By Pete Dulin

Keeping cool in Kansas City during summer weather is no sweat. From ice cream cones to shaved ice, these local businesses offer cold, sweet treats to eat, drink and enjoy.

Here are some of the best places to chill out with sweet treats in KC:

Betty Rae’s Ice Cream

Honored by TripAdvisor in 2017 as one of the top 50 “Ice Cream Shops Worth Traveling For,” Betty Rae’s Ice Cream truly lives up to the its hype. Located in the Waldo neighborhood, this family-friendly ice cream parlor creates a regularly rotating array of 24 classic and adventurous flavors, including jasmine tea, brown butter and pecans, creme brulle caramel and more.

Betty Rae’s offers cones, cups, macaron ice cream sandwiches, shakes, malts, sundaes, floats and frozen yogurt, such as mango and frozen tomatillo. Adults can order boozey shakes and floats as well, such as the White Russian (vodka, vanilla bean and coffee ice cream) and Cinnamon Toast (whiskey, vanilla bean and cinnamon ice cream). Coffees are prepared with beans from local roaster Thou Mayest.

Westport Ice Cream Bakery

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When Murray’s Ice Cream and Cookies, a local favorite for ice cream since 1984, closed in late 2016, Westport Ice Cream Bakery arose in its place. The shop offers imaginative names and flavors of ice cream, plus Italian ice and shalloly (a New Jersey name for gelato). Rotating flavors include chocolate velvet, cannoli and Frankenstein, a mint-infused mix of creme de menthe, cookies and candies. Former Lidia’s baker Mary Braasch also makes tiramisu, cookies, mini-cakes and other sweet treats.

Smallcakes Cupcakes and Creamery

Based in Kansas City, this dessert shop has rapidly expanded as a franchise with 200 locations in the U.S. and overseas. In KC area locations, customers can nosh on Smallcakes ice cream flavors like 24 Karrot Cake (cream cheese ice cream infused with carrot cake cupcakes), Birthday Cake (creamy vanilla ice cream layered with birthday sprinkles) and Red Velvet (creamy cream cheese ice cream layered with red velvet cupcakes), just to name a few. As the name suggests, the shops also carry a line of flavored cupcakes.


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Owned by chocolate maker Christopher Elbow, Glacé makes and serves small-batch ice cream using milk sourced from the Midwest. Ultra-rich and creamy, ice cream flavors are a sensory excursion for the palate. Fleur de Sel Caramel, Earl Grey Sriracha, Moroccan Mint and Honey, Toasted Coconut and Mango, Organic Rose Petal and Spanish Saffron, Fresh Peach and Cinnamon Crunch are some of the many flavors to explore.

Snow & Company

This frozen cocktail-driven bar in Westport uses premium spirits, homemade syrups and fresh juice to craft delicious, refreshing drinks. Try top-seller The Rockefeller, a frozen version of a Manhattan, or Purple Rain, a Chambord and moonshine-based cocktail inspired by dearly beloved, departed Prince. Also check out Snow & Co.’s Snow Pops, a boozy, foot-long frozen popsicle that’s individually packaged and features flavors such as Blue Velvet, Mango Unchained and Pink Lady.

Paleteria Tropicana

Based in Kansas City’s Westside with additional locations in Kansas, this shop serves authentic Mexican ice cream and Michoacan-style desserts, including homemade ice cream, smoothies, fruit cocktails, churros and more. Paleteria Tropicana’s colorful mangoneada tops mango sorbet with salsa chamoy (a salty-sweet apricot and chili-based sauce) and tajin, a Mexican seasoning of chilies, lime and salt. Fresh juices and aguas frescas are also available to quench your thirst. 

Miami Ice

Don some sleek shades and slide down to Miami Ice for shaved ice, ice cream, custard and smoothies. The 39th Street West shop features a wide range of syrups that add flavor and carnival-bright color to shaved ice that appeals to all ages.

Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard

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Since 1988, Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard has reigned as Brookside’s favorite ice cream and frozen custard shop. The confectionary classic serves sundaes, concretes, slurries and much more in an idyllic neighborhood setting less than 15 minutes from Downtown KC. Coffee, espresso, pastries and sandwiches are available as well, but the main attraction remains the same as it has for nearly three decades. 

Andy’s Frozen Custard

Frozen custard is creamier, richer and thicker than ice cream and contains more butterfat. The Andy’s location in Westport, open since June 2015, became an instant favorite for its frozen custard-based concretes, malts, splits, sundaes, cones and more.

Andy’s Ozark Turtle (named for the region in which the company was founded) covers vanilla or chocolate frozen custard with hot fudge, crème caramel, roasted pecans and a cherry on top. Order the James Brownie Funky Jackhammer for frozen custard blended with creamy peanut butter and brownies, then filled with hot fudge. Ask about seasonal options, such as summery fresh fruit toppings on frozen custard.

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