Bells ringing, childhood memories. The ice cream cart comes to our neighborhood, but here in Bombay it’s kulfi. Sometimes it’s the kulfi man with the basket on his head announcing his arrival. ‘Kulfi-eaah’ he calls out loudly.
As kids we used to run happily for ice cream or kulfi. That instant brain freeze when you bite, the cool feeling in your head, and short numbness on your tongue. Only ice cream can do that! Or kulfi. 😉
Here is a list of favorite ice creams from around the world by some of our readers and of course us, we’ll add to it as and when we find some new awesome ice cream.
1. K Rustom’s, Bombay, India
My fondest childhood memories were of going to town with my mom and aunts to shop, because we knew that after shopping, we would be treated to ice creams at K Rustom’s.
Rustom’s s set up in Marine Drive, Mumbai in 1953 started as a Parsi family shop selling ice cream on attractive glass plates. But their plates kept disappearing. And so the idea of a plate-less sandwich ice cream sprung to mind and as it’s said, the rest is history. Although I don’t like the taste of the waffly sandwich layer too much, I love their ice creams.
They are so amazing that people from all over still throng the small shop in South Bombay, India. But my favorite of their flavors is the Walnut Crunch that has caramelized sugar and walnuts in it. Well, it’s been everyone’s favorite in the last half-century.
Other must haves include guava, kesar pista, rum & raisin and almond crunch. It’s difficult to stop at just one!
2. Il Gelato di San Crispino, Rome, Italy
You can’t visit Rome without visiting Il Gelato di San Crispino. Started in the early 1990’s, the store’s craftsmen have been experimenting with flavors and distinguishing themselves through their use of fresh ingredients and flavours without any artificial ingredients.
We got there around 4 in the afternoon on a rainy day, but the parlour was still crowded. My sis decided to go for a mix of the Hazelnut Ice Cream with the Caramel Ice Cream, while I opted for the Whiskey Ice Cream with the Cocoa Ice Cream. Absolutely lush!
It got over too soon, I must say. I wanted to go back for more, but my sis didn’t let me! If I go back to Rome only for this ice cream from San Crispino, it will be absolutely worth it!
3. Murphy’s Ice Creams in Dingle, Ireland
By Hannah from Ireland Stole My Heart
Ireland’s weather may not make it seem like a top ice cream destination, but no amount of damp, cold, and rain can keep people away from Murphy’s Ice-cream.
Murphy’s originated in Dingle, Ireland in 2000 but has since expanded to include shops in Dublin, Galway, and Kilkenny, and Killarney. So what makes it so special?
Murphy’s Ice Cream is made the old-fashioned way; by hand. They use local, natural ingredients including distilled Dingle rain for sorbets and Dingle ocean water for sea salt.
There are no artificial colours or flavours in any of Murphy’s ice cream flavours. My personal favourites are caramel honeycomb and the raspberry sorbet. Trust me, this is one ice cream you don’t want to leave Ireland without trying!
4. Giapo Ice Cream in Auckland, New Zealand
By Thais from World Trip Diaries
Amongst the many ice creams on this list, the most incredible ice creams are the ones at Giapo in Auckland, New Zealand. These are not normal ice creams. They are real art pieces made of joy and deliciousness.
If you ever make it to Auckland, New Zealand, Giapo must be on top of your things to do. This is the best ice cream shop in the world, they are different, they’re beautiful, they’re a surprise, and oh, so delicious!
5. Coconut Ice-Cream (Itim Kati) in Thailand
By Allan from Live Less Ordinary
One of the better ways to beat the relentless 30’c heats of Thailand is a refreshing coconut ice-cream (Itim Kati ไอติมกะทิ). A delicious dessert alone, but with toppings of loose coconut flesh, and additional options of nuts, jelly pieces, mung beans, fruit or sweet-corn, it really is one of my favourite sweets treats worldwide.
Typically it will be served in half a coconut, for convenience more than anything, and there are normally two options difference coconuts. This includes the young green coconut from the tree (maprao awn), which has a sweeter taste, and then the roasted coconut that has been cooked over flaming charcoals (maprao pao).
The best place to find these coconut ice-creams is at the daytime markets, rather than sold as desserts at restaurants. JJ Market in Bangkok a good choice for street food. And they are occasionally found under parasols and sold as street food, or maybe at the local food court. Expect to pay around 30 Baht+.
