Whether it's a classic one-scoop cone or an epic sundae experience, complete with hot fudge, bananas, nuts, fruit, whipped cream and sprinkles, Phoenicians love their ice cream.
No matter where you’re at, a local-approved sweet treat is just around the corner thanks to these ice cream shops and parlors scooping up some of the best frozen desserts in town. Here's where to find some of the best ice cream spots in Phoenix.
Named among the top 10 ice cream shops in the country by Bon Appetit, Sweet Republic elevates ice cream to a culinary art — which is precisely how co-owner Jan Wichayanuparp landed a fellowship sponsored by the James Beard Foundation. Using local, all-natural ingredients, the shop churns out some of the most inventive flavors around. While the menu changes seasonally, tried-and-true standbys include the Salted Butter Caramel Swirl, Madagascar Vanilla and Belgian Chocolate. Stop by for new flavors including Strawberry Balsamic Pepper, Sweet Corn and Breakfast Cookie.
6054 N. 16th St., Phoenix | 602-535-5990
9160 E. Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale | 480-248-6979
410 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe | 480-292-8557
3400 E. Sky Harbor Blvd., Phoenix (Terminal 4, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport)
Located in the Roosevelt Row Arts District, Melt is the result of Jobot Coffee and Superstition Farms’ Udder Delights joining forces to craft some of the best ice cream in town. Open from noon to midnight — prime cool treat time in Phoenix — Melt offers artisan ice cream flavors ranging from chocolate and vanilla bean to fresas con crema and cookie monster. But the specialty flavors, including ghost pepper and habanero white chocolate swirl, and RumChata, are where it's at.
333 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix
Deep in the heart of the Grand Avenue Arts District, Novel Ice Cream brings a novel twist to the delicious, yet run-of-the-mill serving of ice cream. Rather than having it in a cone, why not have it served in a doughnut ? One of Novel’s signature offerings, the Dough Melt is a glazed doughnut stuffed with ice cream. Flavors range from classic vanilla and strawberry to Hangry Honey Bee (salted sweet cream, raw honey, chocolate covered honeycomb) and Midnight Munchies (caramel-swirled butterfat ice cream with crunchy pretzels, M&Ms and Cracker Jacks).
1028 Grand Ave., #6, Phoenix
Past meets present at this nostalgic dessert shop where house-made ice cream and retro decor converge. This iconic spot has been serving up treats — including waffle cones, banana splits and milkshakes — since 1951. These days, you can also order up soups, salads and sandwiches, too. Whatever you decide on, just know that the atmosphere and ambiance are the cherry on top!
2302 N. Central Ave., Suite. 5, Phoenix
Putting a scientific spin on your favorite cold treat is Creamistry, where “creamologists” use liquid nitrogen set at minus -321 degrees to produce creamy, premium ice cream. First, choose your base (premium, organic, sorbet and vegan), then pick your flavor (everything from chocolate to matcha green tea), then choose your toppings (unicorn dust, anyone?). For the ultimate experience, upgrade your masterpiece with a waffle or brownie bowl. The build-your-own format allows you to play “mad scientist” and create the ice cream of your dreams.
If you have fond memories of eating freshly-churned ice cream on a hot summer day, Churn is guaranteed to bring those sweet times back to life. Tucked in a 1940s red brick building on Central Avenue, the nostalgic ice cream shop with a modern edge offers a vast array of flavors made with simple and fresh ingredients. Seasonal offerings and such classics as peanut butter and butter pecan deliver decadent and creamy flavor, but it's the ice cream vessels that take things over the top. Churn will build you an ice cream sandwich on homemade cookies or scoop you selections into a pretzel cone.
5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
If ever you find yourself driving past a Gilberts building with a gopher statue perched atop it, that is your sign to stop and savor everything that is Topo Arizona. One part roadside attraction, one part Southwestern-inspired comfort food, this iconic food stand is an absolute must if you like photo ops as much as dipped cones. Things start out exactly as you might expect on a road trip pit stop: chocolate, vanilla ... but then, wait, does that say prickly pear? Yes, yes it does. And we can't get enough.
301 N. Gilbert Road, Bldg. 2, Gilbert
Handcrafted, locally-sourced, gourmet ice cream is just the start at this Scottsdale shop. Try the signature cookie cup, a treat made of layers of your choice of ice cream flavor sandwiched between fresh macarons and topped with a toasted marshmallow. If you're feeling less adventurous, there's cones and bowls — and cone bowls — to fill with scoops of their many selections. Seasonal flavors, ranging from red velvet and Captain Crunch to chocolate cake and whiskey Irish cream rotate weekly (sorbet and gelato, too)
The idea for a vegan ice cream shop emerged from the restaurant’s infamous organic ice cream treat: the tSoynami. These now-famous dairy-free treats begin with homemade soy tSoft tServe before getting decked out with such goodies as cakes, cookies, chocolate, peanut butter, fruit and just about anything else you can think of. The restaurant’s bakers and baristas pour their hearts into each and every creation (and the list of selections is long). In addition to ice cream, Nami offers vegan baked treats and organic, shade-grown coffee. About 75% of Nami’s ingredients are organic and treats are served in biodegradable cups, boxes and flatware when possible.
2014 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
For outside-the-box flavors that don't rely on refined sugars, GMOs, gluten, dyes, artificial ingredients, preservatives or eggs, only one Phoenix ice cream legend comes to mind. Doc Brown, who describes his craft as "not the sort you’ll find in your grocer’s freezer," has been making his mark on the local frozen treat scene since 2013. The extensive list includes such rotating selections as ancho chile, mango habanero, salted caramel and coconut lemongrass lime. Doc’s Gelato and Sorbet is located inside Hive 48, home to natural sweets, gluten-free and vegan offerings.
1839 S. Crismon Road, Mesa (at Hive 48)