By Victoria Scott
As Nashville finally welcomes the spring weather, we now have an excuse to venture outside for picnics at the park and weekend strolls down 12South. And as the temperatures skyrocket, I’ve already started to crave cool treats to replace my winter staples of steaming lattes and hot slices of pie.
It just so happens that Nashville is home to a number of excellent dessert shops, any of which will exceed your expectations for warm weather goodies. Take a look at the list below, and if you don’t see your favorite, share your recommendation in the comments section below!
There’s a reason why you’ll always find a line winding across the store and out the front door, be it at lunchtime or just after 10PM. For starters, the Jeni’s locations — in the ever-busy 12South neighborhood, college-centric Hillsboro Village, and of course East Nashville, their original Nashville shop— are conveniently placed in the heart of the city’s neighborhoods. Then there’s the scent of fresh waffle cones, which drifts out across the street and entices unsuspecting passersby. Once you’ve finally admitted defeat and entered the inviting scoop shops, you’re rewarded with unique and mouthwatering flavors, including new takes on old classics (like Black & White Cookies, their interpretation of cookies n’ cream), as well as creative seasonal offerings that very well might completely alter your understanding of ice cream (current can’t-miss hits include Brambleberry Crisp and Savannah Buttermint).
If you don’t trust yourself to eat an entire waffle cone before the Nashville heat transforms it into tasty puddles, I’d highly recommend their ice cream sandwiches. The portable treats include delectable scoops of ice cream sandwiched between macaron cookies. In other words, you really can’t go wrong with Jeni’s.
If inhaling numerous scoops of ice cream sounds like too big of a commitment, Las Paletas can satisfy your cold treat cravings with their incomparable popsicles. Though they have a brick and mortar shop on 12th Avenue South, you can also grab a popsicle from Hot & Cold in Hillsboro Village or Bongo Java near Belmont. You’ll pick from “cream” (think creamy fudgsicle texture) or “fruit” (traditional ice pop texture) offerings, which range from traditional Mexican flavors to fan favorites like peanut butter. Suffice to say that no matter your craving—from sweet and creamy to tart or even savory—you’ll find what you’re looking for at Las Paletas.
Yes, there will be a line, but yes, it’s certainly worth the wait. Located in the Sylvan Park neighborhood, this Nashville staple has been winning over the hearts and stomachs of locals for over 50 years. If you’re craving a burger and onion rings, they’ve got you covered, but the milkshakes and ice cream are the real stars of the show. And yes, true to their name, Bobbie’s Dairy Dip serves chocolate-dipped cones, and they’re every bit as mouthwatering as you’d hope.
This restaurant is consistently on every “Best Burgers of Nashville” list, so it might surprise you to learn that—at least in my humble opinion—their milkshakes are even better than their burgers. Though they aren’t portable like a popsicle or an ice cream cone, if you have time to kill, their shakes and malts are out of this world. Try the Creamsicle or request a root beer float for a nostalgic treat that also happens to provide sweet relief from Nashville’s heat.