Get The Scoop
Fans of homegrown brands like Lick Honest Ice Creams know that the Austin and San Antonio areas serve up some of the best scoops in the country. So it's no surprise that on a recent list of the best (and worst) ice cream cities in America, Austin lands in the top 10, while San Antonio tops a subset of the survey.
At No. 27, San Antonio ranks in the middle of the best ice cream cities. But it wins the No. 1 slot for Best Shaved Ice, one of six additional categories.
The survey, compiled by real estate brokerage Home Bay, ranks 50 cities using factors such as the number of ice cream shops per capita, the price of a small cup or cone (using Ben & Jerry's as a benchmark), average annual temperature, and Google searches. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, Yelp, and Google Trends.
The best cities for ice cream have more shops (an average of 4.9 ice cream shops per 100,000 people), a high interest in ice cream (Google searches), and better prices, with a small cup of Ben & Jerry's averaging $4.47 versus the $4.50 residents pay in the average city.
Here's a surprise: Oklahoma City is America's best ice cream city, thanks to a high number of ice cream shops per capita as well as affordability.
Austin is the only Texas city in the top 10:
- Oklahoma City
- New Orleans
- Las Vegas
- San Jose, California
- Providence, Rhode Island
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Salt Lake City
Way to go, Austin! This is what they say about Austin's ice cream scene:
Austin excels when it comes to appreciation of different ice cream styles. The city ranks third in our ice cream variety metric thanks to frequent searches for ice cream types and flavors. The slogan "Keep Austin Weird" is appropriate with so many locals going bananas: The city ranks first in online search interest for banana ice cream. Visitors can find two different types of banana ice cream — banana cream pie and strawberry banana — at local chain Amy's Ice Creams. Additionally, Austin has the seventh-warmest average temperature in our study, making ice cream especially appreciated as a sweet treat for relief from the heat.
The bottom 10 cities have fewer ice cream shops, higher costs, and less ice cream interest in the topic, which they judge by the number of Google searches for topics such as "ice cream near me" and "ice cream flavors."
The 10 worst ice cream cities are as follows:
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Riverside, California
- Washington, D.C.
- Los Angeles
- Sacramento, California
- Jacksonville, Florida
These cities have only 2.2 ice cream shops per 100,000 people. The average city has 3.4 shops per 100,000 people. And Dallas has only 1.4 ice cream shops per 100,000 people.
Ice cream in these worst cities is also more expensive. A small cup of ice cream averages $4.80 in the bottom 10 cities, versus $4.50 for the average city in the study.
Ice cream in Missouri and Alabama is the cheapest: $3.99 for a small Ben & Jerry's cone. Washington, D.C. is the most expensive, at $5.35 for a cone.