Sacramento’s Favorite Ice Cream Shops in Celebration of National Ice Cream Month

Leatherby's Black and Tan SundaeBy Heather Crivellone

The month of July has been recognized as National Ice Cream Month- what a great excuse to enjoy the sweet creamy goodness during these hot summer days.  And the third Sunday of the Month is considered as National Ice Cream Day.  If you didn’t know this, here is a little bit of history… it was declared in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90% of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities”. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of a kid (or an adult) who doesn’t love ice cream… and especially during these hot summer months!

Ice cream is a staple summertime treat for kids of all ages. And for long time Sacramento residents, there are a few “hot spots” here in the area to keep cool with the icy treat.  I took a random poll to see what everyone’s favorite summertime treat was and the results proved that the top four places to visit for ice cream in Sacramento were: Vic’s, Gunther’s, Farrell’s and Leatherby’s!

Vic’s Ice Cream  in Land Park (3199 Riverside Ave) has been a household name for several generations. They have been a family business since 1947 and continue to serve up some of the best ice cream in Sacramento. Ice Cream isn’t their only forte, they serve up lunch items and according to some regulars, the hot dog sandwich is fantastic!

Along with Vic’s, there is Gunthers Ice Cream.  Another household name who has been serving up ice cream and treats since 1940.  They are located at 2801 Franklin Blvd. in Sacramento from 10am-10pm daily.  Just like Vic’s, they serve up some of the best ice cream treats around, along with lunch specials and even lower fat options for those of us who are “watching their waistlines”.

Leatherby’s Family Creamery, with 3 locations in the Sacramento area (2333 Arden Way, Sacramento, 7910 Antelope Rd. Citrus Heights and 8238 Laguna Blvd. Elk Grove) they have been serving sundaes, floats and other treats since 1982.  They also offer lunch and dinner items… but, the specialty is ice cream, so just skip the meal and go straight for the hot fudge sundae!  Now I can remember my parents taking me to Leatherby’s when I was young for a birthday party and one of my fondest memories was the Clown Ice Cream Sundae.  If you are a Sacramento native and reading this…then I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.  There was nothing better than a sugar cone, lots of whip cream, ice cream and chocolate chips to make a 5-year-old happy!

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor– (1625 Watt Avenue)  When you walk into this famous ice-cream shop, you will instantly be taken back into time, back into the 1890’s to be exact.  Their theme has employees dressed in part- wearing “old time” attire, straw boater hats and listening to catchy piano tunes. They first opened in Portland, Oregon in 1963 and quickly became popular by offering free ice cream sundaes to children on their birthdays. This tradition still exists, as does the famous Farrell’s “Zoo” dessert (an ice cream sundae that is big enough for 10 people to share).  This is delivered to the guests’ table by several employees who have to carry it on a stretcher….this is accompanied by loud sirens and yelling.  Definitely worth the experience…not sure if I could eat that much ice cream, but it would be fun to try!

Along with finding out the best places to enjoy the sweet goodness, I found that Sacramento area residents’ favorite flavors range from Cookies and Cream, Gunther’s famous Pistachio, Vic’s summertime flavor Pineapple Sherbert and Mint Chip topped the list of local flavors.

So in honor of National Ice Cream Month, go out and treat your family to a cone, shake or sundae… isn’t that what summer is all about?


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