World's Best Scoops
Collected by Lindsey Tramuta , AFAR Contributor
I can still picture myself as a child: anxiously waiting outside for the mysterious yet familiar music-box melody that bellowed from the rooftop speaker of the neighborhood ice cream truck, signaling snack-time. Whether on a stick, sandwiched between cookies, scooped into a cup or filled to the brim of a crunchy cone, ice cream was shorthand for joy. As I prepared this list, the joy and anticipation were untouched. Bring out the kid in you by swinging by these spots for top-rate scoops.
117 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
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. ...
188 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002, USA
'They' say Rome has the best gelato in Italy. Since I haven't been to every town in Italy, I can't confirm that. Neither, though, can I deny it because when I tasted the gelato at Gelateria del Teatro while in Roma I definitely experienced...
513 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116, USA
When you find a great place for ice cream, you just know. After a day wandering around Tremont St. in Boston, we managed to find this little bucket of joy upon a recommendation from one of the local shop-owners. Picco has an absolutely wonderful...
212 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Leopold's Ice Cream shop is a great place for a tasty treat on a hot summer day in Savannah. Grab yourself a scoop and head to one of the town's many historic squares to rest on a shady bench and do some people watching.
39 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris, France
Most visitors venture to the Marais for two things: falafel and shopping. I go for the gelato. Unlike the majority of Italian ice cream shops who brandish their mountainous flavors in the windows to entice passersby, Pozzetto (Italian owned and...
Ferry Building, One San Francisco Bay Trail #8, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
Everyone seems to try the famous Secret Breakfast flavor, which has bourbon and conflakes, but it's just one of the many creative and creamy options at this Mission ice cream stop (which now has a new location in the Ferry Building). I like a...
3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Bi-Rite's flavors are incomparable to anything you've ever tasted before. The rich, creamy tastes of Earl Grey, salted caramel, and lavender (just to name a few) are indescribably delicious. Hand-crafted flavors and baked goods set them apart. Go...
714 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
When people come to visit, I love taking them to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. While the ice cream is surely amazing, what I like most is telling the story behind Jeni's. To me it embodies the Columbus food scene's commitment to sourcing local and...
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...
631 S Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59801, USA
Montana gets pretty darn cold in the winter, but the Big Dipper ice cream shop never shuts its doors. From traditional scoops to thick shakes, everyone can get their fill—even when the snow is falling. Mobbed with runners, bikers, tourists, and...
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...
4239 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
While there are great choices for ice cream in Philadelphia—Franklin Fountains, Bassetts, Little Baby Ice Cream—there are also local startups that are creating artisanal and fresh ice cream. Meet the Weckerly's Ice Cream! They recently started to...
225 26th St #51, Santa Monica, CA 90402, USA
A small storefront in the charming Brentwood Country Mart is lit up late after the rest of the village has gone to sleep. Here at Sweet Rose Creamery, organic milk, eggs, cream, and sugar are transformed daily into the purest-tasting ice cream,...
518 N Federal Ave, Mason City, IA 50401, USA
Hot, heavy air redolent of soil and work, the summer in the midwest of steadiness- steady work, steady breezes, a pace slow and consistent. And at the end of the day, when the work is done, there's ice cream. Birdsall's has been around for more...
125 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009, USA
There are a lot of ice cream trucks in NYC. Only one started out as the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck but became a brick-and-mortar Big Gay Ice Cream shop. Whether you flag down the truck somewhere in Midtown or wait in line at the shop on E 7th in the...
Piazza degli Zingari, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
A 10-minute walk from the Forum, Gelateria Fatamorgana sells Maria Spagnuolo’s edible works of art. Each flavor is made from all natural ingredients, without chemical additives or artificial flavors, and many are lactose free. Spagnuolo’s...
101 N 2nd Ave, Alpena, MI 49707, USA
Housed in one of Alpena's oldest downtown buildings that's been restored and has original tin ceilings, hardwood flooring and brick facade, Scoops is known among residents and visitors alike to be one of the best destinations in all of Alpena....
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