The shrill screams of “IT’S HERE” every time the ice cream truck arrives is a staple of an American summer. Even now, as an adult, I still get that emotional rush when the truck pulls onto my block.
But as a kid, it was always the sheer number of choices that made me question my entire existence. God forbid made an awful selection, wasting A WHOLE $2.00 of my parents’ cash. To avoid a crisis like this for yourself, here are the best and worst treats that your local ice cream truck has to offer.
The following ranking is a matter not of opinion, but of fact.
1. The Choco Taco
Whoever created this Klondike masterpiece deserves to retire in absolute peace and luxury. The waffle cone taco shell is so innovative, perfect for holding vanilla ice cream mixed with fudge swirls. Choco Taco brought new meaning to the word “crunch” and always makes for a satisfying ice cream snack.
2. The Firecracker
Such a summertime classic. Kids will often slurp this Popsicle product on the Fourth of July because, you know, ‘Murica. The red, white, and blue ice pop features three flavors — cherry, white lemon, and blue raspberry — making it essentially a three-for-one deal. As a kid, these things felt HUGE to me.
3. The Push-Up Pop
Nestlé really tried here. I can see what they’re going for: a mess-free ice cream pop that you can take your time eating. It never works out that way, but who cares? These things are so good, it doesn’t matter if you need three paper towels after eating.
4. The Drumstick
This Nestlé creation takes the the classic ice cream scoop on a cone and turns it into something incredible. A scoop of vanilla ice cream encased in a chocolate shell and topped with nuts is completely revolutionary. Your fave could never.
5. Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar
This bar by Good Humor is the pinnacle of ice cream-pop perfection. You get the sweet taste of strawberry ice cream with a crunchy exterior that makes it feel like you’re eating an actual strawberry shortcake. 10/10.
6. The Ice Cream Sandwich
Another classic that will always be a solid choice, this treat most definitely paved the way for other variations of smooshed ice cream. Having sticky, chocolate crumb-covered fingers is an under-appreciated highlight of enjoying this incredible treat.
7. The Powerpuff Girls pop
There are a ton of different cartoon-inspired ice cream pops, from SpongeBob SquarePants to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Anyone who’s had one these will tell you that the bubblegum eyes are the absolute best part of this tangy treat.
Even Paris Hilton couldn’t resist the appeal of what she once perfectly referred to as “these little blonde bitches” on an episode of The Simple Life.
8. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich
All frozen sandwich treats should strive to be this amazing. Made by Good Humor, this sandwich takes the traditional ice cream sandwich and turns it up to 1,000. Eating vanilla ice cream smothered in chocolate chips, smashed beautifully between two chocolate chip cookies is an experience like no other. If pure gold was edible, this would be it.
1. Snow Cone
It’s been almost two decades since my childhood, and I’m still wondering why this is even still a thing. You can get a solid Snow Cone, or even an Italian Ice (which is honestly 1,000 percent better) from literally anywhere else and it would be better than having to eat out of those awful paper cones. Any time you order this item, you’ve pretty much resigned yourself to a race against a melting pile of blandly flavored ice. And if it’s an especially hot day? Forget about it. Have fun with your soggy piece of paper, kiddo.
2. The Fudgsicle
These are just so basic. Chocolate is supposed to have a rich and distinct flavor, and this thing is the equivalent of frozen cardboard. Not to mention, everyone looks ridiculous with melted chocolate popsicle smeared all over their hands and mouths.
3. The Orange Creamsicle
These aren’t too popular with the kids. I know plenty of adults, including my parents, who LIVE for these orange-encased ice cream pops. But a kid? I don’t think so. The child in me is still repulsed by these things and would much rather stick to chocolates and vanillas. It isn’t exactly a HORRIBLE flavor, but it doesn’t quite contend with the other amazing flavors hiding in your local ice cream truck’s freezer.
4. Just…Ice Cream
With the creative popsicles and frozen sandwiches on the menu, why would you go for just plain ice cream? I guess the appeal of this treat is that, more often than not, it’ll be soft-serve, which can be hard to track down elsewhere. But other than that, this classic tends to melt too quickly and is limited to the vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry trifecta. Not very fun.
5. The Lemon Ice
Again, just another really basic thing to get at an ice cream truck. If you’re looking for something citrusy and frozen-ish, then I guess this is for you? But why Lemon Ice? Just have some lemonade with a bunch of ice and you’re good to go.
6. The Malt Cup
No one, and I mean no one from my childhood or adulthood, has ever ordered these. Even the name of this thing puts me off. It sounds like someone took a bunch of malt balls and blended them together to create this awful mess. Gross.
Now get out there and track down the nearest ice cream truck. You deserve it.