Food trends are constantly changing, and the crossover appeal between types of cuisine is often surprising. Even for companies that don’t necessarily dabble in ice cream, keeping up with this inventive form of dessert could open doors to new ideas for flavor infusions and delightful food presentation.
Here are six ice cream shops across the globe that are charming the consumer public.
1. Giapo (Auckland, New Zealand)
The best way to describe this modern ice cream parlor is as a fusion of food and art. To call them innovative would be a wild understatement. Not only do they push the envelope when it comes to creative, handmade ice cream, but their presentation is the stuff of Insta legend.
Giapo even offers a “selfie” cone featuring a chocolate rectangle stacked atop the cone so diners can get right in the frame with their gorgeous ice cream treat.
Perhaps their most popular item is an impressive piece of chocolate art called the Colossal Squid, but their wearable ice-cream lips are also a delight, as are sharable desserts like Mum’s Tiramisu.
2. Anita (Tel Aviv, Israel)
With options for authentic ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or soy-based treats, diners can find it all at Anita, including organic, sugar-free, and fat-free options.
A massive menu features 150 different items, with something for everyone, and the boutique-style ice cream is 100% handmade with all-natural ingredients. If that’s not enough, there are plenty of toppings to choose from, including homemade jams.
3. Magpies Softserve (Tarzana, CA, USA)
Magpies are known for their bold songs, as well as their ability to mimic other bird calls, wind chimes, and even other animals, like barking dogs. Magpies Softserve in sunny SoCal does its own form of mimicry, with a vegan softserve selection that’s almost indistinguishable from traditional, cream-based treats.
This shop offers dairy, vegan, and gluten-free options with their flavors of the day, which range from sweet cream and mocha to churro, guava, and more. Cones can be enhanced with a variety of delectable toppings, but their real claim to fame is their softserve pies.
The Original Fried Softserve Pie, featuring Corn Almond Softserve layered with vegan fudge and honeycomb, then topped with non-dairy whipped cream and fried candied cornflake streusel, is indescribably complex and mouthwatering.
4. Eat Darling Eat Dessert Bar (Hong Kong, China)
Let’s just start with the fact that this “dessert laboratory” is a treat to behold in and of itself, with a soft gray, pink, and gold color palette and donut-shaped stools designed to create a fully immersive dining experience.
Traditional sweets like egg tarts, pineapple buns, and tong sui are exceptional, but the ice cream flavors with local flair attract residents and visitors alike.
Taro and matcha are must-try flavors, but adventurous eaters might gravitate toward options like Sichuan pepper ice cream with candied bacon. This modern dessert bar is a lesson in how to create a truly engaging and memorable dining experience.
5. Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery (Toronto, Canada)
An ice cream parlor and bakery in one? It seems like a no-brainer, and yet, this winning combo is hard to find. With inventive, handmade ice cream flavors like Burnt Toffee, Love Oolong Time, Pink Lemonade, and Milk N’ Cookies, everyone can find a flavor to savor.
The real fun is adding pastries to the mix: With cookies, puff pastry, and more to choose from, daring dessert-seekers can’t go wrong.
6. Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique (Singapore)
No one expects to find truly incredible ice cream at the airport, but this frozen haven, located in the Jewel Changi Airport (among other locations), bucks the trend. The presentation isn’t fancy, but it’s hard to find fault with the unique flavors, including options like Lychee Raspberry, White Chrysanthemum, and Midnight Gianduja.
Each of their dozens of ice cream flavors is unique, as are flavored cones, like their signature thyme cone.
Ice cream isn’t just for kids, as these fanciful shops prove. With inventive flavors, attractive and surprising presentations, and even immersive environments, these ice cream parlors show other restaurants how to connect with customers in a big way.