Where to find the best ice cream in the world

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ice cream world wide

If there’s one thing WOW readers can all be sure of, it’s my incessant love for ice cream. After travelling across 6 continents in my 23 years of living, there’s no food I have tried and tested more frequently than my first true love in life — ice cream. Within the first 24 hours of visiting a new city, I’m tweeting and googling like a mad woman asking where to find the best local IC, and before long I’m whizzing straight back out to the airport feeling full, satisfied, and like I ‘got the job done’. Of course, “the job” is never to find the best ice cream in town – but I just so happened to realise that I am not only an enthusiast, but a self-proclaimed expert in the field after so much (over)consumption.

So what to do with all this extreme Ice Cream knowledge?


Where to Find the Best Ice Cream in the world

Jean Philippe Patisserie

Where: Bellagio Casino, Las Vegas

Flavour to Try: Snickers

It might come as a surprise to you that my all time favourite ice cream I have EVER divulged is located in the USA, not Italy…. moreover, it is located in Las Vegas. But I promise you – this place offers heaven in a cup. It’s expensive but totally worth it… however I wouldn’t advise finding your way here if you lack self control / I returned over 10 times in 3 days.

La Carraia

Where: Florence, Italy

Flavour to Try: Mix up three flavours

Of course the gelati capital must make the list. Coming in at a close second, La Carraia offers arguably the best gelati in all of Florence. It’s a short walk away from the main tourist sights (over the bridge with the same name), but it’s totally worth it. It is also MUCH cheaper than the prices you will find in the main tourist areas.

Moritz Eis

Where: Belgrade, Serbia

Flavour to Try: Salted Caramel

It might shock you, but some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted was in the capital of Belgrade – Serbia. Locals know about this place and it’s certainly the most popular joint in town, so be sure to expect lines throughout the day.

16 Handles

Where: New York, New York

Flavour to Try: Caramel Popcorn

Bending the rules ever-so-slightly, I simply couldn’t write this list without including the world’s best frozen yogurt – 16 Handles in New York. My sources tell me you can also find this chain in Miami, but I was so caught up in the craze in New York that by the time I reached Miami my jeans wouldn’t allow any more “3 a day” minimums. It’s your typical pay-by-weight frozen yogurt establishment with not so typical flavours that will leave you drooling for more. Ask for a taste tester cup as you walk in, you can try as many as you like before you buy!


Where: Zagreb, Croatia

Flavour to Try: Snickers & Cookies and Cream

Another shocker. This is hands down one of the best (and cheapest) ice cream joints on the planet. It’s also reason alone to visit the Croatian capital.


Where: Berlin, Germany

Flavour to Try: The dairy-free range is surprisingly good!

Known for their dairy-free goodness and soy-based flavours, Caramello is a top choice for Berliners.

Emporio La Rosa

Where: Santiago, Chile

Flavour to Try: Dulce de Leche

It came as a complete surprise to me when my guide in Santiago proclaimed Chileans as one of the biggest consumers of ice cream in the world (and hands down the biggest consumer in Latin America). So naturally my next question became “Where is the best ice cream in the capital” to which she answered “I’ll take you there now”. We got along just fine.


Where: Copenhagen, Denmark

Flavour to Try: The Amerikaner

Specialising in excess, this is one ice creamery you can visit knowing you won’t (be able to) go back for seconds. The most popular item on the menu, the Amerikaner is a calorific nightmare (but so worth it) consisting of: 4 scoops of ice cream topped with syrup, whipped cream, and a chocolate covered meringue puff. I mean…. who could say no to that!?

Big Gay Ice Cream

Where: New York, New York

Flavour to Try: Flavours changing daily

If you’ve been to NYC and not visited Big Gay Ice Cream, you’ll just have to go again. BGI is an institution in the Big Apple. Here you’ll find creative soft serve ice cream flavours like “Salty Pimp” among others… seriously, just go try it. Now. Why aren’t you on a plane already?

Gelato Messina

Where: Sydney, Australia

Flavour to Try: Salted Caramel with white choc chip and peanut butter anything (combo)

There’s no denying this is Australia’s best ice cream / gelateria. Flavours are in abundance and change regularly, giving you all the more reason to visit thrice (or more) during your time in Oz.

Any you’d like to add? I’m available for taste testing year-round and would love to hear your suggestions!

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    November 16, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    I think Giolitti in Rome is a must for this list!! Not only are the ice-creams absolutely incredible but they are pretty cheap too!!

