Summer is still sticking around for a bit, and there’s no better way too cool down and prolong that holiday feeling than enjoying a delicious scoop of cold, creamy ice cream. We’re not talking about any old ice-cream cone, though: It’s all about hand-made artisanal ice cream, carefully churned with farm-fresh milk, natural flavours and a great deal of love. Here’s our guide to the ice-cream enthusiasts in your area who are scooping up this creamy, crafted treat.
Baglios ice cream has been putting smiles on faces for over 23 years and has become synonymous with the South African ice-cream industry. Milk, sugar, butter and wholesome, natural ingredients are used for the base, with no eggs. The ice cream is slow-churned to incorporate less air, giving the ice cream a denser composition; it’s then blast-frozen for a smooth and creamy texture. There are usually 20 flavours on offer, including options like After Eight mint, fior di latte, tiramisu and Toblerone, but the pistachio and chocolate flavours remain the most popular. The flagship parlour is in Montecasino, but you can also find Baglios at Andiccio 24, Amarcord, Arbour Café, BGR, Fishmonger (Illovo, Bryanston, Rosebank), Gemelli, JB’s Corner and Social on Main.
Fournos (Bedfordview, Benmore, Centurion, Dunkeld West, Fourways, Little Falls, Mall of the South, Rosebank, Woodmead)
This ice cream is all natural with no chemicals, flavourants or colourants. The gelato is mixed, pasteurised and sent to all stores on a daily basis and consists of high-quality buttermilk powder, whole eggs, sugar and vanilla pods. The sorbet is made from water, sugar and fruit pulp with a touch of egg white to increase the bind. Go for flavours like caramel crunch, peanut butter and banana, and milo and chocolate brownie.
Fresh Earth (Emmerentia)
This is for foodies who revel in clean ingredients and vegan food. The base of every batch of Fresh Earth’s vegan and banting ice creams is coconut milk and extra-virgin organic coconut oil from Mozambique, with xylitol and vanilla extract. The makers then add top-quality berries, vanilla, cocoa powder or mixed nuts to create their three awesome flavours: choc-nut coconut, vanilla-bean coconut and very berry coconut. There are no artificial preservatives or colourants and it tastes absolutely delicious.
Ice Cream Sunday (Bramley)
A collaboration between Prep’ed by Sasha and Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream at UNIT8 in Bramley, Ice Cream Sunday is a day devoted to indulgence and live music in a cool courtyard on the last Sunday of every month. Every event is themed differently with wondrously wacky menus; they even make savoury ice-cream treats. The latest event was titled Trump That and showcased a menu that included The Democrat Blues, a blueberry-and-lemon sorbet with candyfloss; The American Cream, a caramel-corn ice cream topped with the star-spangled banner chocolate bark; and The Comb Over, mini corn hotdogs with sweetcorn-and-mustard ice cream. Follow Ice Cream Sunday on Facebook to find out about the next event.
Knickerbocker Ice Cream (pop-up)
This brand has a magical pop-up parlour and a tuk tuk that cruises around the city, serving up sheer delight at markets, music events and festivals. The one constant is the Stables Village Market in Chartwell, where they serve ice cream every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holiday. Knickerbocker Ice Cream offers 10 flavours of artisanal all-natural gelato made using milk, cream, sugar, natural flavourants and no eggs – think caramel and cookies, cherry-blast gelato, lemon and lime, mango and granadilla sorbet, as well as real dairy, soft-serve ice cream like butter-pecan curl. There’s also a fabulous range of dairy- and sugar-free options. Follow them on Facebook.
