Grocery store ice cream sandwiches ranked worst to best

Growing up, you'd wait to hear the siren song of the ice cream truck driving down your street. You'd sit in your yard, a fistful of quarters sweaty in your palm, craning your neck to hear that carousel music, or for some reason, regardless of seasonal considerations, "Jingle Bells." If you were like a lot of kids, you'd eschew the creamy orange-sherbet Push-Pops or the patriotic hued Bomb Pops and go straight for the good stuff — the simple yet delightful ice cream sandwich. 

Ice cream sandwiches have come a long way since they were first invented in the 1899 in New York City, and now you can eat them infused with Campari, vermouth, and juniper sandwiched between two slices of vanilla cake, like a Negroni cocktail, or with miso salt caramel ice cream sandwiched between Guinness cake. But in the case of the ice cream sandwich, simpler is better. You want soft vanilla ice cream in a rectangular shape sandwiched between two thin chocolate wafer cookies just like the ice cream man used to shove in your grubby little fist when you were six years old. So which of these old school treats from your local grocer's freezer measures up? Keep reading to find out.

Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches

First of all, wrong shape. Skinny Cow, you're fired! You had one job to do which was come in the shape of a rectangle and you can't even do that! It's sort of low-hanging fruit to judge a "diet" ice cream sandwich alongside delicious full-fat and full-calorie options, but the Skinny Cow variety isn't even that skinny at 160 calories a pop.

Low-fat vanilla ice cream is sandwiched between two rather bland-tasting chocolate cookies that are reminiscent of those chocolate scented markers you used to use to write in your slam book in the eighth grade. These just aren't satisfying. They aren't happy. They don't taste like a treat. They taste like diet food. Everyone on a diet should just eat some fruit for breakfast so they can eat a real ice cream sandwich when they want one, instead of one of these sad Skinny Cow cream sandwiches.

So Delicious ice cream sandwiches

One pro of these little guys is that they are both dairy free and vegan. The con? They taste like it. Many fans of So Delicious ice cream sandwiches are also requesting that they be made gluten-free, so those with gluten allergies can enjoy them as well, and the brand has said they are perfecting the cookie. The gluten-free cookie might still need perfecting, but this one does, too, and so does the ice cream center. 

At least that's the opinion if you are used to eating real ice cream. It's awesome that those with milk allergies or sensitivities can enjoy the frozen almondmilk treat, but if you have neither of these issues you'll probably be pretty disappointed in not only the flavor and mouthfeel of the ice cream (the almondmilk "ice cream" is hard and even has unappealing ice particles on it), but the texture and the flavor of the cookie, too. These ice cream sandwiches would make for a very cruel, cruel summer.

Julie's Organic ice cream sandwiches

Julie's Organic ice cream sandwiches are a bit pricey (they're sold at Whole Foods — what did you expect?) because they contain all-natural ingredients, no high-fructose corn syrup, and are made with hormone and antibiotic-free milk. So that would mean they would be the most delicious summer treat you could sink your teeth into, right? WRONG. 

These are bad. Bad in a way too much sugar taste way; in a way too thick ice cream way; in a mushy cookie and gritty aftertaste way. Ice cream treats should never be gritty. These also suffer from the whole gets-all-over-your-fingers issue that some other ice cream sandwiches have. So while you are struggling to take a bite out of this you will also be getting a mess all over your hands. And for the price, these definitely aren't worth it. The price will vary by location, but at around seven bucks a box, you'd expect a lot more from your dessert.

Klondike ice cream sandwiches

What would you do for a Klondike bar? It better be a lot more than you would do for one of these ice cream sandwiches because these are pretty lame. 

First of all, they are square, which just isn't right. They can go sit in the corner with the Skinny Cow wrong-shaped variety. One big pro about these is that they clock in at 180 calories, which is barely higher than the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. The little bear imprint on the cookie is cute, but you aren't eating these for the cute factor — you are eating them for the delicious factor!

The cookie is vaguely salty and the texture of it is so soft that it gets all over your fingers in a mealy chocolatey mess. The ice cream, which is labelled as "light," doesn't actually taste like ice cream. It tastes like cold frosting. Or cold whipped cream. It's airy and whipped so it stays very soft between the way-too-soft cookie and it's just a mushy mess. The OG Klondike ice cream bars that are simply coated in chocolate are way better in every way. 

Blue Bunny ice cream sandwiches

The first thing you'll notice about the Blue Bunny ice cream sandwiches is that they are more square than rectangular, and you are getting a very large ice cream to cookie ratio. And the ice cream basically tastes like sugary foam. Once again, these sandwiches suffer from the Klondike disease of having ice cream that doesn't taste quite like ice cream, and doesn't feel like ice cream in your mouth. It leaves an almost oily aftertaste.This probably has to do with the fact that the reduced-fat ice cream contains cellulose gum, which is a thickening agent used in foods to give them a thicker and creamier texture.

