With the temperatures rising all over the European continent, there is only one sensible way to cool down: a scoop or three of delicious ice cream. But where are the best Europe ice cream parlours? Time to find out!
From Italian gelato to refreshing ice pops; from small farms to coastal seaside towns. The seriously Instagrammable stores and scoops that have been served for generations. We’ve got the very best Europe ice cream parlours…
The judging criteria:
- Finalists were selected from the countries of the European Union
- Every country has at least one entry; some have more than one entry
- Votes were cast in poll of Big 7 readers, across our 1.5million community on social media and by a panel of food experts
- Online reviews, previous media coverage and notable blogs were also included in the overall rating
- The final list is subjective – if we’ve missed out on any must-try ice cream shops across the EU, please do let us know
A wonderful place to come for those of you with a sweet tooth. They do great breakfast, cakes and sweets but in reality you are only here for the ice cream.
They’ve been going storng since 1971 so you know they are doing something right. A huge choice of fresh and colourful flavours.
They’ve tapped right into the biggest trend of the moment, which is of course veganism,
All ingredients are plant based, totally vegan and if possible they try to only select ingredients that are organic and sourced locally.
So, everything here is more healthy for you than normal ice cream but you lose none of the flavour. A win-win.
They’ve been serving up their delicious ice cream now for 18 years and everybody leaves a happy customer.
You can either sit in and have a “coupe” (a large selection with fruits and sauces) or grab a cone and go and wander this stunning city.
Gaston is a small shop where they serve up ice cream with some of the biggest flavour you could ever imagine.
They only use the absolute best ingredients like fresh vanilla but if you want something really special try their local Belgian waffles with some ice cream. You’ll be in absolute heaven.
They are so passionate about their own ice cream that they produce their own buffalo and cow’s milk as well as cream. These are some serious ice cream professionals we are talking about.
Their farm is organic and by the time they add the flavours and it ends up in your hand you are going to be in for a serious treat. You’ll never look at ice cream in the same way again.
They are big on flavours and keeping them original at all times, which why they change on a daily basis depending on what in season.
Have one of their classic flavours or get it with a mixture of fruit and berries to go and wander down the street in the sun loving life.
One of the first things you think of on an island holiday by the beach is ice cream and this is the top place to get it in Cyprus.
Set just a couple of streets back from the beach, they offer super fresh and smooth gelato with a sumptuous range of flavours.
They pride themselves on making ice cream that is 100% natural. That means free of all chemicals, artificial dyes, preservatives, artificial emulsifiers and stabilisers. This is very much the real deal.
As well as their stunning ice creams, they also have tasty sorbets and a selection of new vegan ice creams.
A wonderful selection of original gelatos with a big focus on fresh fruit and berries.
It’s also a beautiful store with clean lines that feels like walking into a designer boutique or Apple store. The ice cream is so good that you’ll often find a line around the corner waiting for it.
A wonderful ice cream parlour with both inside and outdoor seating and some of the most original styles and flavours you’ll ever come across.
They have both gelato and sort serve and a bunch of great toppings, sauces and treats to go with your ice cream. Never a dull moment in this ice cream parlour.
A small store where their huge passion shines through for the product they produce and which makes people so happy on a daily basis.
Nothing in the world feels as good as eating three of their different flavours in a cone while wandering around this great city with the sun on your back.
This is a series of small stalls that produce some of the best ice cream in the country and which locals are obsessed with.
You’ll find them out in open spaces while walking or in parks and quickly realise that walking past them is nearly impossible. You might have to queue but it will be worth every single second of the wait.
Their ice cream was the first in Paris to be 100% organic and both locals and tourists have been embracing it in record numbers.
Created by two Lebanese brothers they marry the traditional technique with some quirky modern twists and flavours they have introduced. The Michelin star of ice cream.
Some of their flavours include prickly pear, hazelnuts and their delicious fig ice cream which you can see below.
They are always pushing the flavours to the fore while keeping their technique and consistency absolutely flawless. The scoops are picture-perfect.
They make great cakes, sweet treats and coffee but you should only be coming here with one thing on you mind and that is ice cream.
Their chocolate flavours are deep, rich and silky smooth. The only problem you’ll have after visiting is planning your next return as quick as possible.
The founders are passionate ice cream lovers who travelled the world researching the best variations from around the world.
What they have created and what they now serve, is their life’s work on every single cone and in every cup. Ice cream that is so good you consider going back and getting a second one.
