Gelato shops seem to come and go pretty quickly, but the ones that stick around prove their worth with smooth, creamy, cold treats that are so decadent and unique they can transport you to Italy with one bite. The array of flavors, each with its own decorative flair, make gelato as aesthetically pleasing as it is tasty. Flowers, biscotti, cut fruit, and ladyfingers can all be spotted atop a mound of the frozen treat, depending on the flavor. If you're not ready for a scoop or two now, a stop into any of the seven spots on our list is sure to make you an instant convert.
Marrazo That's Amore While That's Amore specializes in all sorts of Italian confections, the large case of authentic gelatos is the reason this North Scottsdale spot is a must-visit no matter where you live in the Valley. However, our favorite gelato flavor from That's Amore is a less traditional take. The whiskey flavor has a kick of liquory goodness in its sweet caramel drizzle, perfectly combining dessert with a night cap.
Gelato Spot With several locations around Phoenix, Chandler, and Scottsdale, Gelato Spot spreads its sweet, sweet love all around town, making it super-convenient to drop in as much as you want. The roasted almond flavor is slightly salty and savory, with a good nutty flavor to balance out the typically creamy and sweet gelato base. We also love the one-of-a-kind, limited edition flavors that Gelato Spot currently features all made by local chefs.
French Grocery One of our favorite new culinary hangouts in town, French Grocery, proves its not all about the croissants, quiche, and beignets. The small gelato selection made fresh in house features some uncommon flavors like fig jam. The peanut butter flavor, made with local PB Americano cinnamon and honey peanut butter is pretty much a perfect flavor. However, if you're weird like us, we suggest you grab a bag of Zapp's potato chips for dipping -- just trust us on this one.
Frost: A Gelato Shoppe While some gelaterias go for the quaint vibe, Gilbert's Frost goes all out sci-fi with their modern, clean, all blue and silver décor. The large case beautifully displays the loads of flavors you can choose from. While our absolute favorite is the bafflingly smooth and rich panna cotta, it's seasonal so you might not always get it. The tiramisu takes a close second if you can't, but we're sure any one of the made-fresh-daily options would put a smile on your face.
Cool Gelato Italiano Someday our prince will come. Until then, we have Cool Gelato Italiano's prince -- a thick, Nutella-filled treat that's an obvious home run. We mean, come on. It has Nutella in it. Plus, the Old Town hangout is ideally located for stops between shopping in the area. Treat yo'self.
Grateful Spoon Arcadians can be grateful that Grateful Spoon is around to serve up tasty gelato in these summer months. The gelato shop inside La Grande Orange makes the gelato from scratch with upscale options like honey lavender and reisling-poached apple. The simple, subtle pistachio flavor usually gets our vote, though, because of the pretty avocadoy green color. Plus, it ain't bad to taste either.
Gelato 64 Not only can you snag a scoop of Gelato 64's goods at the brick and mortar Chandler shop, the gelateria is also a regular at local farmers markets around town. We completely love the salted caramel flavor with its rich balance of flavors. However, if you're at the farmers market, you might want to go for the equally tasty, but less sinful grapefruit flavor. Otherwise, you might get some glares from the surrounding health foodies.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.