Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

CITY: Columbus, Ohio
ADDRESS: Various (see website)
WEBSITE: jenisicecreams.com

Some fans might have trouble buying this, but ice cream is often best when it toys with less than sweet flavors. A little saltiness, a little spice, a little tang—these qualities make the palate pop in a way that cloying sweetness won't. Jeni's knows this, which explains flavors like Bangkok Peanut (an ice cream indebted to Pad Thai), Queen City Cayenne (a spicy take on chocolate), and Riesling Poached Pear (a dry, semi-sweet sorbet). To earn a top spot you've sometimes got to flip the script a little bit.