A tour of ice cream shops in rural Illinois

I scream, you scream, we all … know the rest. While ice cream is a delicious treat year-round, it just seems to really hit the spot during hot summer months. Luckily, no matter where you are in Illinois, a local ice cream shop is just a short drive away. From the northernmost part of the state to the southern tip, here are just a few great stops when you find yourself screaming for ice cream.

Sometimes hours change. Make sure to visit an ice cream shop’s website/social media or call to double check hours before visiting. Don’t see your favorite? Let us know!

American Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor

102 N. Main St., Galena, IL

Daily: Noon-7 p.m.

Step back in time at American Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor, a staple of Galena since 1970. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, enjoy hand-dipped Cedar Crest ice cream served in homemade waffle cones or have an old-fashioned malt or shake. While you’re there, have a slice of homemade fruit pie.

B’s Drive Inn

22345 IL-116, Farmington, IL
(309) 245-2958

Soft serve

Bears Drive-Inn

1905 IL-84, Thomson, IL
(815) 259-2586

Soft serve

Carl’s Ice Cream Factory

1700 W. College, Normal, IL

Daily: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

A Bloomington staple since 1980. Its homemade premium hard ice cream comes in 27 flavors, its most popular is cookie dough. Enjoy hard and soft serve in cones, sundaes, shakes, floats, novelties and ice cream pies. Its ice cream truck is popular at Corn Belt Energy annual meetings.

Carl’s Ice Cream Factory

601 W. Locust, Bloomington, IL

Daily: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

A Bloomington staple since 1980. Its homemade premium hard ice cream comes in 27 flavors, its most popular is cookie dough. Enjoy hard and soft serve in cones, sundaes, shakes, floats, novelties and ice cream pies. Its ice cream truck is popular at Corn Belt Energy annual meetings.

Chilly Willy’s Ice Creams & Grill

416 E. Main St., Olney, IL
(618) 320-9866

Hand dipped and soft serve

Colyer Coffee House

16 E. Elm St., Albion, IL
(618) 445-2800

Hand dipped

Cool Beans Coffee Lounge & The Scoop Ice Cream Parlor

407 North Monroe Street, Abingdon, IL
(309) 509-3973

Hand dipped and soft serve

Cool Spoons Frozen Yogurt and Treats

695 N Giant City Rd, Carbondale, IL
(618) 529-5030

18 flavors of soft serve and 185+ toppings for customers to make their unique frozen treat.

Cozy Cone

300 Center St, Augusta, IL


Soft serve

Custard Stand

101 S. Park St., Sesser, IL

Daily: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Regionally known as a favorite and staple, the Custard Stand offers soft serve ice cream in traditional and specialty flavors, like their orange and vanilla “dream,” made from a secret recipe since 1949. Also on the menu: hand-dipped ice cream in a variety of flavors, shakes, sundaes, burgers, brats and nachos.

Dairy Dee

103 E. Sycamore St., Sumner, IL
(618) 936-2615

Soft serve

Dairy Delites

815 W. Jackson St., Sullivan, IL
(217) 728-8927

Soft serve

Dairy Dipper

301 E Broadway, Astoria, IL
(309) 329-2622

Soft serve

Dairy King

691 N. 4th St., Breese, IL

Mon-Fri: 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat: 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., and Sun: 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

This local favorite is known for its Concretes (like Blizzards) and Cows (a float made with slush instead of soda). Even with more than 50 specialty concrete flavors like Mississippi Mud, Bailey’s Monster Cookie, Cake Batter Brownie, Strawberry Cheesecake and Summer Breeze, patrons are invited to create their own. Filling out the extensive dessert menu are shakes, floats, slushes and smoothies.

Dairy King

320 W. Broadway, Trenton, IL

Mon-Fri: 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat: 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., and Sun: 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

This local favorite is known for its Concretes (like Blizzards) and Cows (a float made with slush instead of soda). Even with more than 50 specialty concrete flavors like Mississippi Mud, Bailey’s Monster Cookie, Cake Batter Brownie, Strawberry Cheesecake and Summer Breeze, patrons are invited to create their own. Filling out the extensive dessert menu are shakes, floats, slushes and smoothies.


113 E. Main St., Rockton, IL

Open seasonally: spring, summer and fall Daily summer hours: noon-10 p.m.

