The mild winters and hot summers in the Valley make ice cream a perfect dessert year-round. Lucky for us, Phoenix has no shortage of unique places churning out both classic and unusual frozen treats.
Here, we rounded up 10 of the best places in the Valley to get your ice cream fix.
Made-from-scratch liquid nitrogen ice cream may not immediately sound delicious, but it is this unusual ice cream-making method, which flash-freezes the cream, that is responsible for the dense, ultra-creamy frozen treats at Creamistry. To get things started at the custom ice cream shop, choose a size and a base: signature "premium" milk base, organic milk base, a water-based sorbet, or nondairy coconut base. Then, select an ice cream flavor, toppings, and mix-ins ranging from cereal-inspired ice cream flavors
1385 East Warner Road, Gilbert
This adorable ice cream shop and creamery in Gilbert sells everything from made-in-house ice cream to shakes, Italian sodas, and flavored
6054 North 16th Street
9160 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale
Remember the days when
MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain2303 North Seventh Street
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
5223 North Central Avenue
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 like 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.
2014 North Seventh Street
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
5150 West Baseline Road, #102, Laveen
Laveen’s best-kept secret might just be Scooptacular, a small but cheery ice cream shop featuring fun and interesting 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
Melt333 East Roosevelt Street
Located in Jobot 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.
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4005 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale is one of the few old-school ice cream parlors 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
Novel Ice Cream
1028 Grand Avenue, #6
Dive into some unconventional ice cream flavors at Novel, a small ice cream joint hidden on the west side of downtown Phoenix. Their flavors range from peppermint mocha to peanut butter and jelly and everything in between. Kick your ice cream creation up a notch by asking for a Dough Melt, a warm doughnut stuffed with your favorite ice cream flavor. Want a waffle instead? Just order the Leslie Knope.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on July 20, 2015. It was updated on July 21, 2019.