9 Iconic Michigan Ice Cream Parlors to Visit 

Jake Newby

| 4 min read

There are more than a few iconic ice cream spots that Michigan families flock to each summer. These shops have enjoyed sustained success for their quality and service. How many of these eight have you visited, and how many more would you like to check out?  
What’s better than a cold ice cream cone on a hot summer day in Michigan? This, of course, is a rhetorical question. There are more than a few iconic ice cream spots that Michigan families flock to each summer. These shops have enjoyed sustained success for their quality and service. How many of these eight have you visited, and how many more would you like to check out?

Moomers Homemade Ice Cream (Northwest Michigan)

Named the best ice cream parlor in the United States in 2016 by readers of USA Today, Moomers serves more than 160 flavors of its own homemade premium ice cream, made using Moomers milk processed at their creamery on-site. Just five miles from downtown Traverse City, the shop recently celebrated its 24-year anniversary. Moomers sells everything from classic ice cream cones to ice cream cakes to its 10-scoop “Wholey Cow” dessert, featuring the choice of every topping in their store and buried underneath an entire can of whipped cream. Address: 7263 N. Long Lake Road in Traverse City.

Jersey Junction (Southwest Michigan)

Jersey Junction has been ingrained in the fabric of Grand Rapids since 1963. The building’s quaint, family-home aesthetic is the place to go in East Grand Rapids for Hudsonville Ice Cream, which was founded in the pasturelands of Western Michigan. They also sell nostalgic and novelty candies at their shop in Gaslight Village in Grand Rapids. Address: 652 Croswell Ave. SE in East Grand Rapids.

The Parlour of Jackson (Southeast Michigan)

The Parlourisn’t just one of Michigan’s most iconic ice cream shops – it’s one of the state’s most iconic restaurants in general. Open since 1915, the Parlour hangs its apron on its softball-sized servings of hand-dipped ice cream. The bright red stools, old-fashioned employee uniforms and music jukebox will take you back in time as you ponder over which of their 40-plus flavors to order. Address: 1401 Daniel Road in Jackson.

MOO-ville Quality Ice Cream (Central Michigan)

There’s something very “Pure Michigan” about an old-fashioned ice cream shop located smack dab in the middle of a farm. MOO-ville makes more than 80 homemade hand-dipped flavors of ice cream on site. Between April and October families can take those cones on a walk through the farm’s free petting zoo at the Nashville location. Address: 5875 S. M-66 in Nashville. MOO-ville also has locations in Ionia, Zeeland, and Eaton Rapids.

Plainwell Ice Cream Co. (Southwest Michigan)

Family owned-and-operated since 1978, Plainwell makes its homemade ice cream in the back of the store multiple days a week. Plainwell boasts more than 50 flavors of ice cream and sherbet and is always introducing new ones. They also offer dairy-free desserts and concoctions. Address: 621 E. Bridge St. in Plainwell.

Marion’s Dairy Bar (Northeast Michigan)

The exclusive season of Marion’s in East Tawas makes it one of the two most elusive shops on this list – it’s only open between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend each year. Marion’s is another shop that doesn’t skimp on the serving sizes. They serve Ashby, Hudsonville and Guernsey premium ice cream, all of which are Michigan brands, on handmade waffle cones. Marion’s opened in 1945. Address: 111 E. Bay St. in East Tawas.

House of Flavors (Northwest Michigan)

This Ludington ice cream parlor is as big on flavor as it is on scenery, located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan.  House of Flavors is a third-generation ice cream shop and manufacturer that began making and serving ice cream in 1948 as Park Dairy. It eventually opened as a full-service restaurant and ice cream parlor in 1976. House of Flavors produces around 40 different flavors of ice cream, and serves frozen yogurt, sorbet and sugar-free options. Address:  402 W. Ludington Ave. in downtown Ludington.

Rapid River Dairy Flo (Northeast Michigan)

Rapid River has been making the Upper Peninsula sweeter since 1954. It’s another iconic parlor that people come far and wide to visit during the warmer months, the only time of year it operates. Serving Jilbert’s premium ice cream – a U.P. staple for generations – Rapid River allows you to combine your own soft-serve flavors, serves hand-dipped ice cream and now offers a Dole whip menu. Address: 7875 US-2 in Rapid River.

Erma’s Original Frozen Custard (Metro Detroit) 

Erma’s has been serving custard to the Metro Detroit for over 75 years, growing from a single roadside ice cream stand to two locations in Warren and Shelby Township. The Shelby Township location was named a historical landmark in Shelby Township in 2010. The shop has rotating weekly flavor specials throughout the summer. One fan favorite is the Wild Erma’s flavor, filled with local Michigan berries. They also serve non-dairy soft serve and flavored ice desserts. Address: 6451 Auburn Road in ShelbyTownship.
Photo credit: Moomers, Plainwell and Jersey Junction.

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