La Cremosa (Midrand)
David, Mauro and Sandro (who call themselves the ‘guys from Rome’) grew up playing in David’s father’s ice cream shop in Trastevere, and brought his age-old, family recipe to South Africa. It’s artisanal, Italian gelato made using only fresh milk, sugar and superb ingredients (no eggs), served in generous portions. Top-notch options include coconut (made using sundried Mozambican coconut flakes) and the guava sorbet, an incredibly delicate blend of fruit with a touch of sugar and water. There’s a little hole-in-the-wall shop on Maboneng’s Fox Street as well a flagship store in Dainfern Square Shopping Centre that serves up to 30 flavours at any one time. You can also find these delectable offerings at Jackson’s Real Food Market and at Market on Main every Sunday. There are free gelato tours at Dainfern Square to demonstrate the manufacturing process and to give people an understanding of the difference between artisanal gelato and industrially made ice cream. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
David Higgs’s fine-dining live-fire cooking has the crowds clambering for more, but the restaurant also offers playful ice cream sandwiches for dessert. The biscuits and ice creams are made in-house, using only the best milk, eggs and natural flavourants. There are three flavours: cocoa biscuit with vanilla bean ice cream, almond meringue with halva ice cream, and brandy snap with pineapple-and-chilli ice cream.
Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream (Sandton, Rosebank, Melville, online)
For Paul and his team, ice cream is an art; they don’t believe in cutting corners with synthetic additives or imitating a creamy texture with the help of unnatural chemicals. Instead they only use carefully selected ingredients to create intricate flavours with a perfectly smooth texture. The base is made up of milk, cream, egg yolk and sugar/xylitol and then infused in small batches with chocolate, caramel, banana etc. overnight before churning. Standout flavours have to be Birthday Cake, chocolate, Nutella and Oreo. Find Paul’s at the Zone in Rosebank and at the Sandton Gautrain station and at Thrupps, Oaklands Fruit & Veg, Tyrone Fruiterers, Wolves Café, Casalottis, Shell Sandhurst and Love Food. (PHIC is opening two more stores in Feb, both of which will have special products that are limited to that particular store. One in Hyde Park (near the cinema) will serve giant, hand-made cones dipped in chocolate and filled with ice cream and toppings, and one in Parkhurst on 4th Avenue will serve ice-cream pies: a biscuit base filled to the top with pure ice-cream.
Pete’s Super Natural Ice Cream (around Gauteng)
Pete’s ice cream is truly handmade: Batches are prepared on the stove by Pete or one of her talented ice-cream chefs, using milk, cream, sugar and superlative natural ingredients. There’s an emphasis on keeping things slow and simple: the double-milk chocolate, for example, is matured for three days before churning. A combination of Valrhona chocolate and Dutch process cocoa powder create a richness of flavour that has given Pete’s chocolate ice cream cult status amongst chocophiles. The vanilla ice cream uses only real vanilla pods and the rose pomegranate Turkish delight uses organic pomegranate juice. The velvety texture is thanks to milk from a family-run farm in Henley on Klip, where cows are pasture fed, with no hormones or routine antibiotics. Pete’s ice cream is sold in pints at FarmTable, Oaklands Fruit and Veg, Jacksons Real Food Market, Organic Emporium, Impala Fruiterers, Braeside Butchery, Patisserie de Paris, Piccadilly Ave in White River and Spar Broadacres (from the second week of February 2017). It’s on the menu at Voodoo Lily Café, Fireside Bistro, Croft and Co., The Big Mouth Sushi & Grill, The Peech Hotel, Moda’ Ristorante, PRON, Baha Taco, Kitchen Kafe, Fishmonger Rosebank and Fishmonger Nicolway, Polpetta, Trabella and Grappino Bistro.
Tortellino D’oro (Oaklands)
This deli, brimming with freshly made breads, pastas, pastries, antipasti and cheeses, is enough to turn any banter bad, but one glimpse at their gelato display will seal the deal. The team is not interested in sugar-free or vegan, but turns out classic, Italian gelato made with milk, cream, sugar and beautifully fresh ingredients. There are 12 flavours at any one time, including a delightfully crunchy stracciatella, simple vanilla and lively strawberry sorbet. The special display unit keeps the gelato and sorbet at the perfect temperature, meaning every scoop will be sumptuously soft and velvety. There are also fabulous gelato and sorbet cakes worth trying.
