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Atlanta Ice Cream Challenge with The Classy Critic
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Atlanta Ice Cream Challenge with The Classy Critic Featured

Contributing Writer: Nichole Wolf of



Do you scream for ice cream? Do you love tasting every flavor behind the counter at your favorite sweet shop? Would you kill for the chance to sample delicious ice cream for 7 days in a row?

Believe it or not, that’s the premise behind The Classy Critic’s Atlanta Ice Cream Challenge, a week-long tour of the best ice cream around the metro Atlanta area.

The brainchild of The Classy Critic founder Jennifer Mangon, the Ice Cream Challenge took Atlanta ice cream lovers from Inman Park to Sandy Springs on a quest for the best of this sweet treat.

Take a look at the 7 shops visited on The Classy Critic’s Atlanta Ice Cream Challenge!

Lauded as one of Atlanta’s favorite ice cream havens, Morelli’s has also received national accolades for their premium product. In 2009, Morelli’s was named the 4th best ice cream shop in the nation; Fox News listed Morelli’s as a Top 10 place to get ice cream in the US, with a visit from Conan O’Brien to boot.

With three Atlanta locations, Morelli’s is much beloved in the community; the shop averages 4.5 stars on Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor, and is a favorite of tourists and locals alike.

What makes Morelli’s unique is its abundance of flavors; Morelli’s has created over 200 signature flavors in total! From cream cheese and guava, to the donut-inspired Krispy Kreamier, Morelli’s serves up some of the zaniest flavors in town. Favorite summer flavors include ginger lavender and rosemary olive oil, which arguably can’t be found anywhere else in Atlanta.

Check out Morelli’s Facebook page– it’s the best way to keep track of their rotating flavors at the Edgewood, Ormewood Park, and Dunwoody locations.



King of Pops is one of Atlanta’s favorite summer outposts; from their weekly free summer yoga classes, to carts scattered throughout the city to satisfy the most random of cravings, you can’t miss this ubiquitous pop shop.

Although you can find King of Pops throughout the metro Atlanta area, their flagship window and headquarters are located in Inman Park. KOP is known for their variety of distinct flavors, as well as commitment to fresh ingredients and local sourcing. On the KOP website, you can see where each pop element, from dairy to fresh fruits, originated.

KOP rotates pop flavors seasonally and based on ingredient availability. Some of the most popular summer flavors are chocolate sea salt, raspberry lime, and cookies n’ cream; some personal favorites include sweet tea lemonade, lemon basil, and key lime pie.

During The Classy Critic’s stop at King of Pops, CEO Steven Carse provided insider info on his journey as an entrepreneur, the food science behind creating his pops, and even a tour around HQ.

Check out the King of Pops website for window and cart hours around the city; you can also order 12-packs of pops online to send to your friends who aren’t lucky enough to live in Atlanta!

If you’re looking for the best chocolate in Atlanta, look no further than Cacao Cafe. Offering every cocoa product imaginable, from handmade truffles to sipping chocolate, this upscale Highland Avenue shop is sure to fulfill every sweet craving you’ve ever had.

Honeysuckle Gelato, which is slated to open their own storefront at Ponce City Market this fall, sells their gelato at Cacao, even using Cacao’s premium chocolate in their own product.

Originally launched as a food truck concept in 2011, Honeysuckle Gelato has since retired the truck, and is now focusing on expanding their retail presence, as well as partnering with local restaurants to create unique flavors for guests.

Classic flavors like Sea-Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate are an obvious hit. Popular summer flavors, featuring ingredients like figs and mangos, are sourced locally whenever possible.

While Honeysuckle currently only serves their gelato at their Cacao Cafe location, expect new additions, like ice cream sandwiches and shakes, and their new PCM outpost.

Don’t live in Atlanta? Don’t fret- Honeysuckle sells their gelato in grocery stores and restaurants in 5 states across the South.

Located in the heart of Downtown Decatur, Butter & Cream is a homey hometown staple with a twist.

Serving up fun flavors, like milk & cookies and butterscotch brownie, this ice cream shop creates every single confection on the premises. According to owner Stacy Wisniewski, the only item not made in house is the sprinkles (which always come free to customers!)

Want something a little different? Butter & Cream is known for their scrumptious ice cream sandwiches, as well as sorbets, which have more of a granita (Italian ice) feel.

Community is a major component of Butter & Cream; the shop rotates flavors based on seasonality and demand, and consistently creates new concoctions based on what customers want. Butter & Cream also often participates in Decatur happenings, even creating special flavors for events such as the Decatur Arts Festival.

