You can always find something sweet at the local ice cream shops in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!
Ice cream is part of the tasty local food scene in the region and visiting an ice cream shop can make for the ideal way to treat yourself during an adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
From artisan flavors with unique ingredients to all your favorite classics, we’ll all scream for ice cream!
Here are the best local ice cream shops to check out during your next visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Note - This is not a ranking. The locations are listed in alphabetical order.
Bayou Snowballs - Roanoke
We love the sweet treats at Bayou Snowballs, located in the City Market Building in Downtown Roanoke.
Whether it's an authentic, Louisiana style snowball with scratch-made syrups, or a couple scoops of hand-dipped Hershey's ice cream, both are great options to enjoy as you stroll along Market Street.
Blue Cow Ice Cream Company - Roanoke
Blue Cow Ice Cream Company has earned a reputation as one of the best ice cream shops in the region, and now they've expanded with additional locations in Virginia, opening shops in Virginia Beach & Fredericksburg.
The shop specializes in craft ice cream and features all your favorite flavors, as well as other unique options like goat cheese with blueberry, brown butter pecan, and sea salt brickle with caramel. It’s also conveniently located at the base of Mill Mountain and along the Roanoke River Greenway.
Bratcher’s Ice Cream Parlor - Roanoke
With its selection of classic arcade games and hand-dipped Hershey’s ice cream, Bratcher’s Ice Cream Parlor is a great place for a sweet treat in Virginia’s Blue Ridge that the kids will love.
The menu includes cones, cups, milkshakes, sundaes and more. If you’re especially hungry, you can also enjoy a Nathan’s Famous hot dog!
Buchanan Fountain & Grille - Buchanan
You’re stepping back in time at Buchanan Fountain & Grille on Main Street in the historic Town of Buchanan. This historic soda fountain is located in Ransones Drug Store and features tile floors and classic stools.
In addition to delicious burgers, you’ll definitely want to try some ice cream or a milkshake.
Champloo Desserts - Salem
Champloo Desserts was the first to introduce the concept of rolled ice cream in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! At this quaint shop in Downtown Salem, you get to watch the step-by-step process of hand-crafted rolled ice cream that is turned into a delicious creation with a variety of ingredients and toppings.
There are fruit and non-fruit flavors, and you can also build your own bowl of deliciousness! It’s almost too pretty to eat.
Chris's Coffee & Custard - Roanoke
Chris’s Coffee & Custard opened its doors in March 2021 and it’s a cool local coffee & custard shop with a great story. The business focuses on providing meaningful employment to people from the special needs community and offering a space where all are welcome.
The shop is located near the Roanoke River Greenway in Southeast Roanoke and has a menu full of delicious coffee & custard creations, including custard sundaes, milkshakes, floats, custard sandwiches with gourmet cookies, and even a custard pup cup for its four-legged visitors.
Dilly Dally - Salem
Built in 1910, the historic Dilly Dally in Salem specializes in local and Virginia made products and has a charming cafe and ice cream parlour.
They serve Ashby's Sterling Ice Cream, a premium brand from Michigan. Specialties include thick hand-spun milkshakes and homemade brownie sundaes.
Be sure to sample the authentic flavors of Nana's Banana Puddin', rich bourbon swirls in the Jacked Up Tennessee Toffee or seasonal favorites like Carolina Peach or Apple Crisp.
Hang 10 Hawaiian Ice & Cream - Roanoke
Hang 10 Hawaiian Ice & Cream is bringing a taste of the islands to Virginia’s Blue Ridge! You can choose from over 25 different flavors for an authentic Hawaiian shaved ice, but this is a list of ice cream shops, so we’re here to tell you about the delicious soft serve and signature Dole Whip.
If you’ve never had it, Dole Whip is a fruit-flavored soft serve that is light and refreshing, most known for its signature Pineapple flavor, though Hang 10 also offers other specialty flavors.
Dole Whip a great sweet treat that is vegan and gluten-free.
You can even do a combo creation of a twist between Dole Whip and vanilla bean soft serve.
Here's the Scoop - Roanoke
You’ll love what they’re scooping at Here’s the Scoop ice cream shop in Roanoke!
This family-owned and operated business features 55+ flavors of ice cream from Mayfield Creamery and Jack & Jill, which can also be used to create amazing milkshakes, floats, banana splits, and sundaes.
