The ten best places to go for ice cream in Denver
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.