Chocolate. Vanilla. Strawberry. You can enjoy these ice cream classics year-round. In time for ice cream’s main season, though, ice cream (and gelato) shops in Boulder are churning out special summer-inspired scoops, drawing inspiration from everyone’s favorite camping treat (s’mores!) to berry pies and more.
Here’s the scoop on where to find the best summer ice cream flavors. Just like an ice cream cone on a hot day, some of these flavors won’t last long so be sure to get there while they’re still on the limited-time menu.
For dessert diplomats who like sweet treats just as much as salty ones, turn your attention to Sweet Cow’s pretzel cone. The cone’s flavor is reminiscent of those buttery, salty soft pretzels you’d get at a theme park, except it’s crunchy and crumbly like a sugar cone. Sweet Cow (which has locations in North Boulder, South Boulder and Louisville) has menu staples that include chocolate chip cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, oatmeal cookie, strawberry and vanilla. But other flavors rotate every couple of weeks. Some of the standouts at the South Boulder location currently include S’mores (loaded with fluffy marshmallows and dusted with graham crackers), Lil’s Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet, Banana Oreo and Chocolate Acai Blueberry.
Sweet Cow, sweetcowicecream.com, multiple locations in Boulder County including 2628 Broadway in Boulder; 669 S. Broadway in Boulder; 637 Front St. in Louisville.
While studying abroad in Italy, Colorado native Bryce Lich fell in love with gelato and a girl (his now-wife, Giulia). The pair opened Gelato Boy, a hip gelateria on Pearl Street that’s as close to Italian gelato as you can get without a passport stamp. While they’re staples on the menu, the lavender poppy or the limoncello gelatos feels just-right for summer. But Gelato Boy also has a special summer limited series that includes Birthday Cake Batter (sprinkles included); a vegan Rocky Road with marshmallows and toasted almonds; Mint Chip; and Strawberry made with a creamy coconut milk.
Gelato Boy, gelatoboy.com, 1021 Pearl St. in Boulder
Ben & Jerry’s
Step foot in this Pearl Street ice cream shop and, even through a mask, you’ll smell the sugary sweet waffle cones. Ben & Jerry’s, an ice cream purveyor that supports a slate of social justice movements, serves more than 30 flavors in those fresh-baked waffle cones. But if you want to go the milkshake route this summer, you can choose from a few seasonal shakes: S’mores, pina colada, and on the weekends, fresh blackberry shakes are served as well.
Ben & Jerry’s, benjerry.com/boulder, 1203 Pearl St. in Boulder
Usually when a slab of pie and a scoop of ice cream team up it’s called à la mode. But ahead of summer, Kilwins combined pie and ice cream for its limited-edition All-American Two Berry Pie Ice Cream. Savor a scoop while strolling along the Pearl Street Mall and enjoying the beds of tulips. With chunks of pie crust (that taste a bit like sugar cookies) and lots of strawberries, the berry-flavored ice cream is summer in a cone (or cup). Michiganders might recognize some other flavors in the ice cream bins, including one with Mackinac Island fudge and another with Traverse City Cherries. Kilwins is based in Petoskey, Michigan, which is in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula. The confectionary shop also sells fudge, toffee decadent caramel apples.
Kilwins Boulder, kilwins.com/stores/kilwins-boulder, 1430 Pearl St.
Glacier Ice Cream
Over the years, Glacier has dreamed up more than 1,000 different flavors, including some that have come about from customer suggestions. In addition to ice cream, Glacier also makes homemade gelatos, sorbets, ice cream sandwiches and the shop has options for vegans and those who are dairy-free. Some summer scoops to try: Key lime pie ice cream, lemon raspberry gelato and strawberry sorbet.
Glacier Ice Cream, glaciericecream.com, multiple locations; 4760 Baseline Road in Boulder; 3133 28th St. in Boulder.