ABILENE, Texas (BigCountryHomepage.com) – Even though school is now in session, it’s still summertime and what is synonymous with summer? Ice cream. Lucky for us, Abilene has some of the best ice cream around!

According to National Day Calendar, Ice Cream Day started back in 1934 during Memorial Day weekend in New York.

A story is told that Tom Carvel pulled his ice cream truck into a parking lot when he got a flat tire. Knowing his inventory would melt, he opened up shop right there – thus was born soft ice cream.

Two years go by and Carvel opens his first ice cream store in the very spot where his truck broke down. He later patented a super low-temperature ice cream machine and created a secret formula ice cream.

Read all about the history of National Ice Cream Day here!

Let’s get to the good stuff – where is the best ice cream in town?

Yelp lists these as our top five ice cream parlors:

1. Roll Shack

Roll Shack has two locations in Abilene – one downtown and one on the south side.

Did you know rolled ice cream is supposedly healthier than traditional ice cream? According to a New Jersey Monthly article by Chris Gennone, rolled ice cream uses less sugar and has fewer calories than other ice creams.

Grab yourself a cup of rolled ice cream in Downtown Abilene at 202 Pine Street, or near Mr. Gatti’s in South Abilene at 2526 Buffalo Gap Road.

2. Mary’s Paleteria

Mary’s Paleteria is an Abilene favorite and a must-try for visitors!

Paletas, according to an Iowa paleteria article, are a frozen Mexican dessert combining traditional ice cream with tons of different toppings.

The dessert was first made in a Mexican town called Tocumbo. The delicious treat’s been around since the 1940s.

What’s the difference between Mexican ice cream and American ice cream? Unlike traditional ice cream, paletas has different flavors and textures – often made with chunks of fruits and seasonings.

Mary’s Paleteria is located at 601 South Treadaway Boulevard, just off South 6th Street – and stays open until 9:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

3. 2 Professors Gourmet Ice Cream

2 Profs Ice Cream has two locations in the Big Country – one in Abilene and one in Sweetwater, complete with sweet treats to your heart’s desires.

The ice cream parlor even packages up its best flavors to sell at stores like Tea2Go, Market Street and more.

Since November 2018, 2 Profs has been serving up scoops and smiles next door to Heff’s Burgers, located at 1989 TX-351.

4. Dad’s Ice Cream

Dad’s Ice Cream got its recognition first as a truck serving up Italian ice across the Big Country in 2017.

Come 2022, Dad’s set up shop in the old Abilene Public Library but has since moved locations to the old Nikki’s Froyo shop, located at 3470 Catclaw Drive.

Dad’s Ice Cream also announced that it will soon be packaging up its scoops to sell in retail locations like HEB.

5. Gus’s Gelato

For the past five years, Gus’s Gelato has been serving Abilene and its visitors.

What’s the difference between ice cream and gelato? It’s delicious difference. Basically, gelato is made with more milk and less sugar, and is slow churned and served at around 15° – compared to ice cream’s 5°.

Visit Gus’s Gelato in Cordell’s at 6410 Buffalo Gap Road, closed Sundays and Mondays.