Ice Cream with a Twist
Collected by Dwiveck Custodio , AFAR Local Expert
A common strawberry ice cream from the store can make your day, but a more intricately-designed ice cream can change your life. Whether it's the infusion of local flavor, the natural touch placed on it, or the way the ice cream is served, the detailed love that's poured into these masterpieces can really be the cherry on top—and so much more.
Lares, 00669, Puerto Rico
The sun can shine relentlessly in Puerto Rico, but you can beat the heat with cool sweets. If you’re staying in town, your best bet is a piragua (shaved ice with a syrup of your choice) from a plaza vendor's cart. But if you’re escaping the city...
Borgo degli Albizi, 11r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The perfect souvenir for the food-loving traveler? Slim bars of chocolate wrapped in paper patterned with groovy midcentury designs. Or a pale blue box tied with a satin ribbon, holding a treasure of pralines, caramels, and squares of dark...
Plaça de la Reina, 6, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain
Valencia is famous for its horchata, or tiger nut milk, and Llinares Ice Cream serves a respectable version of the drink. But the daring come for outlandish ice cream flavors, from glazed doughnut to potato omelet and fresh anchovies in vinegar. ...
2035 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211, USA
3199 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95818, USA
Vic's Ice Cream is a fixture in Sacramento. Opened in 1947, the neighborhood diner has maintained its original look from the black-and-white floor tiles to small booths and black bar stools. The employees have looked the same since I started...
GF, Centralplaza Ladprao, 1691 Phahonyothin Rd, Lat Yao, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
Ice cream breaded and fried the exact way the fried pork chop tonkatsu is done, and served in a bento set with chocolate sauce drizzled over it. You have to eat it while its hot and it's a full meal in itself as dessert. The menus are updated...
2495 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104, USA
Carmela is Pasadena's favorite ice cream shop. Drive by in the evening, and you'll see a crowded store front with happy ice-cream-eaters overflowing onto the sidewalk. I love their unique flavor combinations; they even offer classes if you're...
Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
If there is one person responsible for the relatively recent improvement of Rome’s gelato culture, it is Claudio Torcè. He has trained some of Rome’s premier gelatai (Maria Spagnuolo of Fatamorgana and the Gori siblings, to name a few) and prides...
Île Saint-Louis, 75004 Paris, France
Just east of the magnificent buttresses of the Cathédrale Notre Dame, across the Pont Saint-Louis, lies an island sanctuary in the middle of this chic, bustling city: Île Saint-Louis. The one-way streets are narrow, with views of the Seine River...
1622.5 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Another food-truck-made-good in a permanent location, Molly Moon’s now has five locations around town, but still sends out its iconic baby-blue truck for special events — just follow your nose to the heavenly scent of their freshly made waffle...
3040 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P 1Z3, Canada
Located in Toronto's Junction neighborhood, Delight ticks all the right boxes: organic, fair-trade, local, and delicious. The shop is known for its chocolates, but the ice cream is equally noteworthy. As smooth as gossamer, it's the best in the...
600 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Located in the International District in Uwajimaya’s food court, Unicone serves up very thin, Japanese-style crepes, filled with sweet or savory toppings and rolled up in a paper cone. Half the fun is watching them make the crepes before your...
Horseshoe, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
The Magnolia brand of ice cream is the most popular in the Philippines, especially back in the 80's. As kids back then, our favorite place was the original Magnolia Ice Cream House, which actually sits in the main ice cream plant grounds. As kids,...
801 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211, USA
It seems Baltimore had some ice cream cravings only the Charmery could fulfill. The newest addition to Hampden's "Avenue," this little place has lines going out the door already. And their ice cream is worth a long wait! The Charmery creates hand...
913 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
There’s nothing like a cold creamy treat on a warm day, and one ice cream shop in the cozy California beach town of Santa Cruz is doing it so, so right. Penny Ice Creamery isn’t your average ice cream joint; you won’t find Ben & Jerry’s-style...
Via Luigi Poletti, 6, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
This tiny natural gelato shop opened behind the Maxxi (the Zaha Hadid-designed museum for 21st century art) to rave reviews in the summer of 2011. The gelataio uses Italy’s best hazelnuts and pistachios, Amedei chocolate, milk from a biodynamic...
94 Wausan-ro, Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
If the name of Seoul’s favorite new ice cream shop sounds familiar, maybe it’s because the moniker is gleaned from an intersection in San Francisco where the owner used to live. This small-batch parlor serves up imaginative flavors of ice cream,...
Av. Central, entre calle 3era y 4ta, Panama City, Panama
Chill out on balmy Panama City days and nights thanks to Granclément, an artisanal ice cream parlor located in the city's historic heart. The ice cream architects here blend the region’s abundance of tropical fruits (think guanabana, mango, lime,...
8 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
In a city renowned for its "gastro-this" and "fusion-that," it was a surprise that my decadent waterfront meal at the Americano ended with a simple dessert. Simple, I soon learned, only at first glance. What looks like a standard ice cream...
Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
In June 2012, Marco Radicioni, an alum of gelato master Claudio Torcè, opened Otaleg in the Portuense district (southwestern Rome). After more than a year of study with the maestro, Radicioni he opened his own space. The name is simply “gelato”...
Avenida da Liberdade, Quiosques Liberdade - Posto 4, 1250-145 Lisboa, Portugal
A kiosk at Avenida da Liberdade, this one has the best chocolate cake in the world. If you don’t fancy chocolate, you have other choices like custard tarts, croissants, or even a light meal. But of course, there are also drinks, like caipigelado...
511 W Canfield St, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
Owner Carolyn claims that what was once a neighborhood dive bar got its current name when a brawl broke out—the former owner held up the keys, asked if anyone wanted to buy a bar and a local teacher said, "sure," which prompted one of his friends...
Av Felipe S, Av. Gral. Salaverry 3103, San Isidro 15076, Peru
Ice cream is cheaper than air conditioning in Lima, and while the city doesn’t boast much of the former, it has the latter in spades. Despite ice cream’s wide availability throughout the city, however, there’s really only one great place for...
Saiakang 2, 10146, Tallinn, 10146 Tallinn, Estonia
Kehrweider is a popular, local chain of coffee cafes with branches located throughout Tallinn. We happened upon the newest addition to the chain, Kehrwieder Röstikoda, in old town Tallinn. What initially drew us to the place was the sight of the...
One 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003, USA
Would you like some pizza with your egg? In a city known for its pizzas, Otto is well-known for it's interesting (but delicious), and flavorful combinations. Although I haven't been, their happy hour specials draw large crowds...book early! This...
Via Monte Grappa, 11, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
When I travel, I visit places only once because I want to try everything. I went to Gelateria Gianni twice during my day and a half in Bologna. The map outside points out that all the ingredients used in their gelato come from the regions known...
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