12 Local Ice Cream Spots to Cool Off


This weekend, we celebrated National Ice Cream Day. If you’re looking to celebrate this week and cool off in the process, East Tennessee has a wide selection. Here, in no particular order, are some local shops that have taken their own unique spin on the American classic.

1. Knox Dough – Knoxville, TN

I was always told as a kid that I wasn’t supposed to eat cookie dough, but that never stopped me – and at this shop, it doesn’t have to stop you, either! Knox Dough blends ice cream with edible cookie dough to create their own special concoctions. But if you’re not feeling particularly doughy, they also carry milkshakes, shaved ice, and pizza cones (in case you’re wondering, the latter is quite literally a pizza in the shape of an ice cream cone – not quite a sweet treat but tempting nonetheless). I’ll admit, for myself, that my first thought here is always to do away with the ice cream altogether and just go for the edible cookie dough, but in the spirit of National Ice Cream Day, I think this time I’d go for the blend.

Address: 10605 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922

2. Bootlegger’s Roadside Ice Cream – Vonore, TN

This place isn’t an ice cream shop so much as an ice cream saloon – certainly appropriate for its name. Working with Hershey’s Ice Cream means that Bootlegger’s Roadside Ice Cream boast over 100 flavors, and they bring in games and live music on the regular to give their customers an experience to stick around for. My personal recommendation, as a lover of all things peanut butter, is to try a taste of the Cowboy Sundae.

Address: 1813 US-411, Vonore, TN 37885

3. Curl de la Crème – Pigeon Forge, TN

When they say curl, they mean it! Curl de la Crème makes your ice cream in tightly curled rolls, which they serve in cups, waffle bowls, and even “waffle tacos”. The best part is that when I say they make your ice cream, I mean they make your ice cream right in front of you; you pick your cream, fillings, and toppings, and they mix it and make it into ice cream on the spot. Even the waffles come in different flavors (including red velvet, a personal vice when it comes to sweet treats). Perfect for an afternoon snack or an after-dinner dessert.

Address: 2656 Parkway Suite 6, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

4. Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain – Knoxville, TN

The Phoenix Pharmacy & Fountain is a classic spot on historic Gay Street that is intent on recapturing not just the appearance but the feeling of an old-timey downtown pharmacy. Being a neighborhood soda fountain, it seems only natural that the neighborhood customer give their ice cream floats a try, but there are some sundaes and shakes on that menu that might just tempt you away those classic floats.

Address: 418 South Gay Street Suite 104/105, Knoxville, TN 37902

5. Rocky’s Place Ice Cream – Greenback, TN

Another small-town ice cream parlor with the real-deal Hershey’s ice cream and outdoor seating. They take their sundaes seriously here; if you’ve not seen Rocky’s Place Ice Cream dream bowl, well, now you have. I definitely could not handle that. Nor have I been brave enough to try the Ice Cream Nachos, which, unlike the dream bowl, is actually on the menu (if you do give those a try, let me know how it is). The sundaes, however, are definitely worth the trip, and they’re open late, so they’ll even take care of those late-night cravings.

Address: 6651 US-411, Greenback, TN 37742

6. Mad Dog’s Creamery – Gatlinburg, TN

Mad Dog’s Creamery, true to its word, welcomes both two-legged and four-legged customers to the shop, though the ice cream is definitely geared towards the two-legged clientele. Their Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake has a few too many buzz words for me to resist, but they have a variety of interesting flavors. Mad Dog’s is also a donut shop, so if you’re also a donut-lover, they also offer a very lovely Red Velvet Donut, among other things.

Address: 731 East Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
3048 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

7. The Famous Milkshake Bar – Knoxville, TN

It may not have “ice cream” in the name, but make no mistake – the shakes at The Famous Milkshake Bar will stand their own against any cone in town. Served towering from glass mugs, these milkshakes look so pretty that you wonder if the taste is worth destroying the presentation (it is absolutely worth it). It should come as little surprise that my recommendation is the Red Velvet shake, but whatever you decide to get, make sure you come on an empty stomach because you’re not going to want to stop once you get started.

Address: 7600 Kingston Pike Suite 1192, Knoxville, TN 37919

8. Molly’s Ice Cream and Treats – Dandridge, TN

If you’re looking for a storefront that feels like you’re walking into someone’s home for a homemade snack, then Molly’s Ice Cream and Treats might be the place for you. I personally appreciate the number of fruity choices like orange cream and lemon. But Molly is a jack-of-all-trades sort of confectioner and the shop also features a variety of cookies, cakes, slushes, and seasonal treats.

Address: 1698 Highway 139, Dandridge, TN 37725

9. Cruze Farm – Multiple Locations

I’ve mostly tried to stick to small one-shop operations here, but Cruze Farm is just too good to leave off the list. With four different locations around East Tennessee (not including the farm itself, which is its own attraction), there’s a good chance you can find your way to one if you’re on the hunt for some locally-sourced ice cream. The flavors change daily; last time I went in (at the Downtown Knoxville location), I went for a simple lemon cone, but there are plenty more flavors and toppings to choose from.

East Knoxville – 2721 Asbury Road, Knoxville, TN 37914
Downtown Knoxville – 445 South Gay Street Suite 103, Knoxville, TN 37902
Sevierville – 1642 Parkway, Sevierville, TN 37862
Morristown – 143 East Main Street, Morristown, TN 37814

10. Maw’s Arctic Ice – Maryville, TN

Does shaved ice count as ice cream? For those ice cream purists out there, perhaps not (to whom I say, they do have actual ice cream offerings), but for those willing to be a little freer with their definition, Maw’s Arctic Ice has some cool offerings, mixing creamy treats with the classic sno-cone. There’s no better time to give it a try than the summer, because this is truly a summer-only treat; come late autumn, this shop closes down until the next spring.

Address: 1415 East Broadway Avenue, Maryville, TN 37804

11. Capitol Theatre Coffee & Ice Cream Parlor – Maryville, TN

Maryville’s historic Capitol Theatre Coffee & Ice Cream Parlor is a must visit. Nestled inside the Capitol Theatre, the shop boasts a wide range of cinema-themed ice cream specials, and the decor inside is like being transported into a cinema time-machine. You’ll no doubt find a poster or item from one of your favorites on the wall (or cieling)

Address: 127 West Broadway Avenue, Maryville, TN 37801

11. Original Freezo – Knoxville, TN

The list just wouldn’t be complete with the OG ice cream shop in Knoxville. With a 70-year history in the 865, the Original Freezo offers that iconic soft-serve ice cream (as well as classic American breakfast and lunch options). If you’re from this area, you’ll be transported to your childhood when you visit for a simple cone. If you’re new here, it’s a must-visit. Try the banana milkshake. You won’t be sorry.

Address: 1305 N Central Street Knoxville, TN 37917

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