6. Camel Milk Ice Cream in the Gobi Desert
By The Hot Flashpacker
When you think of Mongolia, you might think of its Gobi Desert, the history of Genghis Khan, it’s strong horses and camels, and nomadic people living in yurts, but you probably don’t think of ice cream.
One of the most unusual ice creams I ever had (but not necessarily the best), was at a creamery in the middle of the Gobi Desert. This green soft-serve ice cream was made from camel milk and it cost just a few pennies.
We got to visit the creamery, which was surprisingly clean compared to some of the yurt kitchens and cafes we saw on the trip!
7. La Chiccheria in Sardinia, Italy
By Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
Though ice cream is the common translation of the Italian word gelato, the two aren’t exactly the same thing, as the basic ingredients used are different.
La Chiccheria may well be one of the best gelaterie in Italy. Located in Villasimius, one of the most famous tourist destinations in Sardinia thanks to its gorgeous beaches, this small gelateria opened no more than 4 years ago in the centre of the village, and became so popular that at any time of the day, any night of the week during the summer, there’s a line of people waiting to be served.
As opposed to the most commercial gelaterie, here gelato is a serious thing and it is preserved in metal barrels and covered up – so do not expect to walk in and seeing colorful flavors on display.
The ingredients used are of top quality and locally sourced, which is why the gelato is simply delicious. Aside from the flavors that are always on the menu, there’s daily ones that reflect what’s available in local markets.
If you are keen on trying the best of the traditional flavors, opt for pistacchio and nocciola flavors – none of the bright colors, and all of the taste!
8. XOXO in Kuta, Bali
By Kate from Rolling Along With Kids
Strolling through the Beachwalk Mall in Kuta, Bali we came across what appeared to be just a simple ice cream stall. There was nothing simple about this ice cream, the kids watched in amazement as the ice cream was designed in front of our eyes.
XOXO do ice cream in a different way, they make ice creamrolls or as they put it ‘stir fry’ the ice cream in a similar way to Japanese Teppanyaki. They work the milk of choice onto a chilled steel pan that sits at -35`c and mix in different ingredients including fruit, coffee, tea etc. that makes up each offering.
They have awesome names for their creations and we indulged in the Red Wedding and 50 Shades of Grey! Oh my gosh, absolutely delicious and all for the bargain price of $5USD each. Beating the Bali heat has never been so fun and an experience to watch your ice cream favorites being made in front of you.
9. Brenham TX Blue Bell
By Erin from Sol Salute
Brenham is a small town in Texas home to a small population of just under 17,000 people and one great ice cream factory. The family-owned business has been churning the country’s best ice cream (I may be biased) since 1907.
Originally they opened as a butter manufacturer, making butter from extra cream bought from local farmers, and using any excess product to make small batches of ice cream.
Fast forward more than a hundred years and despite not being sold nationwide Blue Bell is one of the top producers in the country. I’m not surprised though. Their ice cream is extra creamy and flavorful, and they use only the highest quality ingredients.
I grew up touring the factory and filling up in their tasting room for just $1 a scoop (how many scoops could you eat?).
Whether you choose a classic like Homemade Vanilla or Dutch Chocolate or one of their rotating seasonal flavors, I promise once you try Blue Bell you’ll be hooked!
10. Gelarto Rosa in Budapest, Hungary
By Where to Stay in Budapest
From May to September, Budapest’s sidewalks and pedestrian squares explode with ice cream licking residents and tourists, all trying to stay cool at the height of the hot season.
And while the city is full of high-quality ice cream to choose from, the most beautiful scoops by far can be found at Gelarto Rosa. Located in Budapest’s Tony 5th District near St. Stephen’s Basilica, Gelarto Rosa’s claim to fame are the Instagram-worthy scoops they design on top of each cone, with every customer getting a unique and beautiful ice cream flower to devour.
With plenty of beautiful colors and flavors to choose from, each cone is a piece of artwork, made all the more enjoyable by the fact that it’s edible and delicious.
11. Maple Creemee in Vermont
By Amy from Two Drifters
Forget Ben & Jerry’s. In Vermont, there’s one must-have ice cream and it only comes around in the warm months. This is known as a creemee, which is essentially Vermont’s version of soft serve. You can get it in some ‘normal’ flavors like chocolate and vanilla, but Vermont is famous for its delicious maple syrup, so the maple creemee is the iconic cone of choice.