    June 21, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I would say Buenos Aires was missed on this list. Cadore and Rapa Nui specifically are some of my all-time favorites. Emporio De La Rosa really is delicious though.

    June 18, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Annie’s Home-Made Ice Cream & Cafe in Sneem, Ireland has, hands down, the best ice cream I have ever experienced. It’s been almost 8 years since I’ve been there and I still think about it regularly. The village it’s located in also happens to be the cutest ever, unique from anywhere else I have been.

    June 18, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Cow & the Moon in Sydney was missed in this list. I know you can’t hit them all but at least include the winner of best gelato in the world in 2014!

    June 18, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Definitely get yourself to Portland, Oregon (or the newly opened LA location) to try Salt & Straw flavors! They work with local farmers, bartenders, etc to create the most insanely delicious and creative combinations and often change flavors with the seasons. Sooo good and always a long line.

    June 18, 2015 at 8:42 am

    I would definitely suggest, Santini in Lisbon or Cascais Portugal, they have the best fresh seasonal fruit icecream. Come try it out, I will show you around all the cool places.

    June 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Woow amazing list….
    one country that you should definitely consider visiting is Lebanon where you will surely be attached by the culinary delicacy. ..and one of the best ice creams in the middle east ( a place called Salem located in Ehden to the north of the country makes an incredible Arabian cream flavor (called qashta) topped with pistachios … an ice cream to die for )

    June 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Ice cream in Istambul for me was the best :)))

    February 21, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Hi! I’m crazy for ice cream as well…it’s my downfall. But if you are ever in Canada, particularly PEI you need to check out Cows ice cream! That is where the original is. There is one in Banff and Whistler as well. Homemade and delicious!

    November 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Brooke, if you come to NZ you have to check out Giapo’s in Auckland “Haute Icecream”, next level Gelato messina 🙂 They have icecream artists that craft the icecream in front of you!

    October 28, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Jamaica’s best ice cream!

    October 12, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I’m with Grace – Smitten in San Francisco is an awesome ice cream place… Limited flavours but such a unique way of getting your ice cream, resulting in the creamiest texture I’ve ever had!

    October 12, 2014 at 7:06 am

    You have obviously never been to New Zealand and tasted HOKEY POKEY ice cream. A New Zealand icon available everywhere where ice cream is sold.

  • Wanderlinks 9.24.14 | Tremendous Times
    October 11, 2014 at 10:54 am

    […] * If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you’ll be equally excited to read about the best ice cream in the world! […]

    October 2, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Wow *-* a list full of Ice Cream Places? I’m going to fall in love with this blog <3
    Luckily, I'll visit Sydney in 2 weeks, guess where I'm going to eat first 😀

    October 1, 2014 at 7:24 am

    The best, most unique flavors (and economical) gelato I have ever eaten was at Dolce Gourmet in Erie, PA. I have since moved and heard it unfortunately closed. I would go once a week–how I miss those days. Happy ice cream eating.

    Alexandra Virsescu
    September 28, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Brooke! After a long period in which I’ve read your posts, I need to say that you are a truly inspiration for all of us, sitting at home. One day I want to do what you do and simply live. Not thinking about the money I will spend or anything else, because money come and go anyway so why not to spend them intelligent? Like you always say, “travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. This is totally true!
    With Love, Alexandra from:

    September 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    You should list Berthillon in Paris 🙂

    September 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    I’m From Argentina although I live in the States and tried lots of ice cream places here, I have to say I’d still pick Freddo in Buenos Aires (they actually just opened their first US location in Charleston, NC). It is sooooo good, so creamy and delicious. They have about 5 or 6 different Dulce de Leche flavors you can try, I would also recommend Sambayon. I would say Argentina is one of the biggest South American Ice cream consumers, you can get ice cream delivered to your house until late at night!
    Hope you can try it someday!

    Natalie @ Budget and the Bees
    September 27, 2014 at 1:10 am

    I’ve actually been to La Carraia! How cool it made your list! I lived on that side of the river when I studied abroad in Florence, and I have such fond memories there. I’m no ice cream connoisseur, but I recently went to Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn; it was fantastic! They also had really creative flavors, which I appreciate.

    September 27, 2014 at 12:40 am

    I love ice cream so thank you for sharing this list!

    There are definitely a lot more local shops in New York that provide amazing ice cream. My personal favorite is earl grey at Van Leeuwen!

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    September 25, 2014 at 7:34 am

    i love this! I’m currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy and the ice cream is AMAZING! I can’t resist it! Not to mention the food in general is all to die.

