Frost Bites

The families who own and operate these six local ice cream shops are part of the package; their presence and passion are as important as what’s scooped into the cone.
Enjoy a hot fudge sundae at the counter at Pike's Old-Fashioned Soda Shop.

Pike’s Old-Fashioned Soda Shop
Pike’s started out as a true soda shop in a pharmacy. In 2002 Randy Chitwood bought it from the Pike family and kept it filled with fabulous relics from the original pharmacy. Serving more than just scooped cones, Pike’s is famous in its South End neighborhood for creating great milkshakes, chocolate Cokes, and sundaes—and going through 200 gallons a week in the summer. Most notable flavor: Cinnamon 1930 Camden Rd., 704-372-0092

Carolina Cones
Loyal customers have been returning to this Cornelius institution for thirty years. “This is not just a place to get ice cream,” says founder and owner Gary Winge, “this is a family experience.” Now open seasonally (from mid-March to mid-November), Carolina Cones draws families, couples, and Davidson College students throughout the spring, summer, and much of the fall. Most popular flavor: Moose Tracks 20801 N. Main St., Cornelius, 704-892-8190

Mr. K’s Soft Ice Cream
Theodore Karres opened Mr. K’s forty-four years ago in Dilworth. The compact diner and soft-serve ice cream parlor is run today by his daughter and son in-law, Pamela and George Dizes. Offering just three flavors, chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate-vanilla swirl, Mr. K’s is known for its milkshakes (made with fresh fruit) and malts. Although much of its business is carryout, the interior of this retro spot is worth waiting for a seat. Most popular flavor: Vanilla dipped in butterscotch shell 2107 South Blvd., 704-375-4318

Deluxe Ice Cream Company
This downtown Mooresville creamery began making ice cream in 1924. This summer, the Deluxe ice cream shop will move from its current cozy location, down two blocks to a refurbished 100-year-old space that promises to capture more of that early-twentieth-century spirit. Even the prices seem old fashioned at Deluxe—$2 for a huge single, $3.20 for a double (which has four scoops) and $4.40 for a triple (six scoops). Most notable flavor: Fruit salad slice 172 N. Broad St., Mooresville, 704-664-5456

Tony’s Ice Cream
Melinda Coletta Bradley’s great-great-grandfather began selling ice cream from a pushcart in Gastonia in 1915. Since then, her family has been manufacturing and selling ice cream for five generations. Tony’s newest flavor is pralines and cream. Melinda calls it “addictive. I have to have it every day!” Pausing, she adds, “I also work out every day.” Most notable flavor: Grape 604 E. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia, 704-853-0018

Elizabeth Creamery
Sun Jae and Namsoo Kim opened this popular shop in 2007. Sun Jae makes all forty-eight flavors of ice cream on site, while Namsoo bakes fresh waffle cones. The decadent ice cream is made with 16 percent heavy cream and features traditional favorites like chocolate, butter pecan, and black walnut, but he also offers a few delicious Japanese flavors like green tea, red bean, and refreshing ginger (made with fresh ginger root). Most notable flavor: Beer 1601 Elizabeth Ave., 704-332-7776

Categories: Food + Drink, Local Flavor, Restaurant Reviews