There’s nothing better than diving into an astoundingly creamy ice cream in Monterey, California. There are amazing spots in town where you can find a huge variety of flavors and unique displays of sweetness.
Waffle bowls, sugar cones, and cups, oh my! Whether you like your ice cream made with local honey, served with fruit, or made vegan-friendly, trying the drool-worthy ice creams here is one of the best things to do in Monterey!
If you have a limited time to spend in town and you are hoping to try the best that this picturesque little beach town has to offer, a little pre-planning can make sure you get to try all of the sweet treats that you want to try while you are in Monterey.
Adding a stop to one of these dreamy creameries will be a perfect addition to your Monterey itinerary. Let’s get started!
10 Yummy Spots To Get Ice Cream In Monterey CA
Revival Ice Cream
Arguably the best place to get vegan ice cream in Monterey, Revival Ice Cream is really popular among visitors and locals alike. This small ice cream shop on Alvarado Street serves cute and creative ice cream dishes that are inspired by local flavors and topped with house-made toppings.
The Revival Ice Cream menu is packed with mind-blowing flavors and toppings. It’s home to the Bees Knees Ice Cream Monterey which is an award-winning flavor that has an organic base with beeswax, local organic honey, and a honeycomb candy that is made in-house.
Some of the toppings include torched marshmallow, hazelnut crunch, and brownie bites. If you want a super fun ice cream from Revival, order a waffle bowl with vanilla ice cream and then top it with brownie bites, chocolate chips, and toasted marshmallows for a S’mores bowl you won’t be able to stop talking about!
There is limited seating in the shop with only a few bar stools looking out onto the street. However, there is also plenty of patio seating if you want to enjoy that ever-pleasant central coast weather that everyone raves about.
Revival is by far one of the best places to get ice cream in town so if you find yourself on Alvarado Street, be sure to stop by.
Monterey Bay Creamery
Some of the best ice cream in Monterey can be found at Monterey Bay Creamery. You will find this little ice cream shop on the Old Fishermans Wharf. You’ll know you are there when you see the cow statue out front!
If you don’t have a lot of time in Monterey but want to get the most out of your visit, you can go to the wharf which is one of the more popular attractions for the experience and views, plus get great a killer cone or sundae from Monterey Bay Creamery.
You can get basic sugar or cake cones or get a little more exciting with a dipped waffle cone. There are loads of envy-inducing flavors like salted caramel, mint chip, and butter pecan. Top your ice cream with pineapple, Oreos, nuts, or chocolate chips to make it even better!
They also offer churros, milkshakes, and specialty sundaes like the Salty Monterey which is salted caramel ice cream with caramel and chocolate syrup, hot fudge, & whipped cream and the Tropical Delight which is made with a mango and raspberry sorbet, pineapple and strawberry topping and whip cream.
You can grab your sweet treat from the Monterey Bay Creamery and walk around to the window shop on the wharf, watch the boats come in and out, and look for harbor seals and sea lions. If you walk to the end of the wharf you increase your chances of hearing or seeing the beautiful marine life that likes to frolic under and around the wharf.
Las 2 Fridas
This dreamy shop on North Fremont Street is the perfect place for ice cream in Monterey because its variety is unmatched! It’s hard to know where to start when you are ordering from Las 2 Fridas because you will find yourself wanting to order everything they have to offer!
One of your options here is a loaded crepe. Crepes come covered in whatever you like from pecans and sprinkled to lechera and Nutella, Tope with ice cream and whipped cream and you are in for a treat!
They also have spicy fruit bowls which are super exciting if you’ve never tried one. Fresh seasonal fruit is chopped and used to fill a pineapple or watermelon and you can top this with fruit syrups, ice cream, and Tajin.
Loaded churro bowls, shakes, smoothie bowls, ice cream, loaded Cheetos, loaded nachos, and waffles topped with fruit and whipped cream are all on the menu with other unique and tasty sweet and savory treats. The variety here should draw any travelers who have picky or particular eaters in their traveling group.
For a unique experience, come to Las 2 Fridas!
Moon Scoops is the best place to get ice cream in Monterey County. This cool ice cream shop can be found less than ten minutes from the Old Fishermans Wharf in Monterey. The offerings here are mind-blowing! Delicious cookies, organic soft serve, and Italian Ice are all served here and the dining space is super photogenic and Insta-worthy.
If you find yourself on the outskirts of Monterey and you want some good ice cream in Marina, Moon Scoops is the way to go. Other than a simple cup of Italian Ice or ice cream, there are other fun options on the menu like shakes, floats, cookie smashes (ice cream sandwiches), and affogato.
Some of the incredible moon ice flavors (Italian Ice) include blue raspberry, lemonade, sweet mint, cola, brownie bark, pineapple mango, peach, mojito, and apple pie. The flavors are diverse and unique! You can also get a rootbeer float or a Moonblast float which are both delicious.
The Moonblast floats come with soft serve, fruit purees, and pop rocks! There’s a delicious Moonblast float that comes with strawberry soda, strawberry puree, and vanilla soft serve that is perfect for anyone who like strawberry shortcakes.