    September 24, 2014 at 1:26 am

    LOVE the title – sucked me right in, obviously. BUT. I have to disagree with your 16 Handles claim. There is WAY better fro-yo out there…Culture in Park Slope is pretty awesome (and pretty pricey). 16 Handles is great for an all-you-can-get option, but for quality? I’d rather real, cultured stuff instead of mass produced.

    You’ve now given me an ice-cream-based travel list though! This could be dangerous!

    September 23, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Hey Brooke, I have a nice-cream recommendation.
    There is an ice-cream parlour called Creams Cafe, they have a few locations in London so if you are nearby you should check it out. I have only been a couple of times, but there is a lovely choice of flavours and they are delicious. Best in the world? I don’t know to be honest, but it is very nice!

    Jesse Owen
    September 22, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Ice cream…. gimme, gimme, gimme! 🙂

    I’ve never tried snicker ice cream but if it’s anything like the snickers bar ice cream you can buy I imagine it’s pretty incredible!

    September 22, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    You should really try to go to the outer Copenhagen on af street called “Kongelundsvejen” number 116 and the shop is called “Ismageriet” it’s the best ice cream in the whole world. It tastes so delicious plus the scoops are alot bigger than normally

    September 22, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I’m not an expert on the subject… but the best ones I ever had were in Grom!! It was in Florence but they have more shops around Italy 🙂

    September 21, 2014 at 10:34 am

    San Crispino in Rome! I loved that place. Pistachio and Caramel are a must try. Apparently the chef only uses fresh ingredients so his flavours are based on the season. I went there a ridiculous number of times for the two days I knew of the place before leaving Rome.

    September 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

    I agree with @berthold. Berthillon is to die for, for me le chocolate foncé…mmm super dark! My only qualm? The serving is the size of a pingpong ball so i have to get at least 3 😉
    Chocolate at la Piazza Navina in Rome
    Also dark chocolate at Szamos, a delicious restaurant in Budapest
    And the lavender ice cream in Le GrandClement in Panamá City.

    September 21, 2014 at 6:39 am

    My Favourite Ice cream is from Chocolats favoiris in Quebec. They dip their ice-cream in chocolate so its essentially eating a Lintt bunny full of ice cream. To die for!

    September 21, 2014 at 6:33 am

    I live in Switzerland and the best gelato that I have found is in Nyon, city close to Geneva. It is called Venezia Gelateria and their gelatos are simply the best!

    September 21, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Yum Yum! My favorite ice cream is licorice with chocolate chips from Cioccolati Italiani in Milan. They fill your cone with liquid chocolate!

    September 21, 2014 at 3:37 am

    16 Handles is a chain. They have a bunch of locations in other states in the US besides NY.

    September 21, 2014 at 2:05 am

    I’m heading to Santiago next month, will definitely be heading to Emporio La Rosa! x

    September 21, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Giolitti in Rome has a huge!! selection of ice cream which is all amazing. The champagne flavour is my favourite which actually bubbles in your mouth.

    September 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    You should also add the officialy officially best ice-cream in the world – a shop in San Gimignano in Tuscany has the award and it definitely is true but surprisingly reasonably priced 🙂

    September 20, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I love gelato, when in Rome and Venice it’s all I wanted to eat haha, minus the pizza 😉

    Sarah D
    September 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    If you were talking about the best Gelati in the world, then this would be it, right smack bang in Rome! I’m sure they have other locations, but this is where I found it right around the corner from the Trevi Fountain 🙂

    September 20, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Well this kind of post I like! (Actually I love all of your posts but I love ice cream so this especially) You should add to the list Italy overall, Finnish ice cream (it’s really good, rather expensive tho..) and this ice cream called Latinos, located in St. Raphael, France. It’s on the street next to the port and they have heavenly many lovely tastes and the prices are so cheap and I looove it! Th

    September 20, 2014 at 6:49 pm in Vancouver – always with a lineup, but always worth it!

    September 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Now I’m craving!

    20 year old traveller with a thirst for adventure

    Katherine Lou
    September 20, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    What a great list! I must try all of these places when I visit. I think one of my favorite ice cream is coconut pudding ice cream from Roselani Tropics. They don’t have a storefront but can be found at one of my favorite place for shave ice everrrr in Maui: Ululani’s!

    September 20, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Its incredible that the best ice cream is in Las Vegas!!! Oh, Americans! Such a fun post by the way! Now we’ll have to go by ourselves and try SO MANY damn good ice creams around the world(that’s so exciting anyway).
    The best one I’ve ever tried was in a little shop somewhere lost in Venice… Mmmmh… take me back there please!
    With love,

    September 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Love this post! And OMG did I read caramel, popcorn and frozen yogurt in one go? Aah, I must try it, I love ice-cream so much! :)xx

    September 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Italy definitely has the best ice creams!

    September 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Have you tried Gelupo in London? It’s tucked away in Soho and they do all kinds of crazy flavours that they change up all the time. I’ve seen them do stuff like rice flavour and chicken curry flavour but they’re honestly delicious. You should give it a try if you’ve never been.

  • Madelinefedmont@yahoo.con'
    September 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    The best ice cream in Italy I tried in Milan. The best ice cream ever!

    Best holiday destinations
    September 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I love ice cream. thanks for sharing nice views.

    Carrie Radford
    September 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Oh my, this is my kind of post! We went to an incredible place in Florence called Gelateria de’ Neri and it did not disappoint! It’s our favorite so far in our Europe travels!

    Deepti @ Endless Postcards
    September 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I love ice cream, but tend to consume most of mine from pints bought at the grocery store. 🙁 It’s time to expand my horizons – I’m tempted to hop on a plane to Florence right now!

    Luc @ Skeeter and Scout
    September 20, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Hahaha this is my favourite topic you have written about to date!

    I have been to Vincek in Zagreb (and recommend). Eis Temmel in Graz Austria is also soooo good. Banana ice cream is heavenly!

    L x

    September 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I’m a ice cream lover too. I was in Napoli last year and the ice cream that i tasted ever it’s from Chalet Ciro i ate almost everyday on my vacations in Italy i was in 5 cities but its the great one!

    September 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    @BERTHOLD I was going to say the same thing! Berthillon should definitely be on the list. It’s the best ice-cream I’ve had. The strawberry one has actual strawberry chunks in it. I also love their chocolate one. It’s a very strong chocolate ;). Another reason to go is its location within Paris. It’s on the île Saint-Louis, right behind the île de la cité where Notre Dame is. It’s the heart of Paris with very old buildings and narrow streets. The experience is definitely worth it!

    September 20, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Why isn’t this a part of world geography? I feel like this should be apart of the curriculum! haha
    Thanks for this post, it was fun!


    September 20, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I love finding the yummiest ice cream shops in every town I visit. I haven’t tried much internationally, but my favorite so far is McConnell’s in Santa Barbara, CA. So good. Everything is so fresh and they have unique flavors like sea salt olive oil. But my favorites are chocolate covered strawberry, cinnamon, and dark chocolate paso brittle. If you’re ever around, it’s a must.

    Andy Cao
    September 20, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Hahahahaha, I love this post. Florence is number one, always.

    September 20, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Love this post I’m making it my new life mission to go to all of these places but I agree with Berthold!! Berthillion is mecca for ice cream lovers. And the fact the close in July/August shows they’re in it for the love of ice cream–not to exploit the crazy tourist season and make a ton of money! It’s a must.

    xx Taylor

    Kate @
    September 20, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Awesome to see that 2 NYC places made it in!!

    How do you ever decide on the BEST ice cream, that’s a tough task 🙂

    I like to try unique local flavors of ice cream when I go places – avocado in Bali, huckleberry ice cream in Yellowstone, Durian in Singapore (GROSS!), etc.

    September 20, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Wow. A list without the true #1?

    You are missing Berthillion in Paris. And their unbelievable cassis and wild strawberry. Beats hands down anyone on your list.

    Try it next time when in Paris. Don’t complain about the queues. Or the fact they are closed during July/August.

    September 20, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I seriously laughed out loud when I read who got the first place. The first word I read was Bellagio, which is my hometown (I’m Italian), and I thought “yay, we are the best!”; and then I read the rest… hahaha


    September 20, 2014 at 8:51 am – The best ice cream I have ever had was from Smitten in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. It is made to order right in front of you with liquid nitrogen, resulting in the smoothest, creamiest texture you can imagine. So good that I had walked away to happily explore with 1 scoop, but when I was done, I had to walk right back for a second scoop!

    Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolate
    September 20, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Oooh, you know how to make a person want to travel! I’ve been wanting to try out sixteen handles for a while, actually. I just have to make my way to New York!

    Vanessa Key
    September 20, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Ice Cream for you and best restaurant which serves salmon for me. I’m crazy about salmon. Lately my friends turned me to new religion of “being crazy about sushi”’s terrible obsession. You can never stop unless you get fat from them…aaand you won’t.