What would summer be without ice cream? Pretty bleak, right? Which is why we’ve rounded up the best in the Mother City.
This season, you don’t have to settle for supermarket varieties – artisanal and all-natural gelato are popping up in parlours, trucks, and stalls all over the Mother City. From bubble waffle cones and cookie sandwiches to handmade sorbet and (vegan-friendly) dairy-free delights, we’ve sampled the best in the business, and these are our picks.
Owner and ice cream aficionado Yann Rey has dreamed up the exciting variety of flavours at this slick ice-cream parlour. Though the vibe at the Kloof street branch is stark and a little cold, there’s no denying that the product is as good as it gets!
Here, the focus is on the art of ice-cream making – a perfect balance of all-natural sugars, water, fat and air – and it shows. The best part is that there’s something for everyone, including lactose-intolerant and vegan ice-cream lovers!
How it’s served as a cone, cup, or tasting flight (a choice of 5 flavours)
We recommend Turmeric Latte (vegan), Burnt White Chocolate, Matcha Tea (vegan) and Sea Salt Chocolate.
Wow factor Unframed has some pretty delectable toppings to choose from Cardamom Dark Chocolate, Coconut Chips, and Superfood Raw Macarons, to name a few.
Contact 063 601 0287, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Unframed Ice Cream, 45C Kloof Street Cape Town
V&A Food Market, V&A Waterfront, Dock Road, Cape Town
2. The Creamery
We’ve had a love affair with this brand since we took our first lick (back in 2012 at The Old Biscuit Mill). Not only is their ice cream heavenly, we love that all their products are lovingly handmade using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients that have been produced in a conscious, sustainable way.
The Creamery has branches in Newlands, Mouille Point and Claremont’s Palmyra Junction Centre, as well as stalls at the V&A Market on the Wharf, the Neighbourgoods Market and the Earth Fair Market in St Georges Mall. You can also hire their vintage scoop stall (that comes fully staffed) for private functions.
How it’s served in a cup or cone.
Wow factor Because they use only seasonal ingredients in their ice creams, the flavours change often, so you never know which ones you’ll get when you visit. It’s a good idea to try their Flavour of the Month.
Contact 021 447 7690, email@example.com
Where to find it Dean Street, Newlands; Beach Road, Mouille Point; and Palmyra Road, Claremont
You can also get their ice cream at Market on the Wharf, The Neighbourgoods Market and Earth Fair Market
3. Le Delizie
Tucked away within a wondrous chocolate and gelato shop, Le Delizie serves artisanal gelato, super sorbets, and nougat and chocolates, too. Gelati flavours include: Stracciatella (a cream-based ice cream filled with crunchy, dark chocolate pieces), Pistachio, Hazelnut, Chocolate, Coffee, Coconut (Cocco) and Gianduja (Chocolate and Hazelnut for the Nutella lovers), as well as tantalising Lemon, Mango, Grapefruit, Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Sorbet. All the gelati are eggless, except for Crema della Nonna (Granny’s Cream), which uses egg yolk.
How it’s served in a takeaway tub (500g), takeaway cup, or sugar cone – and they don’t scoop, they dish – Italian style!
Wow factor Massimo’s Gelato Bonbons (Italian kisses); the Tiramisu and Cherry-Cream ice cream; and the specially moulded ice-cream cakes.
Contact 062 034 2732, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Le Delizie, Shop 15, Dean Street Arcade, Main Street, Newlands, Cape Town
Founded in 2013, Sorbetiere was born out of French chef Beran Cristini’s desire to make Cape sorbet. Offering both sorbet and ice cream, Sorbetiere uses local products, natural ingredients and seasonal ingredients to make its inspired creations.
Its dairy-free, vegan-friendly sorbets are made from 70 to 80% fresh fruit and a water base, while its ice creams use fresh milk and natural ingredients, with no artificial flavours or colourants.
How it’s served takeaway 500ml or 2L tubs; 1, 2 or 3 scoops in homemade sugar cones.
Wow factor popsicles coated in chocolate ice cream cake!
