Top 5: Ice cream parlours

Published on: Tuesday, August 9, 2011

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Whether it’s ice cream, gelato or dondurma – the sticky Turkish variation handled by entertaining vendors in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square – the cold and creamy treat is the first thing on the lips of many on a hot summer's day. So prepare yourself for a brain freeze as we scoop up our top five ice cream parlours.

La Sorbetteria Castiglione, Bologna

Often an ice cream connoisseur’s highest form of praise is that it’s the best they’ve had outside of Italy. So La Sorbetteria Castiglione in Bologna, deemed by many as serving the best gelato in Italy, would seem the perfect place to indulge in the traditional Italian delight. This parlour comes recommended by the locals and the city’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in its offerings, including the ‘Michelangelo’ – a mix of cocoa powder, liqueurs and almonds.

Top Tip: La Sorbetteria’s signature scoop is its ice cream sandwich, three scoops of gelato in a scrumptious cinnamon roll; you might want to skip dinner!

Patagonia Chocolates, Queenstown

It might come as a surprise when considering its healthy and sporty reputation, but New Zealand is ranked number one in the world for its yearly ice cream consumption per person. Patagonia Chocolates, in pretty Queenstown, offers ice cream made on site, with 30 flavours to choose from, as well as generously sized waffle cones. The parlour (also known for its array of handmade chocolates) sells around 360kg (800lb) of ice cream every day and visitors can enjoy theirs while admiring stunning views of Lake Wakatipu.

Top tip: Try the New Zealand favourite ‘hokey pokey’, a vanilla ice cream with small lumps of toffee.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Ohio

From sundaes to fro yo (frozen yoghurt) the USA has always led the way in making ice cream cool. And with the average American consuming 21 litres (5 gallons) of ice cream a year, it’s understandable ice cream sellers here are in their element. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio is one of the most distinctive, selling handmade, locally sourced ice cream with a twist. The creative flavours, such as ale and apricots, goat’s cheese and cherry, or strawberry rose petal keep customers coming back regularly in search of new and increasingly unusual concoctions.

Top tip: The salty caramel flavour is a favourite among regulars so add a scoop to your other whacky ice cream choices.

Heladería Scannapieco, Buenos Aires

Due to a strong Italian heritage among many Argentineans, the locals of Buenos Aires are truly passionate about ice cream. Among the many ice parlours is the locals’ favourite Heladería Scannapieco. You’re unlikely to stumble across it accidently, but it’s worth seeking out if you’re craving a place full of charm and character. Founded in 1938, this family run business (every server is related to the original owners) has a classic approach to ice cream that has not been compromised in its ever-expanding choice of more than 50 flavours.

Top tip: If you want to save your pesos look for small, local ice cream parlours rather than the more readily available chains.

Morelli’s, England

Founded by Italian immigrant Giuseppe Morelli in 1907, Morelli’s is an institution in the Kentish seaside town of Broadstairs. Now in its fifth generation of family ownership, this art deco parlour- furnished with lino, Formica table tops and juke boxes -serves handmade Italian-style gelato in the most traditional of British seaside resorts. Choose from a range of flavours and delicious toppings such as fresh fruit, nuts and whipped cream. Morelli’s also has an outlet in fashionable London department store Harrods, which has previously been recognised as serving the best gelato in the capital.

Top tip: Wash your cold gelato down with something hot; a cappuccino from the Italian-influenced café. Giuseppe Morelli brought his own blend of coffee with him that continues to be served here today. Be warned, however, as there are separate queues for ice cream and coffee, so if there are two of you it pays to split up otherwise you’ll have to queue twice.