9 Awesome Takes on the Classic Ice Cream Truck
By Renee Borcas
Ice cream trucks are a summertime staple, and over time, some trucks have evolved beyond the basic white van with a selection of chocolate-dipped cones. Catering to humans and animals alike, these awesome ice cream trucks will satisfy cravings, help beat the heat, and get that classic jingle stuck in your head.
"Pop Goes the Weasel" won’t be heard around this truck! Throughout the San Francisco Bay area, Treatbot customers can be found singing at the truck’s built-in karaoke machine as they snack on their frozen treats. The desserts are made from scratch and include old favorites, like vanilla, as well as flavors that reflect on the owner’s passion for cultural diversity, like mango chile and East Side horchata.
2. LONGBOARDS ICE CREAM
Longboards serves up an experience that no chocoholic will want to miss. Customers make their way through the line, choose their base flavor, dip it in either milk or dark Ghirardelli chocolate, and then roll their treat in toppings such as sprinkles, pretzels, or Fruity Pebbles. Longboards has been spotted all around Southern California, spending most of its time in Orange and L.A. counties.
3. FIDO TO GO
For those in the Windy City, Fido to Go may be the only place for canines to cool off with their own frozen dessert. This first-of-its-kind "gourmutt" truck sells dog cookies, ice cream, and frozen yogurt. While not fit for humans, these treats are gluten and allergen-free for pups to enjoy.
4. S'CREAM TRUCK
No matter the season, the S'Cream Truck can be found traveling around Los Angeles. S'Cream Balls are a hallmark of the truck, consisting of balls of ice cream that are dipped in chocolate and put onto sticks. All of S'Cream's ice cream is produced locally and the ingredients are natural, lacking artificial colors or ingredients.
5. KONA ICE
For a dairy-free summer treat, Kona Ice serves its cups of shaved ice covered in flavors like Pink Lemon Sour, Strawberry'd Treasure, and an elusive mystery flavor, all of which can be mixed and matched. The franchise has grown significantly since its founding in 2007, and now Kona Ice trucks can be found across the U.S.
The HipPOPs food truck took inspiration from traditional Italian gelato in the creation of their award-winning, handcrafted desserts. The gelato, sorbet, and frozen yogurt treats are all-natural and can be found in several vehicles across South Florida, usually carrying around 20 of their 100 flavors. Customers can start with a gelato flavor, say Cappuccino or Mexican Chocolate Chipotle, add a chocolate dip, and then choose a topping, like crushed pretzels, pistachios, or Oreos. Devotees of HipPOPs can even get catering from the trucks for special events.
7. LUIGI'S ICE CREAM
Although Luigi’s Ice Cream trucks appear normal from the outside, the desserts are anything but. The variety of flavors include Thai Ice Tea, S'mores, Lemon Cake, and more. Besides getting served in a cup or cone, Luigi’s offers CreamyBuns—warm, glazed doughnuts filled with ice cream. No word on whether the Red Bank, New Jersey-based operation is owned by the brother of famed Italian plumber Mario.
Picking out a cone or a bar at an ice cream truck is old news, so in 2009, Coolhaus decided to add ice cream sandwiches to the mix. Sammies, as they’re called, are offered in numerous combinations of cookies and ice cream, like snickerdoodle and salted caramel, or a double chocolate cookie and dirty mint chip ice cream. The popular trucks have spread from their hometown of L.A. to New York and Dallas, and various retailers like Whole Foods and Safeway carry a selection of their pints and sammies.
9. HOLLYWOOD CONE
The Hollywood Cone truck offers a variety of milkshakes that can only be described as Oscar-worthy. Creative milkshake flavors like blueberry pie, Twinkie, or strawberry Pop-Tarts can be found alongside other ice cream sundaes, soda floats, and slushies. Plus, the truck rolls out an actual red carpet for its customers (but don’t worry, you won't be hounded by paparazzi!). Despite its misleading name, the Hollywood Cone is exclusive to the Toronto and Oshawa, Canada areas.
BONUS: HMS FLAKE 99
The HMS Flake 99 wasn’t merely an ice cream truck—it was also an ice cream boat, making it the first ever amphibious frozen dessert vehicle. Cadbury sponsored the creation back in 2011, providing the truck's namesake treats as it sailed down London's Thames River. We say bring that party boat back!