Soon, the calendar will be changing from summer to fall. For most of the country, that means a change in temperature and cooler weather will be on the way, so it’ll be time to bundle up and keep warm. Not in Phoenix. I mean, this is the desert, after all.
Here in the Valley, the focus remains on staying cool and trying to beat the heat, as temperatures will remain well into the 90s likely until October. In a city with such extreme temps, some good old-fashioned ice cream parlors are a must. Here are some of the best places around the Valley to stop in and cool off.
5223 N Central Ave
At this Central Avenue spot, not even the vanilla is bland. CHURN offers a variety of sweet products, including homemade ice cream with a rotating mix of flavors, some of which you’ve likely never heard of. These include Peanut Butter and Jelly, Candy Corn, and Egg nog — even their Madagascar Vanilla is a hit. All of these crazy flavors make for some delicious sundaes, too.
6054 N 16th St
With two locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale, it’s worth the trip here no matter where you’re at in the Valley. Sweet Republic uses fresh, local ingredients in their made-from-scratch ice cream. Better yet, the majority of their flavors are gluten-free, and they offer a sorbet (vegan) menu. They also have some of the best milkshakes and sundaes, which includes the Ultimate Sundae -- four scoops on a chocolate chip walnut oatmeal cookie with a handful of delicious, chocolatey toppings.
Mary Coyle ‘Ol Fashion Ice Cream
5823 N 7th St
Mary Coyle's declares that it is “Phoenix’s Favorite Ice Cream.” It’s definitely not far off, as it's been one of the best since it was founded in 1951. Located on N. 7th Street, this ice cream shop features more traditional flavors, but nails them every time. They also offer a long list of customizable sundaes such as the “Grand Canyon,” which is 11 pounds of 11-13 ice cream flavors and up to six toppings. When it comes to that one, we're pretty sure you can share.
5150 W Baseline Rd
With flavors like Cookie Monster, Playdough, and Grasshopper, it’s hard to not let Scooptacular catch your eye. This ice cream shop with locations in Laveen and Gilbert are well worth the drive out to the more southern end of the Valley. Their homemade flavors are sure to provide something new -- Cookie Monster is cotton candy flavored, Grasshopper is peppermint filled with Oreos and thin mint pieces, and Laveen Concrete Mix is a swirl of caramel flavors and goodies.
910 N 5th St
Got a late-night craving for ice cream in downtown Phoenix? Head on over to Melt, an ice cream shop open until midnight every night. But that’s not the only great part about this place — they’ve got locally produced ice cream in both traditional and unique flavors. Choose between a sugar or waffle cone or bowl, and take your pick of the 24 different flavors. Go with your gut, because what's there one night might not be there the next.
4700 N Central Ave
Self-serve frozen yogurt shops have had ever increasing popularity in recent years. But have you ever been to one with the theme of a 1970s beach house? That’s what you get at Twirl on Central Avenue. They rotate 10 flavors every week with more than 50 toppings to stack on top. Sure, there are plenty of self-serve froyo places, but trust us when we say that Twirl isn't your average spot.
4005 N Scottsdale Rd
Need to find a place to cool off with some ice cream in Old Town Scottsdale? That’s easy; Sugar Bowl has been giving visitors a place to do just that since 1958. They have a full menu, but they’re best known for their desserts, particularly their ice cream and sundaes. There is literally a sundae for everybody, including the Top Hat (a creampuff filled with ice cream and topped with hot fudge), noted as a favorite among baseball stars.