Dairyhaus, on Rock Energy Cooperative lines, has served homemade, small batch ice cream since 1983. Try unique flavors, such as blue moon, Rockford Roasting Co. Coffee or oatmeal cookie, or get a classic chocolate, strawberry or mint chip. Enjoy by the scoop in a homemade waffle cone or take home by the quart.

Dari Ripple

201 S. Madison St., Pittsfield, IL

Open seasonally
Daily: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Cash only

This Pittsfield institution has dished out soft serve ice cream for 70 years. This shop offers vanilla daily; chocolate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; lemon on Sunday and Tuesday; and a special flavor (such as red velvet cake, strawberry cheesecake and peach) on Thursday and Saturday. Ice cream is served in cones, sundaes, flurries, shakes, sodas or between chocolate wafer cookies called a Tally Ho.

Davis Dairy Bar

511 E. Chestnut St., Mt. Pulaski, IL
(217) 792-3782

Soft serve

Dewey’s Drive-In

620 E. Richardson St., Farmer City, IL

Open seasonally: April through September
Daily: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

A Farmer City tradition since 1956, this ’50s-themed drive-in is famous for soft serve ice cream, burgers, old-fashioned milkshakes and dipped cones. A fan favorite is the vibrant yellow lemon soft serve. They offer a variety of special soft serve flavors including blueberry, toasted coconut, mango, cheesecake, cotton candy and more.

Dick’s Pharmacy

118 S. Vine, Arthur, IL
(217) 543-2913

Soda fountain

Downtown Dip

111 S Division St, Carterville, IL 62918

Carterville’s own Hand Scooped Ice Cream Shop. Enjoy a selection of over 24 Super Premium Ice Cream Flavors, Sundaes, Shakes, Cannonballs, and freshly made waffle cones. Indoor and Outdoor seating. Cash and Card accepted.

El Dulce Helado

202 S. Main St., Monmouth, IL

Daily summer hours: 1-10 p.m.

Owner Sonia Woolsey provides 26 flavors of homemade, hand-dipped ice cream at a time, with a variety of flavors in rotation. Some include coconut, pistachio and mazapán. The churro split has three scoops of ice cream of your choice, homemade churros, fresh fruit and toppings. More than 50 flavors of homemade milk- and water-based ice pops are available as well as other sweet and savory treats.

Gene’s Dairy Delight

1019 S. Main St., Bloomington, IL
(309) 829-6022

Soft serve

Gilligan’s Sweet Treats

2449 State St., Chester, IL

Daily: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Owner Jennifer Lochhead, who named her ice cream business after her mother’s nickname, serves hand-dipped ice cream and monthly specials in decorative cones with a variety of toppings. Other treats on the menu include milkshakes, floats, sundaes, smoothies, frappes and iced coffee.

Hannam’s Dairy Dream

310 E. Linn St., Canton, IL

Mon-Sat: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun: noon-9 p.m.
Cash only

For classic soft serve ice cream, stop by Hannam’s Dairy Dream. Enjoy vanilla, chocolate, lemon and twist cones, which you can get dipped, topped with crunch (sprinkles and crushed peanut butter nougat) or with Flavor Burst added, like blue goo, cool mint or raspberry. There are 11 sundae topping options, 14 shake/malt flavors, and 13 candy bar shake options.

Happy Days Ice Cream Shop

119 W. Washington St., Millstadt, IL

Daily: 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Cash only

Both soft serve and hand-dipped ice cream are available at Happy Days, along with shakes, malts, concretes, sundaes, snow cones, slushies, ice cream cakes and pies. The shop is owned by Jennifer Drennan, whose brother Steve is a lineworker at Monroe Country Electric Cooperative.

Ice Cream Korner

7605 U.S. Highway 50, Iuka, IL
(618) 323-4321

Soft serve

Jarlings Custard Cup

309 W Kirby Ave, Champaign, IL 61820

Decades-old frozen-dessert shop serving housemade treats in cups, cones, sundaes, shakes & floats. Starting with carefully selected Midwestern dairy farms and using only the finest ingredients, our artisan products are made in small batches throughout the day at the store!

