In summer, we're all about frozen treats. When the sun is hot and the humidity high, nothing cools you down like cooling you from the inside with a creamy frozen custard, a rich ice cream, a fancy gelato or an irresistible sno-cone. Of course, that is true when the day is cool and the humidity low, too.
Here are 14 of our favorite places to get a frozen treat:
Bobby's Frozen Custard
At Bobby's the frozen custard is made every hour. No wonder it's so popular throughout the Metro East. Its website explains why its custard is different, but frankly, we can't understand it. All we know is that it is awfully good.
Where 2525 North Center Street, Maryville • More info 618-345-3002, bobbysfrozencustard.com
Just as a hot dog tastes best when there is a baseball game in front of it, so too does ice cream. Busch offers soft-serve goodness at several locations scattered throughout the stadium, and it always comes with a baseball game.
Where 700 Clark Avenue • More info mlb.com/cardinals/ballpark
Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery
Known for its alcohol-infused ice creams as well as its nonalcoholic ones, Clementine's presents a plethora of enticing flavors (pistachio rosewater, jasmine tea and, of course, gooey butter cake). On the naughty side of the menu, don't miss the old fashioned, the Manhattan and the Boozy Banana Rum ice creams. Yum!
Where 1637 South 18th Street; 730 DeMun Avenue, Clayton • More info 314-858-6100, clementinescreamery.com
Reliably serving the needs of hot and/or hungry residents of Caseyville and beyond since 1954, Dairy Haven is still coming up with plenty of new flavor creations and limited-time specials. Examples? How about carrot cake concretes and Rice Krispies treat concretes?
Where 112 North Main Street, Caseyville • More info 618-345-8866, facebook.com/DairyHaven
Ices Plain & Fancy
They make the ice cream right in front of you at Ices, and they use liquid nitrogen to do it. That's cool enough as it is, and well worth the show, but the result just happens also to be an excellent scoop of both nonalcoholic and alcoholic varieties.
Where 2256 South 39th Street • More info 314-601-3604, icesplainandfancy.com
Fritz's Frozen Custard
Is anything more St. Louis than frozen custard? Fritz's has five locations, and none is actually in the city, so we'll ask: Is anything more St. Louis region than frozen custard? Fritz's does it all: sundaes, concretes, cones and drinks with frozen custard in them. Three of the locations even sell frozen custard pies, if ordered in advance.
Where 1055 St. Catherine Street, Florissant; 506 Jungermann Road, St. Peters; 2453 State Highway K, O'Fallon, Mo.; 1105 West Pearce Boulevard, Wentzville; 815 Meramec Station Road, Valley Park • More info 314-839-4100 (Florissant), 636-928-2606 (St. Peters), 636-379-2799 (O'Fallon), 636-639-8088 (Wentzville), 636-225-8737 (Valley Park); fritzsfrozencustard.com
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Yes, it's part of a small chain out of Ohio, but Jeni's does high-end ice cream right. This is the kind of place where you can talk about "mouthfeel" and not sound pretentious. It is ice cream at its very finest.
Where 389 North Euclid Avenue • More info 314-367-1700, jenis.com/scoop-shops/jenis-central-west-end
They had us at "malts" — that is, malts made with frozen custard. But this stand of long standing also sells more typical frozen-custard varieties, such as sundaes, cones, sundaes and slushes. They also sell frozen yogurt, but why? Seriously, why?
Where 2101 South Big Bend, Maplewood • More info 314-781-7566, wizardcustard.com
Murray's Shaved Ice
The lines can be long, but the list of flavors that they pour over their ultra-smooth shaved ice is even longer. You can order more than 100 flavors (including bird poop, and no, we have never tried it), and a handful of them are even sugar-free.
Where 3407 Watson Road • More info 314-952-6255, murrayshavedice.com
Of course one of the best restaurants in town would sell some of the best frozen treats. In this case it is gelato — gelato that is smooth and silky and rich. The ever-changing flavors can get a bit bizarre at times, but most will always be fabulous.
Where 7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton • More info 314-862-6603, eatpastaria.com/stlouis
Thai rolled ice cream is all the rage, so much so that Snow Factory now has seven local locations. It's another place where you watch them make it: They pour ice cream base onto a super-cold metal plate, mix in an addition or two, and smooth it out over and across the plate until it can be rolled into coils with a texture quite unlike any else you've tried.
Where 6602 Delmar Boulevard, University City; St. Claire Square, Fairview Heights; West County Center, Des Peres; St. Louis Galleria, Richmond Heights; Mid Rivers Mall, St. Peters; 600 Washington Avenue, St. Louis; South County Mall, Mehlville • More info snowfactorystl.com
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
Where 6726 Chippewa Street; 4224 South Grand Boulevard • More info 314-481-2652 (Chippewa), 314-352-7376 (Grand), teddrewes.com
This Cherokee Street Mexican stalwart got its start as an ice cream stand, and the homemade ice cream still stands out. It comes in a multiplicity of flavors, many of them temptingly tropical (coconut, pineapple, tamarind, mango). But if you concentrate on the ice cream, you'll miss the paletas (Mexican Popsicles) in flavors that are even more intriguing — cucumber, and pineapple with chile.
Where 2801 Cherokee Street • More info 314-776-4223, neverialavallesana.com
Four words: Hot Fudge Waffle Sandwich. And that is just one of their specialties. They also have a whole passel of sundaes and assorted other ice cream specialties. You can even get a meal there, if you have room.
Where 102 Lebanon Avenue, Belleville • More info 618-234-1120, whitecottageicecream.com