5 best ice cream spots in Gainesville  

Ice cream from D'Lites Emporium in Gainesville.
Soft-serve ice cream from D'Lites Emporium.
Courtesy of D'Lites Emporium of Gainesville

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series on the Gainesville food scene. The eateries featured are evaluated using Reddit, Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and staff experiences.

As the dog days of summer continue, there’s no better time to treat yourself to ice cream. 

Thankfully, Gainesville has some outstanding options. So when the heat hits and you’re looking for a place to cool off, this list of the five best ice cream hangouts will come in handy.   

Get The Latest News

Don't miss our top stories every weekday in your inbox.

In Article Newsletter Form
Sweet Dreams of Gainesville logo
Sweet Dreams of Gainesville logo

Sweet Dreams of Gainesville 

It wouldn’t be right to make a list of the best ice cream and not include the business that has been serving treats to Gainesville residents since 2004. All Sweet Dreams ice cream is homemade, and the shop boasts of rotating flavors—from classics like vanilla to unusual flavors such as orange blossom.  

Reviewers say to look for Crazy Flavor days on the Sweet Dreams Facebook page. On Crazy Flavor days, the shop debuts 30 new flavors and offers a special sampler deal.  

Sweet Dreams relocated last year to a new space with more room and now has the ability to offer more treats such as cookies and coffee.  

  • Location: 1522 NW 13th St. 
  • Hours: noon-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu., noon-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 

Karma Cream  

Courtesy of Karma Cream.

Since its inception in 2008, Karma Cream has been serving up a trifecta of vegan, organic, and fair-trade products. The Gainesville shop is popular with locals who are looking for non-dairy options, but it also offers organic, dairy ice cream that is a fan favorite as well.  

The Karma Cream menu includes flavors ranging from salted caramel to pistachio. It also serves up ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, sundaes, and affogato (ice cream and espresso—a personal favorite).  

  • Location: 607 W. University Ave. 
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.  

D'Lites Emporium

If you’re looking for something low calorie and low in sugar, D'Lites specializes in soft-serve ice cream that is both. D’Lites boasts a mere 50 calories per ½ cup serving and provides guilt-free ice cream for the community to enjoy.  

D'Lites Logo
Courtesy of D'Lites Emporium of GNV

D’Lites offers vanilla and chocolate each day, and other flavors are offered on a rotating basis. You can check the company’s online calendar to see which flavors will be offered each day.  

Toppings are available to elevate any flavor. D’Lites also offers milkshakes, sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches.  

  • Location: 4216 NW 16th Blvd 
  • Hours: Noon-9 p.m., Sun.-Thu., noon-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 
Inside of SweetBerries's shop.
Courtesy of SweetBerries of Gainesville. SweetBerries in Gainesville.

SweetBerries Eatery and Frozen Custard  

SweetBerries doesn’t offer ice cream, but instead its sister, custard. Reviewers often describe SweetBerries custard as what Dairy Queen wishes it could be. The custard is thick and creamy and comes in chocolate and vanilla every day. SweetBerries offers one special flavor each day. 

Past special flavors have included s’mores, strawberry and rum raisin. SweetBerries also offers tons of mix-in options—nuts, fruit and candy—for customers who want to make their custard unique.  

SweetBerries recently reopened at a new location off of 5th Avenue, which will be the location serving custard. For updates on hours make sure to look on the website.   

  • Location: 619 NW 5th Avenue 
  • Temporary Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Wed.-Mon., closed on Tues.  
The Hyppo Gainesville storefront.
Courtesy of The Hyppo The Hyppo in Gainesville.

The Hyppo  

I scream, you scream...for a popsicle? Technically, it’s not ice cream, but this isn’t like the popsicles you find on the grocery store aisle. The Hyppo has reinvented the popsicle and given it a culinary upgrade.  

Originally from St. Augustine, The Hyppo came to Gainesville in 2014. It uses fresh fruit, fresh herbs and spices, cane juice (a low process cane sugar), and sometimes dairy, to make its popsicles.  

Flavors rotate with the seasons, but some offerings have been strawberry datil (a locally grown hot pepper), orange cream and avocado coconut.  

The Hyppo pineapple popsicle.
Courtesy of The Hyppo The Hyppo pineapple popsicle.
  • Location: 214 SE 2nd Ave. 
  • Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Sun., 1-10 p.m. Mon-Thur., 1-11 p.m. Fri., noon-11 p.m. Sat. 

What Gainesville is saying:

Now, let the debate begin! Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.   

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thanks for this.

bruce kritzler

couldn’t find 5 good ice cream places (popsicles ?).