Jenni’s Ice Cream and Grill

394 Carman St., Lomax, IL

Open seasonally: April-October
Tues-Sun: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Along the Great River Road, this shop keeps vanilla and chocolate soft serve on hand, but stay tuned for a flavor of the week, including Fruity Pebbles and caramel apple. Two dozen toppings are available for sundaes, shakes and hurricanes, and customers can create their own combination. This seasonal restaurant is in its ninth year with owners and Western Illinois Electrical Coop. members Bob and Deb Pflasterer and Jennifer Ewing.

Jule’s Ice Cream and Coffee

306 E Main St, Cuba, IL
(309) 785-7045

Hand dipped

Krave Frozen Yogurt

1455 E Village Parkway Mt Zion, IL 62549

A great frozen yogurt shop and more. They have a lot of yogurt flavors, waffle cups made fresh, smoothies, root beer floats and coffee drinks.

La Michoacana Irmanaju

110 S Main St, Galena, IL
(815) 402-2284

Hand dipped

Lawrenceville Drive-In

2002 S. 15th St., Lawrenceville, IL
(618) 943-2271

Soft serve

Meusel’s Dairy Delite

303 S. Mason Ave., Amboy, IL
(815) 857-2050

Hand dipped and soft serve

Millie’s Chill and Grill

101 S. Walnut St., LeRoy, IL
(309) 962-3497

Hand dipped

Minooka Creamery

111 McEvilly Rd, Minooka, IL
(815) 467-9699

Hand dipped and soft serve

Not Just Another Dip

103 Washington St, Avon, IL
(309) 371-5228

Soft serve

Paxton’s Corner Coop

101 W. Front St., Annawan, IL
(309) 781-9413

Soft serve

Peaches Ice Cream

324 W. Dearborn St., Havana, IL
(309) 280-0421

Soft serve

Poogan’s Creamery

201 S. O’Bannon St., Raymond, IL

Mon-Thurs: 2-9 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Established May 8, 2021, its motto is Poogan’s Creamery – where neighbors become friends. It serves Bliss Artisan ice cream in 51 flavors (12 rotate weekly). Enjoy customer favorites like Mississippi Mudd or PBJ in a homemade waffle cone or the popular ice cream nachos, shakes, malts and sundaes.

Shake Shack

512 W. Main St., Lexington, IL
(309) 365-3005

Soft serve


708 Main St, Savanna, IL
(815) 273-2824

Hand dipped

Shupe Shack

118 E Collins St, Mendon, IL
(217) 430-4508

Soft serve

Sidney Dairy Barn

311 W. Main St., Sidney, IL

Tues-Sun: Noon-8 p.m.

Soft serve that tastes like the old-fashioned, hand-cranked variety. Order cones, sundaes, tornados, shakes or a Tire Swing – vanilla ice cream sandwiched between chocolate chunk cookies and dipped in chocolate. Vanilla and chocolate served daily with 13 rotating feature flavors like banana, strawberry and cappuccino. Lemon is offered the last full week of each month.

Sling N’ Scoops

204 S. Main St., Red Bud, IL

Tues-Fri: 3-8 p.m. and Sat-Sun: 1-9 p.m.

Since March 2020, Sling N’ Scoops has served hand-dipped Bliss Artisan ice cream and snow cones from its location in the historic Kaffenberger Building, established in 1890 in downtown Red Bud. Gluten-free and dairy-free sorbet in various flavors is also on the menu. Owners Kyle and Katie Winkelman offer custom catering services for weddings, fundraisers and private events.

Small Town Scoop

1400 Walnut St., Murphysboro, IL

Tues-Sun: 3-9 p.m.

Owned by Egyptian Electric Cooperative members Amanda Pfeaster and her husband, Small Town Scoop is named in honor of its location—the Murphysboro American newspaper building. More than 27 flavors of hand-scooped Cedar Crest ice cream are on the menu, including favorites like blueberry waffle cone, lemon cheesecake, Big Muddy, Caramel Collision and Superman.

Southern Illinois Mercantile Company

112 E. Main St., Marion, IL

Tues-Sat: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Owners Ellen Graff and Tanya Miller affectionately describe their shop as “just like Grandma’s house.” They rotate through 52 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream, some of which are dairy-free and/or gluten-free. Enjoy a cool treat while perusing the shop’s apparel, gifts and modern farmhouse decor.

