1. Ivanna Cone, 701 P St.
This quirky Haymarket ice cream stop already gets a lot of hype, but it’s not unfounded. It offers the most unique and carefully crafted flavors in town, and has a colorful, kid-friendly location in the hub of downtown activity. I got the ricotta olive oil honey cake ice cream. My friend got the sweet vanilla cream, and my other friend got a scoop of lemon drop and grape soda sherbet in the same cone. Across the board, the flavors were smooth and sweet with just enough tanginess in the lemon drop and savory in the ricotta to keep them interesting. Definitely the best ice cream stop in Lincoln.
2. East Campus University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dairy Store, E. Campus Loop
I’d only eaten this ice cream once before, when they dished out a bunch of Scarlet and Cream for New Student Enrollment, and my second visit didn’t make me wish I had been back sooner. The chocolate cookies and cream was sub-par; the chocolate was more of an aftertaste and the cookie bits were tiny. But my friend’s Scarlet and Cream waffle cone was fabulous, and the two marshmallow shakes at the table were also tasty. Overall, the ice cream is good, but the real cool thing about the Dairy Store is that it’s run by the university.
3. Goodrich Famous Ice Cream, 6940 Van Dorn St.
The ice cream portion of the triple-threat store I went to (LaMar’s, Goodrich and Colby Ridge, oh my!), Goodrich had the widest selection of flavors I’d seen in Lincoln. I got an almond amaretto cone, and my friend got the cherry chocolate chip after a couple minutes of staring drop-jawed at our options. Although the inside was decorated cutely for spring and full of smiling kids on a weekend afternoon, we took up a bench outside and got to tasting. Both were cool and creamy, with good flavor, but neither were anything special. Goodrich is definitely up there as far as Lincoln ice cream shops go, but there are too many good local, non-chain options to call it the best.
4. Zesto’s, 1100 S. St.
I’ve been hearing the Zesto’s hype since starting school last year, but had never made it out before this week. From my aunt raving about it every time we pass up to my friend saying it’s her brother’s absolute favorite place as we pull up to review it, I understood Zesto’s to be a Nebraska staple. I got a vanilla crunch cone - a tall soft serve spiral rolled in a cereal-nut-sprinkle coating. It was hard to eat and not good enough to make me want to work for it. The crunch was nice, but didn’t do anything flavor-wise. Also, the ice cream was a pretty standard vanilla soft serve. If this is really a Nebraska staple, what the hell, Nebraska?