Here’s the Scoop, Part 4

The Best Ice Cream in Charleston

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

For the fourth installment of our world-famous ice cream reviews, we visited Ben and Jerry’s Downtown to review their very popular, brand-name ice cream. Without further ado, here’s the review:

Appearance: 

The store was small, but that is to be expected in Downtown Charleston. It is a cool place both in the decor and atmosphere. It is modern and has good lighting. It is fairly inviting because it is bright and colorful. Possibly the coolest part of the shop, in my (Emily) opinion, is the back patio seating area. When you walk in there is, at first glance, nowhere to sit. But if you walk towards the back of the store there is a back patio with seating, plants and a pretty cool atmosphere. Overall, I would say the shop is very aesthetically pleasing.

Ambiance: 

It’s very clear that Ben and Jerry’s is a well-known and well-respected establishment. Why? Because when you walk it, they don’t care. You know you’re in a place that is doing well with, or without, your business, so it’s really just a matter of whether or not you want ice cream, not whether or not you would like human connection, the old-timey ice cream feel, anything else you’d generally expect from a trip to an ice cream store. In fact, their seating is outside the store, minimal connection. That being said, this is only a real problem if you’re getting ice cream by yourself—which is super depressing, but hey, you do you—and if you have company you can, and most likely will, easily overlook this. 

Selection: 

They do have a great selection there. You have to give them credit for that. They have 25 ice cream flavors as well as six other options including non-dairy, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. That is quite a lot to choose from, and props to them for having non-dairy options. They also have a selection for cones. They have sugar, waffle, and dipped waffle cones. They also have waffle and dipped waffle bowls. Now moving on to the drinks. They have six smoothies and six shake options to choose from. Kind of cool considering I did not know they did smoothies. As a cherry on top (no pun intended), they also have sundaes. Overall, major points for options (of which they have tons). The only thing I would say is there may be too many options. Possibly slightly overwhelming to some. However, in my opinion, more is better than less.

Taste: 

So just for some diversity, I got sorbet and Elan got a milkshake. I got the Three Berry Sorbet and Elan got a half-baked milkshake. The sorbet was super refreshing and it tasted amazing. For all you may say about them being a big corporate business, you can’t argue with the taste. What I thought was cool was that all of their flavors can be found in-store, but I have never seen their sorbets before. The one thing I would say is that it is slightly boring to have already seen or even tried most of their flavors before you even go. I had never been in a Ben & Jerry’s storefront before, and I will say that knowing all of the flavors already was slightly underwhelming. However, even though I have seen them before, they still taste great and with so many flavors it is likely almost anyone can find something they will like. 

Price: 

Overpriced. I was gonna do this thing where I built up to it, but I couldn’t. This place serves normal (maybe slightly better than normal) ice cream in mediocre portions at high prices, which is ridiculous. As someone who constantly spends $7 on Marble Slab, I know when I’m overpaying for something, and I’m overpaying for Ben & Jerry’s. That being said, it’s a brand name—people are somehow ok with BEING ROBBED because it’s for a household name. It’s especially weird considering there are other ice cream stores in the vicinity that charge less for more… but to each their own.

Final Thoughts:

Elan:

Don’t get me wrong, I love Ben & Jerry’s, like I’m craving some of that eco-friendly, #Basic, magical happiness as I type, but, objectively, it’s not so great. It is popular, and it knows that, which means it cuts a few corners when it comes to profit; to the general public, it’s fine, but to a more frugal, small-business-minded individual, it doesn’t take the cake (which is ironic because they do make cakes). 

Emily:

All in all, I would say my experience at Ben & Jerry’s was a fairly positive one. The ice cream tasted exactly how I expected it to and was great. The atmosphere was super chill and not overwhelming. Also, I don’t feel as though I should mention the seating again. I thought that was sick. Eating ice cream outside with plants is awesome. Their selection is great and their flavors are proven to be fantastic. I cannot complain really. Yes, I would have to agree with Elan that it felt slightly inauthentic and superficial, but I suppose that is to be expected as it isn’t a little mom-and-pop ice cream shop. In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. So, for me, it was a good experience.