Say what you will about the Arizona heat, but more warm days only mean more chances to cool off with a frosty popsicle. The icy treat on a stick not only provides sweet relief, it also conjures up delightful memories of lazy summer days filled with pool parties, road trips and sticky hands and faces.
Popsicles are all the rage throughout Phoenix, making endless flavor combinations super easy to find — just be sure to order enough for later, too.
Diamond-shaped ice pops made of gelato are the order of the day at Pop 'N Tea, housed in the former My Florist plaza in central Phoenix. The Instagram-worthy treats are made using a 3D printing technique, giving each bar its unique shape. Custom craft your gelato pop by choosing a flavor, selecting a dip or drizzle (dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate), then adding your favorite toppings. You can even spice it up with Chamoy or Tajin. Flavors include strawberry cheesecake, matcha, coconut, and cookies and cream.
550 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix
When in Rome, we have Italian ice. But when in Phoenix, only paletas will satisfy our cool cravings. No one knows this better than Paletas Betty, perhaps the place to go for this traditional Mexican fruit and cream pop made with fresh ingredients. Owner Betty Alatorre has been sharing her favorite treat, inspired by her childhood days growing up in Michoacán, since 2010. Made from scratch, flavors include nuez (roasted pecan), piña con chile (spicy pineapple) and pepino paleta (cucumber with mint). Paletas Betty has two locations in Chandler and Tempe, but we promise, it’s worth the drive.
While “all-natural” may be the buzzword in today’s food scene, the folks at AZ Pops take the term to heart. The Phoenix-based, artisan popsicle maker offers many flavors free of animal products (with the exception of some dairy-based flavors), nuts, gluten, and artificial coloring and flavoring. And they’re dedicated to using locally grown produce and ingredients, such as cucumbers from Horny Toad Farm for their sesame cucumber pop. AZ Pops has two locations in Phoenix, and are available at local markets including Luci’s Healthy Marketplace, Uptown Farmers Market and the Ahwatukee Farmers Market.
5050 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
3632 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix
When your grandmother tells you to make popsicles, you make popsicles. Such is the case for Brandon Omelas, whose abuelita encouraged him to make Latin American-style natural freeze pops using her secret recipe. While traditional flavors like strawberry, sweet ’n sour lemon, and tropical pineapple are sure to hit the spot, Breezy Pop’s seasonal flavors take things to a whole new level. There’s the Wild Guanabana made with soursop, a fruit that tastes like apple, pear and lemon fused into one; and the Café y Leche, made with coffee and cream. Breezy Pop can be found at the Phoenix Public Market and the Uptown Farmers Market.
For all the summer nostalgia lovers out there, we have a treat for you. Literally. This pop-op became a reality when the owners purchased a 1964 Chevrolet Step Van — the key component to this delivery-only business. Recipe trials followed, yielding fresh fruit classics and chocolaty combos, including dairy-free and gluten-free options. Since there is no storefront, you simply make your selections online (6 to 8 per bag or 10 to 12 per box) and the sweet treats will arrive at your doorstep. Bonus: There's never a delivery fee and some Greater Phoenix zip codes are guaranteed same-day delivery.