4
Each paleta from Valley favorite Paletas Betty comes with a "bite" taken out, so you know it's good to eat.EXPAND
Each paleta from Valley favorite Paletas Betty comes with a "bite" taken out, so you know it's good to eat.
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Where to Find the 10 Best Frozen Desserts in Greater Phoenix

Sure, ice cream is great and Popsicles are fine, but sometimes you want to branch out from the usual summertime treats to try something a little more unique. From healthy-ish options made with all-natural ingredients and plenty of fruit to sinful indulgences with enough sugar to keep you buzzing for days, here's where to find 10 of our favorite frozen desserts to get through the desert summer. 

Paletas Betty


96 West Boston Street, #100, Chandler


No, we didn't forget to take a photo before we took our first bite of this frozen treat. Each paleta from Valley favorite Paletas Betty comes with a "bite" taken out, so you know it's good to eat. And, to be honest, we don't care because they're so good, we're willing to share. We especially love the piña con chili paleta. At first taste, you don't notice the heat of the chili, and with the sweet pineapple, it's a well-balanced dessert that's actually quite sweet and refreshing.

The Açaí Bowl from Original ChopShop Co. is still really cold, okay?EXPAND
The Açaí Bowl from Original ChopShop Co. is still really cold, okay?
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Original ChopShop Co.


Multiple Locations


Okay, so this one's almost frozen, but technically just really cold. That aside, the Açaí Bowl from Original ChopShop Co. starts with açaí blended with berries and apple juice, served with fresh strawberries, and sliced banana, topped with crispy hemp and crunchy granola, shredded coconut and a drizzle of sweet agave nectar. Not only is it refreshing, but it's also packed with antioxidants, and the lack of added sugar means we don't have to feel guilty about wanting to eat this all day, every day. ChopShop also serves smoothies and yogurt parfaits, all made fresh to order. 

The tSoynami is basically a vegan version of a Dairy Queen Blizzard.EXPAND
The tSoynami is basically a vegan version of a Dairy Queen Blizzard.
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Nami


2014 North Seventh Street


Available at Nami along lower Seventh Street, the tSoynami is easily the best frozen vegan dessert in metro Phoenix. It is basically a vegan version of a Dairy Queen Blizzard. We're super into the Doughboy, which features vegan cookie dough. In the mood for something more sophisticated? Try the Chai Tiramisu. Granted, it's not really all that tiramisu-like, but the animal crackers take the place of ladyfingers and bring a crunchy texture to the soft-serve chai blend. And with more than 15 tSoynami combos on the menu plus a seasonal recipe, there are plenty of choices for every taste.

Fatty Daddy or Mini Daddy, it's all good.EXPAND
Fatty Daddy or Mini Daddy, it's all good.
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Fatty Daddy's Ice Cream


1608 North Miller Road, #5, Scottsdale


This Scottsdale ice cream shop is perfect for a serious craving. You'll have to be willing to look for it, though, since it's hidden in the corner of the strip mall near the intersection of Miller and McDowell roads. The namesake Fatty Daddy features a macaron ice cream sandwich that's loaded with two scoops of ice cream and then topped with toasted marshmallow, though if that sounds like too much, you can also get a Mini Daddy with one scoop of ice cream. You'll have your choice among cleverly named creations in throwback flavors such as Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops, but the friendly staff are usually patient while you taste your way through the options. 

Authentic Italian gelato on deck.EXPAND
Authentic Italian gelato on deck.
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Frost Gelato


Multiple Locations


Originally from Tucson, Frost Gelato now has locations at both Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix and in Gilbert's SanTan Village. It's some of the best and most authentic Italian gelato around, and it's definitely the prettiest gelato we’ve ever seen. The flavors are made fresh daily in-house with ingredients imported from Italy — that includes machinery and display cases — with the exception of milk and sugar. Best of all, the shop also has gelato for adults featuring liquors such as rum and amaretto. The alcohol gelatos have a whopping 1 percent ABV, but they're still not for kiddos.