You can also enjoy your ice cream in a scratch-made waffle cone or waffle bowl.
Homestead Creamery - Wirtz
Known for its delicious milk and dairy products that are available in grocery stores throughout the Southeast, Homestead Creamery is located in Franklin County in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and offers a charming storefront in Burnt Chimney that operates as a country store, as well as ice cream and sandwich shop.
Order a couple scoops of the Creamery’s incredibly rich, creamy, flavorful ice cream and then grab a seat in one of the rocking chairs on the front patio.
Ice Cream Cottage - Smith Mountain Lake
What’s better than a summer day at the lake with a scoop of ice cream? The Ice Cream Cottage is located in the Bridgewater Plaza at Smith Mountain Lake and serves hand-dipped Hershey’s ice cream.
There’s also patio seating with a great view of the plaza, and you’re just a short walk away from the marina and the giant carp you’ll see in the water waiting to be fed.
Katie’s Ice Cream & Chocolates - Roanoke
There are lots of sweet options at Katie’s Ice Cream & Chocolates in the Promenade Park Shopping Center.
The hand-dipped ice cream flavors include turtle sundae, dark chocolate raspberry truffle, key lime pie, cotton candy, blueberry cheesecake, and whitehouse cherry, in addition to the classic flavors, as well as soft-serve frozen yogurt.
Kelly Cafe - Salem
Kelly Cafe on Main Street in Downtown Salem is the place to go for amazing ice cream & gelato, as well as their popular bubble tea creations.
The gelato flavors rotate weekly, but you can always expect to find some great options, such as toasted marshmallow, amaretto, strawberry mascarpone, chocolate hazelnut, red velvet, and more!
Kippy’s Kustard - Roanoke
It’s not a traditional ice cream shop, but you’re still going to love a visit to Kippy’s Kustard! The small trailer is located in the parking lot of the Oak Grove Plaza shopping center and features a set of patio tables with umbrellas.
As the name suggests, Kippy’s features custard, with flavors of chocolate, vanilla or swirl. They can also be prepared as sundaes, milkshakes, and in other specialty dishes, like the Banana Mama, which is made with vanilla custard, fresh banana, strawberries, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.
Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar - Roanoke
This adorable shop is the place to go for ice cream in Roanoke’s Historic Grandin Village. Pop’s features a retro-style soda bar and the menu includes authentic soda pop and ice cream sodas that are prepared to order on a 1936 Bastian Blessing soda fountain.
All ice cream dishes are prepared with locally-sourced ice cream.
Pop’s has also been recognized as one of the best spots in the country for grilled cheese sandwiches.
Rookie's - Roanoke & Smith Mountain Lake
A recent arrival to the ice cream scene in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Rookie’s is an awesome spot in Downtown Roanoke to enjoy scratch-made cookies & ice cream.
You can build cookie ice cream sandwiches and choose from cookie options like classic chocolate chips, red velvet, triple chocolate, sugar, and peanut butter chip.
These pair amazingly with their assorted ice cream flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, espresso chip, cookies & cream, cookie dough, and more.
In addition to the Downtown Roanoke shop, Rookie’s is also operating a food truck location beside Mama Ann’s Gifts & Goodies at Smith Mountain Lake.
Salem Ice Cream Parlor - Salem
You might feel like you’ve stepped into a beachfront ice cream shop with the bright colors and coastal decor at the Salem Ice Cream Parlor.
You can enjoy an impressive variety of flavors of Hershey’s hand-dipped ice cream, which are served in classic glassware and can also be prepared in unique creations, as in ice cream sundaes or other specialties like the Mound of Mud or Strawberry Shortcake Volcano.
Many people know about Floyd Country Store for its iconic live music and Friday Night Jamboree concerts, but we recommend a visit for the ice cream creations at the country store’s Soda Fountain!
Featuring Homestead Creamery ice cream, The Soda Fountain has all kinds of tasty specialty dishes, including classic ice cream soda floats, malted milkshakes, sundaes, and even ice cream on housemade waffles.
Still hungry? Here are some other options to help satisfy your craving for something sweet:
- Sweet Treats in VBR
- Chocolate Treats You Will Love
- Fun Local Food Festivals
- Best Local Coffee Shops
- Top 10 Pies in VBR
NOTE: The original version of this blog post was published in July 2017, but it was updated to include new businesses and locations.