We Researched the Best Mail-order Ice Creams—Here Are Our Favorites

Graeter's Ice Cream is the winning ice cream pick

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Best Mail-Order Ice Cream

The Spruce Eats / Chloe Jeong

The Spruce Eats Recommends

Our best overall pick is Graeter's Ice Cream, an unctuous and delicious treat with over 20 flavor options. For an option that's nut and egg allergen-free, A La Mode Bump & Cooks Ice Cream is a solid selection.

If you're a true ice cream lover, you know it’s not just for summertime—or at least, it shouldn’t be, with all the different kinds now available that can be shipped right to your door. There’s a lot going on in the world of ice cream right now, with new flavors and new ideas as well as more companies working on making ice cream accessible to everyone, even those with food allergies or special diets. Ice cream is a great gift for anyone who might want a delicious pick-me-up and it's also the perfect way to treat yourself.

Most of the ice creams available for shipping come in packs of more than one pint, but the economics and the common sense of this work out pretty well when you factor in shipping. In addition to shipping costs and methods, you'll want to take a look at available flavors and the ingredients used in the ice cream before making your purchase, and if you want variety, check out some brands that have an array of flavor options.

Here, the best mail-order ice creams.

Best Overall: Graeter's Ice Cream

Greater's Ice Cream
What We Like
  • Dense, rich, and creamy

  • 20+ flavor options

  • Special French Pot technique

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Who else recommends it? Delish and The Pioneer Woman both picked Graeter's Ice Cream.

If you've never tried French Pot ice cream, now's the perfect time! Graeter's ice creams are unique. They're made by the same method this Cincinnati ice cream parlor has been using since they opened in 1870. The specialized technique they've developed can produce only 2 gallons at a time so this is truly a "Slow Food" product made by artisans.

A custard-based ice cream, the texture is dense, rich, and creamy with concentrated fresh-tasting flavors. With over 20 flavors to choose from, there's something for all tastes: Try the S'mores, the Oregon Strawberry, the Vienna Coffee, or the all-time-bestseller Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip. The "Choose Your Own 6 Pints" is perfect for testing, tasting, and undoubtedly falling in love.

Ships: Monday through Friday

Best New Flavors: Malai Signature Ice Cream, 4 Pints

malai-signature-ice-cream

Courtesy of Goldbelly

What We Like
  • One-of-a-kind flavors

  • Intensely rich

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks thick buttery mouthfeel

Malai Ice Cream is all about small-batch ice cream in some very enticing and sophisticated flavors, such as Rose with Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, Masala Chai, Orange Fennel, and Sweet Milk. These internationally influenced flavor profiles are the future of ice cream—and the hand-churned low-air texture of the final product intensifies both the flavors and the sensation of richness. End result: This tastes like luxury. For a very special dessert, make some delicious jalebi to serve along with the ice cream.

Shipping Details: Ships Monday and Wednesday

Best Dairy-Free: Crank & Boom Dairy-Free Ice Cream Collection, 6 Pints

crank-and-boom-dairy-free-ice-cream

Courtesy of Goldbelly

What We Like
  • Rich flavors

  • Locally sourced ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Flavors available are pretty traditional

Crank & Boom out of Lexington, Kentucky uses locally-sourced ingredients to make great traditional American ice cream flavors such as Chocolate Fudge Ripple, Cookies & (No) Cream, Banana + Chocolate, Strawberry Fields, Bourbon & Honey, and Coconut Caramel Delight in a dairy-free form that won’t make you feel like you’re missing anything at all. They use coconut cream as their base and a small-batch handcrafted method that gives a smooth texture with intense flavors. Any of these ice cream flavors could be paired with a good Kentucky bourbon.

