How many different ways can you eat ice cream in Boulder? Let us count (and try out) the ways.
When you’re hot, or heck, when you’re not, but you’re just craving a chilly treat, Boulder’s ice cream options rival the number of flavors at a Baskin-Robbins.
Some bucket lists are for adrenaline-seekers, and some are for foodies. If you’re an ice cream lover, you need a bucket list just for you.
Here are 12 new ways to eat ice cream in Boulder. There’s so much more than just a simple cone.
1. Go ice cream hoppin’.
Downtown Boulder is lined with ice cream shops. Forget bar hopping. Go ice-cream parlor hoppin’ and get a taste from every shop on and around the Pearl Street Mall. Fact: If it’s part of a game, calories don’t exist. Shops to check off:
- Ben & Jerry’s
- Fior di Latte
- Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Shop
- Smooch Frozen Yogurt and Mochi
- Kilwins Boulder
2. Try liquid nitrogen ice cream.
Thrive raw, organic restaurant, 1509 Arapahoe Ave., is known for being a healthy restaurant, but health freaks like sweets, too. For dessert, it serves liquid nitrogen ice cream with flavors (posted on the board) that change daily.
Liquid nitrogen, a gourmet trend right now, creates ice cream super quickly (in less than a minute) due to its extreme temps. Don’t worry. You won’t taste the nitrogen (and it’s safe to eat). Fans say its creamier than regular ice cream; the flash-frozen treat doesn’t sit in the freezer for days or weeks. They say it’s also denser because it doesn’t contain as much air whipped into it. In addition, it doesn’t melt as quickly and it’s made right there fresh on the spot. Customize it to your specific needs and desires.
3. Taste authentic gelato in unusual flavors.
Fior di Latte, a gelato shop on the Pearl Street Mall (1433 Pearl St.), is made fresh from scratch every day. The owners learned how to make it in Italy and retain that authenticity in every bite.
In addition, they often infuse the gelato with local ingredients and produce, and always seem to have a new crazy flavor. Possibilities: pumpkin pie with Chinese five spice, S’mores with house marshmallow fluff, vanilla lavender, mango and Sombra Mezcal (that one’s vegan). For the latter, the smoky mezcal spikes this refreshing mango sorbet; who needs a margarita when there’s mezcal ice cream?
4. Get your ice cream delivered.
For the ultimate gluttony, order your ice cream to come to you. Ben & Jerry’s offers catering and will deliver ice cream to your special event. So no, you can’t just order a cone from the shop. But there are a ton of food delivery companies that will do that.
Or call Insomnia Cookies. This cookie delivery shop also has ice cream, and ice cream in between cookies and on top of cookies and on top of brownies. However you want your ice cream, Insomnia can make it and bring it to you. Sit on your porch with your hand outstretched. No standing required.
5. Try vegan ice cream.
Animal-eaters don’t have all the fun. Vegan ice cream is actually fantastic, even for non-vegans. In place of cow milk, just sub almond, soy or (best of all) coconut milk. In Boulder, it’s not hard to find vegan ice cream. Leaf vegetarian restaurant, 2010 16th St., in Boulder has it. Boulder’s ultra-popular Sweet Cow ice cream shops (there are two locations) also offer vegan options. Sweet Cow is at 2628 Broadway and 669 S. Broadway, and there’s also a branch in Louisville.
Can’t handle lactose? You can handle this dessert.
6. Get it from a truck.
There seems to be a food truck for everything these days, so of course, there’s an ice cream food truck in Boulder. Sweet Cow has its own food truck, which you can even book for special events.
7. Eat it on the mountain.
You can and should eat ice cream basically everywhere. Grab an ice cream cone from the General Store at the Colorado Chautauqua (Baseline Road and Ninth Street) and eat it while you hike the trails. Or at least watch other hiking the trails, as you cozy up on the grass under a tree in the lawn.
8. Fry it up.
How to make anything naughtier? Fry it. That goes for ice cream, too. You can add some heat to your cold dessert at Jefe’s Tacos & Tequila Mexican restaurant in Longmont (246 Main St.), which serves bombtastic fried ice cream for dessert. It’s vanilla ice cream dipped in cereal, then fried and topped with chocolate, caramel, cinnamon and whipped cream.
9. Hit up happy hour.
More like happiester hour. Heifer and the Hen Organic Creamery, 5290 Arapahoe Ave., is a local ice cream shop with happy hour specials. On Tuesday, cones are $2 all day. Don’t miss Milkshake Monday, when 16-ounce milkshakes are just $4, or Sandwich Sunday, when ice cream sandwiches are $4.
But these aren’t just your regular ice cream sandwiches. There are peanut butter cookies squished around Chocovicious ice cream; graham crackers paired with S’mores ice cream; and brownies bookending peanut butter cup ice cream, just for starters. Even dairy- and gluten-free folks have a sandwich here: Lime in Da Coconut. Heifer serves 20 rotating flavors, including eight that are dairy free.
10. Get the famous stuff.
Boulder Organic Ice Cream can be found in tons of restaurants, cafes and grocery stores. It’s been an ice cream leader for more than 20 years. But the quality remains. This company still batch-crafts its ice cream just five gallons at a time. In true Boulder style, all milk, eggs and cream are from Colorado. And the office and factory is offset 100 percent by wind power.
11. Put Baskin-Robbins to shame.
Baskin-Robbins became famous for its “31 flavors” slogan. That’s nothing. Glacier Homemade Ice Cream and Gelato has crafted more than 1,000 flavors, with new ones coming out every week.
Popular flavors include chocolate mousse gelato, Nutella gelato and coffee caramel crunch.
The ice cream here is hand mixed (even the hot fudge is made in-house, and citrus flavors come from hand-squeezed lemons and limes). It’s no wonder Glacier has won so many awards for having the best ice cream in Boulder.
Glacier has two Boulder locations: 3133 28th St. and 4760 Baseline Road.
12. Eat it on a stick.
In a cone? Nah. In a cup? Nah. How about on a stick. Yasss.
Le Pops, 1048 Pearl St., makes tasty cream pops and ice pops that you can dip, decorate and coat to meet your desires. Some innovative ideas: the avocado ice pop, made with avocado, lime juice and simple syrup; the strawberry buttermilk cream pop (strawberries, buttermilk, cream, cane sugar, sour cream, eggs); and the Brown Sugar Bourbon cream pop (Makers Mark bourbon, milk, cream, dark sugar and eggs). That last one is a cocktail you can, uh, suck on.