The best place to find a creemee is at one of the many ‘creemee stands’ or at small local places–many of which have names like “Village snack Bar.” These are staples of a Vermont summer afternoon, and a creemee tops off your meal perfectly.
12. Rocambolsec in Catalonia
By Amber from With Husband In Tow
In the center of Girona, in the heart of the Costa Brava, in Catalonia is Rocambolesc, one of the most unique ice cream shops in the world.
Just down the road is El Celler de Can Roca, a three Michelin Star restaurant, currently ranked as number three in the world. Can Roca is the brainchild of the three Roca brothers, the youngest of whom, Jordi Roca is in charge of the pastry.
Jordi took his experience and inspiration at Can Roca to create one of the most distinctive, and accessible, places to eat in the Costa Brava. Many of the gelato creations are inspired by some of the desserts served at Can Roca.
So, if a three Michelin Star meal is out of reach, ice cream at Rocambolesc certain is within reach! He also offers creative sweet treats for fans of both Star Wars and Game of Thrones, which was filmed in Girona.
13. Maidreamin maid cafe in Akihabara, Tokyo
By Pari of Traveling Pari
I had this wonderful, almost too cute to eat ice-cream in a Maid cafe called Maidreamin in Akihabara, Tokyo.
These cafes are unique in the sense that they are cosplay themed i.e. all the waitresses are dressed up as maids. Moreover, you get to take part in some strange and silly rituals as part of the experience.
For example, all the patrons have to wear animal ears inside the cafe. When your ice cream is served, you have to sing a song with the waitress before you eat it. The ice cream itself is delicious and well worth the silliness.
My ice cream looked like a duck with a marshmallow head and small round cookies formed its feet. The bottom half of the glass was filled with cornflakes, so I was not overwhelmed by the sweetness of the ice cream. All in all, it was a fun experience.
14. Rakia and a Black Forrest Sundae at Raffy Bar & Gelato in Sofia
By Stephanie of Sofia Adventures
If you’re a lover of both ice cream and cocktails, head straight to Raffy Bar & Gelato, a twenty-four hour bar dedicated to combining your drinks with fabulous sundaes and other sundry gelato goods.
Located on Vitosha Boulevard, a can’t-miss spot in Sofia, you’re sure to pass it sometime on your trip and think to yourself “is that really a twenty-four hour bar and ice creamparlor?” And while the answer is yes, Raffy’s is so much more, since it also has a full menu and is packed almost every hour of the day. Where else can you mix fancy ice cream with local Balkan delights like Rakia.
I’ve spent so many special moments here: friend’s birthdays, Valentine’s Day dessert, and celebrating when visitor’s come to town. The ice cream-homemade, piled high, and full of fruit- always lives up to the hype.
15. Gelateria Pepino in Turino, Italy
By Clemens from Travellers Archive
Gelateria Pepino is the name of an ice cream shop in Piazza Carignano in the heart of Turin’s beautiful old town, named after the founder Domenico Pepino.
Besides being a café as well, there is an output window on the side, where a dapper young man fills the cones with ice cream day in and day out. And yet Pepino is much more than just an ordinary ice cream parlor.
First of all, Gelateria Pepino was opened in 1929 and is decorate with the title of the oldest ice cream parlor in Europe. On top of that, the famous popsicle was invented here at Pepino in 1939.
16. Glow in the dark Ice Cream in Melbourne, Australia
By Brittany from The Sweet Wanderlust
Each year, Melbourne shuts down the CBD to cars and trams for one night only. On White Night, the city comes alive with light shows, projections and performers as thousands wander the streets in awe.
196Below is a food truck that makes creative ice creams all year long, but I happen to think their best work happens at White Night. They utilize food grade iridescent color in their nitrogen gelato that glows under UV light! I’m a 90’s kid and still fascinated by all things neon.
This ice cream is at the top of my list for looks, and it’s the most delicious ice cream in town, too!
17. Ginger Ice Cream at the Bohol Bee Farm, Philippines
By Ferna from Everywhere with Ferna
Hearing about Bohol Bee Farm as an organic restaurant owned by a local of Bohol Philippines. It then rings a bell for me and schedules myself a good time visiting the place.
This was at first located on an island called Panglao in Bohol which is a bit far from the busy town and the accessibility wasn’t good at that time.
I know the food are really tasty as this became famous because of their food but I didn’t know that they are also selling different flavors of Ice Cream and to my surprise, there is “Ginger Ice Cream” available.