Shipping Details: Ships Monday through Thursday

Best Keto: Rebel The Maverick Mixed Case Ice Cream, 8 Pints

rebel-maverick-mixed-case-ice-cream

Courtesy of Rebel

What We Like
  • Clear packaging with total net carbs

  • Amazing flavors

What We Don't Like
  • Can taste "icy" if not eaten at correct temperature

Rebel is lactose-free, no sugar added, low-carb keto ice cream. For people on the keto plan, each container clearly specifies how many net carbs per pint—which ranges from 4 to 8 grams, depending on the flavor. The flavor selection in this collection consists of a pint each of Cookes & Cream, Triple Chocolate, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Coconut Almond Swirl, Black Raspberry, and Peanut Butter Fudge but other flavor selections are also available.

Shipping Details: Ships daily

Best Mochi: My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream Mixed Pack, 6 Count

My-Mo-Mochi-Ice-Cream-pack

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for snacking

  • Good variety of flavors

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

The combination of the Japanese sweet mochi put together with creamy ice cream is absolutely irresistible. Add to that the fact that these are basically finger foods (you can pick one up and pop it in your mouth whole if you like) and everyone’s in for a fun, delicious experience. This set of six boxes includes a lot of flavors to try: Cookies & Cream, Sweet Mango, Green Tea,  Double Chocolate, Ripe Strawberry, and Mint Chocolate Chip. Make it a special occasion by whipping up some Japanese rice crackers as an accompaniment.

Shipping Details: Ships daily

Best Dark Chocolate: Proper Deep Chocolate Ice Cream, 6 Pints

proper-ice-cream-deep-chocolate

Courtesy of Goldbelly

What We Like
  • Seriously good dark chocolate flavor

  • Made in small batches

What We Don't Like
  • Dense rich texture can be too much for some

If you're a dark chocolate ice cream fan, you'll want to give this a try. This deep chocolate ice cream from Proper Ice Cream is made in small batches from the finest Valhrona cocoa and Lindt chocolate, handcrafted with no artificial flavors or coloring. You'll immediately notice the color of this dark chocolate and how other ice creams don't compare (most likely due to the high quality of Proper Ice Cream's ingredient list).

Shipping Details: Ships Monday through Friday

Best Nut and and Egg Allergen-Free: A La Mode Speed Bump & Cooks Ice Cream, 6 Pints

a-la-mode-variety-pack-ice-cream

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Tastes very close to traditional ice cream

  • Nut-, egg-, and sesame-free

What We Don't Like
  • Limited flavors

A La Mode ice creams are made by people who take allergens seriously. With no nuts, eggs, or sesame, these are really excellent options for those who want to avoid certain ingredients. In this collection are two flavors: Cooks, which is a vanilla ice cream base stirred with chocolate fudge and a vanilla and chocolate cookie mix in, and Speed Bump, which is a chocolate ice cream base mixed with chips of white and dark chocolate along with marshmallows.

Shipping Details: Ships daily

Best for Gifting: Life Raft Treats 'Not Fried Chicken' Ice Cream Bucket, 9 Pieces

life-raft-treats-fried-chicken-ice-cream

Courtesy of Goldbelly

What We Like
  • Unique

  • Flavorful

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Created by pastry chef Cynthia Wong, a six-time James Beard Award finalist, this looks like a bucket of fried chicken, but take a bite and guess what? The drumstick is actually made from waffle ice cream on a “bone” made from a chocolate-covered cookie and covered with white chocolate and crushed corn flakes—made to look like a battered crust on a fried chicken drumstick! These are amazing, utterly delicious, and tons of fun. The ingredients are all high-end, too.

Shipping Details: Ships Tuesdays and Thursdays

Best Ice Cream Sandwiches: La Newyorkina Babka Ice Cream Sandwiches

la-newyorkina-babka-ice-cream-sandwiches

Courtesy of Goldbelly

What We Like
  • Creative and delicious combination

  • Picture perfect

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

We love this innovation in the form of an ice cream sandwich made by Fanny Gerson of Newyorkina in Brooklyn. It's made with an outside of rich handmade chocolate babka baked with a hint of cinnamon and a lot of Mexican chocolate and sandwiched with smooth vanilla ice cream. Made by Gerson of Newyorkina, inspired by Gerson's Mexican roots and launched in 2010, this combination is simply out-of-this-world delicious and extremely Instagrammable. The decadent ice cream sandwiches come in a pack of six.