Tastee Treat Drive-In

423 E Main St, Mt Sterling, IL
(217) 773-2543

Soft serve

Tastee Treet

1219 N. Cheney St., Taylorville, IL
(217) 827-6394

Soft serve

The Big Dipper

13 W. Main St., Casey, IL

Daily: 1-7 p.m.

Located next door to the world’s largest mailbox, The Big Dipper, a family owned and operated ice cream shop, offers premium hand-dipped and soft serve ice cream, snow cones, slushies and bubble drinks.

The Freeze

110 E. Jourdan St., Newton, IL
(618) 783-2625

Soft serve

The Frosty Cow

Greenview, IL

On the Square
Open seasonally
Fri-Sun: 2-8 p.m.

In its 4th season, owner Angela Dowell has moved the small batch ice cream shop to a new location just down the block. The Bliss Artisan ice cream served includes flavors like lemon, banana pudding, blueberry waffle cone, salty jack, cotton candy and more. Enjoy waffle cones and bowls, milkshakes, whiteouts, sundaes, etc. Dairy- and gluten-free options are available.

The Full Scoop

6575 West Jackson Street, Colchester, IL
(309) 776-5222

Hand dipped and soft serve

The Ice Cream Shack

2313 NE. Adams St. Peoria, IL

Big cones little price! The biggest and best soft serve you’ll ever have. Twists with seasonal flavors like pumpkin. Wizards, sundaes, banana splits, shakes, slushes, tamales, and lots more! Open seasonally. Enjoy some great treats along the Illinois River.

The Ice Cream Shack at Roseville Lanes & Diner

120 E Penn Ave, Roseville, IL 61473


Soft serve

The Root Beer Stand

225 N Columbia Ave, Oglesby, IL
(815) 883-9254

Soft serve

Theo’s Microcreamery

107 East Beaufort St Normal IL 61761
(309) 454-9375

Small batch homemade super premium ice cream made in Normal. Scooping new flavors monthly as well as vegan flavors, sorbets, smoothies, shakes and sundaes.

This That & The Udder

Rushville, IL
(309) 329-6010

Rolled ice cream

Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe

224 N Main St, Elizabeth, IL
(815) 858-5033

Hand dipped

Tone’s Cones

523 W. Main St., Ottawa, IL

Open seasonally: spring, summer and fall
Daily summer hours: Noon-10 p.m.
Cash only

Family owned and operated since 1993, Tone’s Cones offers premium soft serve ice cream in a cone, sundae, shake, malt or flurry with more than 40 topping options available. If you’re brave, try the Belt Buster Challenge—eat 2 quarts of ice cream, 10 toppings and a can of whipped cream in 20 minutes, and it’s free.

Toots Treats

608 W Main St #9687, Elmwood, IL
(309) 742-8668

Soft serve

Top Hat Creamery

513 Pulaski St., Arcade #9, Lincoln, IL

Tues-Fri: 2-10 p.m.
Sat-Sun: Noon-10 p.m.

Featuring Ice Cream Factory small batch ice cream in more than 15 flavors, this shop offers sundaes, shakes, malts, signature sundaes, Dole Whips and fresh baked cookie sammies. Popular flavors include Exhausted Parent, Caramel Chaos, Munchie Madness and Jacked Up Tennessee. Watch Facebook for daily flavors and dairy- and lactose-free sorbets. The Traveling Top Hat trailer may even be at an event near you.

Union Dairy

126 E Douglas St, Freeport, IL

Hand dipped

Walton’s Ice Cream & More

408 S. Main St., Smithton, IL
(618) 416-8317

Soft serve

We Li Kit Farmstand

6164 N 925th St, Paris, IL 61944
(217) 264-8874

We make our OWN old fashioned homemade ice cream & fresh waffle cones. Try one of our seasonal flavors, sundaes, shakes, floats, or iced/frozen drinks. Please check us out on facebook for daily specials. C’mon out for a visit in the country.

Whitey’s Ice Cream

Moline, IL


A Moline tradition since 1933. Whiteys makes their own ice cream, many year-round and seasonal flavors. Some of their many flavors have won national awards, and the Sgt. Camo proceeds are donated to veteran’s organizations. Locations in Moline, Rock Island and East Moline, IL

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