A tiny ice cream store on a corner where if you blinked you would nearly miss it. It comes alive in the warner months with people packed around their outdoor seats.
They have lots of sweet treats including some of the best waffles in the country and delicious sorbets.
They make their gelato fresh on site every single day and serve it up in a number of original and colourful ways.
Walking into the store is an assault on the senses with multi-coloured cones, doughnuts in all shapes and sizes and some of the most innovative and exciting ice cream flavours you will ever see.
Gelarto Rosa is a small independent chain of artisanal ice cream stores in the heart of Budapest.
All their ice cream is made using traditional Italian techniques and their products are all organic. They serve it up in the prettiest little rose shapes you have ever seen.
Using local milk which is super pure and tasty, they create wonderfully unique flavours (gin and brown bread are two examples) that just work.
They’ve expanded to the capital and you’ll find them in stores to take home with as well now. You may have to queue a little in the summer months but it’ll be absolutely worth the wait. Simply divine.
Although they have expanded in recent years it is their original shop in Dun Laoghaire that has been there since 1950 that most people know them by.
A walk out on the pier in the summer months with one of their classic 99s is one of the best feelings you will ever have in Ireland.
They’ve been making ice cream since 1990 here and the line out the door is still as long as ever.
They offer some great options for eating there but the best way to do it is grab a big double cone or pot and walk out and sit in the sun taking in this absolutely majestic city in all her glory.
Half-laboratory, half-gelateria, they produce more than 200 recipes that rotate throughout the year following the changing seasons. The pride of their ice cream shop is cru cocoa imported directly from Peru for their rich chocolate ice cream.
As well as classic flavours such as coffee and tiramisu, they have some super creative cones. The ‘Old Rome’ is a mix of ricotta, sour cherries and a butter crumble.
They serve up dozens of different flavours but if you are a chocaholic and an ice cream fan it’s worth traversing the entire planet to try this place out.
Lots of different varieties and subtly different chocolate options which means that you will be well within your rights to go back for a second scoop. No matter what flavour you choose they are all silky smooth and made daily.
Emilia Cremeria is a beautiful ice cream store with super Instagrammable cones. They only use exceptional ingredients, such as high quality milk, fresh fruit and cane sugar.
The artisan ice cream is pure goodness, with semifreddo flavours in small glass jars as well as creamy scoops. The passion for making their ice cream comes across in every bite.
This is as close to real Italian gelato as you are ever likely to get outside of Italy itself.
They churn the ice cream on a daily basis to give it that wonderful smooth and creamy texture. Their flavours and unique and original and you’ll find yourself really struggling for choice. Maybe have three scoops instead of two?
Soprano first opened in 2003 and have been a runaway success since then. They only use the freshest milk and cream and churn it every morning.
They also use fresh berries and fruit to give their ice cream that intense flavour. If milkshakes are your thing they also happen to do the very best one of those too.
With shops in both Brussels and Luxembourg, they base everything they do on methods that come from Florence in Italy.
Their ice creams are simple, made with passion and truly unique in their flavour and just how rich they taste. Ice cream truly doesn’t get much better than this.
It gets seriously hot on the island in the summer months so knowing the best ice cream shop in the locality is always essential. Their staff are super friendly even when the swarms of people descend and the queues are out the door.
Their ice creams are genuinely as pretty as they are tasty. Nearly too pretty to eat. Nearly!
With shops across the Netherlands, they are a wildly popular set of ice cream shops.
Luciano started the business back in 1996 and despite the weather not being hot all year round people always find a reason to come here for ice cream.
Super imaginative flavours and toppings means you might never have the same thing twice here.
You’ll struggle to find a group of people more passionate about making ice cream anywhere in the world.
Their gelato is super rich, super creamy and absolutely bursting with flavour. They also serve great cakes and coffee but all your attention should be on that ice cream.
N’Ice Ice Cream Factory use the liquid nitrogen frozen ice cream method which is spectacular to see when it is being made.
They say it helps to lock in the flavour in a more intense manner and for longer as well. They also serve great bubble waffles, cocktails and juices.
A charming place in the heart of Krakow, where you can taste homemade ice-cream desserts, as well as delicious waffles and pancakes.
We’d advise you to skip everything else though and just have a cone with a couple of scoops of their wonderful ice cream. Life is just ideal when you are strolling around with the sun on your back eating this.
Nannarella is well known in the city for their cakes, their little carts that you see at events serving ice cream and their home shop itself.
