Summer is the time for ice cream and there is one more reason to enjoy the sweet luxury, National Ice Cream Day. Here are all the best ice cream parlors in town based on neighborhood and some staff pick flavors that are a must try. Don’t skimp on the waffle cone, hot fudge, sprinkles, or the whipped cream as the sugary additions add to the delectable scoops. Go get tasting the heaps of ice cream flavors and avoid the heat with an ice cream brain freeze.
Pearl Street: Sweet Cow
This Colorado-based ice cream parlor has multiple locations including Highlands, Louisville, North and South Boulder, but our favorite is the South Pearl location next to Park Burger. It is the perfect spot for an after-burger dessert. The ice cream is made with local ingredients and is crafted on site. Stop by and grab Ozo Coffee Almond fudge made with Ozo Coffee, a Boulder original. It’s a medley of dark, bold coffee and rich luscious fudge with almonds peppered throughout the chocolate scoops. For something special, try their ice cream sandwiches with various flavors packed between two soft cookies.
Staff Pick Flavor: Ice cream sandwich
Bonnie Brae: Bonnie Brae Ice Cream
Bonnie Brae has the essence of a classic ‘50s ice cream parlor with red and white adorning the outside and a handwritten chalkboard menu with classic flavors, such as mint Oreo and banana chocolate chip. A favorite since 1986, Bonnie Brae Ice Cream continues to draw huge crowds on warm summer nights with its family atmosphere and delicious flavors. Husband and wife teams, Ken and Judy Simon and Cindy and Bob Pailet run this quaint shop. Try the malted milk ball sure to bring back memories of favorite childhood candies. It’ll be no wonder that the parlor is hitting its 30th year.
Staff Pick Flavor: Malted milk ball
Traveling: Chaos & Cream
Inspired by ice cream street carts in Thailand, Chaos & Cream is sure to satisfy even the most eclectic tastebuds. The ice cream is made to order and not in the usual way. They pound and flatten the ice cream on 18-inch, compressor-powered surfaces at -10 degrees Fahrenheit. After flattening, they scrape the ice cream up into perfect rolls that resemble cannoli. Finally, they top their flavors with appealing items such as Oreos, key lime pie pieces, apple pie pieces, and marshmallows.
Remember, C&C is a traveling ice cream cart, so check their website for the latest location. Next up is Stapleton Market on July 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and The Source on July 19, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Staff Pick Flavor: Hot chocolate with cocoa, marshmallows and cream
Uptown: Frozen Matter
A newcomer to the Denver ice cream scene, Frozen Matter opened earlier this April with owners, Gerry Kim and Josh Gertzen, graduates of Penn State Berkey Creamery. They create their ice cream with adult palates in mind. Their flavors are complex and special with additions such as Redux Absinthe from Golden Moon Distillery located in Golden in their absinthe grapefruit flambé. Their mix-ins are always made right in store. The butterscotch bread pudding ice cream has homemade bread pudding made with croissants and a whiskey base, in between its creamy scoops. Frozen Matter creates a truly homemade flavor from top to bottom with a pasteurizer and kitchen in the back for making ice cream bases from scratch. Leave the kids at home and head to a truly mature ice cream experience void of sprinkles and food dyes.
Staff Pick Flavor: Butterscotch bread pudding
Hilltop: High Point Creamery
High Point Creamery was recently featured in Buzzfeed as Colorado’s favorite ice cream spot and it’s not hard to see why. Husband-and-wife team, Rika Thomas and Chad Stutz have a passion for ice cream and create their diverse flavors with hard work and love. Their ice cream bombe, a dessert from the Victorian-era France, is made of hardened ice cream in an authentic copper mold from the 1960s. After being placed in a freezer again, it is sliced like a cake with sauce and nuts drizzled on top. High Point also features flights, inspired by beer and wine flights. They have 4 or 5 flavors and even include a side of one of their house made sauces. They have 20 original delicious flavors so the flight will be the only way to choose.
Staff Pick Flavor: a flight of any flavors
Littleton: Inside Scoop Creamery
Inside Scoop in Littleton has one motto: “have the delicious dairy ‘go as quickly as possible’ from cow to the cone”. They pride themselves on fresh ingredients and it comes through in the flavor. The ice cream never disappoints to be creamy and delicious. Inside Scoop even offers gluten free and dairy free sorbet options such as cherry sorbet. They serve 20 house-made flavors including Lemon Crunch and Minnesota salted toffee, a wink to the owners Andrew Myhre and Steve Longman’s home state and inspired by Myhre’s grandma’s favorite dessert. They rotate new ones in every week so the choice is always diverse and exciting.
Staff Pick Flavor: Cherry sorbet
Broadway: Sweet Action
Sweet Action has a slew of different flavors to choose from—and not only that but they also have vegan and sorbet options. They use fresh Colorado dairy and they are located on Broadway so catch a movie at the Mayan and grab a cone after. Spoon University claims their Honey Jalapeño Pickle, made with real pickles from The Real Dill, a Colorado pickle company, is the “weirdest ice cream flavor in Colorado”. It goes quickly as it is a favorite so go down and be the judge of weirdness.
Staff Pick Flavor: Honey jalapeño pickle
LoHi: Little Man Ice Cream
Little Man is a Denver favorite with lines around the block on hot summer nights. Named after the founder’s father, the ice cream is created and served from inside a twenty-eight foot tall 14,000-pound milk jug. Inspired by Coney Island hot dog-shaped stands, Little Man is a nostalgic dream of a neighborhood ice cream store and the flavors are even better than the experience. Rotating, handcrafted selections include peach cobbler, honey almond, vegan horchata and coconut almond fudge. Pro tip: if the line is too long, they often have a second stand open next door with limited flavor options.
Staff Pick Flavor: Peach cobbler
Capitol Hill: Liks Ice Cream
Since 1976, Liks Ice Cream has been a staple in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. A family–owned business that adheres to an artisanal, micro-batch process, the shop creates every flavor two tubs at a time. They have created more than 400 flavors including salty butter caramel, Jack Daniels chocolate chip and cayenne caramel. They also have wholesale distribution and a location in Conifer, so it is available whenever you get a craving. Check out their menu online that has deep descriptions of the flavors so the planning process can begin.
Staff Pick Flavor: Jack Daniels chocolate chip