There’s almost nothing better than ice cream on a hot day, and Phoenix temperatures have us craving ice cream almost every day of the year! The Valley has no shortage of great ice cream, which is why we created this guide to help you find the very best ice cream in Phoenix. All you will have to worry about is picking your favorite flavor, because no matter where you go from the following recommendations, you can be sure you will be getting some of the best ice cream in Phoenix!
Chill Out with the Best Ice Cream in Phoenix
Feeling nostalgic? Relive your childhood with Rewind’s cereal-infused ice cream! Choose from almost any cereal you can think of (plus a few other options like candy or fruit, but let’s be honest, you’re here for the cereal), and Rewind blends it with your choice of ice cream to create a custom-made soft serve. You can choose vanilla, chocolate, or vegan coconut ice cream for your base, but we recommend vanilla to let your mix-ins truly stand out. If you have trouble picking your favorite cereal, try one of their signature combinations like strawberry shortcake, a blend of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, strawberries, and cheesecake, or thunder buddies, a blend of Reese’s Puffs and bananas. Any of Rewind’s cereal combinations will take you right back to Saturday mornings as a kid minus the cartoons.
7. Fatty Daddy’s
While gelato may not technically be ice cream, we think it’s close enough, which is why you’ll find a few gelato places on our guide to the best ice cream in Phoenix, including Fatty Daddy’s. This shop is known for their Almost-Famous Cookie Cups, which start with a scoop (or two) of gelato topped with a locally-made macaron and finished with a marshmallow, made in house by the owner and roasted right on top. This marshmallow, macaron, and gelato combo makes for an amazing, over-the-top treat. Try the strawberry guava with a lemon macron, mint chip with a chocolate macaron, or create your own pairing, because any macaron/gelato combination is bound to be good. One thing to note, if you’re just looking for a scoop of authentic gelato, we recommend trying one of the other shops on our guide. The gelato here is good on its own, but the cookie cup combo is what really makes it great.
Churn is a brightly decorated, retro ice cream shop with a fun selection of vintage candies and toys, baked goods, and of course, some of the best ice cream in Phoenix! All their ice cream is made fresh in house with all-natural ingredients, so it may be as close to homemade as you can get without churning it yourself. Grab a scoop or upgrade to one of their signature sundaes, floats, or ice cream sandwiches. If you are a peanut butter fan, try the Fat Elvis sundae, a peanut butter ice cream base topped with salted caramel, bananas, whipped cream, and chocolate rocks. Or try the ice cream sandwich: a scoop of ice cream served between two cookies, baked fresh in house every day. YUM.
5. McMahon’s Ice Cream (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)
McMahon’s is a family-owned shop that serves excellent ice cream in a casual setting. Everything is made in small batches, so everything is fresh and they are constantly rotating their flavors. Try the Oreo, which has an Oreo base (rather than vanilla, like most cookies and cream ice cream) as well as Oreo crumbles, or the key lime pie, which features a tart lime base with big bites of graham cracker crust. These two flavors alone make it worth the drive to Gilbert, but McMahon’s also has amazing vegan options. Try the vegan passion orange and the vegan coconut, both of which are made with coconut milk and are tropical and refreshing. This family-friendly spot also has a selection of board games you can play at your table, making it the perfect spot to bring kids or a date.
4. Luna Gelateria
Luna Gelateria is run by an Italian family that has been serving great pizza and pasta at Pomo Pizzeria for years. They just recently added a gelato shop to the restaurant, but it’s clear they’ve already perfected it, which is why Luna is one of our picks for the best ice cream in Phoenix! They have plenty of the scooped gelato you typically see, but they also have fresh gelato made in a machine that churns it right at the counter. This gelato is served so fresh and smooth, it almost reminds us of soft serve but with all the flavor and creaminess we love in traditional gelato. Make sure you try their signature flavor, the Luna, an incredible combination of chocolate, caramel, and pistachios. We also love the passion fruit and the strawberry, which is often overlooked but is one of their best flavors. It tastes like fresh-picked strawberries and is so sweet and refreshing on a hot Phoenix day. Stop by Luna for great gelato, and if you’re in the mood, stay for some pizza too.
3. Novel Ice Cream
If you are looking for something beyond the cup or cone, Novel is the perfect place. Novel is a popular spot near downtown Phoenix known for their ice cream-stuffed donuts and waffles. The donuts come from a local bakery and the waffles are made in-house and served warm. While the ice cream selection is a bit small, the flavors are all high in quality, so there are plenty of great options. They regularly rotate their flavors, but our favorite scoops are always on the menu. Make sure you try the bourbon caramel toffee crunch and their rich, practically perfect chocolate ice cream. We love these two flavors served in the “Leslie Knope”, a waffle ice cream sandwich. The shop is a bit small, but there is plenty of outdoor patio seating, making this the perfect place to relax on a warm Phoenix evening.
2. Frost Gelato
You may have heard of Frost; they have multiple locations around the US and even a few internationally, but they first opened in Arizona, so it’s local favorite we’re all about it! While Frost has grown into a larger chain, they still operate as a small shop, making all of their gelato in house daily. With over 30 flavors of gelato and sorbets, there is something for everyone; they even have multiple vegan options. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of flavors you see on display. Their friendly employees will let you, and even encourage you, to sample as many as you want. Whether you’re in the mood for something light and fruity (try the strawberry and pineapple) or rich and chocolatey (try the stracciatella and dark chocolate), Frost is sure to have something for everyone, no matter what you’re craving!
1. Sweet Republic
Sweet Republic is an award-winning ice cream shop and it’s easily our favorite too. With over 20 amazing flavors, including a few vegan sorbets, each one you try seems better than the last. With ice cream this good, it’s hard to choose a favorite flavor, but easy to choose Sweet Republic as the best ice cream in Phoenix! Our go-to is the toffee banoffee sundae, which includes two scoops of Madagascar vanilla ice cream, toffee bits, caramel sauce, bananas, and whipped cream served in a house-made waffle bowl. If you want to change things up, we recommend swapping out the vanilla with one scoop of fleur de sel caramel and one scoop of bananas foster, two of our favorite flavors. No matter what you order, you can’t go wrong here, just make sure you get at least two scoops!