10 Best Places for Ice Cream in Metro Phoenix

Udder Delights ice cream is made with fresh milk from the Superstition Farm.
Udder Delights ice cream is made with fresh milk from the Superstition Farm.
Evie Carpenter

Whether we scream or you scream, we're pretty sure everyone could use a scoop of ice cream now and then. And when we're craving something frozen and sweet, we head to one of these 10 local spots. Ben & Jerry don't have anything on the Valley's own ice cream shops, parlors, and more. 

This cow-themed creamery serves a lot more than just fresh ice cream.
This cow-themed creamery serves a lot more than just fresh ice cream.
Evie Carpenter
Udder Delights

This adorable ice cream shop and creamery in Gilbert sells everything from made-in-house ice cream to shakes, Italian sodas, and flavored butters. If you’re there for something sweet go for the shop’s original flavors which include Superstition Farm, a rich blend of chocolate and hazelnut, and seasonal offerings such as peach, watermelon, and avocado. The shop is owned by the folks behind the nearby Superstition Farm, so you can bet that the milk used to make all the products — ice cream included — is fresh as can be. You can also get your Udder Delights fix from the Udder Delights ice cream truck, which makes appearances all over town.


Why stick with regular strawberry ice cream when you can have Sweet Republic's strawberry buttermilk.
Why stick with regular strawberry ice cream when you can have Sweet Republic's strawberry buttermilk.
Evie Carpenter

Sweet Republic

Remember the days when Sweet Republic used to cruise around town in an awesome orange and white converted 1959 ice cream automobile? It retired a few years ago but in the meantime the well-loved ice creamery opened a second location in Phoenix — which we figure is almost as good. Known for sweet-savory flavor combos such as Habanero Bacon Avocado, Strawberry Balsamic Pepper, and the spicy Sichuan Chocolate, Sweet Republic has earned recognition from pretty much every national food publication you can think of. The seasonal and special flavors are always a treat but some of our go-tos include the Salted Butter Caramel and Basil Lime Sorbet.

Like your ice cream with a side of Phoenix history? Then you'll want to head to MacAlpine's.
Like your ice cream with a side of Phoenix history? Then you'll want to head to MacAlpine's.
Evie Carpenter

MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain

Established in 1928, MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain in Central Phoenix is nothing short of legendary. It’s seen more history go by than nearly any place in town and keeps tradition alive with a menu that includes shakes, malts, and classic ice cream sodas. Using Thrifty brand ice cream, MacAlpine’s lets customers choose from a list of flavored sodas (everything from almond and Amaretto to watermelon and wild cherr) and then plunks a scoop of ice cream right in the middle. If you’ve never experienced this soda fountain classic, prepare to be impressed. You could start with the chocolate soda and vanilla ice cream combo, or go crazy with the Nutty Professor, made with Amaretto soda and pistachio ice cream.

SubZero Ice Cream will build and freeze your dessert right before your eyes.
SubZero Ice Cream will build and freeze your dessert right before your eyes.
Evie Carpenter

SubZero Ice Cream

Ice cream snobs are probably thinking, “Really? Flash frozen ice cream? It can’t be good.” But the reality is that SubZero's completely customizable ice cream, dramatically frozen right before your eyes using a cloud liquid nitrogen, is not only super cool to see made, but also quite good. There’s science behind the reason why — basically, the faster you freeze the liquid the smaller the ice crystals and the smoother it tastes — but a big part of the appeal is that you can select everything including the base (ice cream, low fat ice cream, yogurt, even custard), flavor, and mix-ins. And don’t worry, if you don’t know where to start there’s also a menu of pre-designed creations, too.

With one-of-a-kind flavors and options like create-your-own ice cream sandwiches and pretzel cones, Churn in Phoenix has plenty to offer.
With one-of-a-kind flavors and options like create-your-own ice cream sandwiches and pretzel cones, Churn in Phoenix has plenty to offer.
Evie Carpenter

Churn

With bright, white design, an adorable argyle-painted hallway, and shelves stocked with old school toys and candy, Churn in Central Phoenix mixes modern style with a classic ice cream shop feel, bringing out the inner child in kids and adults. We have to resist the urge to press our nose up against the glass while we agonize over flavor options such as Madagascar Vanilla, Cookies and Mint, and Vietnamese Coffee. And once we’ve settled on a flavor there are still plenty of choices to be made: Do you want your ice cream in a cup or a cone? A waffle cone, cake cone, sugar cone, or pretzel cone? You can always have the friendly scoopers build you an ice cream sandwich; you get to choose the ice cream flavor and pick your own cookies.