Disappointingly, the cookie is rather bland and mushy too, with no discernible chocolate flavor. It's hard to believe that the Blue Bunny brand wouldn't taste better, considering they've created some of the most delicious ice cream flavors ever. Bunny Tracks anyone? That ice cream totally owns whatever these bad ice cream sandwiches are. 

365 Everyday Value ice cream sandwiches

Whole Foods' 365 Everyday Value line of organic and natural products has just about anything you'd want, from tuna fish to shampoo to ice cream sandwiches. After sampling their ice cream sandwiches, though, we'd have to say they may have wanted to stop at the tuna fish. 

The shape is correct — nice and rectangular. The ice cream is even delicious, a little on the sweet side but it definitely tastes like ice cream with a strong hint of vanilla and no residual mouth slime. But the cookie… the sad, sad cookie. The cookie is basically chocolate-colored cardboard. It's not soft, it's not crisp, and it definitely doesn't taste like chocolate, which just ruins the whole ice cream sandwich experience. The good news? These treats contain ingredients you can actually recognize, like organic milk, organic egg yolks, and organic vanilla extract. The bad news? Organic cocoa used to make the cookies is listed as one of the last few ingredients and it certainly does taste like it. It's almost like they baked the cookies and let them hang out in a room with some chocolate for 10 minutes and then gave up. 

Great Value ice cream sandwiches

There are many pros to Walmart's Great Value ice cream sandwiches. They are the correct size you'd want an ice cream sandwich to be. The ice cream tastes great with only a slight airiness about it and a good clean vanilla flavor. The cookie is delicious — not too thick, not too thin, and a definite taste of chocolate that will happily remind you of Oreo cookies. 

The biggest con? These sandwiches obviously come from the depths of hell because they just don't melt in the sun. The reason for this stability comes from calcium sulfate and guar gum. The calcium sulfate traps moisture so the ice cream will hold together, and the guar gum makes ingredients thick and stabilizes thawing. This all adds up to a delicious non-melty treat which would probably be a great addition to your picnic basket, even on the warmest of days.

Market Pantry ice cream sandwiches

These Target brand Market Pantry rectangular ice cream treats have a great ice cream to cookie ratio. They contain the same stabilizers like cellulose gum and guar gum that helps ice cream sandwiches retain their nice rectangular shape and they don't immediately melt in a puddle in your hands, but the good thing is you don't really taste it. You just taste a delicious, creamy, vanilla ice cream, that's a bit softer than what you'd get from scooping ice cream out of a carton. 

The cookie is borderline crisp, but it immediately gives way when you bite into it and turns into that soft cookie crust you associate with a great ice cream sandwich. Sadly, these also contain both corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, so if you're trying to avoid those you are best to steer clear and choose a more organic option. 

All in all this is a great ice cream sandwich, perfect for bribing neighborhood kids to mow your lawn and at a low enough price point that if they do a great job you can give them two. 

Annie's ice cream sandwiches

What these babies lack in size they make up for in taste. And these babies are mini. Even the fine folks at Annie's realize this, and they assume people will consume two of their ice cream sandwiches in one sitting. Sadly, or happily, depending on how you look at it,  you may want to eat the entire box. They are that good. 

All natural ingredients, organically certified, and they taste like an ice cream sandwich should taste. Yummy vanilla ice cream that tastes like actual ice cream with no foamy mouthfeel, sandwiched between two chocolatey wafers that will take you right back to playing ghosts in the graveyard on a warm summer night until your parents holler for you to come home. 

These are the best of the best, and they would have taken the number one slot if not for that fact they are so small you'll want to eat several to satisfy your ice cream sandwich craving. 

Nestle vanilla ice cream sandwiches

This is it. If you aren't worried about a product being all-natural or organic, then Nestle has the ice cream sandwich for you. These are so good someone even made an incredibly bizarre AMSR video dedicated to them. In the rankings of all the ice cream sandwiches, Nestle's have everything you could possibly want — the right shape, size, and flavor. 

The ice cream to cookie ratio is perfect. The ice cream has stabilizers but not such a large amount that you can taste them or notice them in your mouth after you swallow, and the ice cream tastes like wholesome vanilla ice cream. The cookie has enough structure to hold the ice cream in, but it's not too brittle or crunchy and it gives way to a soft, almost chewy brownie-like texture when you bite into it. The cookie flavor is also stellar, and tastes like a delicious soft chocolate cookie with just the very slightest hint of bitterness and salt that only enhances the vanilla ice cream flavor. 

These are the ice cream sandwiches you remember from the ice cream truck. They are simple and that's what makes them so good and so happily reminiscent of childhood. All you need now is a sprinkler in your yard to run through and your mom yelling at you to clean your room, and you'll have the perfect setting to bite into one of these ice cream treats.