The 11 Best Ice Cream Shops in the North Myrtle Beach Area

Six colorful ice creams in waffle cones in a row

Summer is still on, so that means we really need to get a handle on this situation with local ice cream shops. The trash talking is getting to an all-time high and violence is inevitable if we don’t step in with our blog. 

Who’s the best? Who’s the most underrated? Who should stick to just the paltry snow cones that come with little child kitchen play sets? We won’t be mean here. There’s enough ugliness in the battle of ice cream shops as it is. In order to be included, our criteria is this:

Ice cream shop (or frozen custard, Italian Ice, frozen yogurt, or shaved ice) must:

  • Make ice cream a priority
  • Be in the North Myrtle Beach area
  • Not suck
  • Have high ratings online (For reference, Sonic has a 4.0. So, we’re pretty sure the score needs to be higher than tha-...and can we all agree that if you can’t make people happy with ice cream, you deserve to be left off of our definitive list of best local ice cream shops? 
  • Not be creepy or judgey or snooty
  • Validated by support among locals
  • Make some attempt at presentation, which is a tie breaker among apples to apples at the least. If you don’t care enough to dress up for the party, you don’t deserve the mints in the little tray (We have to work on our analogies). Exceptions will be made however we wish. 

So here it comes. Let’s look at the best local ice cream shops in the North Myrtle Beach area. 

11.  Honorable Mentions 

We’ll leave this blank so that if your favorite place wasn’t mentioned below, you can project here and assume that your favorite was number 11. 

10. Original Painter’s Homemade Ice Cream 

As the name suggests, the novelty of Original Painter’s is their homemade style of ice cream. That unique twist has been a successful endeavor since 1952, with no signs of stopping based on the long lines. Painter’s enjoys the nostalgia and traditions of many locals and long-time visitors. It isn’t higher on the list because the reviews aren’t that great from new visitors, which is telling of a change in times, perhaps. More competition and newer trends likely hurt the appeal of Painter’s to those without emotional attachment. 

9. Whit’s Frozen Custard of North Myrtle Beach

It’s strange that one of the ice cream shops we would pick is actually frozen custard. However,  judged as custard, Whit’s is extremely good. The combinations are appealing to a wide audience and it has a high quality presentation to it, albeit simple. Whit’s is not ranked higher because there simply isn’t enough information from visitors online and in a crowded, competitive category, we had to go with some that have more happy fans. 

8. sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt

Boasting over 100 flavors and guaranteed freshness, sweetFrog comes in hot. It’s a hip and fun, colorful place with the thrill of self-serve personalization. It’s only at an 8 because some of the others just happen to be fantastic and also because it’s frozen yogurt, which is clearly and objectively inferior to ice cream. 

7. Native Joe’s Scoop and Grind

Native Joe’s has a charming theme and atmosphere and the place carries the light and charming qualities of the staff. This would be a great place to come for a slow-paced chill out before jumping back into activities. Native Joe’s does a great job catering to locals and the locals reward them with faithful patronage, it seems. In a very competitive market, don’t overlook this friendly but unassuming gem.

6. Sunset Slush of NMB

They call it slush so that normal people will go there, but it’s technically Italian ice, which means slush. But it’s really good! It’s rich and more complex than traditional ice cream and some say it handles fruity flavors better. People are sure noticing whatever they are doing over there at Sunset Slush. If you want something a little different, but still acceptable to stubborn palates, check them out!

5. Ohana Hawaiian Shaved Ice

We know shaved ice is also just a slightly fancier term for slushy, but we included it because people love Ohana so much. With a 4.7 rating, and the word “ice” in the title, how could we not include it? They offer oodles of flavor combinations and deliver excellent presentation. Plus, their Hawaiian-themed aesthetics are really fun. Check them out for light, refreshing treats.

4. River City Sweets

While they are known for their pralines, and rightly so, River City Sweets is a cornucopia, a plethora, a selection, a smorgasbord, a menagerie, a showcase, a certain (how do you say it in English) smattering of delicious items. Just as everything else RCS does, the ice cream is gourmet and decadent. Much like with Chick-Fil-A, if River City Sweets doesn’t have what we want, we just assume we wanted the wrong thing and they know what’s best for us.

3. Calabash Creamery

Okay, we know it’s a drive, but hear us out. It’s worth it. USA Today said in 2017 that Calabash Creamery was the number two of all ice cream shops in the US. Now, you’ll notice they are number three here, and I think that’s just a testimony to the competitive level of the local ice cream shops in our region and not at all because we don’t know what we’re talking about. We’re not fake news, they’re fake news. But take the short drive and see what the fuss is about. It’s a truly fantastic little prize in the outer realm of the North Myrtle Beach area. 

2. Ella’s Ice Cream

This may surprise some of you, since it may not carry a longstanding name like some of the other local ice cream shops, but Ella’s is doted on by plenty of ice cream snobs. They love the fresh, homemade taste and creative presentation, and the overall vibe is light and casual. The ice cream manifests in other forms such as shakes, but the good-old-fashioned waffle cone and generous scoops are enough to put this ahead of that one the newspaper liked so much, lol. 

  1. Melt 

If you talk to patrons of Melt, they will tell you they like lots of different things, all positive, and that’s because Melt doesn’t just do one thing well. They do everything well. First of all, their service is fast, helpful, pleasant, and they are happy you’re there (This is true for many other places as well). The toppings are copious and yummy, the waffle cones are homemade, and they have quite a variety of flavors - or at least considering how well they do each flavor, there are plenty. So, you can’t go wrong here. And don’t let the lines scare you away. The Melt staff are fast and it’s worth the wait.

We’re sorry to the places that did not get selected by the foolish newspaper or our reputable blog. We know how it feels to be overlooked. All the time, we see people toting golf bags like they’re taking a deer back to the cave, saying “Oogga, Boogga.” We want to shout at golfers from the road, “IF ONLY THERE WAS SOMETHING THAT WOULD CARRY YOU AND YOUR CLUBS AROUND! WAIT! WAIT! YOU SHOULD CALL SALTY FRYE’S GOLF CARTS! IT’S CHEAPER THAN BACK SURGERY!” But we don’t do that. It’s frowned upon at most courses. If you, though, if you need a golf cart rental, you should contact us. We have a great selection of awesome golf carts and we would like to think we know a lot of pertinent information. Give Salty Frye’s a chance to earn your business!  

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