Contact 079 085 5607, email@example.com
Where to find it Sorbetiere, Side Street Studios, 48 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
You can also get their ice creams at various stores, wine farms, restaurants and cafés including: Honest Chocolate Café, South China Dim Sum, Gogo’s Deli, Mama Africa, The Duchess of Wisbeach, Cooked, Manna Epicure, and Burrata
5. De Villiers Café
Based in Paarl, with a second branch in Franschhoek’s Heritage Square, De Villiers Café is a delicious bean-to-bar chocolatier, coffee roastery and ice-creamery. What began as a garage-based hobby has become a fully fledged chocolate factory, shop and café, housed in a Cape Dutch home where visitors can watch the chocolate-making process through glass walls. All products are made using natural and fresh ingredients, and without any additional flavourings or preservatives.
How it’s served in a sugar cone or bowl.
Wow factor The dreamy ice-cream flavours, which include Chocolate Brownie, Cookies and Cream, Raspberry, Banoffee, Salted Caramel, as well as the refreshing Mango, Litchi, Lemon and Berry sorbets.
Contact 021 874 1060, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it De Villiers Artisan Chocolate, Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
You can also get their ice creams at Heritage Square, Main Road, Franschhoek
6. Moro Gelato
Stefano Moro and Heine van Wyk met in Milan years ago and, with their shared passion for gelato, visited the Italian foodie capitals of Bologna and Parma, researching and sampling gelati along the way, so they could bring us Moro Gelato. Here, it’s all about making gelato the way Nonna Moro used to. While touchingly paying tribute to Stefano’s Nonna, they combine their collective passion with the same real flavours and high standards she once used. Moro’s creamy gelato is freshly made each day from pure local ingredients, while the constantly changing range of dairy free sorbetti are made using seasonal, juicy fruits. Aside from Moro Gelato on Long Street, Moro sells its products at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market on Saturdays from a beautiful cart.
How it’s served cone or cup with a complimentary chocolate coated wafer, as well as 500g and 1kg takeaway tubs.
Wow factor We love the Pistachio, Caffe (rich coffee), Cioccolato (deep dark chocolate) gelati, and the Pomegranate and Hazelnut sorbetti!
Where to find it Moro Gelato, 165 Long Street
7. Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream
American-born Kristen Buttress started this US-style ice cream shop in the heart of Noordhoek as a way of bringing her passion for all things tasty to life (and to make our days a little sweeter). Well, mission accomplished! This pet-friendly parlour is the ideal outing for the whole family, and the unique range of delicious flavours make each of the high-quality frozen treats extra special, and something you most likely wouldn’t have tried before!
How it’s served in a bowl, takeaway cup or sugar cone.
Wow factor Did we mention the unique flavours? Choose between the Top-Sellers (Sugar-free Strawberry, Pecans and Praline, Rocky Road, and Twix), Seasonal (Ginger Cream, Fresh Basil and Pralined Pine Nuts, and Apple Pie) or Boozy (Lime and Gin, and Aegir Porter with dark chocolate covered pretzels)
Contact 021 789 0255, email@example.com
Where to find it Noordhoek Farm Village, Village Lane, Noordhoek, Cape Town
You can also get their ice cream at Constantia Uitsig Heritage Village, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Shaking things up by adding a frozen-yogurt food truck to the Cape Town scene, FrozenYo has proven rather popular since it set up its turquoise-and-yellow mobile bar on the Blouberg beachfront in 2014. The company has since opened a retail store to cater to the local community, and free up the truck for events only, which is now where the real froyo magic happens.
The Insta-worthy interior, complete with sprinkles-inspired wallpaper, pastel colours and comfy couches, is the ideal seaside spot for a tub of the good stuff. Pop in for a sweet treat after a surf, run or skate. Or go for a savoury breakfast waffle, with a beautiful view of Table Mountain on the side.
How it’s served in a cup, inside a cronut sandwich, or on a warm sweet waffle.
Wow factor Each batch is made with the finest imported frozen yoghurt from Italy, and contains live cultures and probiotics. It contains less sugar and kilojoules than ice cream, and has a real yogurt aftertaste, not to mention it’s gluten- (and guilt-)free!
