25 Best Ice Cream Parlors in the World Slideshow
It's hard to believe that a cold-weather state could be the birthplace of an uber-popular ice cream parlor, but in the case of Minneapolis’ Sebastian Joe’s, it’s true. Customers rave about all-natural flavors like Pavarotti (a caramel-banana-chocolate chip combo), which are packed into homemade waffle cones dipped in Swiss chocolate and sprinkled with almond, coconut, Butterfinger, or Heath Bar.
18 Smaker is an ice cream bar with, yes, 18 flavors that rotate according to the season and the makers’ cravings. Dedicated to organic ingredients, founders Danne and Karin provide options for vegan and lactose-intolerant customers as well.
This quaint, casual café specializes in all-natural, rGBH-free ice cream. Get an authentic taste of the "Land of Enchantment" with a regional flavor like Pinon Caramel or Cafe Ole (coffee ice cream with cinnamon and chocolate chips). Don’t worry about a sugar crash — Taos Cow offers a full (and fantastic) café menu, all day, every day.
In addition to organic ice creams and sorbets, Caramello also offers soy-based flavors and dairy-free options. As they're priced at €1 (about $1.30) per scoop, vegans can sample every variety without breaking the bank.
Legend has it that the Chinese invented ice cream; you’ll become a believer after tasting Chinatown Ice Cream Factory’s black sesame, red bean, or Zen butter varieties at this unofficial New York City landmark. Is one layer of flavor not enough? Try dousing your dessert in lychee topping or red bean sauce.
The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Bruce and Mark Becker were inspired by the recipes of their grandpa Max, an organic chemist, and embarked on a mission to make ice cream more exciting. Their bold and avant-garde combinations like Corn on the Cob and Cabernet Oreo appeal to adventurous eaters.
Max & Mina’s
Morelli’s is where you go when you want a gourmet mouthful in Atlanta. Treats like the caramelized peach ice cream with real peaches and the cinnamon toast sundae are truly works of edible art.
Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream
With a bright and busy interior, Tepoznieves is like a shot of sunshine. Their flavors are specific to the region and summery, too; try the kiwi or passion fruit if you’re craving something summery. Want a little alcohol with your ice cream? Tequila and piña colada flavors are also available. Can’t decide? No problem. Tepoznieves’ cups are cheap enough to buy two.
Flickr/Julian Hugo Guajardo
Creative flavors like Earl Grey, dark chocolate with pepper, and rose petal are what keep Chilean customers and tourists coming back to Emporio La Rosa. Save yourself the wait time by ordering at the cash register, then taking your treat to the adjacent park.
You don’t just eat the ice cream at this award-winning Canadian creamery — you get a behind-the-scenes tour! Learn how the company went from one location to 10 in the Milky Whey Theatre, see Cow’s iconic T-shirts being made, visit the sample room for the latest flavors, and sidle up to the Dairy Bar to, well, eat like a cow!
With 20 years of creamery experience, 71 awards, and 60 flavors (like old English toffee and mango-macadamia) beneath its belt, Simmo’s has proven to be a heavyweight in the dairy world. Their Dunsborough location boasts a park, mini-golf, and kids’ activities, making this the ideal family-friendly dessert destination.
Flickr/the sneaky pigeon
A quaint shop that has stood the test of time, A.M. Scannapieco serves more than 50 flavors of Italian gelato as well as old-fashioned ice cream sodas. Try one of five dulce de leche varieties — they’re said to be delicioso!
When you want old-fashioned, head to Eddie’s. Featuring antique equipment and décor, this sweet shop will take you back to the good old days when whipped cream was made by hand, banana splits were served in metal bowls, and soda jerks could charm the girls right off their bar stools.
James Beard Award-winning chef Jeni Britton Bauer is at the helm of this grassroots — yet rapidly growing — chain. The company prides itself on "pure flavor in whatever direction moves us at any moment," which ranges from wildberry-lavender to poached pear and everything imaginable in between.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
The slow food devotees who run this ice cream parlor rely on farm-fresh ingredients to create adventurous flavors including apple crumble & cream, mulberry yogurt swirl, and sweet potato with toasted marshmallow.
This Copenhagen creamery specializes in excess. Its most popular menu item is the "Amerikaner," which can pack up to four scoops of ice cream into a cone and is topped with syrup, whipped cream, and a chocolate-covered meringue puff.
This San Francisco staple boasts flavors like balsamic strawberry and roasted banana that "rarely have more than five ingredients, no stabilizers, and nothing artificial." Bi-Rite also bakes every ice cream add-in, like brownies and peanut brittle, on-site.
With the motto "Ice cream that knows where it’s coming from," you can be reassured that Murphy’s small batches of artisinal flavors like Irish Brown Bread or Goat’s Cheese and Caramelized Shallot are creamed with care by brothers Kieran and Sean.
Rumored to be Nigella Lawson’s favorite gelato haunt, Perché No! features exotic, intense flavors like ginger root and sesame crunch. Big believers in the slow food movement, Perché No! makes each batch of gelato fresh every morning. Put this on your "must visit" list for Florence.
Let us count the reasons why Molly Moon’s is the best lick in the world: take sweet-and-savory flavors like Maple Bacon or Beecher’s Flagship (read: Cheddar cheese, perfect for the à la mode portion of apple pie), add her hormone-free, locavore approach to dairy, factor in her adorable Boston terrier logo, and consider her philanthropic Anna Banana Milk Fund, and you’ll conclude that Molly Moon is the fairy godmother of frozen treats!
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
These quirky New York City outlets entice customers with flavored soft-serve topped with wacky add-ons. Envelope-pushing items like the Salty Pimp (vanilla soft-serve, dulce de leche, sea salt, and a chocolate dip) and Mexican Affo'gay'to (spicy hot chocolate with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, cayenne, and shaved chocolate) abound on the menu, while sea salt, Nutella, and dulce de leche are frequently incorporated into everything from traditional cones to cupped "Gobblers."
Big Gay Ice Cream
Antico Caffè Spinnato may very well be the pastry capital of Sicily. Known for its granitas and gelato, this swanky bistro serves up ice cream sandwiches on fresh-baked brioche bread. (Yes, you read that right.) Make sure you have two fists free.
Named after an Italian town, this Brazilian creamery is highly regarded amongst tourists and locals. The Demoiselle Cup, one of the most coveted menu items, consists of dulce de leche ice cream topped with pear and ginger syrup, followed by whipped cream and crunchy burnt sugar. Be forewarned: Vipiteno is consistently packed — and pricey.
Bar Gelateria Ercole is infamous for their tartufi, or truffles. A spoonful of fudge is wrapped with ice cream or gelato, rolled in cocoa powder and sugar, and then battered. The result is an oozing, cavity-inducing delicacy.
If you want wild flavors, you’ll find them at Fenocchio, a family-owned parlor scooping up scrumptiousness since 1966. While the scoops are on the pricey side, loyal customers will tell you the cones are worth it. Salted caramel and pistachio ice creamare favorites, though if you're looking for something adventurous, go for the cactus or tomato-basil sorbets.