Look out for some of Butter & Cream’s famous fall flavors, like the Three Taverns Milk Chocolate Stout, made with beer from the Decatur-based brewery.

A gourmet pizza joint, gelateria, and wine bar, Novo Cucina is a foodie paradise. This casual restaurant with an upscale, techie feel is a true masterpiece, from the simple yet elegant food, to the sophisticated automated payment system.

Nestled in a quieter area of Dunwoody just a few miles from Perimeter Mall, Novo Cucina is the perfect marriage of ITP restaurants Fritti and Sotto Sotto. Led by Riccardo Ullio, owner of the aforementioned Inman Park hotspots, Novo Cucina blends the best menu elements of Fritti (known for its pizza) and Sotto Sotto (renowned for pasta and risotto) into this new-age Italian landmark.

While the lunch and dinner menu are stellar, the real stunner at Novo Cucina is the gelato. Handcrafted daily by classically trained pastry chef and gelato master Meridith Ford, Novo Cucina serves up 18 perfect flavors, ranging from a decadent pistachio to creamy Nutella-esque gianduja.

Extreme attention to detail makes Novo Cucina’s gelato some of the best in Atlanta. The only menu item not made on site is the caramel sauce. All of the state-of-the-art equipment used to make the gelato, including its stunning marble case, has been imported from Italy.

Ullio and Ford are unapologetically picky about every morsel that reaches their customers at Novo Cucina. The holistic approach to a fun, casual dining experience, combined with a focus on unparalleled quality, make Novo Cucina 100% worth the drive OTP.

Wait a minute- there’s a chain on this list? Fear not; although Kilwin’s is a national chain, each location is owned and operated individually. This Kilwin’s, located in Atlantic Station in West Midtown, is the only location in the state of Georgia!

Proprietor John Dallaire is a fixture in the Atlanta community; he’s heavily involved with local schools, has developed partnerships with non-profits around the city, and even serves treats to celebrities like John Stamos when they’re in town filming movies.

Despite being part of a national chain, Atlanta’s Kilwin’s hand crafts a majority of its products onsite. John and his team prepare fresh fudge, popcorn, and caramel apples daily, and are also known for their stellar ice cream. The franchise’s recipes are original, and are kept top secret; John was once offered $10,000 for the brand’s toasted coconut flavor.

Kilwin’s has a great selection of unique ice cream flavors and combinations. Personal favorites included the New Orleans Praline Crunch, Kilwin’s Tracks (vanilla ice cream with chocolate covered peanut butter truffles and fudge swirls), and NSA Caramel (no-sugar added vanilla with caramel swirls).

Kilwin’s also offers the option to mix multiple flavors with some hand-picked combinations; a big hit was Mud Pie, with Cookies ‘n’ Cream, Station Mud, Kilwin’s Tracks, and Fudge Brownie. 

Stop by and see John at Kilwin’s in Atlantic Station- parking is free for the first two hours, and it’s highly likely that John will give you a free sample of fudge.

Perhaps the most exotic stop on the Atlanta Ice Cream Challenge, Rumi’s Kitchen is a contemporary Persian restaurant serving up traditional bastani, or Persian ice cream.

In addition to the typical ingredients in ice cream, such as milk and eggs, bastani often includes rose water, saffron, vanilla, and pistachios, giving it a unique flavor and color.

Rumi’s serves up the traditional Persian ice cream, in addition to espresso, cinnamon, and pistachio flavors. They also offer faloodeh, a refreshing rice noodle sorbet with sour cherries and lemon. For an even sweeter treat, check out the Persian ice cream sandwich, featuring two wafers filled with vanilla ice cream, saffron rose water, and pistachios.

About The Classy Critic

The Classy Critic, founded by Jennifer Mangon, is a science-based food series focusing on local Atlanta culinary events. With a variety of events, ranging from the ice cream challenge to pop up wine tastings, Jennifer and her team love to take advantage of the amazing foodie culture in Atlanta.

The Classy Critic focuses on gaining a greater understanding of the scientific practices that go into preparing the best food and drink in the city. From exploring how fermentation affects winemaking, to how butter fat content affects the taste and texture of ice cream, The Classy Critic provides a forum for foodies to gain a greater appreciation for the art of cooking.

To learn more about The Classy Critic, check out their website, which includes a list of upcoming events.

Interested in working for The Classy Critic? Jennifer is currently hiring interns for her team, with a focus on event planning, social media, and public relations. Contact Jennifer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you’re interested in joining this awesome team!

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Last modified on Saturday, 23 January 2016 13:20
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