Mr. G and I came up with a family summer project when Pumpkin started summer break: try a new ice cream shop every week. I was trying to limit dessert to once a week (which failed miserably) and thought it would be fun to make the one dessert special, and to try places we hadn’t been yet as a family.
The girls and I ended up making it to six places, and Mr. G to about half of those because of his work schedule. We have so many places still on our list that I may just keep adding to this post.
Half of our stops were in the East Valley, but we also made it to Phoenix, Scottsdale and Flagstaff. Each place was so unique, I don’t think we could pick a favorite. So, without further adieu: our Summer of Ice Cream.
Melt is located on a very colorful street in downtown Phoenix off Roosevelt Row. The shop itself is small, with only outdoor seating. The ice cream is locally produced and (unless you order a cone) served in a Chinese food style to-go container with a fortune cookie on top. The flavors are unique – Pumpkin ordered Blueberry Muffin, and mine was Vietnamese Coffee. A friend in our party chose Thai Iced Tea.
Udder Delights is in Gilbert and its ice cream, like Melt’s, is produced locally at Superstition Farms. My ice cream flavor was actually named Superstition Farm and was a chocolate, Nutella, hazelnut concoction. I want to go back for Arizona Sunset, an orange and cream flavor – like a dreamcicle. The shop also sells farm fresh cheese, mascarpone and butter.
Ice Cream & Co.
Ice Cream & Co. in Mesa is a unique concept that serves breakfast in the morning and ice cream later in the day. The ice cream is locally produced and comes in a variety of standard and unique flavors. If you order a cup, it’s served in mini scoops, so even if you get a small (silver), you can get up to four flavors. The girls loved that! They also do ice cream sandwiches, which is what I ordered: banana cream pie ice cream with mini peanut butter cups mixed in, and peanut butter cookies for the sandwich.
Sugar Bowl is a Scottsdale institution and, while Mr. G and I had been in before, the girls never had. Of course they loved all the pink, and the arcade area in the back! They shared a Sugar Bowl Treat Banana Split (and demolished it), while I had the Rocky Mountain Sundae – coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup.
The Sweet Shoppe
The Sweet Shoppe in Flagstaff is an old-fashioned candy store with a variety of sweet treats, from caramel apples to fudge to nostalgic candy, taffy, and more. It also serves gelato, which is what we had: Chocolate for the girls, and Kahlua Tiramisu for me. The gelato was delicious, but a word of warning – there is limited seating (we took ours across the street to the square to eat), and the girls got the small cups that were filled so full they made a big, dripping mess (I did not have this problem with the waffle cup). If we were to go again (which I am sure we will) I would ask for the cup a size larger than the order.
Okay, technically the girls and I have been to Soda Rush before, but since we were there this summer, I am including it on our list. Soda Rush is obviously a soda shop and they sell a variety of soda flavor combinations. They also have super soft cookies, cotton candy and soft serve, lactose free ice cream. You can get a tiny cone for just 60 cents, a fun and unexpected treat for the girls since it’s conveniently located between our house and Pumpkin’s school (and has a drive-thru).
A few more ice cream shops we love, but didn’t make this list simply because we didn’t visit them this summer: