Denver's five best spots for ice cream

Categories: Best of Denver

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Sweet Action ice cream pic.jpg
The Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which means that many of you are firing up the grills and planning to hit the parks for a weekend of frolicking in the sunshine. As for us, we're getting ready to celebrate the holiday -- and what feels like the beginning of summer -- with a cold, sweet treat.

While frozen yogurt shops are plentiful in this town, there are really only a handful of places where you can scoop up great ice cream. Here are Denver's five best:

frasca ice cream.jpg
Andrew Hyde
5. Frasca Food & Wine and Pizzeria Locale
These aren't traditional traditional ice cream shops, but the gelati and sorbetti on Frasca's dessert list are worth a stop, whether or not you're planning on eating an entire dinner. The Friulian restaurant makes a run of simple flavors -- vanilla bean, dark chocolate, coconut and raspberry -- that are all ethereally smooth and dense with flavor. And since Pizzeria Locale is now serving this stuff, too, you don't have to nab a seat at Frasca's bar just to order three scoops of ice cream.

tag ice cream.jpg
4. TAG
This Larimer Square restaurant has a menu full of flashy food, dishes that combine flavor elements that shouldn't work together, but somehow do. This wizardry extends to desserts: In addition to a number of pastries, TAG serves up ten or so wacky ice cream flavors that include an incredible salted caramel, nostalgic cereal blends (like Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs) and some truly weird stuff, like lobster and uni. Silky and light, a scoop is a perfect way to end dinner -- or a good reason just to stop in at the end of the evening.

little-man.jpg
3. Little Man Ice Cream
It's hard to miss the big silver milk jug at the edge of Highland; besides being architecturally interesting, it's always swarming with people. They come for cones and cups of creamy banana-flavored ice cream studded with chocolate chips, or sweet and spicy ginger gelato, or tangy mint-lime sorbet. The treats, made in small batches and by hand, are so decadent that you might want to buy an entire pint.

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
StephenBody
StephenBody

I take a back seat to no one as a lover of fine ice cream. I've actually kept a notebook for almost 35 years (the longest I've ever held onto ANYTHING) that lists all the artisan ice cream places I've tried and the list is, as of this morning, 438 names long. I do a blog for the Seattle P-I, in which I was asked to name my best of that lot. Two are here. The third is Liks. If this list doesn't include Liks, it's because they've been around for a while and aren't the trendy "flavor of the month" anymore. I've had four of the five on your list and Liks is head and shoulders better than ANY of them. If trendiness is how you amass these lists, you might want to rethink your methods. "Best" is still BEST, even if it doesn't happen to be where all the scene-makers are hangin'.

Anon
Anon

Honestly Laura. Can you blow Frasca any more? Your ridiculous love of all things Frasca is over the top. 

Monopod
Monopod

No love for Glacier?  Or does "Denver's Best" exclude Boulder?  (I'm never sure when these things are meant to be regional, and when they're city-specific.)

Joey B
Joey B

Putting TAG and Frasca on the same list of anything as Little Man and Sweet Action is absurd.  Somebody asks you, 'Where a great spot for Ice Cream' and the answer can't possibly be "Frasca" or "TAG."  That's the answer to the question "What restaurants have great ice cream?"  Which would be an interesting list by the way.  Agree that leaving Liks off this list (especially one that includes Bonnie Brae) destroys all credibility.  

Jason
Jason

re: LiksJust because a place is a "Denver institution" doesn't make it the "best of" anything. Look no further than Casa Bonita.

Jenni
Jenni

I'm also shocked at the slight to Liks, also a denver institution and one of the only places I'll get ice cream in denver period. Shame on you for leaving them off the list.

Werdna
Werdna

You've got to be kidding me that Liks isn't on here.... Omitting Liks from even the "honorable mentions" completely invalidates this list for me. 

Jon
Jon

Amore Gelato - 16th Street Mall

no kidding.
no kidding.

Not to mention ridiculous love for all things TAG...

Monopod
Monopod

Have you had the gelato at Frasca?  It definitely deserves to be on this list (if we're including restaurants that serve ice cream, that is), whatever you may think of the author's general attitude towards the place.  

Joey B
Joey B

You know Frasca is in Boulder right? ;)

Angelina
Angelina

And TAG doesn't make any of it's own ice cream, they order it from ice cream alchemy.  Peter, the owner, makes great stuff that's served in lots of restaurants and shops around Denver and Boulder.  He should get the credit, not TAG.

lol
lol

hahahaha!  touche

AFluffyWaffle
AFluffyWaffle

Yeah that Liks wasn't mentioned must mean all these other places suck... Please. Liks is just a small step above baskin robbins

Markwilliams
Markwilliams

Let's not forget all the blow kisses and love letters to Colt and Gray. Laura kisses up to chefs, takes all sorts of free crap, and makes friends with the people she's critiquing. That's a great recipe for credibility!!!!!!!

Monopod
Monopod

Hah, yes, I forgot about Frasca when I wrote that.  Likely because, like you, I don't think of Frasca as a "spot for ice cream."

So I guess the list does include Boulder, which means that it should've included Glacier.  Best ice cream and gelato around.

Jennifoodie
Jennifoodie

I had ice cream at Liks a couple times. They are just aight. On the flip side, I feel that Sweet Action has tapped into my brain while I'm sleeping (or awake...sometimes it's hard to tell the difference..lol) and created ice creams and sorbets that I would make at home if I had extra time and motivation. Fresh grapefruit-ginger sorbet, garam masala, sour cream, saffron-almond-currant ice creams, and my personal fave: vanilla rose. Who pairs rich vanilla with floral rose petals into an icy, creamy treat good enough to tempt the palate of a person on their deathbed? Sweet Action, that's who.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...