Contact 082 445 6429, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Shop 1, Carnaby Centre, Marine Circle, Table View
9. The Dairy Den
Inspired by their family’s ice cream business and fond childhood memories of cones, drips and drizzles, Tasia Donaldson and Lexi Van Kets opened The Dairy Den in October 2017. And now, this soft-serve ice cream and doughnut store on Sea Point’s busy main road has made childhood dreams all over the Mother City come true, with its pretty-in-pink decor and brightly coloured treats. Come summer sunshine or winter rain, this little store is sure to be packed.
How it’s served Soft serves come in an Oreo-flavoured black sugar cone or a cotton candy Flamingo sugar cone. You can also have soft serve in a doughnut ‘cone’ of your choice, or served between two cinnamon doughnuts and drizzled with Belgian chocolate in the Donut Sandwich.
Doughnuts come as singles or in combos of four or eight. Flavours include Kit Kat, Crunchie, ganache and playful brightly coloured chocolate toppings.
Wow factor The Belter, a doughnut wrapped around the soft serve of your choice, doused in a selection of toppings. The Nutella-filled Donut Pops are also always a hit!
Soft serve flavours include vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, served with toppings like caramel, mint (The Mint Dragon – we love the nod to Game of Thrones) honeycomb, rocky road, dark and milk Belgian chocolate.
Good to know The doughnuts are made fresh every day and can be ordered in store, online and in bulk for parties and events.
They also serve decadent double-thick milkshakes in flavours like salted caramel, chocolate cookie, and coffee.
Contact 076 401 9895 (shop), 066 307 0796 (orders), email@example.com
Where to find it 148 Main Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
10. Tashas Waffle House
With its 50s-inspired pastel palette, this ice-cream parlour has a decidedly vintage feel. The designer waffles are heavenly, as is the gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt and milkshakes. And don’t forget to pile on the toppings of your choice, which include Cherry Sauce, Turkish Delight, Smarties and Wafers.
How it’s served cup or cone.
Wow factor The crispy sugar cones add another dimension of flavour to your ice cream. And, if you’re a sorbet fan, try the Lemon – the perfect calibration of sweet and sour!
Contact: 021 794 8419, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Tashas, Shop 55, Constantia Village, Constantia Main Road, Constantia, Cape Town
11. Cold Gold
These ice creams and sorbets are made with fresh, organic, all-natural ingredients sourced from local farms and small producers in the winelands – no additives, preservatives or colourants are used. Also, if you’re, say, lactose intolerant, a vegan, or on the Banting diet – Cold Gold will whip up a tasty ice cream to suit your requirements!
How it’s served cup or cone or takeaway tubs of 150ml, 500ml, 1L, 2L, or 5L.
Wow factor In strawberry season, the 100% Strawberry Sorbet is heaven in a cup! Made with pure fruit, it’s a healthy and refreshing treat for summer.
Contact 074 182 5510, email@example.com
Where to find it Cold Gold, Shop 53, Bosman’s Crossing, Distillery Road, Stellenbosch
You can also get their ice cream at Blaauwklippen Family Market, Lanzerac Wine Estate, You Bet It’s Ice Cream, and the wine and ice cream pairing at Nederburg Wine Estate
For authentic Italian gelato, IceDream in Hout Bay is the place to go. All the ice cream is made on location, originally by owners Luigi and Liana, and now by their nephew Fabrizio since Luigi retired. There are a variety of flavours to choose from, whose names are presented in Italian (with the English translation below). These gelati are available from the store as well as the Bay Harbour Market.
How it’s served cup or cone.
Wow factor The Vanilla ice cream, made with pods from Zanzibar, is pure joy, and the fruit sorbets in Raspberry, Sour Cherry, Pink Grapefruit and a whole host of other divine flavours are darn good, too.
Contact 021 790 2496
Where to find it IceDream, Homeleigh Place, Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
13. Ice Café
Made using a secret family recipe, the ice cream from this Kalk Bay café is made using natural ingredients and no eggs or gelatine. The flavours, which taste amazingly like the real thing include Black Forest (with real cherries, chocolate cake and cream) Peanut Butter, Cinnamon, Liquorice, Coffee, Coconut, and loads more.
How it’s served sugar cone or tub.
Wow factor Other than the great prices and huge scoops, we love that they change flavours daily, so you always have something new to try. And, as a nod to the environment, they encourage people to return plastic spoons (to be washed for reuse), and only use paper tubs.
Contact 021 788 1995
Location Ice Cafe, 92 Main Road, Kalk Bay
On any given day, you’ll find 12 out of a possible 100 gelato and sorbet flavours, mainly made from fresh fruit, fresh double pasteurised milk, and as little sugar as possible – using a warming process that heats up the ingredients to 85 degrees, before being cooled down to four degrees to give the final product a delicious texture and depth.
How it’s served sugar cone or cup.
Wow factor Regardless of the season, there are so many delicious flavours to choose from. Keep a lookout for the Lemon, Wild Berry and Granadilla sorbets, and the Ferrero Rocher, and Malaga Rum & Raisin ice cream. For an extra R4, you can guiltlessly enjoy sugar-free ice cream.
Contact 021 421 8991, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Icezeit, Sea Point Pavillion, Beach Road
You can also get the ice cream at Roca at Dieu Donné wine farm in Franschoek, most of the Radisson’s and Steffanie’s place in Somerset West
15. Créme de Levain
This artisanal ice-cream parlour and bakery is situated on Stellenbosch’s buzzy Church Street, between an fro-yo joint and a wine shop. Relatively new to gelato scene, they offer 24 handmade flavours, as well as an array of freshly baked treats (cakes, macarons, brownies and crêpes), coffee, gourmet milkshakes, and even light lunches.
How it’s served cone or cup.
Wow factor The exotic flavours – that vary daily – such as Blueberry, Berry & Crème, Turkish Delight, Top Deck, Lemon Cheesecake, and Salted Caramel.
Contact 021 886 5116, email@example.com
Where to find it Creme de Levain, 15 Church Street, Stellenbosch
16. Cookies and Cream
The ice-cream sandwich trend has hit the ground running, and these guys (not to be confused with Crumbs and Cream) are up there with the masters. Their simple philosophy of “real ingredients, real good” is what makes their frozen bites taste so delicious. Made with fresh ingredients, the old-fashioned way, the ice cream is the cherry on top of (or rather in between) their warm American-style cookies.
How it’s served in one of their famous ice-cream sandwiches, or inside a bubble waffle, straight from the streets of Hong Kong.
Wow factor The warm cookie, a perfect mix of chewy and crispy. So much yum!
Contact 021 422 0723, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 87 Buitengracht Street, City Centre, Cape Town
17. Gelato Mania
These family-run gelateria produce unforgettable scoops of happiness using a traditional, age-old recipe. Full-cream, hormone-free cow’s milk is used, with no added animal or vegetable fat, alcohol, gelatine or preservatives included. Those who would like to avoid sugar, you’ll be pleased to know that there are Banting and diabetes-friendly flavours available, but then you’ll have to forego the homemade sugar cones, which are divine.
How it’s served 1 to 3 scoops in a cup or homemade sugar cone; or 500g and 1kg takeaway tubs.
Wow factor The five most popular flavours are Salted Butter Caramel, Lemon Sorbet, Chocolate Brownies, Yogurt Berry Crunch and Diabetic Hazelnut.
Contact 021 914 6376, email@example.com
Where to find it V&A Waterfront (their flagship store), Green Point, Hermanus, Camps Bay, Franschhoek, Somerset Mall, Canal Walk and Cavendish Square
Vegan Ice Cream
With more and more people switching to vegan diets (or complaining of lactose intolerance), many of our favourite ice-cream parlours and eateries have introduced dairy-free, vegan alternatives that are just as creamy and delicious as their dairy counterparts. These are our recommendations:
- Raw and Roxy (raw and vegan coconut scoops)
- Cold Gold
- Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream
- You Bet It’s Ice Cream
- Yokos Coconut Yoghurt (they don’t make ice cream, but the Greek-style yoghurt is so rich and creamy, they deserve a mention)
These gelati also deserve a lick…
- Las Paletas
- Fabio’s Gelato
- Crumbs and Cream
Research by Kent Cloete, Simone Michaelis and Alicia Chamaillé
Subscribe to our newsletter and discover the secrets of the Cape.