Whatever you’re into these days ice cream-wise, here are three tested (and approved!) shops that are probably serving something even better. So try ’em out, and go wild. Ice cream season comes but once a year, and ends 364 days later.
Yum Yum’s Ice Cream (Rosedale)
Setting: Brought to us by the folks behind Denver Beer Co., this pint-sized shop is located right next door to that brewery’s newest taproom, on South Downing Street. And the spaces flow nicely, connected by a big ol’ yard sprinkled with rainbow-colored patio furniture. There’s a small counter to perch at (or wait in line behind) once inside the store, but you’ll want to take your cones or cups outside to enjoy, perhaps with your favorite cold one.
Style: A neighborhood parlor through and through, Yum Yum’s also has serious cooking chops: pastry chef Michael Ruíz is in the kitchen churning flavors for all ages. And he previously made desserts in some of Denver’s top restaurant kitchens (The Bindery, Citizen Rail), so you know this is the real deal.
Flavors: Try Sticky Fingers, made with graham crackers, toasted marshmallows, dark chocolate and Denver Beer Co.’s Graham Cracker Porter-infused ice cream (don’t worry, it’s safe for the kiddos). Vincent Van Goat is a more sophisticated combination of goat cheese and blueberries. And Rainbow Unicorn is mixed with Fruity Pebbles to create a milk-and-cereal flavor profile.
Claim to fame: Ruíz says he’s excited to play with boozy beer and ice cream combinations (think stout and porter floats), but until then, some of his concoctions are flavored with Denver Beer Co.’s brews, like the Graham Cracker Porter and the store’s namesake raspberry kolsch, Princess Yum Yum.
2423 S. Downing St., 303-433-2739, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. yumyums.co
I Scream Gelato (Lowry)
Setting: One of the first food businesses to open in Lowry’s new Boulevard One development, this pretty shop screams social media with its Instagram flower wall, dainty cafe tables and overflowing gelato bowls. Neighbors in the area will also soon have a whole host of restaurants and shops to choose from — Sushi Ronin, Torchy’s Tacos, MOD Pizza and Logan House Coffee, for example. For now, a taste of dozens of gelato flavors each day will have to be enough.
Style: Part coffee shop, part ice cream parlor, this is a stylish place to meet a friend, schedule a meeting or bring a date in the evening. Owners Nadav Abergel and Yuval Fuchs wanted to provide a bit of their Israeli gelato culture, so expect some overseas flavors as well as local renditions. And they’re thinking big: The duo started with a store in Breckenridge just before the pandemic, expanded to Frisco more recently and are on their way to Miami, Fla., next, with as many as 10 locations planned here in Colorado.
Flavors: Gelato classics like Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Bueno and pistachio are on display, but so are popcorn, cotton candy, even tahini on some days. Scoops can be straightforward or topped with an assortment of crushed candies, and served inside bubble waffle cones, between brioche, or atop pancakes. Since there’s a full coffee bar, try a gelato affogato (vanilla steeped in espresso).
Claim to fame: In Israel, Abergel and Fuchs say, ice cream is more of an experiential treat. This means I Scream sells boxes with multiple gelato flavors, toppings and all the necessary sundae accoutrement to take and make at home. But for customers who want to work a little less for that ice cream experience, there’s also the option of ordering to-go packs through delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash.
63 N. Quebec St., 303-284-3576, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, iscream-gelato.com
Right Cream (RiNo)
Setting: This shop used to be entirely online until earlier this summer, when owner David Right opened just a little walk-up window along Larimer Street in Denver’s River North Art District. Now the store still retains Right’s intent of weekly ice cream orders placed ahead of time and picked up onsite days later, but it’s also got a more convenient side for those of us on a spontaneous weekend ice cream streak (since it’s open Friday-Sunday only).
Style: Right is all about the ephemeral: limited quantities, weekly changing menus and elements of surprise (yes, we’re still talking about ice cream). He is a trained chef and packs his pints accordingly (to the brim with heady ingredients and serious chunks). While pints are ordered ahead of time online, the walk-up window is reserved for specials of the day: scoops, choco tacos, pies a la mode, sundaes created on the fly and fizzy ice cream drinks (more on that below).
Flavors: They’re hard to pin down since they change each week, but some recent examples are Morty Pie (a ‘nilla wafer cookie ice cream with Morton’s Organic Orchards Palisade peach jam and flaky pie crust pieces thrown in), and Graceland (a malted banana ice cream with peanut butter cup brownie “chonks” and “almost too salty” caramel marbled about).
Claim to fame: The aforementioned ordering ordeal is one signature of Right’s rare ice creams: He posts a handful of new weekly flavors online every Sunday; opens orders for less than 100 pints per flavor by Monday morning (they go quick); and unlocks the shop for pick-ups over the weekend.
Now that walk-ups are possible, though, we’d like to point you to a new signature of sorts: the Fizzee, in flavors like raspberry lemonade, watermelon and peach. These sparkling bevvies mix scoops of sorbet with fresh fruit, Topo Chico and a Tajín spice rim, so you can walk down the block with your refreshment in hand. “We don’t have alcohol, but I encourage you to pour some over,” Right said. We, however, don’t encourage that.
3047 Larimer St., 6-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Saturday, noon-3 p.m. Sunday (hours may vary). rightcream.com
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