I Scream, You Scream the Valley’s Best for Ice Cream
Writer Lara Piu
In 1987, right before my parents and I moved to Scottsdale, we visited the Valley to tour its neighborhoods. On one of those outings we searched for ice cream, but could only find a closed Dairy Queen.
The Valley has come a long way since then. Today, a vast selection of artisan ice cream shops with interesting concepts await locals and visitors alike, and each of them strive to elevate the frozen treat in a one-of-a-kind way. Here are some of the best destinations for frozen bliss.
Monstrous ice cream sandwiches made to order is Baked Bear’s commitment. Its craft ice cream is sandwiched between or paired with homemade cookies, brownies or donuts. Childhood friends Rob Robbins and Shane Stanger left their careers to serve these inventive sweets to the nation, and have since won the accolades of Forbes, Eater and Thrillist.
7366 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
Stunning sundaes and sinfully insane flavors like I Heart Bacon, which has sweet and savory chunks of caramelized smoky bacon, and Sichuan Orange Chocolate, a classic duo spiced up with tongue-tingling Sichuan pepper, have caught the attention of Bon Appetit, USA Today, TIME, Food Network and Cooking Channel.
9160 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
6054 N. 16 Street, Phoenix
Like peanut butter and jelly, macarons and ice cream alone are a sweet treat, but together they make something memorable at Le Macaron. The shop recently added vanilla, strawberry, mango, coffee and green tea ice cream macaron sandwiches, as well as macaron sundaes.
15323 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
A Scottsdale mainstay established in 1958 and placed in the limelight by iconic “Family Circus” cartoonist Bill King, Sugar Bowl is an old-fashioned ice cream shop delightfully drenched in bubblegum pink decor. It serves classic shakes, malts and floats, as well as a menu of salads, sandwiches and soups.
4005 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
New Wave Market
Also in Old Town Scottsdale, this brand-new shop features house-made ice cream churned with fresh, seasonal ingredients; waffle cones in traditional and creative flavors like chocolate and pretzel; and house-made toppings.
7120 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale
Housed inside a charming and colorful space, Sweet Provisions scoops freshly-made ice cream made daily with local Arizona dairy ingredients. There’s also pies, cookies, bars, brownies and other made-from-scratch treats just like grandma used to make, and a colorful collection of classic candies and other childhood favorites.
8120 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale
This nostalgic ice cream parlor and candy store serves artisan ice cream, baked goods and candy-coated vintage treats, gifts and toys. Word on the street is that its homemade ice cream sandwich made with freshly-baked cookies will change your life.
5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Splurge Ice Cream and Candy Shop
Located inside The Orchard Phoenix, a two-acre citrus farm recently transformed into indoor-outdoor dining and a splash pad, Splurge features more than a dozen flavors, 18 toppings and cones that include a gluten-free option. The shop is tucked into the back side of the complex.
7100 N. 12th St., Phoenix
Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream
When it first opened in 1951, a night out for ice cream was the thing to do. Groups of families and friends would gather around one of Mary Coyle’s bistro tables to dig into the Grand Canyon, a 13-flavor mound of ice cream meant for a small village. It’s still on the menu, along with a full menu of ice cream sundaes and other menu items.
5823 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Nestled in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is an elegant, Sonoran-inspired ice cream trip. The Five-Diamond resort’s ice cream shop includes an old-fashioned soda fountain, where ice cream treats are buy one, get the second half off all summer long. Although not included in the special, its new Gutter Sundae, featuring five flavors of ice cream, sliced bananas, cookies, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, waffle cone, sprinkles and whipped cream is, perhaps, the ultimate indulgence.
10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr., Scottsdale
Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery
“Maybe a cupcake will help?” That’s the thought behind Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery, which serves cupcakes, shakes, ice cream sandwiches and Smash, the ultimate sweet treat that is a marriage of cupcake and ice cream. The shop serves 18 signature flavors crafted each morning from scratch in its rock-themed vibe.
4302 E. Ray Rd., Phoenix