By Diego Molina,
This past Saturday, Executive Editor Kaiser Shaffer and myself took our dairy pills and set out to find the best ice cream in Lexington. From nationwide chain shops to local gems, we had it all. Our critique was based on how unique each shop was, the quality of the ice cream, and the overall atmosphere of the location. Here are our conclusions:
Bruster’s offers a very family-friendly and simple ice cream shop. Their menu is relatively small and easy to read and the prices are low. It offers all of the essential flavors when it comes to ice cream and basic options like waffle cones and sundaes. They have a location in Nicholasville as well as Lexington, making it the most convenient of options. The atmosphere is relatively calm with spunky colors decorating the interior of Lexington’s shop. We felt their ice cream could be defined as “very fine, chewy, and silky smooth.” While nothing about Bruster’s was particularly unique or outstanding, they are a solid ice-cream shop for those who are not concerned with extravagance.
Coldstone is marked by its incredible expanse of menu options; the different candy and ice cream combinations were almost overwhelming. Unfortunately, while Coldstone had a massive amount of ice cream options, it lacked a unique style. The space inside is pretty crammed and outside seating is very limited so it can be hard to find a seat on a busy Saturday afternoon, it’s pretty far from campus, and the menu is a little pricey. We went all out and got the Churro Caramel Crave – 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream on a bed of 4 hot cinnamon churros, all covered in caramel sauce. Needless to say, it was a pretty great start to our Saturday. We characterize Coldstone as a dessert theme park, not to mention it’s conveniently located around all kinds of great restaurants. So if you’re wanting to take a little drive and seriously treat yourself, Coldstone will not disappoint.
For those looking for the old-time, classic, small-town ice cream shop, this is the place for you. Located in downtown Lexington, Graeter’s hosts an open, casual, and friendly environment. Inside you’ll find candies and different kinds of sweets along with a rich and flavorful ice cream menu. Our Managing Editor Allison, joined us on this one and led the charge with getting us a double scoop of Black Raspberry Chip and Mocha Chocolate Chip. It was outrageous and delicious. The ice cream itself tasted very natural and had the smoothness of soft serve with the consistency of high quality ice cream. With indoor and outdoor seating, and surrounded by a variety local businesses, Graeter’s is the perfect place to get some really good ice cream and go for a nice walk around town.
1. Crank & Boom
Yes, as you may expect, Crank & Boom came in first. We tried so hard to find another ice cream shop that could beat this one, but this shop is just that good. It’s completely local and located in the brewery district of Lexington. The atmosphere is full of energy, brick buildings and hip aesthetic. The personable employees love what they do and serve your dairy cravings with enthusiasm. Crank & Boom’s menu thrives on it’s perfectly combined ice cream flavors such as bourbon & honey, coffee stout and cherry amaretto. Kaiser and I both agreed that regardless of flavor, the ice cream was consistently high quality. The menu also reaches beyond ice cream to offer pastries, tiramisu, affogatos, sundaes, and even a “create your own ice cream sandwich” option featuring donuts from North Lime. Crank & Boom really stands out by inviting and reaching out to the local community. From open mic nights to catering and teaming up with other local business, Crank and Boom cultivates the fact that they are a local business. So whether you wanna grab some ice cream and take pictures in front of some really cool grungy walls, take your cute chapel buddy out for some afternoon ice cream, or reserve the Vault Room for your family in town, Crank & Boom is some of the best ice cream Lexington has to offer and serves as a platform for thriving local community.