In the heart of the sultry Georgia coast lies a town dripping with southern charm and Spanish moss. Here, stoic oak trees line the city’s streets and squares offering shade from the sweltering sun. But in Savannah, no amount of shade can cut through the oppressive heat. It’s as thick as the coastal southern accents that punctuate the conversations you hear outside the charming shops and on park benches. There’s no escaping it. It seeps into your bones, and the only thing left to do is lean into it.
One of the best ways to make peace with the inescapable heat is with the simplest of treats, ice cream. In Savannah, ice cream is more than a dessert or tasty afternoon snack. It’s a lifeline that cools you from the inside out, saving you from the smothering humidity that hangs heavy over your head, and a few places have become institutions, perfecting their offerings, and delivering sweet reprieve when you need it most. Let’s take a look at four of Savannah’s finest ice cream shops so you know where to go on your next visit.
Leopold's Ice Cream: A Vintage Ice Cream Experience
Leopold's Ice Cream, located at 212 E Broughton Street, is a time-honored Savannah tradition. Established by three brothers in 1919, this historic parlor is the oldest in Savannah. Taking you back to the glamorous era of soda fountains and classic sundaes, Leopold’s recipe has remained unchanged since its inception.
The birthplace of the beloved Tutti Frutti flavored ice cream, famed lyricist Johnny Mercer fancied writing a song about it when he was a fountain worker at the shop. This signature flavor bursts with candied fruit, rum, and fresh Georgia roasted pecans, creating an ice cream experience that's uniquely Savannah. They're open from 11 am to 10 pm, Sunday to Thursday, and 11 – 11 on Friday and Saturday so you can satisfy your sweet tooth almost any time of day.
District Gelato: Modern Coolness
Just a stone's throw away from the shops and galleries of City Market, at 400 West River Street, District Gelato offers a modern twist on Italian classics. Open seven days a week, this trendy spot serves a unique blend of traditional gelato, sundaes, milkshakes, Italian cookies, and fresh biscotti.
As the only location in Savannah serving house-made gelato, their 24 flavors ensure there’s something to satisfy everyone’s craving. Stop by for the extremely popular bubble waffle cone, a District Gelato exclusive, or a scoop of their tiramisu gelato. Armed with your delicious treats, you’ll be ready to explore this charming part of town until your heart’s content.
Savannah’s Candy Kitchen: A Sweet Southern Tradition
No trip to Savannah would be complete without a visit to Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, with their flagship location situated at 225 E River Street, it's a perfect stop during a stroll along the cobblestoned streets of the beautiful Savannah Riverwalk.
Though it's known for pralines and hand-made candies, Savannah’s Candy Kitchen also dishes out homemade ice cream that locals and visitors rave about. Try their banana pudding flavor for a treat that combines a popular Southern dish with rich, creamy ice cream creating an experience that’s pure Southern decadence. Pair it with a flavored cone for a truly unique dessert! Visit them Sunday – Thursday 9 am – 10 pm with hours extending till 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Below Zero: The Art of Rolled Ice Cream
Below Zero, found at 318 Mall Blvd, offers a unique take on ice cream. This cool shop specializes in Thai-style rolled ice cream; an impressive dessert made right in front of your eyes.
Watching your dessert being handcrafted is part of the fun, but the true pleasure is in the tasting. With countless combinations of mix-ins and toppings, every trip to Below Zero offers a different taste adventure. Don't miss their ice cream tacos, or their popping boba pearls that add a fun and refreshing flair to your chosen flavor. Pair your treat with bubble tea to complete this heat-beating experience.
Beat the Heat On Your Next Savannah Vacation
The Savannah heat is inescapable, but with a scoop (or two) from these delicious creameries, you can begin to think of it like an old friend to share the days with vs a foe to be defeated. Each of these shops has something unique to offer, whether it’s their hand-crafted technique or time-honored secret recipes. So, when you find yourself under the blistering sun, remember, to fight is futile, but to embrace and accept has always been the Savannah way. When you’re planning your next Savannah getaway, be sure to book directly with Lucky Savannah. With vacation rentals all throughout the city, you’ll never be too far from these sweet treats.