Best Ice Cream Flavors in the Universe

The reason I picked “31” as a number (instead of 10 or 100) is because of the original Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavors ice cream stores (DUH) which were kind of a big deal when I was little, though not without critique, and looking at the flavors they are now sporting—Danger Will Robinson!—there's some nauseating attempts at flavor supremacy, like “America's Birthday Cake”—I mean, ugggh. I want to make it clear, while this is MY personal list of favorites, it's also a non-subjective list of THE BEST, and not open for debate. If anyone reading this is REALLY not happy with the results, and REALLY wants to get their favorite ice cream on this list, I will consider a bribe in the form of—you guessed it—a bowl of the ice cream in question—email me to arrange the bribe.

THE 31 Flavors, bottom to top.

31 - Cotton Candy

30 - Banana Nut

29 - Chocolate and Peanut Butter

28 - Lemon Sorbet

27 - Pralines and Cream

26 - Butterscotch

25 - Raspberry Sherbet

24 - Black Cherry

23 - Watermelon

22 - Lemon Custard

21 - Black Walnut

20 - Caramel

19 - Lime Sherbet

18 - Butter Brickle

17 - Peppermint Stick

16 - Green Tea

15 - Daiquiri Ice

14 - Maple Walnut

13 - Cantaloupe

12 - Egg Nog

11 - Mango

10 - Pistachio

9 - Dulce de Leche

8 - Vanilla Frozen Custard

7 - Rum Raisin

6 - Red Bean

5 - Coffee

4 - Coconut

3 - Blue Moon

2 - Spumoni

1 - Grape Ice



1. Grape Ice was at Baskin-Robbins during my childhood, and always my favorite.

2. Flavors that are NOT here: Anything that requires a TM or ® next to the name.

3. Nothing brand specific.

4. Nothing regional specific.

5. Nothing with a cute rhyme in the name that's more about the name, or named after dead rock stars.

6. No “salted” anything (salt is for eggs and steaks, not desserts).

7. ESPECIALLY, nothing that sounds like it is better suited to go in an oven than your mouth, i.e. “cookie dough” ice cream, or even worse: “cake batter.” I just vomited.

8. And while I may include sorbet, sherbet, and frozen custard, there is no “frozen yogurt” here, just because... OK—it reminds me of how back in the 1980s, yuppie businessmen, unable to smoke and drink liquor in the office anymore, all got horribly addicted to the frozen yogurt that popped up in urban centers, and they would take a break and go out to get a “yogurt”—to which I would say, No, you're not eating yogurt, you're eating ICE CREAM. So I guess technically, I should include it, but it annoys me.

9. Also, I'm disqualifying Rainbow Sherbet because rainbows have no flavor—in fact it would make a great diet food—there is no sugar, no fat, no calories, no flavor, no substance at all—wait, it's not even there anymore, where'd it go?

10. As much as I like the name Neapolitan, and I like how it looks, it's kind of boring when it comes down to it, so it got bumped by Spumoni, which is similar but has much more exciting flavors, in fact, really, really exciting, one of my very favorites.

11. Some perennial favorites that didn't make the list: Mint Chocolate Chip, because I don't like how those chocolate chips stay frozen no matter how mushy the ice cream gets. It always ends up feeling like you have dirt in your ice cream.

12. And Pink Bubblegum, as much as I like the flavor, when you end up with a mouth full of food you can't swallow (i.e., gum—is gum food?) that's just gross. Especially if you're not a gum chewer, and I am NOT—I'm an adult.

13. And Orange Sherbet—if you saw the Mad Men episode at the Howard Johnson's, Orange Sherbet would put you off your lunch, too.

14. Not including Peach because just the THOUGHT of Peach Schnapps made peach gross for life (And “Triple Peach” is not an ice cream flavor, it's a “bum” wine, though one of the finest of all time.)

15. Chocolate – boring.

16. Strawberry – boring.

17. The Vanilla here is the frozen custard variety at places in Milwaukee, such as Leon's (it's the best looking place, too).

18. Oh, yeah, and NO Schweddy Balls—for the love of God!