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Ice cream from the HUB (Photo credit: SWOON Media)

The Best Ice Cream In Tucson

Updated March 5, 2024

I scream, you scream…oh, hush! In this warm weather town, there’s no need to scream for ice cream. This year-round favorite treat and its cool cousins, gelato, sorbet, and Italian ice, are widely available in a variety of distinctive styles and flavors. You’ll also find more unusual fare such as Indian golas, a version of shaved ice.

Read on to learn about some of out top spots in Tucson to enjoy ice cream and more.

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Oreo Shake (Photo courtesy of Beaut Burger)

Beaut Burger

You won’t only find just plant-based burgers and sandwiches at Beaut Burger — there’s vegan soft serve ice cream, too! Round off any healthy meal at the Annex with a fresh, chilly dessert, made in-house.

a picture of ice cream in a cone
(Photo Courtesy of Bella's Gellato Shoppe)

Bella’s Gelato Shoppe

Bella’s Gelato Shop is known for its artisanal gelato, made fresh daily with locally sourced ingredients. The shop’s signature flavors, such as Stracciatella and Pistachio, are crowd favorites, offering a creamy, rich taste that transports you straight to Italy.

a close up of a bowl of food
Blondies Ice Cream (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Blondie’s Ice Cream at Decibel Coffee

Foodie Favorite:
a woman sitting at a table with food
Hannah Hernandez

Morning or night, my absolute favorite at Decibel is the vegan cinnamon affogato. That cinnamon scoop is so creamy and not too sweet — it’s just the right amount of cinnamon. I can’t get enough of it!

(Photo courtesy of Blue Ice Gelato)

Blue Ice Gelato

The folks at Blue Ice Gelato make their 20+ flavors with the highest quality ingredients and state-of-the-art equipment. Grab a scoop (or three) of the likes of Spicy Mangy or Fig Mascarpone with Pecans–flavors change regularly–and chill out indoors or on the spacious patio.

a picture of gelato
Homemade Gelato (Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Pizza Company on Facebook)

Brooklyn Pizza Company

The same place that sells those glorious garlic knots also serves up house-made gelato, sorbetto, and Italian ice in six-ounce servings and by the pint. Of the 12 flavors, the specialty is lemon, which packs a sweet-tart punch.

a picture of ice cream and milkshakes
Ice cream galore (Photo Courtesy of Brushfire Creamery)

Brushfire Creamery

Scoops, quarts, floats, sundaes, milkshakes, banana splits…enjoy your fresh ice cream in any configuration you can think of at the east side location of BrushFire BBQ Co., with or without ribs or barbecued chicken preceding it. The second location (on North Campbell Avenue) features about a dozen flavors. Best-sellers include Pecan Pie, Salted Caramel, and Cookie Monster.

Lavender & Honey Gelato (Photo courtesy of Ceres Pasta on Facebook)

Ceres Pasta

The ultimate comfort food destination, Ceres offers excellent versions of both soft serve ice cream and pasta. The ice cream’s rich, flavorful sweetness provides a refreshing complement to the savory pasta dishes. The place is also known for its cookies, which happen to go GREAT with ice cream.

a picture of gelato
(Photo Courtesy of Frost Gelato)

Frost Gelato

So good that it now has locations across the country, Frost was founded in Tucson by best friends Jeffrey Kaiserman and Stephen Ochoa after an inspiring visit to Rome. With the help of a master gelato chef, they create a selection of 62 gelato flavors and 56 sorbets. When choosing flavors to mix and match, consider the Marble Black Cherry with Chocolate for a flavor marriage made in gelato heaven.

Inside Frozen Delight (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Frozen Delight

Frozen Delight, established in 1990, stands as Tucson’s oldest family-owned frozen yogurt and ice cream shop. They specialize in both soft serve frozen yogurt and ice cream, and offer fresh-made vegan options to boot. Grab a cup or, better yet, a waffle cone, and stack it high with ice-cold scoops!

Candy Cane Ice Cream Cone (Photo credit: SWOON Media)

HUB Restaurant & Ice Creamery

The Hub’s ice cream, served at a separate station inside the restaurant, is renowned for using local, organic ingredients and for its creative flavors.  Favorites include Whiskey Almond Brittle, a unique blend of sweet and savory with a hint of whiskey, and the Vegan Chocolate, a dairy-free delight that’s rich and indulgent. You’ve got to love a restaurant that pays such serious attention to ice cream — and plenty of people do.

(Photo courtesy of Jeremiah’s Italian Ice)

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Authentic Italian ice, soft ice cream, and gelati (a mixture of Italian ice and soft ice cream) all star at Jeremiah’s, and in a dazzling array of flavors and configurations. With its colorful frog-themed mural and cups, this place is especially appealing to kids.

(Photo courtesy of Licks Ice Cream & Coffee)

Lick’s Ice Cream & Coffee

The perfect spot to cool off after hiking in Catalina State Park — or after doing anything else or nothing at all —  Lick’s offers a wealth of cold treat options, along with creative coffee and tea drinks and Italian sodas. You’ll find such distinctive combos as bubble waffles a la mode and Hotsie’s Cannoli Cream, including Honey Nut Cheerios, chocolate chips, and vanilla ice cream. You can also build your own concoctions, with a choice of house-made ice creams (vegan versions available), cereals, toppings, and drizzles.

Monsoon Chocolate (Photo by Ryan Brownell)

Monsoon Chocolate

“We always have a single-origin chocolate and use whatever we have on hand. We also always have a single-origin vanilla,” said Kline. Vegan options are available, too.

Cones and sundaes lead the ice cream menu, but you’ll also find a choco taco, a fudge pop, and an ice cream sammie. Made with chocolate orange cardamom ice cream stuffed between cocoa nib tuile cookies, this treat takes the idea of an ice cream sandwich to another level.

(Photo Courtesy of The Screamery)

The Screamery – Speedway

The first in Arizona to be certified to pasteurize ice cream, the Screamery is known also for using only hormone-free milk and all natural ingredients — as well as for its wonderfully distinctive flavors. The shop’s popular Bees Knees blends lavender and local honey for a subtle and smooth refreshing taste, for example, while the heartier Drunken Cowboy incorporates bourbon and cookie pieces. Can’t decide?  A “flight” option lets you sample six mini-scoops.

a picture of ice cream
Sweet Rolls and More (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Sweet Rolls and More

Sweet Rolls and More gives ice cream a fun and flirty new twist — literally! Operating as both a food truck and a stationary venue, Sweet Rolls offers rolled ice cream made fresh and by hand right before your eyes. Want to make it vegan? Ask for coconut-based vegan ice cream. As for toppings, brownie and birthday cake crumbles are not vegan. Chocolate and strawberry drizzle are vegan. Vegan whipped cream is now available!

(Photo Courtesy of Variety H2O Ice Cream)

Variety H2O & Ice Cream

A combination water purification and ice cream shop? It makes sense. When you’re here to refill your supply of filtered H2O, enjoy a scoop, cone, pint, milkshake, or smoothie made with one of 32 Thrifty ice cream flavors.  Better yet, take this opportunity to check out golas, the Indian street version of snow cones, featuring such flavors as saffron, rose, and rajbhog along with standards like chocolate and strawberry. The shaved ice is, naturally, made with purified water.

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