Shipping Details: Ships Monday through Friday

Best for Parties: Williams Sonoma Baked Alaska & Crème Brûlée Mini Ice Cream Cakes, Set of 12

baked-alaska-creme-brulee-ice-cream-cakes

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

What We Like
  • Creative combination

  • Elegant option

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If you’re looking for an ice cream dessert for a special occasion, these mini ice cream cakes are tremendously elegant, to the point where they give people the idea that a private chef must be in your kitchen. The package comes with a selection of two types—Baked Alaska and crème brûlée—with six of each. Really wow your guests at your next dinner party or elevate an engagement party with minimal work on your part: Simply pull them out of the freezer when it's time and enjoy frozen. These would also be wonderful for an afternoon tea party (they are picture-perfect, after all), following a nice selection of tea sandwiches. They are shipped frozen and can be stored unopened in the freezer for up to three months so you can plan ahead for all your soirees.

Shipping Details: Ships daily

Final Verdict

Greater's Ice Cream is a standout, highly reputable option if you want authentic French Pot ice cream. Seeking an option for someone with nut or egg allergies? Opt for A La Mode Speed Bump & Cooks Ice Cream to satisfy a sweet tooth without worrying about certain dietary restrictions.

What to Look for in Mail-Order Ice Cream

Ingredients

Ice cream ingredients vary quite a bit—so much so that the FDA standard allows “cream” to be an optional ingredient. If you have allergies, it's always a good idea to check the ingredients list, but it's also nice for anyone to know what exactly you are getting with each delicious scoop. There are vegan ice creams as well as those geared toward specific diets, but read the label carefully to be sure you understand serving sizes. Premium ice creams often have high-quality ingredients, like specialty chocolate, for example, and those will be more expensive.

Flavors

Some people want the classics when it comes to ice cream—chocolate, vanilla, etc.—but ice cream is becoming more global in terms of flavors and there are always new combinations and options available. Trying new flavors of ice cream is a delicious way to learn more about the food cultures of the world. Whether you want to stick with what you know or experiment might dictate where you order from but many places offer variety packs to help with sampling.

Texture

The texture of different ice creams can range from light and icy to rich and full of mouthfeel. Butterfat content determines texture, as does the method of manufacture. Higher butterfat content creates a richer mouthfeel, and ice cream with less air in the blend creates a denser mouthfeel. Mix-in ingredients also change the texture of the ice cream.

Shipping

Ice cream is commonly shipped to consumers by makers who follow well-practiced methods of keeping the product frozen and safe to eat, but it’s always good to order from a company with experience in shipping. Some places only ship on certain days of the week so you may need to plan ahead.

FAQs

Can you get ice cream shipped to you?

People often don't realize they can get ice cream shipped directly to their homes, but it's quite easy. Billions of dollars worth of ice cream is safely shipped to home customers every year. The process is fine-tuned to assure fast delivery times and temperature controls. It can be a better experience ordering ice cream from one of the companies accustomed to shipping it nationwide than ordering from your local grocery store or food delivery due to the expertise of these companies. Expedited shipping and specially developed insulated packaging make ordering gourmet ice cream a breeze, Next-day shipping is your top choice, but ice cream can remain stable within a 30-hour delivery time as long as it’s appropriately packed. Each company has its own shipping timeline and areas for delivery so be sure to read the fine print.

All the mail-order ice creams above provide excellent delivery services to your home. Taste a new enticing flavor, try a new gourmet ice cream company, order an old favorite, or send it as a gift! Mail-order ice cream also makes it easy to organize a celebratory virtual ice cream social for kids or adults.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Karen Resta is a writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. She's also a former pastry chef and has traveled to Budapest, Kyiv, and Paris during their Fashion Weeks as a photographer and writer, always finding the best ice cream along the way.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 10 Mail-Order Ice Creams of 2022. Delish. https://www.delish.com/food-news/g39588534/best-mail-order-ice-creams/

  2. 9 Best Ice Cream Delivery Services 2022. The Pioneer Woman. https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/g40459997/ice-cream-delivery-services/

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21.

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