Temperatures are hotting up in Europe and summer in the Northern hemisphere is so close you can smell it. And nothing says ‘good times ahead’ more than the tinkle of the ice-cream van or the sight of a huge cone filled with incitingly creamy gelato. To help you keep your cool in the summer heat, we’ve listed some of our favourite ice-cream parlours and stands from every corner of the continent!
Italy is synonymous with great food and as we all know, gelato is one of the main food groups (right?!) – so no trip to Italy would be complete without eating your bodyweight in unctuous, frozen goodness. Great gelato places are ten to the dozen in Rome but among the stand-out parlours is Pompi. Tucked away near the Spanish Steps, not only do they have a mouth-watering array of classic gelato flavours to get stuck into but those in the know (a.k.a. you) head there for their famous Tiramisu!
Martine Lambert, Paris
Away from the droves of tourists and over-priced cafes clustered around the Eiffel Tower, you will find the much-loved Martine Lambert – an artisanal ice-cream parlour serving up some of the finest glaces in the French capital. Using carefully sourced ingredients from all over the world and making all her own additions on site (think: luscious caramel, zesty preserved oranges and feather-light macarons) Martine’s chic creations are what I imagine would happen if Chanel made ice-creams.
Italian expat Attilio Santini founded his first shop in Cascais, just outside Lisbon, in the 40s. Word of his wonderful, all-natural offerings soon spread and Santini’s was frequented by the (ice) crème de la crème of Lisbon society. Today, there are several branches sprinkled around Lisbon, serving up sweet treats to nobility and the Average Joe alike. It may not be the most adventurous flavour out there, but our fave is the tantalisingly sweet yet tart raspberry.
Gelarto Rosa, Budapest
For when you’re after a taste sensation and that perfect Instagrammable snap, look no further than Budapest’s Gelarto Rosa. Not only is there a plethora of expertly crafted flavours to choose from; with everything from classic pistachio to the more outlandish wasabi-hazelnut on offer, but each and every cone is carefully shaped into a delicate, impossibly intricate rose. We’d say they were too good to eat, but who are we kidding…
Cesar Milano, Nice
With so many glamourous hang-outs and swanky restaurants dotted along the Cote d’Azure, it’s not easy for one unassuming little ice-cream shop to make a name for itself. But Cesar Milano’s has done just that by consistently serving up scoop after scoop of top-rated deliciousness. Do yourself a favour and grab a scoop (or 5, I’m not here to judge) of the lemon-meringue ice-cream, which may just spark some confusing romantic feelings around dairy-based frozen desserts.
Soft Serve Society, London
On the rare occasion when the sun shines in London, there are 3 main options: strip down to your unmentionables and spread eagle yourself on the nearest bit of grass, head to a pub beer garden, or grab yourself an ice-cream cone (or all three – live your best life!). Head over to BoxPark in Shoreditch and choose from the unique concoctions on offer at Soft Serve Society. From traditional sundaes with a twist, to freakshakes or just a simple soft-serve cone, the flavours here strike the perfect balance between classic and quirky (charcoal and coconut anyone?!).
On Jægersborggade; one of Copenhagen’s coolest streets (of which there are a few) you will find Istid – birthplace of Organic Nitrogen Ice-Cream. So much more than a hipster fad, it seems to us that Istid has had a stroke of gelato-genius, creating the perfect creamy scoop by adding a dash of scientific know-how in the form of Liquid Nitrogen. At a temperature of nearly 200°C below freezing, the nitrogen sets the ice-cream in an instant, creating an ultra-smooth texture and preserving each individual flavour. The more you know…