There’s nothing quite like indulging in a cold and creamy scoop of ice cream on a scorching hot day, and in Phoenix, where temperatures are high year-round, the craving for ice cream is constant. Lucky for you, we’ve created this guide to help you locate the absolute best ice cream spots in Phoenix. With these recommendations, all you have to do is decide on your favorite flavor. Rest assured, every place on this list serves some of the most exceptional ice cream in Phoenix!
Are you feeling nostalgic? At Rewind, they will transport you back to your childhood with their unique cereal-infused ice cream! Take your pick from a wide variety of cereals (and even a few candy or fruit options, although let’s be honest, it’s the cereal that steals the show). Rewind blends your chosen cereal with your preferred ice cream flavor to create a personalized soft serve experience. While you can opt for vanilla, chocolate, or vegan coconut ice cream as your base, we recommend vanilla to truly let the mix-ins shine. If you can’t decide on a cereal, try one of their signature combinations like “strawberry shortcake” which combines Cinnamon Toast Crunch, strawberries, and cheesecake, or “thunder buddies” which features Reese’s Puffs and bananas. Any of Rewind’s cereal concoctions will transport you back to those Saturday mornings as a kid, minus the cartoons.
7. Fatty Daddy’s
While gelato may not technically be ice cream, we believe it’s close enough. That’s why we’ve included Fatty Daddy’s in our list of the best ice cream in Phoenix. This shop is renowned for its Almost-Famous Cookie Cups. Each cup starts with a scoop (or two) of gelato, topped with a locally-made macaron, and crowned with a house-made roasted marshmallow. The combination of macaron, marshmallow, and gelato creates an unbelievably delightful and over-the-top treat. Indulge in the strawberry guava gelato with a lemon macaron, or try the mint chip gelato with a chocolate macaron. You can also create your own pairing, as any combination of macaron and gelato is guaranteed to be heavenly. However, if you’re solely after a scoop of authentic gelato, we suggest trying one of the other shops on our list. Fatty Daddy’s gelato is indeed excellent on its own, but it’s the cookie cup combo that takes it to another level.
Step into Churn, a vibrantly decorated retro ice cream parlor that offers a delightful array of vintage candies, baked goods, and, of course, some of the finest ice cream in Phoenix. All their ice cream is crafted in-house, using only natural ingredients. It’s as close to homemade as you can get without having to churn it yourself. Whether you prefer a classic scoop or want to elevate your experience with one of their signature sundaes, floats, or ice cream sandwiches, Churn has something for everyone. If you’re a fan of peanut butter, make sure to try their Fat Elvis sundae. It features a peanut butter ice cream base topped with salted caramel, bananas, whipped cream, and chocolate rocks. Alternatively, indulge in their ice cream sandwich, where a scoop of their freshly made ice cream is nestled between two cookies, baked fresh every day. YUM!
5. McMahon’s Ice Cream (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)
McMahon’s Ice Cream is a family-owned shop that serves exceptional ice cream in a laid-back environment. Everything is made in small batches, ensuring freshness, and their flavor selection is constantly rotating. If you’re a fan of cookies and cream, you must try their Oreo ice cream, which features an Oreo base instead of the typical vanilla, along with generous amounts of Oreo crumbles. Another standout is their key lime pie flavor, which boasts a tangy lime base complemented by large bites of graham cracker crust. While these two flavors alone are worth the drive to Gilbert, McMahon’s also offers fantastic vegan options. Treat yourself to their vegan passion orange and vegan coconut flavors, both made with creamy coconut milk and guaranteed to transport you to a tropical paradise. This family-friendly establishment even provides a selection of board games, making it an ideal spot for kids and dates alike.
4. Luna Gelateria
Luna Gelateria is operated by an Italian family renowned for serving delectable pizza and pasta at Pomo Pizzeria for years. Recently, they decided to add a gelato shop to their repertoire, and it’s clear they’ve already mastered the art. That’s why Luna is one of our top picks for the best ice cream in Phoenix! While they offer a variety of scooped gelato, their fresh gelato made right at the counter steals the show. This gelato is so fresh and smooth that it almost resembles soft serve, but with all the flavor and creaminess that we adore in traditional gelato. Be sure to sample their signature flavor, the Luna, which tantalizes your taste buds with a mouthwatering combination of chocolate, caramel, and pistachios. Don’t overlook their passion fruit and strawberry flavors either. The strawberry, in particular, tastes like freshly-picked fruit and provides a sweet and refreshing experience on a sizzling Phoenix day. Pay Luna a visit for exceptional gelato, and if you’re feeling hungry, enjoy some of their fantastic pizza as well.
3. Novel Ice Cream
If you’re seeking an experience beyond the typical cup or cone, Novel Ice Cream is the ideal destination. Situated near downtown Phoenix, Novel is famous for their ice cream-stuffed donuts and waffles. The donuts come from a local bakery while the waffles are made in-house and served warm. Although the ice cream selection here may be smaller compared to other places, rest assured that each flavor is of the utmost quality. They regularly rotate their offerings, but their signature scoops are always available. Don’t miss out on the bourbon caramel toffee crunch and their rich, decadent chocolate ice cream. Our personal favorite way to enjoy these flavors is in the form of the “Leslie Knope,” a waffle ice cream sandwich. While the shop’s interior may be cozy, there’s plenty of outdoor patio seating, providing the perfect setting to unwind on a balmy Phoenix evening.
2. Frost Gelato
You may have already heard of Frost Gelato, as they now have multiple locations across the US and even internationally. However, Frost first opened right here in Arizona, making it a beloved local favorite. Despite its growth into a larger chain, Frost still operates as a small shop, creating all their gelato in-house on a daily basis. With over 30 flavors of gelato and sorbet, including several vegan options, Frost has something to satisfy every craving. Don’t be overwhelmed by the variety; their friendly staff encourages you to sample as many flavors as you desire. Whether you’re in the mood for something light and fruity (strawberry and pineapple are excellent choices) or craving something rich and chocolatey (stracciatella and dark chocolate are sure to satisfy), Frost has got you covered. No matter what you ultimately decide on, you’re in for a delightful experience at Frost Gelato.
1. Sweet Republic
Sweet Republic is not only an award-winning ice cream shop but also our absolute favorite. With over 20 incredible flavors, including a selection of vegan sorbets, each taste seems better than the last. When it comes to ice cream this good, it’s difficult to choose a single favorite flavor. However, it’s easy to declare Sweet Republic as the best ice cream in Phoenix. For a truly indulgent treat, we highly recommend their toffee banoffee sundae. This masterpiece includes two scoops of Madagascar vanilla ice cream, toffee bits, caramel sauce, bananas, and whipped cream, all served in a house-made waffle bowl. If you’re feeling adventurous, swap out the vanilla for one scoop each of fleur de sel caramel and bananas foster, two of our personal favorite flavors. No matter what combination you go for, you can’t go wrong at Sweet Republic—just be sure to order at least two scoops!
To explore more of Phoenix’s culinary delights, be sure to check out our guide to the top 10 restaurants in Phoenix.
Remember, the next time you’re in the mood for exceptional ice cream in Phoenix, look no further than Ice Cream.