They say that the key to their ice cream is their focus on sourcing the very best raw produce for the ice cream itself. Wonderfully creamy and extravagant treat.
Cremeria Emilia makes their incredible ice cream fresh every day without hydrogenated fats and artificial dyes. They use only natural and selected raw materials for the highest quality scoops imaginable.
Their flavours are classic yet perfect – think strawberry cheesecake, coconut milk or rich chocolate.
The queues might be halfway down the street at this mega popular store, but the wait is always worth it. You’ll be rewarded for your patience with a scoop (or two!) of the creamiest ice cream ever.
The cookies ice cream is topped with a tasty cookie to finish it off perfectly.
This historic ice cream bar has been dishing out scoops since 1954 and are still as beloved as ever. Cones are piled high with generous scoops, with flavours such as lavender, fig and ricotta, French macaron and plum sorbet.
There’s more than 170 ever-changing ice cream varieties, from traditional flavours, sorbet and organic ice cream to gluten-free and lactose-free cream.
This cute cafe has a great choice of sweet treats such as home-made biscuits and macaroons, ice creams, marmalades, cup desserts, handmade chocolate, pralines, and different flavours of lollipops.
It’s the ice creams that steal the show though with the full flavours, including vegan options.
Watch out Italy, Ljubljana is often referred to as the ice cream capital of the world and for good reason. This gelateria has some seriously tempting ice creams. Their cheesecake flavour is outstanding: fresh cream cheese, strawberries, chips of chocolate and crunchy biscuits.
DeLaCrem produces Italian ice cream and pastries according to the highest standards for truly gourmet scoops. All ice creams are made with pure 100% natural ingredients, with in-season flavours available.
Choose to have your scoops in crunchy waffle cones or wafer cups.
By far one of the best ice cream shops in Madrid, this local favourite has over 40 years history of making ice cream. There’s regular cones as well as chocolate covered ones, and super ice cream smoothies.
Dig into flavours such as Mango, Chocolate, Yogurt, White Chocolate or Vanilla with Cookies,
It’s all about the unique and creative flavours here: Orange Blossom, Vatican Cream, Sweet Pestiño, Lima with Basil, Oil Cake, Mediterranean Cream… the list goes on.
All ice creams and sorbets are made from Italian recipes, and look just as good as they taste. The only tough thing will be trying to choose your flavour.
Gelatos here are prepared daily by their gelato master Marco Di Consiglio, with fresh and top quality products. They use national and top quality ingredients such as: d’ordall peach, Gramona’s cava, saffron, watermelon and avocado pear from nearby crops.
Enjoy it in store, taking it in a cone or a cup, or if you prefer you can take it home in a specially designed container to keep the gelato in perfect condition for days.
This place started back in 2008 and has been making hand made organic gelato ever since with great success.
The whole brand as well as their flavours and service is playful, fun and engaging in a way all ice cream shops should be. Their fruity flavours are pure and intense beyond belief.
Their ice cream range follows the season’s selection of fruits, berries and playful curiosity. Simply what’s the best at that moment in time.
Add in the fact that they are absolute masters at what they do in terms of the process and you end up with one of the very best ice creams in Europe. Has to be tasted to see how good it actually is.
Three sisters (Hannah, Kitty and Cleo) took the business over from their parents who had started making ice cream at the kitchen table with their own milk 30 years ago.
The business has grown to the point where people come from miles around for that exceptionally fresh taste. They served a whopping 300,000 scoops last year alone.
Mary’s Milk Bar is a famous shop in the city centre where the Mary herself makes the ice cream every morning. There are always fresh, ever-changing flavours to sample.
The originality of the flavours, the fact that there are no preservatives and the creamy texture will keep you coming back as a regular. No ice cream will ever taste as good again after you’ve tried this.
Roskillys is a working Cornish organic farm, on the beautiful southern tip of Cornwall. They only ever use their own milk and cream from their Jersey herd to make the ice cream.
You can visit the farm to learn about how the ice cream is made and follow the trails around the land to see the animals. Most people just have a couple of scoops on the farm itself, but you can also get their ice cream to take home with you in larger tubs.
Licc has a range of 150 flavours (and are coming up with new ones all the time) of ice cream that will you have salivating as soon as you see them. The 24 flavour display freezer is permanently stocked with an interesting product range – the whole fruit spectrum, classic nut varieties, rich chocolates and the ever popular bubble gum and jelly bean flavours.
The shop itself is cute and cosy and the perfect place to sit down with your ice cream and coffee and take a breather.