The ten best places to go for ice cream this summer

Categories: The List

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Danielle Lirette
Today's weather should seal the deal: It's summer. Whether we're going for a single scoop or a decadent sundae, one of our favorite ways to celebrate the summer is ice cream. Here are the ten best places -- both tried-and-true neighborhood favorites and a few exciting new joints, listed in no particular order-- to chill out with ice cream this summer.

See also:
- Best Ice Cream/Gelato 2013: Glacier Ice Cream
- The sweet treats at Sweet Action are particularly sweet for vegans
- Peteybird Ice Cream Sandwiches rolls into downtown

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Bonnie Brae Ice Cream
799 South University Boulevard
Join the long line at this neighborhood institution and you'll feel like a kid again -- even if you got your AARP card years ago. The Bonnie Brae could certainly qualify for a card, since it's been on this corner of University Boulevard for more than fifty years. And over that time, it's perfected its ice cream. You don't come here for the fancy flavors; stick with creamy classics like chocolate and mint chocolate chip, or the shop's namesake, the "Bonnie Brae Delight," a decadent coconut base with fudge and caramel ripples.

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Little Man Ice Cream
2620 16th Street
LoHi could be Denver's hottest neighborhood -- but Little Man Ice Cream keeps things cool. In the summer months, this Highland landmark shaped like an actual milk jug serves as an unofficial neighborhood hangout, serving up scoop after scoop of ice cream. (In the winter, it focuses on soup.) Try such handmade, small-batch flavors as salted Oreo, a toothsome Rocky Road or strawberry balsamic (gelato), all available in a fresh waffle cone, shake, malt or sundae. We dare you to drive by without stopping.

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Sweet Action
52 Broadway
Sweet Action has become something of a cult favorite -- not just for its unexpected and inventive flavors, but also for its sensitivity and understanding toward the lactose-averse and vegan contingents that continue to grow in the Denver area. They flock to this Baker neighborhood mainstay for flavors that change as frequently as the owners can dream them up; right now they're offering delights like Thai iced tea, blackberry lavender, chocolate whoopie pie, vegan pistachio, carrot cake and Nerds.

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Spuntino
2639 West 32nd Avenue
How sweet it is! Spuntino is not only a dinner destination (co-owner/chef John Broening recently introduced a new menu of Italian classics), but a must-stop for dessert. Four-time James Beard semi-finalist Yasmin Lozada-Hissom, who's married to Broening, makes the pastries here. And Spuntino continues to serve some of the best gelato you'll find this side of Italy. Along with traditional flavors like stracciatella and pistachio, there's a rich brown butter and a dreamy cookies-and-cream that's heavy on the cookies.

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45 comments
Lindsey Katapski
Lindsey Katapski

I've lived within a quarter mile of 8 out of these 10. I feel pretty good about it.

Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

Very easy to get salmonella poisoning from ice cream so now I only buy frozen from the grocery store not from ice cream shops

Dale Zachary
Dale Zachary

Sweet Action. I am a big fan of Little Man, but they have a habit of running out of the flavors you are looking for.

chellz8888
chellz8888

Sweet Cow's OZO could make you weep. The Big Lebowski, either because of the Dude or the slight alcohol content, will make you smile.

Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

My bad but thanks for the update. I should know since I lived at 1175 Vine for several years.

Maria Hannon
Maria Hannon

Eis Gelato in Park Hill needs to be on the list!

Nicole N'aipaspeur
Nicole N'aipaspeur

Bonnie brae sucks!!! So bland!!!! Glacier ice cream is the best!!!! Way better than sweet action!

Paisley Print
Paisley Print

None. Please bring Braums from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas to Colorado.

Adria Riley
Adria Riley

Little Man & Liks. (I loved it when it was Lickity Split, too!)

Brian Bonsignore
Brian Bonsignore

hands down Little Man but real close is Sweet Action depends how funky I want my ice cream

Joel Bass
Joel Bass

Sweet Action for flavors, Bonnie Brae for atmosphere.

Sean Bracken
Sean Bracken

Sweet Action sounds like that's where the action is. Been years since I lived in Denver. But if this many recommendations are out there for it, I'd probably try it first.

Sherea Spalding
Sherea Spalding

Sweet Action is the best in town for sure!! With Bonnie Brae a close 2nd :D

Stacey Cummins
Stacey Cummins

Magill's in Lakewood...the Guinness stout caramel is the best!

Don Tacho
Don Tacho

Little man & Licks are the best

Dev Adams
Dev Adams

Little Man Ice Cream. SOOOOOOO good. But I do love me some Sweet Action as well.

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

OMG! How could you recommend [insert name here] as their ice cream is horrible?

OMG! Thanks for recommending [insert name here] as their ice cream is the best!

Just trying save other people some time.

p.quinby
p.quinby

glad to see sweet cow on the list. great spot

Michael564
Michael564

@Evelyn Maria Yeah, the preservatives, artificial coloring and flavoring, and over-processing will surely keep your body safe from harm.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Stacey Cummins Magill's is the redheaded stepchild of Denver ice cream. The ice cream is great, but the location is one of the most depressing strip malls in town. Westsiders should definitely make it a stop.

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