to ice cream, I know what I like. And nothing beats a hand-scooped cone here in Indy! I may not be an Indianapolis native, but I’ve had my fair share of ice cream since I moved here. Over the past year, I’ve taste-tested as many ice cream shops as I could, traveling all across the region to find the best of the best.
Of course, there are plenty of popular ice cream shops around town, as well as the usual chain stores. But today, I want to highlight some of my favorite places hidden around Indy. From farm-fresh cream to old-fashioned soft serve, these ice cream shops offer unique flavors, nice scenery, and a refreshing spot for a day out.
So, let me take you on a culinary adventure—and let’s explore Indy’s ice cream scene one scoop at a time!
1. Mrs. Curl Ice Cream – 259 S Meridian Street, Greenwood
First, let’s head over to Greenwood and cool down at Mrs. Curl Ice Cream. This shop has been a downtown staple for almost 60 years, and all the locals rave about it. Even on a Tuesday evening, you’ll see a line of people wrapped around the building, which is a great sign. After all, nothing quite screams “this place is incredible” like a long line of patient people! (Another pro of long lines: if you’re indecisive like me, this gives you extra time to figure out your order.) And when you visit Mrs. Curl, make sure you bring an appetite! They also serve sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, and other tasty snacks.
Once you’ve ordered, take a seat and enjoy your ice cream in the beautiful garden beside Pleasant Creek. I also highly recommend taking a stroll through Old City Park, right across the street. This park has beautiful walking and biking trails as well as a shaded playground for the kids. It’s the perfect place to be on a warm summer night! And while you’re in town, don’t hesitate to check out the Greenwood Public Library or catch a concert at Surina Park Amphitheater.
2. Cow Palace – 318 N Harrison Street, Shelbyville
Next, we head east to Shelbyville, where you’ll find the Cow Palace. From the outside, the building resembles a beautiful wooden barn. But once you step inside, get ready to cozy up in a quaint little diner! This is another place where you should bring an empty stomach because they offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
Cow Palace is best known for their malts, but they also have a fantastic selection of hand-scooped ice cream. I was able to sample many flavors while I was there, and my favorites were Lemon Cheesecake Bar and Salty Jack (which combined salted caramel ice cream with butter-toasted peanuts).
If you decide not to dine in, you can stroll around downtown Shelbyville and browse all the cute houses and historic buildings. You could even take the scenic route and explore the Blue River Trail, a 3.5-mile walkway along the Big Blue River. Just make sure you’ve got your walking shoes before hitting the trail!
3. Square Scoop – 1028 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis
Our next stop is Square Scoop, an ice cream shop in the beautiful Fountain Square district! Square Scoop just celebrated their second anniversary, and the community looks forward to many more years of sweet treats. Inside the shop, you’ll find candy, beverages, and board games that leave you feeling nostalgic. (Remember Razzles, Charleston Chews, and Jones Soda? Yup, you can find all of those here!)
This local shop is nothing but consistent, with delicious products and outstanding customer service. Square Scoop posts their daily flavor menu on a chalkboard sign outside the store as well as their social media. So, you can take a look ahead of time or let it be a surprise! One of their most popular flavors—and my favorite—is Graham Central Station (which blends graham cracker ice cream with cracker chunks and chocolate pieces). They also serve vegan ice cream, sundaes, shakes, floats, and malts, so there are plenty of options to choose from!
Before you head home, I highly recommend immersing yourself in the culture of Fountain Square. Throughout the neighborhood, you can admire beautiful homes, appreciate the local art murals, and pet all the passing dogs (with permission, of course). The food scene in Fountain Square is especially fantastic—from coffee and wine to burgers and tacos!
4. Wyliepalooza Ice Cream Emporium – 5535 E Washington Street, Indianapolis
If you’re looking for somewhere more unique, then you’ll love Wyliepalooza Ice Cream Emporium! Wyliepalooza is a one-of-a-kind place that’s half ice cream shop, half anime store. Before you get ice cream, you can browse the store for manga, figurines, games, and other merchandise from Japan! All of their ice cream flavors have fun names that match the store’s anime theme, including beautiful hand-drawn signs for each one. Every flavor is delicious, but if you’re not feeling ice cream, they also offer sherbet, shakes, and boba tea!
Wyliepalooza is in the historic Irvington neighborhood, so once you’ve finished your ice cream, there’s plenty of things to do! You can grab a slice of pizza down the street or stop by the local brewery for a beer. And if you’re feeling full, you can support the local community by shopping for plants, vinyls, clothes, and more!
5. Traders Point Creamery – 9101 Moore Road, Zionsville
Tucked away in Zionsville, Traders Point Creamery is Indiana’s first certified organic dairy farm. This family-owned business includes a farm-to-table restaurant, a dairy bar, a beautiful event space, and even a farm you can tour! If you want to see it all, you’ll definitely need to block off some extra time in your schedule. (Or you can be like me and just pack in as much as you can in one trip!)
I suggest starting your visit at the farm store, so you can see all of their locally produced products. They sell organic meats, cheese, chocolates, olive oils, jams, honey, and more. You can also purchase cutting boards, ice cream scoops, and other fun kitchen items. Once you’ve worked up an appetite from shopping, you can head upstairs and admire their elegant dining room. Feel free to snag a menu and see what their restaurant has to offer—but we’re here for ice cream.
Over at the Dairy Bar, you can sample a wide variety of sweets made from their organic milk—including smoothies, floats, shakes, sundaes, and ice cream. Their customer service is wonderful, and they’ll definitely help you pick something delicious. But I recommend their most popular item: the toffee crumble sundae! Just pick your flavors of ice cream (chocolate and vanilla for me) and enjoy every bite of their homemade caramel, chocolate sauce, and toffee crumble.
6. Danny’s Mexican Ice Cream – 7730 E US Highway 36, Avon
Last but not least, Danny’s Mexican Ice Cream is a great place to beat the heat! At first glance, Danny’s is an unassuming store located in one of Avon’s shopping centers. But with one step inside, you’ll start grooving to the music as you browse their desserts.
Danny’s serves paletas, mangonada, and over 50 flavors of ice cream. You can get classic flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and oreo, but don’t be afraid to get adventurous! Danny’s serves fun, unique flavors like corn, tamarind, mango chili, and queso ice cream. (Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you try it!) And the best part is that you can sample as many flavors as you’d like! So, if you’re not feeling bold enough to buy a whole scoop, you can still say you’ve tried corn ice cream. Once you’ve warmed up with some samples and made your order, you can either cool down inside or enjoy the weather at the picnic tables outside.
Discover the best ice cream shops here in Indy.
There’s nothing better than treating yourself to some ice cream on a hot summer day, and all of these ice cream shops definitely hit the spot! I hope I was able to introduce you to a new place or two. But like I said earlier, there are tons of places to get ice cream around Indianapolis.
Whether you prefer unusual flavors, loaded sundaes, or a simple vanilla cone, Indy has a place for you to satisfy your ice cream craving. Some are more well-known than others, but all of them are delicious. (I mean, you can’t really mess up ice cream, right?) So, get out there and start your own ice cream adventure!