Dessert for Dinner: Where to Get Ice Cream in Denver

It’s not really summer until you’ve had the experience of getting ice cream at a local creamery. With August already here, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite spots in Denver to enjoy everyone’s favorite sweet treat. Check out one of these popular shops for the perfect end to any warm summer night.

Photography by Glenn Ross.
Photo by Glenn Ross.

Little Man Ice Cream

Where: 2620 16th Street, also soon to be at the revamped Union Station

Don’t Miss: Try the salted Oreo or space junkie (raspberry ice cream, brownies, marshmallow fluff).

This popular Highlands spot will bring you back to nostalgic Coney Island with its giant cream can design, vintage-inspired uniforms, and thirties jazz playing on the speakers. Getting ice cream at Little Man is really a classic all-American experience that is sure to put a smile on your face. They run a great charity program—every scoop you buy here is matched with a scoop of rice or beans for a hungry child. Flavors rotate daily, but favorites include salted Oreo, chocolate peanut butter, and Bhakti Chai. Whatever you do, try to get here early and beat the line. Little Man often sells out of favorite flavors by midday.


From top to bottom: strawberry black pepper, mint chocolate chip, blackberry lavender. Photo by Delmy Gooch.

Sweet Action

Where: 52 Broadway

Don’t Miss: The Stranahan’s whiskey brickle is amazing. Also, try the Colorado peach or Colorado sweet corn while they last.

Located on South Broadway, Sweet Action has a hip, urban vibe that fits in perfectly with the neighborhood. Maybe that’s because the friendly owners hail from Brooklyn. The pair decided to open the shop when they migrated to Colorado as a way to expand on their love of creative homemade ice cream. This smartly decorated shop is all about the ice cream, with an ever-evolving roster of flavors (made with local cream and ingredients) sure to please everyone. Lovers of crazy ice cream flavors, this is the shop for you. Feeling adventurous? Try the Colorado sweet corn, the sour cream and chive, or the pocky red bean. Not so much? Stick to the popular Stranahan’s whiskey brickle or the salted butterscotch. Either way you can’t go wrong.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Bonnie Brae

Where: 799 South University Boulevard

Don’t Miss: The Grand Marnier chocolate, lemon custard and the triple death by chocolate. The milkshakes are also excellent.

Bonnie Brae is practically an institution, serving up scoops in the nostalgic, family-friendly setting for over twenty years. One taste of the ice cream and you’ll realize why it’s been around for so long (and why the line stretches for so many blocks)—the flavors are all so delicious and rich, you’ll never leave unsatisfied. Oh, and did I mention there are a lot of them? Bonnie Brae makes inventive ice creams inspired by classic desserts like tiramisu and New York cheesecake. They also make all of their sauces and cones in house as well. I’m a big fan of the mocha Oreo, as well as the caramel cashew.

Photo courtesy of Forty Degrees Photography.
Sweet Cow. Photo courtesy of Forty Degrees Photography.

Sweet Cow

Where: Original location is 637 Front Street, Louisville. Two locations in Denver: 3475 W 32nd Avenue, and 2628 Broadway.

Don’t Miss: Boring as it may sound, the vanilla ice cream here is really, really good. Also try the cinnamon toast crunch, or the chocolate oatmeal stout.

Sweet Cow Ice Cream opened up its doors in Louisville back in 2010 and has grown quickly. Reminiscent of a 1950’s soda shop, Sweet Cow opened two more locations in Northwest Denver and Boulder. Sweet Cow serves up 9 house flavors with 13 rotating flavors. Every flavor at Sweet Cow is exactly what the name suggests—from their chocolate covered pretzel to their peanut butter Oreo, everything is simple but delicious. Sweet Cow uses local ingredients as often as possible, including Colorado honey and coffee beans from Ozo Coffee in Boulder.The staff at Sweet Cow is friendly and genuinely happy to be there. No matter how long the line, and it can be a daunting, the staff is always happy to spend time with their customers.

-Sarah Martin

Liks Cayenne Caramel Ice Cream. Photo courtesy of
Liks Cayenne Caramel Ice Cream. Photo courtesy of


Where: 2039 E 13th Avenue, Denver and 10903 Us HWY 285, Conifer. Also sold at select King Soopers. 

Don’t Miss: Graham cracker, strawberry cheesecake, or salty butter caramel ice cream.

Liks is one of Denver’s oldest ice cream shops, dating back all the way to 1976. The Capitol Hill shop is still as busy as ever with the heavenly smell of fresh waffle cones greeting you as you walk in the door. There are literally hundreds of flavors to choose from, but luckily the staff is patient and happy to let you sample as much as you’d like. The flavors are often fun takes on beloved desserts—pecan pie, and peanut butter s’mores. Again, this is a popular spot for summer evenings, so be ready to wait in line.

The ice cream flight at High Point Creamery. Photo by Roman Tafoya.
The ice cream flight at High Point Creamery. Photo by Roman Tafoya.

 High Point Creamery

Where: 215 S. Holly Street

Don’t Miss: The cake-like ice cream bombes, or try the cucumber, pear and gin sorbet or the sweet bloom coffee ice cream in a flight.

This Park Hill shop is the newest addition the list, having opened up just this spring. HPC offers up treats made with organic cream and ingredients, like their signature molded ice cream “cake”, the Victorian-era inspired bombe. The scoop flavors change often and range from classic to classy, like earl grey with shortbread and basil blackberry swirl. Can’t decide what  to get? Try the ice cream flight, which lets you sample five flavors, and also includes hand-made toppings and a bowl of hot fudge–all for under ten dollars.

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