Omaha’s Ice Cream Scene
It’s no secret. Omaha loves new restaurants and food experiences. Ice cream is not to be excluded. We’ve had the opportunity to enjoy some interesting ice cream that is truly special and we’ve enjoyed basic ice cream in a really special location. One thing we’ve learned is that most of us in the Omaha metro area have a go-to location for just about everything, including ice cream. We’re constantly evaluating the best ice cream shops in Omaha. Creating a TOP 5 Ice Cream Shops in Omaha list is no easy task, so we asked for the help of our followers. Everything from the quality of the ice cream, to the ambiance, to the overall vibe were taken into consideration. (We didn’t evaluate Thai rolled ice cream shops.)
Coneflower #1 (Hard Packed Ice Cream)
Coneflower was voted as the best ice cream shop in Nebraska by Eat This Not That earlier this year. Situated in the heart of the Blackstone District, Coneflower is no longer the new kid on the block, and continues to make its mark on ice cream lists locally and nationally. Devon Chandler says, “Coneflower is the only place I know where people get in line for ice cream while it’s raining. A visit to Coneflower is probably a good idea for anyone looking for great ice cream. They boast a farm-to-cone freshness and unique flavor blends like Basil and White Chocolate and fresh summer flavors like Fresh Picked Strawberry.
Stacy Winters, a local #Omaha foodie, says that Coneflower isn’t just the best ice cream in Omaha, it ranks up there with the best ice cream anywhere. As an avid traveler and ice cream aficionado, Coneflower is the best ice cream Winters has sampled anywhere. He has a particular fondness for their waffle cones, too. In Winter’s opinion, the waffle cone at Coneflower can’t be beat. How many ice cream stores have a pastry chef on staff? He’s got a point.
Coneflower isn’t just the best ice cream in Omaha, it ranks as up there with the best ice cream anywhere! ~ Stacy Winters
Artistically, Coneflower is head and shoulders above the rest. They understand that the presentation is part of the experience. If you’re looking for a terrific experience go to Coneflower, just be prepared to wait in line. The only downside to Coneflower is the seating is quite limited.
Ted and Wally’s #2 (Hard Packed Ice Cream)
Ted and Wally’s was voted as the best ice cream shop in Nebraska by Thrillist in 2018 and recently won the 2019 Best of Omaha award for ice cream. Valerie Delgado would agree with those awards. She is a huge fan of Ted and Wally’s. They have two locations in the Omaha area, both of which are former gas stations. Most notable is Ted and Wally’s Old Market location which is known for their long lines on Friday and Saturday. Their Benson location has picked up steam since last summer and is playing off of the cool Benson vibe. Of course, the Old Market location is always a hit, but no matter which location you choose, you’re bound to find some interesting flavors being offered. Valerie’s favorite is anything mixed with products from the Omaha Bakery!
Ted and Wally’s has strong KETO, Vegan, and Gluten Free options throughout the week and works closely with local Omaha purveyors to provide the finest products while expanding her menu. Local Omaha chef, Michelle Kaiser, praises Ted and Wally’s for their willingness to work with other restaurants and bakeries in the Omaha area. Kaiser says, “Ted and Wally’s is single handily expanding the ice cream market by inviting customers with diet restrictions to try their specialty ice creams.
eCreamery #3 (Hard Packed Ice Cream)
While the urge for ice cream is usually instantaneous and requires immediate attention, one of Omaha’s favorite locations also ships ice cream. It’s easy to sign up and get local, freshly made ice cream delivered to your home without missing a beat when you order through eCreamery, although they do love their walk-in customers just as much! “When I want ice cream, eCreamery takes the cake,” raved Angel Starks who is a local real estate agent in Omaha. eCreamery gained national attention when they were featured on the hit television show the Shark Tank.
eCreamery is not stranger to lines either. Like any great ice cream shop you can expect to wait in line at their scenic Dundee location.
Dairy Chef #4 (Soft Serve)
Dairy Chef recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and from the messages we’ve received from our followers, they aren’t going anywhere soon! Local project manager, Neil McGuire, says the best is the Dairy Chef in Elkhorn. “You can’t beat stopping by the Dairy Chef in Elkhorn for an ice cream treat. You will most likely find some good conversation with friends and neighbors as you wait in line. A true neighborhood gem,” one follower said. Anyone who has driven by the Dairy Chef has seen the crowds and lines that form outside the walk-up shop that looks like it’s straight out of the 80s. It’s a throwback to simpler times and community gathering for a good soft-serve cone. McGuire suggests trying their homemade ice cream sandwiches but the star of the show is the ‘Tower Cone’ at Dairy Chef. It’s an absolute beast.
Don’t let the long lines scare you away from Dairy Chef. It’s a special place.
Doozies #5 (Hard Packed Ice Cream)
This little known ice cream and burger joint near Lake Manawa is a hidden gem. Known for their small town hospitality and sensational ice cream. Trust us, there is a reason Omaha area restaurants use Doozies Ice Cream. Yes, it’s that good.
Graley’s Creamery & Confections (Hard Packed Ice Cream)
Located in the heart of Papillion, Graley’s is like stepping back in time. It’s not uncommon to find families gathered inside while others wait patiently to get in the door. Graley’s is an old fashioned creamery & confectionery. Their prices are on the upper end for the Omaha market but the ice cream is delicious. Don’t be surprised when the person serving up your scoop is dressed like they stepped out of the 19th century. Mayor David Black of Papillion recently commented to Omaha Town Square that Graley’s is the best ice cream around.
Zestos (Soft Serve)
It’s likely safe to say that Zesto’s is near and dear to the hearts of many Omahans, as well as thousands from across the country who ever attended the College World Series at Rosenblatt. Robert Doran, a resident of the historic Minne Lusa neighborhood can be found at the Zestos on north 30th during the summer. Zestos is still standing near the zoo & former Rosenblatt location and will be forever cherished the fond memories for many who grabbed a cone on their way to or from the games.