15 Sweet, Icy Treats to Try in the Triangle

Beat the heat in Raleigh, Apex, and beyond with one of these delicious frozen desserts.
by Sophia Melin

Photo courtesy Cocoa Forte

By the peak of summer (and doesn’t it seem earlier than usual, this year?) the North Carolina sun is blazing, humidity is high and the shade is barely a solution. On these scorching days, you need to cool off from the outside in. Fortunately, we’ve got the solutions: from classic, creamy ice cream to juiced-up snow cones to frozen fruity acai bowls, here are 15 spots to find chilly treats in the Triangle.

Photo courtesy Amorino Raleigh

Amorino Raleigh

End a night out on the town with traditional Italian gelato at Amorina. Founded by two childhood friends, this downtown sorbet shop has dozens of flavors of sorbet on display in its glass-front cabinet, from traditional ones like raspberry, mango and coconut to exotic ones like lime & basil, dulce de leche and stracciatella. The signature order: gelato scooped petal-by-petal into a rose shape, in a cone. Amorino has vegan options, and in addition to gelato, offers macaroons and milkshakes.
137 E Davie Street | amorino-raleigh.business.site 

Andia’s Ice Cream

With two locations, in West Cary and Southeast Cary, Andia’s Ice Cream works to embody the fresh desserts made in their childhood Greek homes. They offer more than 128 flavors of ice cream, including signature flavors peanut butter fudge, cotton candy and salter caramel, plus unique, rotating specials like the ROY-G-BIV (a vanilla base with rainbow cake pieces) or  the Lavender Lemonade (a swirled combination of lemon sorbet and lavender ice cream). 
10120 Green Level Church Rd, Cary, & 1008 Ryan Rd, Cary | https://andiasicecream.com

Buay Bowls 

Watch out for this organic grade-A acai! The end result of an obsession that first started on a surf trip in San Diego, Buoy Bowls in Apex strives to serve an ultimate healthy but yummy combos of frozen fruits, granola and other naturally sweet flavors. Enjoy favorites like The Maui Wowie Bowl (açaí, banana, strawberry, coconut water) or The Surfs Up Bowl (açaí, bananas, strawberry, peanut butter, almond milk) to encapsulate a day at the beach in a dish.
1600 Olive Chapel Road, Apex | buoybowls.com 

Captain Cookie and the Milk Man

Visit Transfer Co Food Hall for some big, delicious ice cream sandwiches. Over three decades of tinkering and testing have gone into what they claim are the best cookies you’ve ever had (and we tend to agree). When you hit the counter: choose your cookie (options like chocolate, peanut butter and funfetti are always warming on a tray) and your ice cream (classic vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) for a combination you love. Then pick it up and eat it before it melts! 
500 E. Davie Street | captaincookienc.com 

Cocoa Forte 

Satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate-dipped cheesecake slices sprinkled with berry drizzle. Cocoa Forte’s dessert truck offers chilled, handcrafted slices of cheesecake on a stick, coated with chocolate, icing or sprinkles for a truly fabulous treat. Consider the Unicorn Dreams (Fruity Blue Raspberry Dip with dark sprinkles) or Cocoa Smores (Milk Chocolate Dip with graham cracker bits and marshmallow on top). Follow the food truck on Instagram to find them, or have them cater your own private event.
Follow on Instagram for updates @cocoaforte | cocoaforte.com

Goodberry’s Frozen Custard

Started right here in Raleigh in 1986, Goodberry’s sets out to maintain the timeless taste of custard made with only natural ingredients. Now with nine locations in the Triangle, customers rave about the creamy, rich flavor of custard. With over a billion combinations available in their famous Carolina Concrete — their twist on a milkshake, where you mix your own custard and toppings — Goodberrys can make virtually any flavor you’re looking for on any day. 
Locations may vary | goodberrys.com 

Photography by Justin Kase Conder

Howling Cow

Take a look at Howling Cow Dairy Products from North Carolina State University. This premium ice cream is made right on campus at the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science’s Feldmeier Dairy Processing Lab in Schaub Hall, then distributed to grocers around town. To experience it firsthand, visit the Randleigh Dairy Heritage Museum to learn how the milk gets from the farm to the table — and, of course, try the ice cream. 
100 Dairy Lane | howlingcow.ncsu.edu 

Jam Soft Serve Ice Cream

Come out and take advantage of a unique blend of sundaes, milkshakes and shaved ice. Jam Soft Serve Ice Cream truck proudly provides a full bluetooth audio system to listen in while you dig into a sweet treat. With up to 13 toppings from Heath bar to Kit Kat, Jam’s wide selection offers something to appeal to everyone while listening to your favorite music. 
Follow on Facebook and Twitter @jamicecream for updates | jamicecream.com

Jay’s Italian Ice

Interested in a cool, fresh taste picked up straight from New Jersey? Head out to Jay’s Italian Ice truck serving Raleigh, Cary and other Triangle areas for a low-calorie, dairy-free, fat-free and cholesterol-free bouquet of delight. With 21 flavors to choose from — like Strawberry, Mango, Cherry and Lemon —  everyone is ensured an appetizing experience as soon as it hits your tongue.  
Find their location on Instagram @jaysitalianice | jaysitalianice.com

La Deliciosa

Track down the La Deliciosa truck for authentic Mexican style snacks with fresh fruit, like Mangonadas (a frozen, mango treat with a tangy twist) and Raspados (traditional shaved ice). They’ve even got banana splits, popsicles and premium ice cream including flavors chocolate, caramel, strawberry and Kahlua (strong coffee flavor with hints of caramel and vanilla). Find La Deliciosa for some handcrafted treats, made from the best quality ingredients on the daily. 
Find its location on Instagram | @ladeliciosahelado

Photo courtesy Local Yogurt Durham

Local Yogurt Durham

File into Durham’s first independently owned frozen yogurt shop! Right across the street from Durham Coop Market and Grub, Local Yogurt is a spot you can’t miss on the West End. Try signature swirls such as Baby Shark Blast’ (Chocolate swirl with gummy sharks, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles) or the Cereal Slide (Vanilla swirl with Cap’n Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes and Fruit Loops, Lined with caramel syrup).
1114 W. Chapel Hill Street, #A, Durham | localyogurtdurham.com 


Looking to kick dessert up a notch? Eat in at LocoPops dessert cafe to explore imaginative flavors like Leftover Pie, Mocha Ripple and Might Mojito. Ice cream, floats and even Pup Pops bring out both families and furry friends. Also open for pickup and to-go, stop by and take home pints and quarts of your favorites! PS Raleighites can find these closer to home at the Pullen Park cafe.
2618 Hillsborough Road, Durham | ilovelocopops.com

Photo courtesy Raleigh Rolls

Raleigh Rolls 

Pop out to enjoy hand-rolled ice cream that’s almost too pretty to eat in Morgan Street Food Hall. Inspired by owners’ travels throughout Southeast Asia, Raleigh Rolls was formed after visiting many street food vendors in Thailand and Vietnam. Savor classics like the Chocolate Overload (mixed-in Oreo cookies, topped with sprinkles, whipped cream, M&Ms and more) and the Waffle Taco (your choice of a flavor inside a homemade waffle taco cone) after an afternoon downtown. 
411 W. Morgan Street | raleighrolls.com

Soda Box

For a beverage that’s also a dessert, visit Soda Box, which offers a variety of scrumptious, souped-up fountain drinks and treats. Start with a soda selection like Coke, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Sprite and Root Beer, then choose a fruit puree or syrup to craft a fizzy concoction. Explore favorites such as Pretty & Pink’ (Sprite with cherry, raspberry, and passionfruit) or The Southern Gentlemen (Dr. Pepper with Peach Puree and vanilla) or create your own combo. 
817 E. Williams Street, Apex | sodabox.love

Two Roosters

Join Two Roosters in the Person Street corridor to make a good day great and a bad day better. See for yourself fabulous flavors such as Sarahlaine Calva’s Birthday Cake (a vanilla base with homemade cake pieces and blue buttercream swirls) or Paul Friedrich’s Fruity Pebble Treat (fruity pebbles in the base tossed with pieces of homemade fruity pebble-inspired marshmallow treats) available, in cups, cones, pints and quarts. With locations in both Raleigh and Durham, Two Roosters is a trouble-free choice for an afternoon snack.
7713 Lead Mine Rd., 215 E Franklin St., 4025 Lake Boone Trail , & 800 Taylor St., Durham | tworoosters.com