Best of Phoenix

Cool Off at the 10 Best Ice Cream Shops in Greater Phoenix

Novel Ice Cream serves unique flavors at two tiny shops in the Valley.
Novel Ice Cream serves unique flavors at two tiny shops in the Valley. Tirion Morris
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.

Taste some top-notch gelato, flavors from Hawaii, and frozen treats torched into crispy creme brulee at ice cream shops in Phoenix, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Glendale.

Here are the 10 best places to get ice cream in metro Phoenix.
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Alebrije Nevaria serves a selection of treats including fresas con crema (right) and cereal-infused ice cream (left).
Tirion Morris

Alebrije Nevaria

10171 North 19th Avenue, Suite 7
Located in an unassuming strip mall in North Phoenix, the outside of Alebrije Nevaria doesn’t reflect the goodies served inside. Walk in and read the menu posted on a giant chalkboard that spans two walls. This little spot serves an almost impossible amount of snacks and desserts given its size. Mexican treats like fesas con crema, elote and raspados are on the menu, but a surprising yet simple option takes the cake. Try the cereal-infused ice creams, where you pick your cereal and watch as it's blended into scooped ice cream, creating a slightly crunchy soft serve. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch keeps us coming back for more.

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At Cream of the Crop in Gilbert, ask for your ice cream creme brulee style for a crackly, caramel shell.
Cream of the Crop

Cream of the Crop

3000 East Ray Road, Building 6, Suite 103, Gilbert
Tucked inside Barnone, a collection of businesses housed inside an old storage barn, you’ll find Cream of the Crop. A rainbow-colored neon sign beckons customers to enter the small space and take a look inside the freezer case. A small but mighty selection of ice cream flavors wait to be made into sundaes, scoops, and Cream’s special creme brulee treats, where a topping of sprinkled sugar is blow torched into crackly caramel perfection.
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The hazelnut gelato at In Perfetto is close to perfect.
Tirion Morris

In Perfetto Gelato

1616 North Central Avenue, #103
Ice cream purists will say gelato is different from ice cream. And they are correct. But when it’s hot and you want a creamy, delicious frozen treat to scoop up, In Perfetto Gelato fits the bill perfectly. This gelato shop is connected with Italian restaurant Forno 301 on Central Avenue and the restaurant’s attention to flavor and quality clearly translates to dessert. Try the hazelnut gelato for a Nutella-esque treat that can’t be beat.

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The Mango Sticky Rice ice cream at LIX Uptown is the perfect way to beat the heat.
Tirion Morris

LIX Uptown Ice Cream

611 West Osborn Road
LIX Uptown, a small joint in the Melrose District, is one of the most fun ice cream shops in town. For starters, there’s an inflatable unicorn perched on the roof. Inside, colorful murals swirl around the walls, a game of Twister is painted on the floor, and customers can try their hand at Ms. Pac-Man. The ice cream itself is killer. Many of the flavors lack dairy or lactose, but you’d never tell by the taste. The mango sticky rice swirl is the perfect antidote to Phoenix heat.

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Novel Ice Cream is located in ThirdSpace off Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Novel Ice Cream

1028 Grand Avenue, #6 and 40 North Macdonald #2, Mesa
Dive into some unconventional ice cream flavors at Novel, an ice cream joint with two hidden shops in the Valley. The original is located in a tiny building behind the Wayward Taphouse on Grand Avenue. The other is nestled at the end of a small alley filled with shops in Mesa. Both tiny stores pack a big punch of flavor, with options ranging 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.

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Papa Ed's serves classic ice cream flavors in a converted garage.
Tirion Morris

Papa Ed’s Ice Cream

7146 North 58th Avenue, Glendale
Located in Glendale, Papa Ed’s Ice Cream finds its home in a converted 1951 garage behind a historic house built in the 1920s. The house now functions as a photography studio, and the garage serves classic scoops to happy customers. Follow the ice cream cones painted on the driveway to find your way back through the lush green yard and towards a sweet treat. Grab a bright pink scoop of strawberry ice cream and sit at one of the picnic tables for a relaxing, nostalgic afternoon.

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When asked if you want the surprise at Scoop & Joy, say yes.
Tirion Morris

Scoop & Joy

10135 East Vía Linda C112, Scottsdale
Scoop & Joy is a little bit of a hike for most residents of the Valley. But it is so worth the drive. Located east of State Route 101 in North Scottsdale, this ice cream shop serves a massive amount of flavors, including classic options and a variety of Hawaiian-inspired ice creams. Try the coconut caramel macadamia nut, the Kona mocha chip, or yam pecan for a treat you won’t find anywhere else in Phoenix. Pro tip: When the server asks if you want a surprise, say yes. Then your ice cream will transform into a cute character with Animal Cracker ears, marshmallow eyes, and an Oreo cookie smile, the perfect treat for the kid in all of us.

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The Playdough flavor at Scooptacular is a sweet and colorful treat.
Evie Carpenter

Scooptacular

5150 West Baseline Road, #102, Laveen and 4600 North Central Avenue
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 shave ice, ice cream cakes, sundaes, and milkshakes. For those looking for a scoop closer to downtown Phoenix, Scooptopia, an ice cream shop on Central Avenue, serves a wide selection of Scooptacular's flavors.

Guests can get everything from scoops to sundaes at The Sugar Bowl.
Evie Carpenter

Sugar Bowl

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 featured in the Family Circus cartoons, which were drawn by late 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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Sweet Republic is a Valley favorite.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Sweet Republic

6054 North 16th Street
9160 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale
410 North Scottsdale Road, Tempe
Remember the days when Sweet Republic used to cruise around town in an awesome orange-and-white converted 1959 ice cream automobile? It retired years ago, but in the meantime, the well-loved ice creamery has gradually expanded throughout Phoenix — which we figure is just as good. Known for its creative flavors like sweet corn, strawberry buttermilk, and black pepper cherry, 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-to's include the salted caramel swirl and watermelon sorbet.
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