From the East Coast to the Southwest.EXPAND
From the East Coast to the Southwest.
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Rita's Italian Ice


Multiple Locations


With more than 30 years of experience on the East Coast, the maker of this summer treat has been around for quite some time. Rita's opened in Arizona a few years ago and now has almost a dozen locations around the state. The selection of flavors changes daily, but on our recent visit we decided on a Gelati, which features custard topped with Italian ice, then layered with more custard on top. For this dessert, we went with a sweet, old-fashioned, cotton-candy-flavored Italian ice, but you can choose from options like blood orange, Swedish fish, piña colada, wild black cherry, or mango, just to name a few. The shop also serves ice cream and sugar-free Italian ice. It’s just like being at the boardwalk, minus the ocean.

Can't go wrong with the inventive flavors at AZ Pops on Seventh Street.EXPAND
Can't go wrong with the inventive flavors at AZ Pops on Seventh Street.
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

AZ Pops


5050 North Seventh Street


You can find AZ Pops at several Valley farmers markets as well as at the company's brick-and-mortar store on Seventh Street. We tried the Lavender Berry Lemonade with blackberries mixed in, and a Peach Prickly Pear pop for a taste of Arizona flavor. Both were firm, but slushy enough that biting into them was a snap — no one likes a brick of ice pretending to be a Popsicle — and even in 112 degrees they didn't melt instantly when we headed outside. Best of all, AZ Pops makes all its products with natural ingredients and no preservatives, so whether you go for Vietnamese Coffee or Goat Milk Balsamic Fig, you know the flavor is the real deal. 

Should I stay or should I Snoh?EXPAND
Should I stay or should I Snoh?
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Snoh


Multiple Locations


If you've never had Taiwanese shaved ice, or snoh, imagine regular shave ice, but creamier, though not quite as creamy as traditional ice cream. Better yet, just experience it for yourself at Snoh, small shops with almost overwhelming selections. Options include The Breakfast Bowl, made with milk cream snoh, Fruity Pebbles, strawberries, and topped with sweetened condensed milk, and #10, a combination of strawberry snoh, Oreo cookies, strawberries, and a chocolate glaze. We went with a Thai tea snoh mixed with boba and mochi balls, topped with black sesame glaze. Not into any of the menu options? You can also create your own snoh — just be sure to add that condensed milk on top. We sort of think it’s a must. 

Zero bad choices can be made at Sweet Republic.EXPAND
Zero bad choices can be made at Sweet Republic.
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Sweet Republic


Multiple Locations


Well-loved Valley ice cream shop Sweet Republic has our favorite selection of flavors, many of which have featured local produce including the Schnepf Farms peaches and cream or the seasonal, Southwest-inspired sweet corn. It might sound weird, but don’t be afraid; the sweet corn is creamy and sugary without being overpowering. And if you're into something more traditional, the shop can deliver on those fronts, too. Standing flavor options include Belgian chocolate, real mint chip, and salted butter caramel swirl. Pro tip: Be sure to check the website before heading in. The flavors change on a daily basis.

Raspados El Zalate has some of the most authentic Mexican raspados desserts in town.EXPAND
Raspados El Zalate has some of the most authentic Mexican raspados desserts in town.
Jennifer Lind-Schutsky

Raspados El Zalate


Multiple Locations


Raspados El Zalate has some of the most authentic Mexican raspados desserts in town. The Chamoyado is a combination of chamoy sauce, shaved ice, mango, and chili powder, with a Tamarrico con chili straw, then topped with peanut shell candy and fruit leather. The dairy-free dessert is part mango smoothie, part shaved ice, and has Lucas Mexican candy mixed into everything. We love the intense flavor combinations of sweet fruit, sour fruit candies, spicy chili powder candy, and salty peanut topping. It’s perfect for when you need something cool and refreshing without being too saccharine, although if you're looking for something fruitier, we also suggest the Piña Loca.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on July 18, 2016. It was updated on August 14, 2019.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >