There aren’t enough spare calories in the world to experience all the locally owned, AMAZING, homemade ice cream shops in Denver. I hope you find this list worth screaming about! Most of these Denver creameries also offer homemade vegan options. Make sure to check out the special perks for Denver I Love readers sprinkled in pink!
MAKING A DELICIOUS DEBUT
RINO: 3350 Brighton Boulevard in the Source
Local entrepreneur Brian Rosen, along with partners Alon Mor and Bernard Friedman, launched the ever popular Chaos & Cream Thai style ice cream concept at the Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market last summer. What started as a mobile ice cream stand soon gained fame as one of RINO’s favorite pop ups. Starting this Thursday, April 3rd, Chaos & Cream will be rolling out their ice cream on a regular basis at the Source, Monday through Thursdays, 5 pm to 9pm. Chaos & Cream is no ordinary ice cream. The fun and fascinating process of making the ice cream takes place right before your eyes when you pick your ingredients and watch the mixture freeze in front of you. In honor of Chaos & Cream’s opening at the Source. which coincides with the start of baseball season, a new flavor is debuting: Cracker Jack with the original caramel coated popcorn and peanuts. For more on RINO and the Source check out Denver I Love’s RiNo Straight from the Source.
DENVER I LOVE SPECIAL PERK:
If you mention Denver I Love during Chaos & Cream’s first regular week at the Source (the first week of April), you will get to buy one and get one free.
Congress Park: 3506 E. 12th Avenue
Cooie’s, a Tiffany blue confectionary and ice cream parlor, recently opened in Congress Park with the upmost style and pizazz. Owner Paul Tamberella, who named his first ice cream shop “Little Man” after his father, created Cooie’s as a tribute to his sweet mother nicknamed “Cooie” who’s picture is on the wall as you walk in. The signature item, the Gooey Cooie is a pressed ice cream sandwich made on a brioche with gooey glaze on top. To make the Gooey Cooie really out of this world, try flavor favorite salty oreo in the middle! The banana splits are old school delish! Different than other ice cream shops, Cooie’s also makes from scratch chocolate truffles, pastries, french eclairs, sorbet and waffle cones trimmed in cotton candy. A good amount of Scottish treats notably appear on the menu: caramels, shortbreads and Scottish coffee. In Cooie’s honor, a portion of every scoop of ice cream sold is donated to support women’s education here and around the world. Vegan ice cream is always an option at Cooie’s.
DENVER I LOVE SPECIAL PERK:
The first Denver I Love subscriber to email firstname.lastname@example.org something special about their own mother will receive a $10 gift card to Cooie’s.
Stanley Market Place at Stapleton: 2501 N. Dallas Street, Aurora
In January Sweet Cow opened at the Stanley Marketplace, making Stapleton the 6th location for this now well established local ice cream company. Sweet Cow ice cream is more than a pretty face or a playground for children to ride a plastic cow. Sweet Cow uses locally sourced ingredients and small batches to turn out some of the best ice cream in the city. All this and a social conscience too? Keeping with the Stanley Marketplace’s “Stanifesto,” Sweet Cow places an emphasis on doing things sustainably, thoughtfully and creatively. It uses only compostable and recyclable products and prides itself on being “the cleanest ice cream shop on the planet.” For more details on new places to eat at Stanley read: Dreams Realized In Cool New Places to Eat and Drink at Stanley Marketplace. Sweet Cow has other Denver locations in Platt Park, the Highlands, Boulder and Louisville.
A FEW NEIGHBORHOOD FAVORITES
Lowry: 200 Quebec Street #109
Glacier’s ice cream and gelato is hand mixed and homemade with super fresh ingredients: fruits and nuts from local farms and high quality cocoas and spices. They also use homemade fudge and chocolate melts, rich caramel and natural flavors to create new fun flavors that change daily. The front of Glacier’s shop opens up for warm spring and summer days to create a fun place to hang out in the Lowry Town Center. Glacier is a family-owned ice cream business with additional locations at Kent Place near Cherry Hills and Belleview Square in Greenwood Village.
Hilltop and the Denver Central Market: 215 S. Holly and 2669 Larimer
The High Point Creamery in Hilltop is the place to go not only for high quality amazing ice cream but also for sorbet, vegan options and kosher accommodation. All ice cream at the Hilltop location meets strict kosher standard under the supervision of Denver’s Scroll K. High Point Creamery is also known for its popular ice cream flights and layered ice cream cakes called Bombes. As an additional feature in its Denver Central Market location, an old fashioned soda fountain makes traditional Brooklyn egg creams and signature sodas from small-batch custom syrups.
LoHi: 2620 16th Street
If you drive through the lower part of the Highlands in Northwest Denver, you can’t miss the gigantic milk can known as Little Man Ice Cream. In the summer, you might be lucky to catch a jazz musician playing remarkable music while you wait in an enormous line to choose from exciting flavors, homemade waffle cones, root beer floats, hand-mixed sodas ice cream bars and sandwiches. Realizing not all of Denver can fit in the ginormous line that wraps especially long on hot days, owner, Paul Tamburello, is opening more Little Man-like shops with their own unique shapes but many of the same locally sourced ingredients. My own family is impatiently awaiting the new rocket ship shaped creamery that is slowly rising up in Lowry right in front of the Lowry Beer Garden.
Park Hill/East Colfax: 5135 E. Colfax
Nuggs serves all-natural locally made ice cream, shakes, malts and their famous root beer floats. The owners of Denver based Brothers Barbeque opened the Colfax creamery a few years ago just south of Park Hill. Everyone who tries Nuggs comes back again and again. Nuggs is simple – just darn good — super awesome – really delicious ice cream – oh and there is that blue moon ice cream cookie sandwich too! You should also try Nuggs’ awesome homemade ice cream cakes when you have occasion to celebrate. This May will mark Nuggs’ third year in business.
DENVER’S ICONIC ICE CREAM INSTITUTIONS
Bonnie Brae: 799 South University Boulevard
The line often stretches out of the door at this iconic Denver ice cream parlor, and the wait is worth every minute. For more than 30 years, Bonnie Brae Ice Cream’s bold red and white awning has become synonymous with some of the best ice cream in the west. No trip to Denver is complete without a stop at Bonnie Brae Ice Cream, one of Denver’s coveted treasures, on the corner of University Boulevard and Ohio Avenue. The ice cream and the cones are made homemade in the store including: their famous ice cream cakes hand decorated with care, fresh as can be waffle cones and one-of-a-kind cinnamon flavored ice cream.
I stopped into Bonnie Brae on one of Denver’s rare gloomy day. Even without sunshine, Bonnie Brae was warm and full of cheer. Randy, who has been making ice cream there since the early 90s, was busy decorating a special cake, and Casey was making a fresh batch of cherry walnut homemeade ice cream.
DENVER I LOVE SPECIAL PERK:
The first Denver I Love subscriber to email email@example.com with their favorite Bonnie Brae ice cream flavor will get a $5 gift card to Bonnie Brae.
Capitol Hill/Cheeseman Park: 2039 East 13th Avenue
Liks is one of the oldest ice cream shops on the list – with a cult-like following since 1976. Liks makes about 320 different homemade flavors along with their waffle cones made right at the counter. There are about 32 flavors to choose from in the store at any given time. Many of Lik’s unique flavors come with a serious fan base such as the Jack Daniels Chocolate Chip and Salty Cookie. Some other flavors that makes this Capitol Hill icon so revered are Colorado Mud, with a mocha base, oreos and fudge, and Cheesman, a strawberry cheesecake ice cream, named after the Denver park down the street. Liks has a second location at 5270 East Arapahoe in Centennial.
We ran out of calories before we could make it to all the incredible homemade ice cream shops in Denver. We heard good things about: Frozen Matter (530 E. 19th), Ice Cream Riot (1238 E. Colfax), Sweet Action (52 Broadway) and Snow Lab (4360 E. Evans) too. Let us know what’s your favorite ice cream in Denver and if there are some others we should add to the list!