There’s a lot of flavor in Hall County, especially when it comes to ice cream. You’ve probably tried some of these spots, but we bet you haven’t tried all their flavors. So get out there. It’s summer!
1. Mountain Fresh Creamery, 6615 Cleveland Highway, Clermont
The family-owned farm at Mountain Fresh Creamery began in 2000. The family is “dedicated to providing a wholesome, all-natural product fresh from their farm to your family,” according to their website.
One of those products is ice cream, which comes in more than 25 flavors, including vanilla, cotton candy and even strawberry pretzel basil.
Their shop also offers milkshakes, and the farm itself sells bottle whole milk, lowfat milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk and cream.
2. Jaemor Farms, 5340 Cornelia Highway, Alto
Jaemor Farms is another family-owned operation, which alongside other products offers soft-served ice cream using homegrown fruit.
They’ve actually been using milk from Mountain Fresh Creamery in their ice cream for about 15 years, according to Judah Echols, one of the owners of the farm.
“We specialize in our peach and strawberry, and both of those are made with our homegrown peaches and homegrown strawberries,” he said. “And then we carry a Dole Whip pineapple, and then vanilla.”
And while they don’t have a big selection, Judah said customers keep coming back.
“I think the main reason is that we do use our homegrown fruit in the peach and the strawberry,” he said.
3. Inman Perk Coffee, 102 Washington St. SW, Gainesville
Coffee is definitely on the menu at Inman Perk Coffee, but so is Jake’s Ice Cream.
The Atlanta-based company uses natural ingredients and has an 18 percent butterfat content, according to its website.
Its products are sold a few places in metro Atlanta, but just this one place in Gainesville.
Some of the most popular flavors include “Chocolate Slap Yo Mama” and “Brown Shugah Vanilla.”
4. Sweet Magnolias, 118 Main St. SW, Gainesville
Sweet Magnolias is known as a local sandwich shop, but the store has been offering gelato as well as smoothies for more than a year.
Owner Dharma Patel said the gelato is different from and even has fewer calories than a typical scoop of ice cream.
“Gelato is made with nonfat dry milk, and the ice cream is made with 100 percent cream,” she said. “Gelato (has) less air than ice cream. Ice cream we are eating with 80 percent air inside, and gelato (has) only 30 percent air.”
Dharma said their gelato is homemade by a couple in Athens, and she usually has to order more every other week to keep up with demand.
“In summertime, we sell pretty good,” she said. “People like it.”
Flavors include the traditional Italian like hazelnut and stracciatella, a creamy gelato with fine chocolate shavings, as well as common ice cream and sorbet flavors. The shop is located in the front of Main Street Market, and serving sizes are more typical of what you may find in Europe — just right for some, but order a double if you’re expecting a big treat.
5. La Mejor De Michoacan, 405 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville
La Mejor De Michoacan has been offering ice cream and other snacks for 15 years.
“We make everything every day. It’s like little snacks from Mexico for the most part,” store manager Edgar Medrano said.
The shop has a wide variety of ice cream flavors, including creamy and water-based options, and popsicles in those flavors, too. Flavors include everything from tropical fruits to traditional American varieties like cookies ‘n’ cream.
“We even sell some that are covered in chocolate with peanuts,” he said.
The store also sells fruit salads, juices, corn on the cob and “chamoyadas,” which contain shaved ice and some chilli powder.
The company now has three locations in Gainesville as well as another store in Norcross.
6. Downtown Drafts, 115 Bradford St. S, Gainesville
There’s more than one reason to walk into Downtown Drafts.
Did you know you can get a King of Pops treat in Gainesville? There’s a cooler inside this downtown growlers location with a selection of the famous Atlanta popsicles.
Most of the popsicles have between three and five ingredients, but over the years the shop has made almost 500 flavors, including chocolate sea salt, raspberry rosewater and strawberries and cream.
When possible, the shop relies on local farms for ingredients and even started its own farm, King of Crops.
A little something extra
If you’re the type of person who wants to try it all, you may want to play “Game of Cones.”
The game, which lasts until Oct. 1, was created by the Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau and inspired by the popular TV show “Game of Thrones.”
“We looked at ice cream and frozen treat places all over Hall County, and we divided the county into kingdoms like in the book and the TV show,” Stacey Dickson, president of Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau, said. “We picked places that have homemade or locally made frozen treats, whether they be ice cream or popsicles or frozen coffees, or we have wine slushies at the winery. The idea is to get people, both locals and visitors, out and about to visit places they wouldn’t normally visit all through the summer season.”
Dickson said some of the perks of playing are discounts and special offers.
“Our partners have like a dollar off or 15 percent off or buy one, get one. We send those out through push notifications to members who have downloaded the free app.”