A blissful summer’s day in Idaho isn’t complete without a stroll down by the nearest greenbelt or creek. Even better? Taking that stroll with a delicious ice cream cone in hand. Especially one boasting the sweet, juicy flavors of our tantalizing state fruit: the treasured huckleberry.
Fortunately, you can step onto any small town Main Street and you’re likely to come upon an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, just the way you remember from childhood – soda fountains included. But for the best places to find this favorite Idaho treat, look no further! In no particular order:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Ardy's Bakery and Cafe, Coolin
This quiant mom and pop restaurant may have quite the reputation for their homemade huckleberry pie and huge selection of huckleberry goodies... but the ice cream is to-die for. If you can, get a scoop on top of their famous pie for an explosion of flavor, straight from the heart of huckleberry country.
Address: 205 Cavanaugh Bay Rd. Coolin, ID 83821
2. Elk River Lodge & General Store, Elk River
This tiny town is home to more than a few historic places, but this unpretentious lodge and general store is known for serving up some fantastic huckleberry ice cream and huckleberry pie -- it's so famous, in fact, that Elk River is often known as "Huckleberry Heaven." Folks come from miles around to get their berry fix here! Swirled soft serve, huckleberry... everything, and old Western charm? Yes, please!
Address: 201 Main St. Elk River, ID 83827
3. Abi's Artisan Ice Cream, Coeur d'Alene
Abi's incredible housemade ice cream is phenomenal for a number of reasons: fresh, organic ingredients, fresh-baked toppings, and sweetly exotic flavor combinations - all lovingly prepared daily and in-house. She kicks this Idaho staple up a notch by using housemade huckleberry jam, which adds a delectable brightness to the cream. It also comes highly recommended paired with the Lemon Sorbet.
Address: 112 N 4th St, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
4. Victor Emporium, Victor
When your huckleberry shake is so good that folks come all the way from Wyoming to experience the magic, you know it has to be absolutely divine - if the mural wall proclaiming the Emporium the home of Idaho's "World-Famous Huckleberry Shake" wasn't already proof enough! The old fashioned soda fountain will whip up your shake fresh, forthy, and chilled - just the way they should be. And they're so delish, you'll definitely consider ordering a second one for the road.
Address: 45 N Main St. Victor, ID 83455
5. Panhandle Cone & Coffee, Sandpoint
Mindblowingly rich housemade buttermilk ice cream takes a delicious turn with the addition of huckleberries at this daringly darling ice cream shop. Enjoy it as a scoop, or take it to even sweeter homemade levels with a fresh-baked waffle cone. Or, feeling adventurous? One of Panhandle's summer specials is an Idaho tribute: Sasquatch ice cream, crafted with buckwheat and wildflower honeys, plus a crunchy huckleberry-granola swirl.
Address: 216 N 1st Ave. Sandpoint, ID 83864
6. Cloverleaf Creamery, Buhl
From the small-town dairy that already brings you fresh, high-quality milk straight from the grass-fed Holsteins just seconds away, comes a sweet Idaho-inspired treat that is refreshing beyond belief. It's all made with a whole lot of love, oodles of berries, and plenty of (bovine) inspiration.
Address: 205 Broadway. Buhl, ID 83316
7. Ice Cream Alley, McCall
This local secret, hidden away in a literal alleyway, is no secret when the line stretches out into the road! But despite dozens of flavors of ice cream in every size, shape, and form, only one gets more requests than any other: traditional, creamy Idaho huckleberry. This tempting summer treat is so in-demand in this lakefront town that you might want to get there early before they run out!
Address: 310 E Lake St. McCall, ID 83638
8. Delsa's, Boise
This charming ice cream shop has been serving up homemade ice cream shakes and cones in a uniquely retro space for decades. Real berries are just the start of what makes this frozen treat so satisfying, and the hand-dipped service is the icing on the cake!
Address: 7923 Ustick Rd. Boise, ID 83704
9. Corner Drug, Driggs
Driggs' Corner Drug has been in business for well over a century, and the number of fabulous huckleberry milkshakes dished out since opening 1906 is completely unfathomable. For throwback shakes served up in retro glasses, made with local Farr's products, and devoured amongst favorite childhood toys from a simpler time - think Legos and Kendamas - this is your spot. And psst... don't tell anyone, but Corner Drug also dishes up mindblowing Lime Freezes every summer!
Address: 10 S Main St. Driggs, Idaho
10. Reed's Dairy, Idaho Falls
Lauren Milan W/Yelp
For some of the best, dairy-fresh ice cream Southern Idaho has to offer, Reed's is a force to be reckoned with in the Idaho Falls area when it comes to this sweet treat - in fact, the cows that made it are just outside. But while traditional huckleberry is a classic choice, for the decadent treat, the huckleberry cheesecake ice cream is a new twist on two Idaho favorites.
Address: 2660 W Broadway St. Idaho Falls, ID 83402 (multiple locations)
Huckleberry heaven is right! There’s no better way to celebrate the magic of summer. Are there any huckleberry gems that we missed?