Nami offers an ice cream option for those who can't or don't eat dairy.
Nami offers an ice cream option for those who can't or don't eat dairy.
Evie Carpenter

Nami

We believe in ice cream for all, which includes those who can’t or don’t eat dairy products. At Nami, vegans and the lactose-intolerant can order tSoft tServe, a soy-based, organic ice cream-like treat created by Damon Brasch, who’s also the man behind Green New American Vegetarian. The Central Phoenix shop serves a long menu of tSoynamis, treats that blend the tSoft tServe with everything from organic graham crackers, organic chocolate, and Ricemellow fluff to vegan Cap’n Crunch and fresh strawberries. The simpler Fruity tSoynamis mix the tSoft tServe with mango, berries, banana, and more.  

Scooptacular's Playdough ice cream takes us back to our childhood days.
Scooptacular's Playdough ice cream takes us back to our childhood days.
Evie Carpenter

Scooptacular

Laveen’s best kept secret might just be Scooptacular, a small but cheery ice cream shop featuring fun and intersting flavors. At this suburban strip mall ice cream destination you’ll find made-in-house ice cream including citrus cream cheese,  green apple, taro, red velvet cake and more. Our favorite might be Scooptacular’s Playdough, a simple but fun-looking flavor made with three different colors of sweet cream-flavored ice cream. The shop also serves shave ice, ice cream cakes, sundaes, and milkshakes.

As Roosevelt Row's go-to dessert spot, Melt stocks flavors from several local ice cream makers.
As Roosevelt Row's go-to dessert spot, Melt stocks flavors from several local ice cream makers.
Evie Carpenter

Melt

Located on Roosevelt Row in Central Phoenix, this tiny ice cream shop sources its offerings from local producers including Karen's Creamery & Udder Delights. As such you can expect a pretty diverse selection that can include anything from Fruity Pebbles and lemongrass poppyseed to beer and pretzels and chocolate rose pistachio. What might be an even bigger draw is Melt's unexpected ice cream presentation: your scoop will come in a tiny Chinese to-go container with a fortune cookie perched on top. Unconventional and inherently cool, it’s exactly what we’d expect from owner Jobot and Melt owner John Sagasta.

Though it's more of a commercial operation than a retail shop, Doc's in Tempe sells handmade ice cream by the pint.
Though it's more of a commercial operation than a retail shop, Doc's in Tempe sells handmade ice cream by the pint.
Evie Carpenter

Doc’s Artisan Ice Cream

This small-batch ice creamery isn’t really an ice cream shop — it’s more of a tiny commercial ice cream factory that also sells freshly-made pints of ice cream and sorbet on the side. But that doesn’t mean a trip to Doc’s isn’t worth your while. Most of the time Doc himself will be there to help you make a selection and to tell you all about the process of making ice cream on a large scale. The giant machinery is pretty cool to check out, and there’s no way you’ll leave without something sweet. The flavors are made with local or freshly-made ingredients — think, seasonal peaches, housemade caramel, and real champagne.

This classic Scottsdale ice cream parlor is one of the last ones left in the Valley.
This classic Scottsdale ice cream parlor is one of the last ones left in the Valley.
Evie Carpenter

Sugar Bowl

With the closure of Mary Coyle’s last year (may it rest in peace), Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale is really the only old-school ice cream parlor left in town. There’s even a counter with swiveling stools where you can belly up and order a classic ice cream sundae. The Old Town destination has been open since 1958 and is mostly known for being the featured in the Family Circus cartoons, which were drawn by Valley resident Bill Keane. The ice cream menu includes all the classic flavors, which can also be served in just about any way you can imagine — two scoops over a brownie, three scoops in a banana split, even stuffed between two halves of a fluffy cream puff. The shakes and malts are also worthwhile, as is the Camelback Soda, which features old fashioned soda with vanilla ice cream and a side of soda water.


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Use Current Location

Related Locations

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Sweet Republic

9160 E. Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

480-248-6979

www.sweetrepublic.com

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Sweet Republic

6045 N. 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85260

602-535-5990

www.sweetrepublic.com

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Churn

5223 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012

602-279-8024

www.churnaz.com

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Nami

2014 N. 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85006

602-258-6264

www.tsoynami.com

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Scooptacular

5150 W. Baseline Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85339

602-237-0254

scooptacular.net

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MacAlpine's Soda Fountain and Espresso Bar
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Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor

4005 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-946-0051

www.sugarbowlscottsdale.com

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Doc's Artisan Ice Creams

1221 W. Warner Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85284

602-618-8719

www.artisanicecreams.com

miles
Sub Zero Ice Cream

1065 E. Baseline Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85233

480-545-3194

www.subzeroaz.com

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Udder Delights

1385 E. Warner Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85296

480-507-3859

www.udderdelightsaz.com

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Melt

910 N. 5th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-472-3246

www.meltphx.com


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