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8 Quintessential Ice Cream and Gelato Shops in Charleston


For a hot and humid town, Charleston doesn’t have a long history of ice cream shops. Most frozen desserts are imported — whether that be from Ohio or recipes by way of Italy. These are the few ice cream and gelato shops worth a visit in the Lowcountry.

Note: Map points are not listed by rank

1 Park Circle Creamery

Park Circle Creamery is Park Circle neighborhood favorite. The shop offers 16 handcrafted flavors, including a maple bacon flavor. The sweet stop hopes to serve “a spoonful of smile” with each scoop.

1044 E Montague Ave
North Charleston, SC 29405

2 Cirsea Ice Cream (Red Orchids China Bistro)

Cirsea Ice Cream started as a dessert at Chinese restaurant Red Orchids, but when word spread of co-owner Kelly Chu’s delicious creations, and demand rose, it was time to take the business further. Now Cirsea can be found in retail freezers across the Lowcountry. Choose from flavors like black sesame, strawberry goat cheese, vanilla black pepper, and more.

1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 573-8787

3 Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream and Sandwich Cafe

Since 1972 Ye Ole Fashioned has added six locations to the Lowcountry. The restaurants are famous for BLTs and banana splits — what’s not to love? Go for a scoop of the 36 flavors or a shake.

474 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 766-4854

4 Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

For those not familiar with the Ohio-based chain, know that owner Jeni Britton Bauer and her employees wake up with one thought, “How can we make a better ice cream today?” One taste of the locally-sourced ingredients can confirm their handiwork. Food & Wine once stated, “No one makes ice cream like Jeni Britton Bauer.”

501 King St Ste A
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 212-5113

5 Paolo’s Italian Gelato

Anyone who has dined at 39 Rue de Jean knows the temptation of neighboring Paolo’s Italian Gelato with the giant cone sculpture parked out front. Paolo Dalla Zorza set up shop in 2003 and has served authentic Italian desserts ever since.

41 John St
Charleston, SC 29403

6 Kilwins

Kilwins is a downtown Charleston favorite. The shop may be known for its pecan pralines, but they also have waffle cones full of scoops of frozen flavors and are rumored to have the best salted caramel ice cream in town.

59 S Market St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 722-6887

7 Belgian Gelato

After learning the art of gelato, father and daughter Hugo Heule and Joany Heule-Missotten moved from Belgium to Charleston to open a shop. They have a store off of East Bay St. and on on Lower King. Flavors range from pistachio to apple pie.

4 Vendue Range
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 743-5043

8 Beardcat’s

Sunny shop Beardcat’s is a sweet stop after the beach or dinner on Sullivans Island. The establishment below The Obstinate Daughter serves gelato reflecting seasonal flavors and espresso drinks.

2063 Middle St
Sullivans Island, SC 29482


Source: Charleston Eater

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