Top ice cream places in Mount Pleasant and Charleston

We’re officially in the prime time of summer, and with the rising temps comes the natural, logical, inevitable need for ice cream.

Ice cream is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to frozen treats.  There’s also frozen yogurt, frozen custard, gelato, sorbetto, snow cones, Italian ice, Thai-inspired rolled ice cream, vegan non-dairy… the list of options is long and refreshing.

The barrier islands of the Lowcountry near Charleston have some great places to get frozen treats and now that you have chosen your Isle of Palms vacation rental,  it’s time to explore what Mount Pleasant and Charleston proper have to offer.  Hint: the list is long and impressive.  The hardest part will be deciding which place to try.  Better yet  –  try several and compare.  For research purposes only, of course.

Top ice cream places in Mount Pleasant…

  • Ye Olde Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Café

This place is a Lowcountry staple, with a real mom ‘n pop soda shop feel.  Ye Olde Fashioned started way back in 1972 in West Ashley and has grown to seven locations.  The Mount Pleasant iteration has been around since 1994 and is an East Cooper institution.

They serve up 36 flavors of ice cream the “olde-fashioned” way, hand dipped and “the biggest scoops in the Lowcountry.”  Check out the large menu of milk shakes, malts and soda, along with sundaes and splits, like the Black & White (chocolate and vanilla ice cream, marshmallow and hot fudge).  If you really feel like going hog wild, try the Pig’s Trough, a gigantic double banana split.

They also have a great menu of classic burgers and sandwiches, including their famous BLT with ten (!) slices of bacon, along with salads and homemade soups.

Ye Olde Fashioned is open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m.  They’re located at 1502 Highway 17 North in Mount Pleasant.

  • Fox & Bear Creamery

Fox & Bear describes itself as a high-end place inspired by the constellations, where you have a truly “bespoke ice cream experience.”  You pick your own base (full dairy, yogurt or vegan), mix-ins and toppings, then they assemble it in front of you  –  either using liquid nitrogen, or by flash freezing it on a cooled surface.  Pretty cool stuff.

Flavors get downright fancy, like Kulfi (chai tea with pistachios and almond flakes) or Minions (mango with pineapples).  Even their cones come in different flavors   –  natural, green tea, black, or salted caramel.  Prepare to make lots of decisions.

Find Fox & Bear at 619 Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.  It’s open seven days a week from noon till 10:00 p.m.

  • Pelican’s SnoBalls

If you’d like to be a giant hit with the kids, load up the car and head to Pelican’s SnoBalls at 2447 North Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant.  Purveyors of “Original New Orleans Shaved Ice,” they have over a hundred flavors and toppings.  It’s the ultimate in family friendly, and it’s pet friendly, to boot.

Check out some of their Signature SnoBalls: Rainbow (cherry, pineapple and blue raspberry), Butterfly Kiss (birthday cake and cotton candy, with a butterfly gummi), Unicorn (pink cotton candy & skylite with whipped cream and sprinkled with fairy dust), or Shark Attack (sour tsunami and tiger’s blood with a shark gummi).  Kids will eat it up.

  • TCBY

If you’re looking for froyo, you might as well go with someone who’s been at for 35 years.  TCBY pretty much started the frozen yogurt craze, and they still deliver the goods.  It is called “The Country’s Best Yogurt,” after all.  Take heart knowing their frozen yogurt not only tastes refreshing but also contains healthy probiotics, protein and fiber.  They also have nonfat, no sugar added, and nondairy options.  Recent flavors include Greek Honey Vanilla, White Chocolate Mousse, Cake Batter, Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Pralines & Cream, Rainbow Cream, and Pink Lemonade Sorbet.

TCBY has three locations in Mount Pleasant alone  –  in Towne Centre, on Ben Sawyer Boulevard, and in Belle Hall off Longpoint Road.  They’re open seven days a week from noon till 8:00 p.m.

  • Baskin-Robbins

They don’t call it the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops for nothing.  Over the years, they’ve created over a thousand flavors of ice cream and treats.  The Mount Pleasant location is at 280 West Coleman Boulevard, not far from the Ravenel Bridge.

Great ice cream spots in Charleston…

  • Carmella’s Café and Dessert Bar

Carmella’s is a fixture on East Bay downtown and a hopping night spot, boasting all sorts of sweet goodness.  Readers of Charleston City Paper voted them as Best Gelato in Charleston for 2020.  Flavors include Mascarpone, Espresso, Amaretto, Salted Caramel and Limoncello, along with sorbettos like Tangerine and Margarita.  For the over-21 folks, Carmella’s serves up alcoholic milkshakes.  They’re also famous for a delectable variety of cakes and pastries in addition to the frozen stuff.

Carmella’s is at 198 East Bay Street, at the corner of East Bay and Cumberland near the Customs House.  They’re open from 11:00 a.m. till midnight, and 1:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • Paolo’s Gelato & Gourmet

It’s hard to beat gelato made by Paolo, who speaks with a thick Italian accent and knows his stuff.  He also sells a rotating array of gourmet goodies, from sweet to savory, along with wine and beer.  Located at 41 John Street, right off King.

  • Ice & Pan Charleston

A fun stop for Thai ice cream rolls, cute ice cream plant pots, bubble tea, slushies and taiyaki sweets.  Find them at 567 King Street.

  • Peace Pie

Decadent ice cream sandwiches complete with an extra layer of pie filling, mousse or more.  It’s like pie a la mode, all in one easy-to-carry treat.  Check out Pecan, Lemon Meringue, Salted Caramel Apple, The Elvis, and a gazillion others.  Peace Pie is at 223 Meeting and 509 King.

  • Off Track Ice Cream

Traditional and vegan ice cream made from scratch with clean, local ingredients.  Off Track is located just off King Street at 6 Beaufain.  Creative flavors include Sweet Tea, Bourbon Honeycomb, and Springbok Cold Brew & Cookies, or vegan options like Chocolate PB Swirl, Strawberry Pop Tart, and Brown Sugar Oat Milk & Cookies.  Yum.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger