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The Best Ice Cream Shops to Beat the Heat in Denver

Is there anything better on a blistering hot summer day than stopping at your favorite ice cream shop for a cold treat? Aw, the memories of frantically finding enough change to buy something when you heard the sound of the ice cream truck and lazy summer evenings spent with the family in front of the local shop licking your cone before it melted all over your hands. Fortunately, you can still experience that thrill for a few dollars by stopping by some of Denver’s best ice cream shops. These spots range from old school neighborhood staples to innovative shops with exotic flavors, but they share a dedication to crafting excellent frozen treats. Has anyone ever regretted stopping to get some ice cream? Here are six of our favorites.

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream { 799 S University Blvd, Denver, CO 80209, }

This might be the quintessential Denver ice cream shop. On any given night, you’ll see a mix of families from the Wash Park, and Bonnie Brae neighborhoods and DU students patiently lined up for homemade concoctions. This family-owned shop has been serving Denver for over 30 years. Even though the shop has a classic vibe, they aren’t afraid to experiment with unique flavors along with classic staples. They also have some excellent shakes and malts.

Must-Try Flavors:  Peppermint, Blueberry, Sinfully Cinnamon, Caramel Apple

Dang Soft Serve { 2211 Oneida St, Denver, CO 80207 }

One of Denver’s newest ice cream shops showcases a unique twist by only serving soft serve. While opinions are sure to be mixed about soft serve, if you like that style, you will love this spot. Imagine if your favorite fast-food ice cream was homemade and delicious, and you get a sense of what they’re going for. It’s hard to beat the vanilla and chocolate swirl, but they have a rotating selection of flavors that try to push the envelope with options like matcha and lemon zest. They can all be ordered with a dipped cone if you would like. They also serve delicious french fries, which needless to say pair wonderfully with the ice cream.

Must-Try Flavors: Chocolate Vanilla Swirl, Banana Puddin’

Sweet Action Ice Cream { 52 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203 }

This unassuming shop nestled on south Broadway looks like any other spot you’d find across the country. Don’t let that fool you. This shop has a serious pedigree after being featured in publications like Zagat and the Wall Street Journal. Everything is hand made, and they even locally source most of their ingredients. It’s hard to find a Denver resident who doesn’t have great memories of this local institution. They also make sure to have several vegan options. This shop has some unique flavors, along with quite a few sorbets.

Must-Try Flavors: Stranahan’s Whiskey Brittle, Goat Cheese Marmalade, Tiramisu, Thai Iced Tea, Colorado White Russian

Little Man Ice Cream { 2620 16th St, Denver, CO 80211 }

If you’ve been to LoHi, you’re bound to have witnessed the insane lines and distinctive 28-foot tall cream can building of this Denver ice cream staple. The shop gets its name from the founder Peter Tamburello’s father, whose nickname was ‘little man.’ It was inspired by the Coney Island ice cream stands of his youth. The smell of fresh waffle cones is sure to entice any passerby, and their homemade ice cream always delivers. They also have a variety of shakes, malts, and splits that will please anyone with a sweet tooth.

Must-Try Flavors: Salted Oreo, Purple Cow, French Toast, Mexican Chocolate

Smith+Canon Ice Cream co. { 2260 E Colfax Ave #102, Denver, CO 80206 }

This Colfax hot spot boasts insane reviews, homemade ice cream, and excellent coffee. We can’t think of a better combo. The owner has a passion for bringing outstanding coffee and ice cream to the city, and we’re fortunate to have it.

Must-Try Flavors: Strawberry Habanero, Black Coffee, Chocolate, and Foxy Brown

Inside Scoop Creamery { 1535 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202, and 5654 S Prince Street, Littleton, CO 80120 }

This tiny gem of the spot offers soup and sandwiches, but the real treat is frozen here. They have a variety of vegan and non-dairy options to accommodate those with food intolerances. With a host of homemade options and fresh waffle cones, this spot is gaining popularity.

Must-Try Flavors: Key Lime Pie, Cookie Dough, Frozen Hot Chocolate