Ice cream is synonymous with summer. And back before I helped to manage the business side of Boro Realty, ice cream was my business. My family and I opened a neighborhood ice cream shop, Here’s the Scoop, in 2005, located just a short walk from our home in Bronxville, New York. Our daughter Alicia was nearly 16 and instantly landed her first job, and our son Aidan was three and became one of the most popular kids in school. It was one of the hardest and most exciting adventures we’ve ever embarked on. Running a seven day a week food service business was not easy, but serving ice cream to our friends and neighbors everyday was a real treat.
Here in the greater Chapel Hill/Carrboro area, there is no shortage of delicious ice cream options to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you lean toward the decadence of full-fat traditional ice cream, frozen custard, gelato or a lighter treat like frozen yogurt, all are just a short walk, drive or bike away. Take some time to check out a new spot this weekend.
6900 Rocky Ridge Road, Hillsborough – Map It
I would argue there is no local ice cream shop more picturesque than Maple View Farm, perched in the rolling hills just outside of town along a popular North Carolina bike route. Maple View began milk production in 1996 and the ice cream followed in 2001. The iconic rocking chair front porch (closed during COVID) overlooks the farm’s fields and pastures and has the power to transport you back to simpler times. A large grassy lawn area with picnic tables is available for customers to sit and enjoy both their ice cream treat and the view. I’ve been here more times than I can count, as it’s just a quick drive from my home and it’s the ideal place to take out-of-town visitors. I usually go for a single scoop cone of honey toasted almond or coffee, but other flavors from the more than 20 offered each day include Butter Pecan, Mint Chocolate Chip and Red Velvet, as well as seasonal options such as Dark Chocolate Peppermint, and Banana Pudding. All Maple View ice cream is hormone and antibiotic-free, and there’s sure to be a perfect flavor for everyone in the family with hundreds of unique options on rotation. Maple View also offers ice cream cakes and sundae or scoop parties to go, freshly bottled milk, butter, eggs, and other farm-fresh products. Take a drive or a bicycle ride over to Maple View, behold the spectacular scenery and enjoy a freshly made ice cream cone.
240 S Nash Street, Hillsborough – Map It
Whit’s Frozen Custard is a relatively small, mostly southeastern franchise serving frozen custard, a dairy based dessert similar to ice cream with the addition of eggs. There are nine NC locations, with the closest to our area being in Hillsborough. My husband and I visited on a recent Friday evening just before closing, and there was quite a line outside. They carry Vanilla and Chocolate every day and rotate in flavors of the day, and of the week. This trip, they had German Chocolate Cake and Fluffer Nutter. We both went for the latter, as peanut butter is our jam, and we both enjoyed the richness and smooth texture of the generous servings. It was a quality ice cream treat and one worth trying when you’re in town for one of their popular Last Fridays Art Walks.
901 W Main Street, Carrboro – Map It
Present Day on Main serves up Homeland Creamery Ice Cream, produced right here in Guilford County, North Carolina. With a rotating selection of about 6-8 daily flavors ranging from Double Chocolate to Peach, there’s something for everyone. On an indulgent Wednesday afternoon, as they are just down the street from Boro’s office, I enjoyed a small scoop of Cookies & Cream on a waffle cone. Delicious! Head over to Carrboro and Present Day and enjoy their beautiful and unique outdoor space with a cup of ice cream or your favorite coffee drink.
105 East Main Street, Carrboro – Map It
No post about ice cream is complete without mentioning the Italian frozen dessert creation, gelato. Napoli Pizzeria & Gelateria began as a delivery van converted into a mobile wood-fired pizzeria in 2014. Now operating from a brick and mortar location in Carrboro while still utilizing the mobile pizzeria for cooking their popular Neapolitan style pizza, Napoli offers artisanal gelato made from scratch with local milk in unique flavors like Ceylon Cinnamon, Blackberry Goat and Fresh Mint Stracciatella, in addition to sorbet. Give them a try the next time you’re in Carrboro, and grab dinner for the family while you’re there.
106 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill – Map It
Yogurt Pump, just steps from the UNC Chapel Hill campus, has the honor of being North Carolina’s first frozen yogurt shop, opening in 1982. Operating old school style, where the staff prepares your order rather than self-service, YoPo as it’s affectionately called, still maintains its 80’s vibe. Flavors change daily, and range from Raspberry Tart to Dulce de Leche, in addition to a rotating non-dairy option. On a recent summer evening, the line was out the door with a mix of students, families and teens. My husband enjoyed a classic Chocolate/Vanilla combo but added some Twix candy to mix it up, and I tried the Peanut Butter with chocolate sprinkles. The servings were generous and the yogurt was delicious. Stop by YoPo the next time you’re in downtown Chapel Hill and enjoy a little piece of history.
1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill – Map It
Yo Pop, not to be confused with YoPo, is a self-service frozen yogurt shop in Timberlyne Plaza in Chapel Hill. The owners are fantastic, and the cleanliness is beyond what seems possible when everyone is serving up their own soft-serve yogurt and toppings. Yo Pop offers a rotating 50+ yogurt flavors, and creative toppings to satisfy everyone- from fruit, boba, mochi and nuts, to candy, cookies and brownie pieces, not to mention fudge, caramel & whipped cream- you can make any flavor combination your heart desires. I went for my usual- Tart yogurt piled with boba, mochi, fruit and gummy bears- no chocolate with my yogurt! And, as always, it was a perfect Friday evening treat with a super friendly customer service team. Take the kids to YoPop and let them enjoy making their own creations.
800 Taylor Street, Durham – Map It
Two Roosters Ice Cream, who just launched their fourth location this week, started as an ice cream truck in 2014 and has locations in Raleigh and Durham, not to mention a seasonal stand at the Durham Bulls field, where I was lucky enough to enjoy a cold, creamy, scoop during a recent baseball game. Named one of America’s best ice cream parlors by USA Today in 2019, the shop offers both new takes on classic flavors such as Sea Salt Chip Cookie Dough, Roasted Strawberry and Honey & Coffee Bourbon and monthly “guest list” flavors like Peach & Blue Corn Cookie and Vegan Girl Scout Mint. Two Roosters purchases all their milk and cream from Homeland Creamery and has an appreciation for seasonal ingredients and skilled suppliers. I went with a small scoop of Coffee Bourbon and it lived up to the hype. Next time you’re taking in a game in Durham, stop by their stand near the Wool E World play area. You won’t be disappointed.
85 Hillsborough Street, Pittsboro – Map It
S&T Soda Shoppe is a Pittsboro institution. While they are known for their huge, artfully crafted banana split, we weren’t prepared to embark on such an adventure on a recent Saturday visit. My husband opted for a small cup of Bear Claw Brownie and I went for a Strawberry cone, scaled-down in size once I saw the enormous small portion. The strawberry ice cream was the perfect complement to the warm June day and had a rich and creamy texture- indicative of a high-quality ice cream. The decor was early soda shoppe all the way, and the clients were a mix of regulars and out-of-town visitors, most sitting down to enjoy a meal in addition to ice cream. For a bit of ice cream shoppe nostalgia, stop by S&T the next time you’re in Chatham County.
The famous S&T Soda Shoppe banana split and a display of vintage milkshake machines & glassware.
The local area has a large array of ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato and frozen custard for you, your family and your friends to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in experiencing a local institution, want to sample something new and innovative, or simply want to support your neighborhood business owner, head out this weekend and enjoy a sweet summer treat.