Cold Stone Creamery
When looking for ice Cream in Monterey you can go with the tried and true Cold Stone Creamery if you are a creature of habit. Choose one of their dreamy flavors, pick some toppings, and watch the employees mix them together on the ice-cold stone slab. Whether you are getting a cup, a waffle cone, or a waffle bowl you are sure to love the sweet creations from Cold Stone Creamery.
One of the coolest parts about visiting here is the Signature Creations Menu. On the menu, you’ll find the Apple Pie which is French Vanilla ice cream with cinnamon, pie crust, apple pie filling, and caramel as well as The Pie Who Loved Me which is cheesecake ice cream with Oreo, pie crust, and fudge.
Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop
Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop in Monterey is one of the most visited shops on Cannery Row. It’s the place to be for chocolates, coffee, gifts, and ice cream in Monterey. While you are strolling along the famous Cannery Row, stop on into Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop for some out-of-this-world ice cream creations!
Here you can get classic banana splits or brownie sundaes served in little metal sundae dishes in a cute indoor dining area or out on the deck overlooking the blue water of the Monterey Bay. Shakes, scoops, and cones of course are on the menu as well.
What would a trip to Ghirardelli be without buying a few of those iconic chocolate squares? With lovely flavors like milk chocolate caramel, cherry dark chocolate, mint, and almond you have a lot to choose from. These make for great snacking on your way home and for gifts for loved ones back home.
If you find yourself walking around on a chilly day and don’t want to make it worse by adding ice cream to the mix, they also have hot chocolate and coffee on the menu. Whether you want a classic hot chocolate or something a little snazzier like a sea salt caramel hot chocolate, they have what you need to warm up in the winter months as well.
MYO Frozen Yogurt
Do you need a sugar-free or dairy-free ice cream in Monterey? MYO Frozen Yogurt is some of the best ice cream near Monterey CA. Located just a few minutes away in the town of Seaside, this ice cream shop has everything you could hope for and more. Rows and rows of toppings line the walls at MYO Frozen Yogurt.
A frozen yogurt shop is a good option for those who want some lighter, healthier, or simply less sugary options. You will find flavors like caramelized pineapple, key lime sorbet, cappuccino, island banana, pink lemonade, and more. The flavors are rotating and there are new flavors for the seasons so you may get the chance to try a flavor before anyone else!
Once you choose your flavor, load up on toppings like cookie pieces, candy pieces, sprinkles, cookie bites, brownie bites, tapioca pearls, and fresh fruit like pineapple, berries, cherries, and kiwi. There is plenty of space in the colorful dining room or you can sit outside in front of the shop as well.
If you are looking for ice cream on Cannery Row, head on into Dippin’ Dots! This classic American ice cream store is located in a retro shop complete with a jukebox and 50’s style decor. The vibe here is just as big of a visiting factor as the ice cream. If you like an old-school diner, you will love the vibes at the Cannery Row Dippin’ Dots.
All the classic Dippin’s Dots flavors can be found here. From Cookie and cream to rainbow and chocolate, you can find your childhood favorite flavors during your visit. They also serve Mariannes Ice Cream.
In fact, they have been serving this ice cream on Cannery Row for more than sixty-five years! If you want good ice cream in Monterey, head to Dippin’ Dots. Also in the shop are Calypso fruit drinks, old-school fruit sodas, and root beer.
When you visit this ice cream shop you will be right next door to a super fun and lively candy store called It’s Sugar Cannery Row. Here you can find novelty candy items and unique sweet treats like two-foot gummy worms the width of your arm, cereal that is all marshmallows, and huge candy bars. It’s worth a stop after your ice cream to pop on into a magical candy shop on the row.
Pacific Grove Ice Cream Shoppe
Does a classic banana split sound good to you? If finding a good banana split is important to you when looking for ice cream in Monterey, The Pacific Grove Ice Cream Shoppe is for you! Classic banana splits are served here in an eclectic dining area where the walls are covered in posters, records, and Beatles memorabilia.
The owner of the shop wants to keep the hippie love for music alive and you can see this in the way he chooses to decorate his shop. While this is a great place to grab ice cream in Pacific Grove, they also have soup and crepe combos on the menu along with tea and coffee.
Austino’s Patisserie is one of the best places for dessert in Monterey. You’ll find the patisserie on the famous Cannery Row just a one-minute walk from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. All of the classic flavors plus other fan favorites like mocha, sherbert, and cookies and cream.
You can get milkshakes, malts, smoothies, cones, cups, and sundaes at Austino’s. Don’t miss this opportunity to try some delicious ice cream in Monterey. There’s more than just ice cream here though!
Austino’s is a good place no matter what time of day you visit. You can grab a quiche or pastry in the morning or a sandwich or pizza later in the day, perhaps after you are finished at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! They also serve award-winning Old Fisherman’s Grotto Clam Chowder.
You can sit outside the shop in the seating along the street. Checkered table cloth covered tables and European-style Rattan chairs sit outside the patisseries and make for a cute place to sit and enjoy your food while you people-watch in the coastal air.
Hopefully, you now have a good idea of where to start hunting for ice cream around Monterey. This beach town is an idyllic getaway for more than a million people each year. When you visit next, be sure to try one of these stunning ice cream spots in town!
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