Aug 11, 2023 - Things to Do

Dairy Queen is king in Austin

Most common ice cream chains in Austin
Data: Yelp, Axios research; Note: Includes stores categorized as "ice cream" on Yelp that have reviews; Ties were awarded to the more nationally-popular chain; Chart: Kavya Beheraj and Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Dairy Queen is the most common ice cream chain across the Austin metro area, with homegrown Amy's Ice Creams tied for second place with Baskin-Robbins.

  • That's according to a new Axios analysis of Yelp data.

By the numbers: There are 48 Dairy Queens across the region, followed by nine Amy's and nine Baskin-Robbins.

The big picture: Dairy Queen is king of the country — it's the most dominant chain in nearly 75% of U.S. counties, suggesting people really like their Blizzards.

Yes, but: Austin's own Amy's Ice Creams' ranking is nothing to scoff at.

Zoom in: Amy Simmons, the company's founder told Forbes in 2019 the company has succeeded by staying hyperlocal — starting with its first store on Guadalupe in 1984. It's now in Houston and San Antonio, too.

  • "We’re really focused on growth and income: a hundred years, not a hundred stores," she said.
  • Rather than generic logos and graphics, the company features local artists in its stores and marketing campaigns, and each location partners with local charities to fundraise, according to Forbes.

Of note: Simmons became Texas' first professional female boxer.

Data: Yelp, Axios research; Note: Includes stores categorized as "ice cream" on Yelp that have reviews. Counties with ties were awarded to the more nationally popular chain;  Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Reality check: Just because one particular chain is the most dominant in a given area doesn't necessarily make it the best.

  • And local institutions that only have one or a handful of shops won't crack this kind of ranking.
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