The Best Ice Cream in Dallas and Fort Worth
Sunday is National Ice Cream Day. Don't say we didn't warn you.
credit Carnival Barker's: Dallas' best.
You can actually stop looking for ice cream now. All you really need to know is that Carnival Barker's, creator Aaron Barker's ice cream shop at Truck Yard (it doesn't roll away), is serving the flavor Nutella Vodka. Actually, that's not all you need to know. They have banana pudding -- there are real chunks in there, man -- rum raisin, and something called Fat Elvis with sweet peanut butter with chocolate-covered chips. It's simple ingredients and huge flavor. Easily one of the best.
As both the newest location and the one that's farthest west, Melt is in a class of its own. Like its quirky artisan flavors, the building itself is off the beaten path -- in fact, if it weren't for the bright yellow exterior and the line of people out the door, you'd probably miss it. But on any given evening in Fort Worth's eclectic Southside neighborhood, most people seem to have the same idea: farm to cone.
With a menu of from-scratch ice cream flavors that changes monthly, you'll want to nom on all your favorites while they're still around. Popular picks include the ultra-rich Chocolate Chocolate (made with Dude, Sweet Chocolate) and the summer-on-a-cone Peach Crisp (using local Moore Jam and house-made crisp). There's even a vegan flavor for the dairy-averse; naturally it's made with AVOCA coffee that's brewed right down the street. That just leaves the million-dollar question: cup or cone? One of each, if you ask me.
You know the ice cream is good when an engineer brings his train to a full-stop just to get some. Ham Orchards in Terrell, Texas sits behind the railroad tracks that run alongside Highway 80. Many an engineer has climbed out of his cabin and gone into Ham's, only to return ten minutes later, cone in hand.
Ham's puts its famous peaches to good use in every batch of soft-serve they make. The ice cream changes in concert with the peaches as different varieties become ripe. The further into the season, the more pronounced the flavors become, allowing floral notes and hints of tartness to make an appearance between the cold and the sweet. Little flecks of peach skin stud the otherwise honeyed texture. One lick and you'd stop a train, too. -- Kathryn DeBruler