Although grilling is synonymous with summer, those of us with sweet tooths (sweet teeth?) clamor for another warm-weather food: ice cream. Although first invented in the fourth or fifth century B.C., ice cream has existed in something close to its current form since the 1500s or 1600s in France, with recipes appearing in England in the 1700s. It was then that Thomas Jefferson first tried (and adored) it during a visit to Europe, and he is generally credited for its immense popularity in America. Although Jefferson is not believed to have actually introduced ice cream to the States, his cooks famously prepared it for him on a regular basis, and by serving it to his powerful guests he helped to make it trendy.
Due to this history and our love of travel, we couldn’t possibly limit this list to only American ice cream shops (and American-style ice cream), so you’ll see Italian gelato (which is more dense than ice cream and has a slightly different recipe) and variations from several different countries around the world as well. In conducting our research, one thing became very clear (if it wasn't clear already): Ice cream is truly beloved the world over.
In order to assemble our ranking, we started by tracking down dozens of popular ice cream shops from around the world and put them all into a spreadsheet. We then scored each shop based on the following factors: acclaim (critical and overall popularity), ingredients (freshness, lack of additives, etc.), originality (number of flavors and their uniqueness), and the service and experience (based on actual customer reviews). The scores were tallied, and this is the result: the 35 best ice cream parlors in the world for 2017.
Additional reporting by Matt Sulem.