Trieste Café (Greenside)
This restaurant has a deli and ice-cream parlour where you can buy Italian-style ice cream made using a 100-year-old family recipe. It calls for the freshest, full-cream milk, cream, sugar, natural flavourants and no eggs. There are up to 16 gelato and sorbet flavours at any time. The Turkish delight flavour wows, the pistachio is beautifully natural and the chocolate brownie is wonderfully rich, but not overly sweet.
WhiskAway (around Johannesburg)
This mouth-watering recipe uses a combination of quality milk, cream, free-range eggs and natural flavourants to create a sumptuous ice cream that is free from artificial colours and preservatives. Similarly, the sorbet is made using real fruit, balanced with only lemon juice and sugar. Try the strawberry-and-basil sorbet for something seriously refreshing and the Very Rocky Road ice cream (peanuts, raisins, honeycomb and brownie chunks) for something completely over the top. WhiskAway also makes vegan-friendly and sugar-free ice creams. You’ll find these delicious treats at Kream and Zuri Lounge in the Mall of Africa as well as Koi (Rosebank and Sandton), TJ Billies, Lupa and Anja’s Banting Pantry.
Aroma Gelato & Waffle Lounge (Lynnwood)
An awesome example of food businesses doing things differently, Aroma rules social media and is constantly tempting sweet lovers with incredibly delicious gelato. The space is almost always packed to the brim with loyal clientele. Facebook followers might arrive for the special of the day, which can be anything from a delicious, sticky brownie to a freshly baked doughnut, free with any 100g scoop of gelato. Aroma also makes a fantastic cup of coffee. Try a pick-me-up in affogato form by ordering a super scoop of Aroma’s vanilla-bean gelato and pouring two shots of steaming hot espresso over it. Popular flavours include Nuttikrust and salted caramel.
Creamy Italian gelato is made here the traditional way using unpasteurised dairy and all-natural ingredients, without any artificial flavourings, preservatives and colourants. The pastel-coloured gelato flavours might include Nutella, bubblegum, nougat, fresh strawberry, white chocolate, lemon, and stracciatella.
Bringing a taste of Italy to the Jacaranda City, this gelatoria offers traditionally made gelato. The scoops are made using the finest local and Italian ingredients with flavours that change with the season. Try options like amaretto, gluten-free Bounty Bar, fudge, mixed berry cheesecake, Oreo, and dairy-free rooibos and honey.
Old Town Italy (Menlyn)
This buzzing compound of all things Italian is something of a newcomer in the Pretoria food scene, but already seems to be a firm favourite with hungry Menlyn Maine shoppers. This gelato is something to behold, with clean, simple and bold flavours like mandarin and deeply boozy coffee-infused tiramisu. Natural ingredients like vanilla bean, ripe oranges and fresh strawberries are used, but it’s also worthwhile to try something like the bubblegum flavour scooped generously onto piping hot waffles or a crunchy sugar cone.
Royal Danish (Colbyn)
This cute and kitsch gem has been in business for over 20 years thanks to its consistently simple, unpretentious and downright delicious repertoire. The slightly lighter and less sweet taste of this ice cream in comparison with gelato doesn’t take anything away from its massive flavour and creaminess. There’s live music here every Sunday, which makes Royal perfect for an afternoon chill after lunch, the service is really friendly and welcoming, and everything is made in-house by Karensa, one of the owners of this family business and Pretoria’s master of Danish ice cream. Popular flavours are the Copenhagen, English toffee and their exceptional lavender flavour, which pairs perfectly with delicately crispy homemade rose-and-almond meringues. Royal Danish also makes a mean ice-cream cake for special occasions, which you can order 48 hours in advance.
WhiskAway (Menlo Park)
The WhiskAway team is known for making and scooping home-made ice creams and sorbets at markets and events around Pretoria. The range of luxury, artisanal treats are all handmade using local milk, cream and free-range eggs, and are free from artificial additives. Unique flavours include cashew caramel, white-chocolate raspberry, honey and almond, and strawberry-and-basil sorbet. You can get your fix at the Hazel Food Market in Pretoria every Saturday, as well as from them directly. The adorable ice cream cart is also available for weddings and special occasions.