As curious as I am, I first tasted other flavors like Durian, Avocado, and Ube. Then, I told myself, why make Ginger as the last to taste even if I still think it’s a weird flavor of ice cream.
To my amazement, this ice cream is a sure win and I truly saved the best for last, it fulfills my love for ice cream. And believe it or not, this is my go-to place and an ice cream to buy whenever I am on this island.
18. Pennsylvania State University Creamery
By Karen from WanderlustingK
The Pennsylvania State University Creamery has some of the best ice cream in world, or rather America. This university-run creamery is where Ben and Jerry’s actually learned to make ice cream!
The ice cream here is full-fat although you cannot mix flavors (unless you’re a US president). There’s always new flavors as the students are constantly tinkering.
My favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough although you can’t go wrong here unless you’re lactose intolerant.
The only catch? You’ll have to make your way to Penn State’s scenic campus in State College, Pennsylvania to get a scoop of this famous ice cream!
19. Le Caveau restaurant in Rome
By Simone from A Road reTraveled
Unbelievable gelato! Frozen Fruit & nuts filled with gelato made from its pulp: strawberry, banana, kiwi, fig, peanut, peach, walnut & mandarin on a bed of crushed ice ❤
The gelato maker scoops the pulp from the fruit to be used in the natural hand crafted gelato mix, and freezes the fruit shells to be refilled after the gelato is made. Among the chosen fruit are: strawberries, kiwi, peach, banana, mandarin, and fig.
While you can’t eat the shell of the kiwi and mandarin as they contain the peel, you can certainly eat the rest of the delicious frozen fruit along with the gelato.
Also, nuts such as peanuts and walnuts are used to make nut-flavored gelato which is scooped back into the shells and reuniting them to form a whole nut with the frozen treat inside.
The gelato is served on a bed of crushed ice to prevent it from melting too fast. This is one gelato that you can eat with your hands as you would a piece of fruit! The restaurant also served wet napkins for your gelato fingers 🙂
20. 99 Ice Creams in England
By Faith from XYUandBeyond
As kids, both hubs and I immigrated to Canada at the age of around 8 years old (not together lol). At that age, of course, you have all kinds of memories of home and for both of us it turned out we were obsessed with English ice creams called 99’s.
In those days, there was no soft-serve stuff it was pure beautiful yellow ice cream made with full cream and deliciously rich and decadent.
A square block of ice cream was cut off and stuffed in a squared-off crispy cone, then the piece de resistance a Cadbury’s Flake was snapped in half and stuffed deep into the ice cream – shedding all its glorious milk chocolate goodness over the top of the ice cream. It was heavenly and in those days a rare treat for us kids.
Funnily enough, no one knows how the 99 came to get its name. Some say it was because the fellow that invented it had an ice-cream shop at #99. Others say it was because the Flakes came in a box of 99, still others claim it was a masterpiece of marketing by Cadburys.
These days the 99 comes as a soft-serve ice-cream cone and it’s not quite the same but nevertheless hubs will head straight for the ice-cream van no matter what country it is to get his 99 fix. Oh, and a word for you tourists; a 99 does not mean you have to pay .99 pence/cents for this sweet treat.
21. Jersey Jack Gelato in Perth, Australia
By Chantae from Chantae was Here
Some over-the-top desserts make the mistake of looking good while falling flat on the taste. Fortunately, Jersey Jack in Perth, Western Australia offers ice cream that tastes as wonderful as it looks.
You can enjoy a simple scoop of gelato, opting for a classic flavor like coconut or vanilla. Or, be a bit adventurous and order their famous durian flavor.
To go all out, ask for the mini monstro — three scoops of gelato served in a giant cone topped with mini cones of ice cream and drizzled in chocolate sauce.
Isn’t this is a droolsome list of lip-smacking ice creams from across the globe? If you have a favorite ice cream shop or ice cream from anywhere in the world, send in your pics and a short description to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we just might feature it here!
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I’m an East Indian foodie and travel blogger from Bombay, India. I’ve travelled across parts of Europe and Asia, and love writing about my experiences with people and cultures. And naturally, I love food, wine, and travel, and have an endless bucket list of places to go to, and experiences I must blog about.
I also love baking and experimenting with food, with a little help from my family. If you must know, my favorite things are nice rainy days, the smell of cakes in the oven, playing in the snow, glasses of wine, and dark chocolate.
More info about me here!