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 — which would explain the high number of U.S. entries on this list. 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. (Click here to view the actual recipe for Thomas Jefferson’s ice cream, which came from a note written by the president himself.)
Due to this history and our love of travel, we couldn’t possibly limit this list to only American shops and the American-style of the dessert, so you’ll see gelato and variations from a few different countries as well.
The criteria, however, are constant. We 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 2016.