Who doesn’t love ice cream. No, I mean it, WHO doesn’t love ice cream? I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t so far, so please come forward if you’re part of this unexplored species.
I’ve always loved ice cream, starting early on with Cornetto, Smartie ice cream, Calippo and co, not so great. Then, when buying ice cream in a cone I always went for melon, banana, strawberry, or any other kind of berry. Vanilla wasn’t my thing, nor was chocolate. Weird, I know.
Over time though, I discovered good vanilla ice cream. The one where you see the black little dots in the snow white cream, a sign that the vanilla used is real and not some kind of fake aroma or similar. Nowadays, I’m a big ice cream fan and whenever there’s a spot that looks worth trying, be sure I’m standing in line already.
Gelato, ice cream, sorbet. What’s the difference? Ice cream usually contains eggs, milk and cream, gelato is just milk and cream and sorbet doesn’t have any of the two. I like all of them, depending on taste and preparation.
To me, the most important about ice cream (and the other two) is the texture, creaminess and above all the ingredients used. Good milk, cream and eggs, real ingredients like berries and fruit, no added flavouring, colours and please, no sprinkles or caramel sauce. Ok, maybe with exceptions. There is a huge difference between pistachio ice cream that looks artificially green and tastes a bit like marzipan and a dark green almost brownish pistachio ice cream that tastes as if you’re eating whole roasted pistachios. Salted pistachio ice cream is also amazing btw.! Then, there’s also vegan ice cream that’s made from ingredients like coconut milk and can be surprisingly delicious, such as the one at Unframed in Cape Town.
If you want to make some yourself, I warmly recommend David Lebovitz book ‘The Perfect Scoop’ or the La Grotta Ices book.
Since we’re all in a staycation mode this year and most probably are not travelling to Italy, I thought I’d share some of my favourite ice cream shops around the world with you. Of course, there’s many more, but maybe you’re living in one of these cities and haven’t tried these spots yet.
1. Hokey Pokey, Berlin
Recognisable by the long line, no matter the time of the day. It moves fast though, so don’t miss out on this one in Prenzlauer Berg. I love any tastes here, but especially when Meringue sneaks into one of their ice creams.
2. Berthillon, Paris
One of the oldest ice cream places in Paris and partly very touristic, just by being located on the amazingly beautiful Ile St Louis, next to Notre Dame. Berthillon is sold all over the island. Make sure to visit the place just in the middle of the small island, that’s where it’s cheapest and where they have most flavours. My favs: Vanilla from Madagascar and their sorbets, ah that peach sorbet!
3. Mjuk Mjuk, Stockholm
Soft serve ice cream in Vasastan. A very tiny place serving around 3 different tastes of soft serve, such as a vegan banana one, a watermelon hibiscus one or their simple fior di latte one. Make sure to get their toppings, I loved the dulce de coco.
4. King Scoopa, Stockholm
In the heart of Södermalm, this ice cream spot too, has long lines in summer. Rightly so, cause their huge scoops are not to be missed. Bits of rhubarb crumble are hiding in one of them, sometimes there’s pieces of brownie. I loved their raspberry and pineapple sorbet, bright pink and very tasty.
5. Chin Chin, London
This place existed already six years ago when I lived in London. Back then only in Camden, now at more spots, this ice cream is made with liquid Nitrogen and hence has a super delicate and soft consistency. Their flavours are very intense and sometimes there is some torch roasted meringue or other specials on top of your ice cream.
6. Unframed, Cape Town
The prettiest and and most even and round scoops you’ll ever see. It’s here that they have amazing vegan ice cream, made on a coconut base. I highly recommend the strawberry coconut one.
7. Gaston, Brussels
Not comparable to the other places on this list, but definitely the best place for ice cream in Brussels. Some interesting flavours and authentic taste, too.
8. ALICE, Copenhagen
Pistachio, seabuckthorn or great quality chocolate flavours. Ice cream in a city that’s known for its artisan and delicious, crunchy ice cream cones as well as its great food scene. What can go wrong? Nothing.
9. Milk Bar, New York City
A very famous spot for Compost Cookies, Crack Pie and their soft serve ice cream covered in Cornflakes. Be careful when you eat, I was too excited when eating it and almost choked on the Cornflakes.
10. Gelato Gelato, Warsaw
Colourful ice cream, fun flavours!
Do you have a favourite in your city? Send them to us!