Middle Tennessee summers can be brutal. Between the temperature and the humidity, one of the only ways to really get some sweet relief is to eat a delicious cool treat. Below we’ve got our favorite 18 places for ice cream, iced coffee, sno cones, and all things cool.
5301 Charlotte Ave | Sylvan Park | Nashville
If you’re in the mood to take a step back in time, Bobbie’s is the place for you! This walk-up dairy dip offers traditional cones and shakes that can’t be beaten, plus burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, and other crowd-pleasers if you’re hungry for more than just their soft serve. The colorful atmosphere and specialty shake menu featuring selections such as the Loretta Lynn, the Pinky Tuscadero, and the Elmer Fudge makes for a great place to chill out on hot summer nights.
Food Truck | Location Varies
Chances are if you’ve been to one of Nashville’s free outdoor concerts or festivals, you’ve seen the brightly colored and lively patterned Mojo truck. Unlike traditional ice cream trucks, Mojo puts a special twist on their product by offering some incredible cookies, toppings, and cookie dough options to customize the already cool dessert. There may be a line when you finally find the popular food truck, but the cookie dough dippers and monstrous ice cream sandwiches are worth the wait!
4 Locations + Food Truck
Jeni’s has taken Nashville by storm as one of the first truly unique artisan ice cream shops in the area. Their rotating list of creative flavors and limited list of whole, non-synthetic ingredients sets Jeni’s apart from the crowd. If you’re not able to make it to one of their four shops or their food truck, Jeni’s sells pints through a few local markets such as Fresh Market, the Turnip Truck, and the Produce Place.
2111 Elliston Place | Nashville
If a locally owned soda shop can stay in business for over 75 years, they’re doing something right. Elliston Place serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but you’re a fool to step in their doors and not order one of their hand-dipped milkshakes. They have a plethora of ice cream options and flavors, but the standby chocolate shake is our favorite.
5. Sweet Cece’s
Multiple Locations Across Middle Tennessee
If frozen yogurt or sorbet is more your style, Sweet Cece’s has more varieties than you could possibly choose from. With rotating flavors, dozens of self-serve topping options, baked goods, and sauces, you could indulge at Sweet Cece’s for years and never have tried every combination they offer. This is an especially fun place to take the kids and let them help themselves to the seemingly endless choices.
731 Mcferrin Ave | Nashville
While their shakes aren’t their first claim to fame, the Pharmacy has made a name for itself with their traditionally perfect shakes and creatively concocted phosphate ice cream sodas. In addition, their burgers and brats are some of the best in Nashville and their selection of local, domestic, and imported craft beers is incredible. While the Pharmacy is family friendly, this might be a secret best kept between the adults.
1200 Villa Place #113 | Edgehill | Nashville
If you’re looking for something a little more decadent, an Italian-born treat is your best choice. Legato Gelato offers some of the most sinful gelatos you’ll find in Middle Tennessee. The owner learned the craft from the source in Italy and a bite of one of her creations will quickly transport you to a busy cobblestone street in the heart of Tuscany.
ICED COFFEES & TEAS
15 Hermitage Ave | Nashville
Offering iced coffee, tea, and not-so-easy-to-find coffee soda, Crema has made a point of crafting the best beverage they can. Their focus is on quality coffee and creating a positive experience for their customers which has earned them a loyal fan base and multiple awards.
While Frothy Monkey is best known for its coffee, they also offer a variety of food options, craft beer, wine, and cocktails. They keep their coffee menu simple, but with quality staples and a few seasonal offerings, you’re sure to find something refreshing on a hot day.
10. Barista Parlor
Barista Parlor might have the largest selection of one-of-a-kind iced coffees and teas in the area. Infused with syrups, creams, and sodas, their beverages are meant to provide the drinker with a unique experience that can’t be easily recreated.
11. Las Paletas
2911 12th Avenue South | Nashville
Somewhere between an ice cream bar and a traditional ice popsicles, paletas, which originated in Mexico, have become a staple in the 12 South neighborhood where Las Paletas first opened its doors in 2001. With 20 or more varieties per day that range from traditional Mexican flavors to standard flavors like vanilla and chocolate, all made with fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and locally grown flowers and herbs.
12. Blue Monkey
Food Truck | Location Varies
Served from one of two vintage looking food trucks, the shaved ice you get from Blue Monkey isn’t the shaved ice you remember getting as a kid. With some incredibly unique flavors and toppings you might not expect, the perfectly mounded bowls of ice are not just beautiful, but also tasty!
Offering both Italian ice and creamy custard, this unique store will please everyone. Try one of their standard ices or custards or get creative and blend the two together with your favorite toppings. Rita’s is popping up all over the place in both traditional storefronts and at various events and festivals.
14. Retro Sno
Food Truck | Location Varies
With some flavors you won’t find anywhere like Nashberry, Germantown Chocolate, and Sweet Tea + Lemon, you have to track down Retro Sno’s bright blue truck the next time you’re in the mood for a cool treat.
If you’re in need of something refreshing but are wanting something a little healthier, a fresh juice or smoothie is what you’re looking for. This is a great meal on the go or energy booster for those hot days when you can’t handle something heavy. Nashville is home to lots of juice and smoothie bars that each has their own unique recipes and offerings beyond the standard expectations. Take a look at some of our favorites:
15. Juice Bar
16. The Urban Juicer
18. The Daily Juice