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8 Great Michigan Gluten-Free Ice Cream Parlors

8 Great Michigan Gluten-Free Ice Cream Parlors


I remember when I was newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Ice cream was my best friend. Since I could no longer eat sweet baked goods, I told myself I was allowed to eat as much ice cream as I wanted. That being said, we need to remember that not all ice creams are created equal, and some are unsafe. There's the obvious culprits that contain baked goods. You also need to watch out for cross-contact and even some soft serve ice creams and frozen yogurts that contain gluten. 

There are a few ice cream parlors in Michigan that take the proverbial cake. Make sure to visit one during your gluten-free getaways this summer!

1. Sub Zero Ice Cream - 11419 S Saginaw St, Grand Blanc MI 48439 (810) 603-7804 

Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt is a place where sweet, creamy magic takes place. Actually, it's more science than magic, but the evaporating liquid nitrogen seems like a magic show. Each individual order is made with liquid nitrogen, with your preferred mix-ins, right before your very eyes. Watch this video to see an on-camera demonstration!

Even more magical is that they accommodate so many different allergens. Allergic to dairy? There's always a dairy-free base available. Concerns about cross-contact with toppings? Staff go to the back to get a fresh scoop and serving of your preferred mix-ins out of the back. The staff is trained so well that when I told them I had Celiac Disease, I think they changed their gloves without me even asking. This is an issue franchise owner Aundrey Markee takes seriously, as his wife and child have Celiac Disease, and one of his other children has additional food allergies. Right now the only location of this Shark Tank famous franchise is in Grand Blanc, Michigan, but Markee has big plans of buying the rights to place franchises throughout the state of Michigan!

2. Frosty Boy - 1757 Plainfield Ave Grand Rapids MI 49505 (616) 284 - 1436
Photo courtesy of Margaret Clegg
Frosty Boy was a Grand Rapids tradition until 2005. It sat vacant for at least a decade until owners Kyle and Alyssa Naumann gave it new life. Like many stands, they offer Michigan made Hudsonville Ice Cream and gluten-free soft serve. What sets them apart are the extras. You can get your ice cream in a homemade gluten-free waffle cone, your flurry made with gluten-free cookies, or even get VEGAN soft serve! In 2016 they opened a second location in Rockford as well.

3. MSU Dairy Store - 474 S. Shaw Lane East Lansing MI 48824 (517) 355 - 8466
Photo courtesy of Margaret Clegg
Michigan State University and dairy cows have a long history. MSU was known as "Agriculture College of the State of Michigan" in 1855, and they've been a leader in teaching agriculture ever since. Dairy cows are housed on campus and milked daily, which visitors can observe for free. The milk is then transported to the dairy plant to be turned into cheese and delicious ice cream. There's even an observation deck to watch the dairy process. While The Dairy Store does not have gluten-free cones, they are always willing to changes gloves and open a fresh tub of ice cream to prevent cross-contact. You can also find their ice cream at Capital City Scoop, where their ice cream is sold.

4. The Sugar Bear - 101 W. Michigan Avenue Paw Paw MI 49079 (269) 657- 4841
Photo courtesy of Caroline DeRidder
This ice cream parlor and cafe is well loved by Michiganders. This business has been serving families for 40 years, and has become known for accommodating all sorts of food allergies. Not only do they have gluten-free ice cream and cones, they also have dairy-free ice cream. The Sugar Bear is more than just an ice cream parlor. They actually have a complete menu, with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

5. Wally's Frozen Custard - 22501 Harper Ave St. Clair Shores MI (586) 552- 5038
Photo courtesy of Amanda Bonser of Gluten Free Detroit Metro
I discovered Wally's Frozen Custard through a picture a fellow blogger posted on her Facebook. Wally's is located in St. Clair Shores and offers gluten-free cones. If we're honest, that's the hardest part of summertime ice cream experiences during the summer- no cone. Wally's has another draw though- they offer Dole Whip! If you've never head of it, it became popular in Disneyland and is dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, and fat-free. This makes "ice cream" available to SO many other people!

6. Milk & Honey Cafe - 240 E Front St Traverse City MI 49684 (231) 944- 1036
Photo courtesy of my friend Dallas.
Milk & Honey Cafe and Ice Creamery was first brought to my attention while writing an article for thePure Michigan campaign. Unfortunately, I ran out of time while in TC and had to pass it up. But after reading a review by my friend Dallas, (those are her adorable daughters above), I had to learn more. Milk & Honey makes their ice cream from scratch with local, organic and non-gmo ingredients. All of their flavors are gluten-free and they also have vegan options. They create flavor combinations with mix-ins, and pull fresh ice cream with a clean spade for those with Celiac Disease. They have gluten-free cones and also have a full sandwich menu with gluten-free bread.

(**Honorable Mention - Moomers Ice Cream in Traverse City. Voted #1 Ice Cream in the country, they have one flavor made with gluten-free cookies from Third Coast Bakery.)

7. Atrium Cafe & Ice Cream Parlour - 1519 Military St Port Huron MI 48060 (810) 989- 6002
Photo courtesy of Margaret Clegg
This place is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. The setting is reminiscent of a roaring 20's cafe. Owner Gayle, herself a diagnosed Celiac, makes all of their gluten-free cakes from scratch in a dedicated prep space. They offer a selection of Hudsonville ice creams and you definitely want to have the Brownie Supreme. What's pictured above is only a half order!

8. Frosty Cove - 2565 Lakeshore Drive Muskegon MI 49441 (231) 955 - 7130
Photo taken from The Frosty Cove FB page on opening day
I heard about Frosty Cove through my connections with the Muskegon Celiac Support Group. Frosty Cove proudly serves Hudsonville Ice Cream, which has over 20 flavors that are gluten-free. Frosty Cove makes sure to always have gluten-free cones on hand as well. I hear that their servings are large - almost as big as your head!

So, there we have it. I'm sure there are other great places you've found that go the extra mile. Leave a comment below and let others know the other great gluten-free ice cream parlors in Pure Michigan!

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