Ci Gusta (Umhlanga Rocks)
This small but popular shop in Umhlanga Village brings a little taste of Italian gelato to the East Coast shores. Pop in for flavours of salted caramel, milk caramel, stracciatella, biscotti and pistachio. It also serves delicious golden waffles, frozen yoghurt and Italian coffee.
ERA Ice cream (Essenwood)
Previous MasterChef SA contestant Penny Fitchet keeps ice-cream fans satisfied with her busy ice-cream parlour on Cowey Road. The cold treats are made using thick farm-fresh cream with no added preservatives or artificial flavourants. Flavours include in Pablo Picasso’s Peanut, Julius Caesar’s Salted Caramel, Vladmir Lenin’s Vanilla, Marie Antoinette’s Apple and Cinnamon, and Marilyn Monroe’s Strawberry Meringue. These delectable treats are available in cones, 125ml cups and 500ml and 1L tubs to take home.
The Glenwood Bakery (Glenwood)
During summer at this popular corner bakery you’ll find creamy ice cream made in-house. Flavours might include the simple and creamy vanilla with pods, chocolate malt, salted caramel or a grapefruit sorbet. No stabilisers or preservatives are used. They’re available to take home (alongside your freshly baked croissants) in small containers.
Old Town Italy (Umhlanga)
If you’ve already tried the glorious cronuts at this Italian market-style eatery, you’ll know that these guys don’t mess around when it comes to desserts. Visit the dreamy gelato stand inside the restaurant to order a scoop or two, or opt for the conut creation: a golden homemade doughnut cone dipped in chocolate that serves as a vessel for your choice of creamy, pastel-coloured gelato. We recommend vanilla, chocolate and pistachio flavours, as well as the blue-hued cotton-candy version.
Scoop Handmade Ice Cream (Salt Rock)
This Litchi Orchard shop whips up creamy custard-based ice cream made with eggs, milk and sugar from local farms in KZN. Scoop serves a variety of flavours including Madagascan vanilla with salted-macadamia praline, gin-and-tonic sorbet, butter salted caramel, toasted-coconut ice cream, pineapple sorbet, and 70% Belgium chocolate. The shop also produces its own vanilla sugar cones, plain or dipped in 70% Belgium chocolate.
Sugarlicious (Umhlanga Rocks)
While this is not strictly an ice-cream shop, we couldn’t leave off Durban’s very own macaron ice-cream sandwich parlour. Flavours include mint, espresso, Nutella (a crowd pleaser), smoked mocha, Bombay crush and bubble gum. Sugarlicious also serves a French kisses range, dipped in Belgian chocolate. Flavours in this range include Ferrero Rocher and Raffaello.
Yumibowl (Umhlanga Rocks)
This buzzing ice-cream counter is located inside Siam Thai Restaurant in Umhlanga. The team serves Thai hand-crafted ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet and non-dairy scoops that take on the form of thin paper-like scrolls. These delicate icy bites are made using an ice-cream flavour of your choice and a couple of tools resembling paint scrapers. The frozen dessert is chopped up, smoothed out and curled up into rolls right in front of you. (The freezing takes place in a matter of seconds on the chilled work surface.) Gourmet flavours include chocolate brownie with brownie garnish, salted caramel with popcorn, malva pudding with strawberries, and red velvet cupcake with maraschino cherry.
The Creamery (Mouille Point, Newlands, Palmyra Junction, V&A Waterfront)
This dedicated ice cream parlour doesn’t skimp on the creativity with its range of scoops. Flavours change with the seasons, but you’ll always find 65% chocolate, sea salt caramel, peanut butter, sweet cream, and Rosetta Roastery coffee on offer. Mint-choc chip, carrot cake (with pieces of real cake), lemon curd, and chocolate orange also make appearances. Try your scoop on top of a golden waffle with a toasted marshmallow and chocolate sauce or new toppings like peanut-butter pieces, cookie-dough chunks or buttercrunch toffee. Else head to the Mouille Point branch for a helping of the hot cookies topped with a scoop of your choice.
