The Nine Best Ice Cream Parlours and Gelaterias in the World

© shutterstock

The Nine Best Ice Cream Parlours and Gelaterias in the World

© shutterstock

Some joys are so simple: queuing at the ice cream parlour, choosing your favourite flavours and trying to eat it all before it melts in the hot sunshine. We cannot help but smile at those memories. Neither can we wait to get sticky fingers and faces all over again. Here are some of the best and whackiest ice cream parlours and gelaterias around the globe. 

Sorbetteria Castiglione, Bologna, Italy 

This legendary sorbetteria really is in a league of its own: the Negrini family has made cutting-edge ice-cream their life mission. They have state-of-the-art equipment and their laboratory keeps pushing boundaries, both in terms of nutrition and taste. So lactose-free and vegan ice cream is as important as mind-blowing flavours like salted caramel and mint. 

Suzukien x Nanaya, Tokyo, Japan 

You are in Japan; you cool down with top notch matcha ice cream. Seven levels of “matchaness” graded from one to six in increasing order with level 7 allegedly the ice cream with the highest matcha concentration in the world. This is your full hit of that deep, green grassy note. But there are other frozen treats, too, after all, this 1853-founded outfit has always been known for its delights. 

FoMu, Allston, Massachusetts, USA

At FoMu, ice cream has been given the true 21st century treatment: here ice creams are vegan and plant-based – think soy-, coconut-and cashew-milk based – sweetened with natural sweeteners and free of preservatives. Regulars swear by the pure and silky texture and come back for rotating specials, flavoured for instance with habanero chili and fresh mint. There also is an in-house bakery that offers gluten- and soy-free options. But what we are really thinking is this: all the ingredients for an ice-cream cookie sandwich in one place! 

Ismageriet, Copenhagen, Denmark 

This retro-looking ice cream parlour in Copenhagen may just be the refuge from the real world we all need: on the south-facing terrace you can indulge in dairy and non-dairy based ice cream, with organic milk and locally sourced and freshly picked fruit and berries from the surrounding gardens. There is something authentic and very family-friendly about this place – and the Nutella and biscuit ice cream is a must-try. 

Cow and Moon, Sydney, Australia 

We know that Sydneysiders set a high bar when it comes to finessing summer, but this family-run ice cream parlour hits the mark with its secret recipes. There are rotating flavours, like the mouth-watering almond affogato ice cream and all is done in an unassuming and low-key fashion with a lovely vintage feel. And if you happen to tie the knot in Sydney: these guys do gelato wedding cakes.  

Ice Scream, New York City, USA 

Forget your old-fashioned freezers: here things are frozen in liquid nitrogen – right before your eyes. The ironic and retro interior sticks to ice-cream pastel colours while neon writing on the wall proclaims: “Ice cream is better than therapy.” Well, it may just be in this place where culinary theatre is as important as the various toppings for that cold stuff. 

Birds of Paradise, Singapore 

The name really is apt because here you get things that go well beyond your usual ice cream flavours. Botanical ingredients are key: fruits, flowers, pods, herbs and spices. You will find blue ginger or white chrysanthemum ice cream here. The design is minimalistic, the ethos is community-oriented and the flavours have a south-east Asian magic about them. 

Come il Latte, Rome, Italy 

Italian artisanal pride is made manifest in this gelateria; only first-rate ingredients are used: milk from the Centrale del Latte di Roma dairy, organic eggs, finest Madagascan vanilla, selected cocoa from South America, Sicilian pistachio, Piedmontese hazelnuts, Sri Lankan cinnamon… There are no preservatives, no artificial colourings, there is no palm oil. The taste speaks for itself, as does the distinctly Italian theme of flavours: panettone, cassata, gianduja but also gorgonzola with walnut or parmesan ice cream. 

Anita, Tel Aviv, Israel 

Anita is a real person – she started this ice cream parlour in her small kitchen almost 20 years ago. Then as now you can have home-made jam as a topping on your ice cream. There are tables outside so you can linger over her huge range of frozen yoghurt, sorbet, vegan and sugar-free ice creams. You can also have your ice cream with warm waffles. We have a feeling that Anita is a special woman.