Summer is in full swing (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), meaning that it is the perfect time for all things summer: beach trips, picnics and, above all else, ice cream. And since I’m spending my summer in Durham for Duke’s Data+ program, I felt it was the perfect time to compile a list of five of the best ice cream places in and around town. This list is perfect for those currently in town – be it for classes, research or something else – but if you’re not, don’t fret; you’ll have plenty of time to patronize these fine establishments when you get back.
The first and likely most famous spot on this list, Pincho Loco is one of the most popular ice cream destinations for students, partially due to its incredibly convenient position right off of Ninth Street and next to Cosmic Cantina. However, convenience is just one of the many things that makes Pincho Loco so renowned. It is also very affordable, with an incredibly friendly staff and exceptional ice cream in terms of flavor and variety. You can get anything from sundaes to shakes to cones and bowls, and regardless of which of these you choose, I recommend filling it with whatever rotating flavor they have at the moment.
Just like Pincho Loco, LocoPops is well-known among Duke students, as their popsicles are a staple at all sorts of on-campus events. Though their popsicles are exceptional, they aren’t all LocoPops has to offer, as they also serve ice cream and a number of beverages (including multiple ice-cream centric ones). I’d recommend sticking to their popsicles, especially any and all of their wonderful dairy-based ones, but feel free to branch out and try new things. While it’s a bit further off campus than Pincho Loco, it’s still not too far and is located off Hillsborough Street, right next to Cocoa Cinnamon.
Our local branch of the ice cream and frozen yogurt chain, Jeni’s is located right off East Campus, in the Brightleaf District and right by Shooters. While definitely a bit pricier than the places mentioned thus far, Jeni’s has a nice location and a solid selection of ice cream flavors that includes both familiar and new options. If you choose to visit, I recommend you get an ice cream cone full of one of their chocolate flavors, but regardless of your choice, I know you’ll enjoy it.
The third local ice creamery on this list, the Parlor places a special emphasis on making fresh ice cream with local, high-quality ingredients and is open every day of the week. With a mixture of traditional flavors like vanilla and chocolate and more unique flavors like Vietnamese coffee, honey lavender and Moroccan Rose, The Parlour is sure to have something for everyone. If it sounds like the type of place you want to visit, The Parlour is located between Durham Central Park and Durham Bulls Athletic Park, in the center of downtown Durham.
The most unique store on this list, Simon Says Dip This serves ice cream in a pretty special form. The customer selects one of three ice cream options – a cup, a cone or an ice cream sandwich – before choosing one of 24 different flavors to dip their ice cream in and then has the option to add a variety of toppings. And with dip flavors that include everything from tiramisu to root beer to cake batter to dark chocolate, visitors are sure to find something they’ll love. If this sounds like a fun idea, be sure to visit Simon Says Dip This, located just down the road from The Parlour.
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Zev van Zanten is a Trinity sophomore and campus arts editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.