Crumbs & Cream (Canal Walk, Grand West, Sea Point)
This popular sweet-treat spot offers Atlantic Seaboard locals a range of ice-cream sandwiches, assembled to order with Italian gelato and chewy homemade cookies. The flavours are constantly changing, but at any given time there could be classics like chocolate, vanilla and a vegan sorbet. There’s also a range of sprinkles to take these ice-cream sandwiches to the next level.
Gelato Mania (Green Point)
This family-run Italian gelateria has been scooping for years. The gelato is homemade daily using the freshest full cream hormone-free cow’s milk with no added animal or vegetable fats, no alcohol, gelatine or preservatives. Popular flavours include chocolate hazelnut, yoghurt berry crunch, Bar-One, mango, After Eight mint, tiramisu and pistachio.
IceDream (Hout Bay)
Take a drive to this little dessert gem and grab a decadent gelato to go before heading to the beach or driving up Chappies. The pastel-coloured shop, owned by Italian brother-and-sister duo Liana and Luigi Lazzarotto, churns out fresh batches of creamy desserts daily. Flavours include Zanzibar vanilla, hazelnut, mint-choc chip, rum and raisin, tiramisu and peanut butter.
Kristen’s Kickass Ice Cream (Noordhoek)
This quaint scoop shop opened its doors just last year but has already gained a devoted following, with over 40 flavours on the menu, all of which are made from scratch with free-range cream, milk, and handmade ingredients. Owner Kristen Batzer even makes her own marshmallows, honeycomb, fudge-and-praline sauce, oatmeal-crunch streusel, jams and peanut butter. Popular flavours include homemade cookies and cream with homemade Oreos; sea-salt caramel with dry-roasted cane sugar and Maldon smoked sea salt; garden-mint chocolate chip with fresh mint leaves; brown-sugar cream with caramelised figs; and a play on a deconstructed Bounty Bar with coconut cream, milk chocolate and almonds.
Husband-and-wife team Jason Sandell and Diana Chavarro started Las Paletas (Spanish for ‘ice lollies’) in their home kitchen in 2012, but now there is huge demand for their handmade artisanal sorbet and dairy lollies. All products are prepared in small batches from fresh fruit, herbs, spices, nuts and locally sourced dairy and are 100% free from flavourants, colourants, additives and powdered products. The Las Paletas team specialises in exotic flavours such as guava and cheese, coconut lemonade, pineapple and chilli, sour mango, peanut butter and jam, and litchi raspberry. You can get your Las Paletas fix at a variety of delis and selected Pick ‘n Pay outlets in and around the Western Cape, as well as at a number of restaurants such as El Burro, Deer Park Café, IYO, Sushi Box, The Foodbarn Deli, and Leopard’s Leap to name a few.
Moro Gelato (City Bowl)
Moro Gelato has relocated from Woodstock to Long Street in Cape Town, making it that much easier for city-bowl hedonists to indulge in their favourite summer treat. The gelato flavours range from pure pistachio to buttery salted-caramel popcorn. The milk-tart scoop – with real pastry pieces – has become a firm favourite at Eat Out HQ, and the sorbets, made using seasonal fruit, are not to be overlooked, either. Moro offers three cup sizes: a small cup gives you a choice of up to two flavours; a medium, three flavours; and a large, four.
N2Ice Cream Lab
Marija Groenewald has become known for popping up to sell her liquid-nitrogen ice creams at markets and shopping malls around the Cape. The small ice-cream lab creates science-style ice cream made with locally sourced full-fat milk, vanilla essence, sugar, cream and liquid nitrogen. In addition to regular vanilla, strawberry and chocolate offerings, the team is constantly experimenting with new flavours and regularly features a flavour of the week. There are also ten different toppings from which to choose.
Sorbetiere prepares sorbet and ice cream inspired by the seasons, sourcing ingredients from fruit farms around the Western Cape. Sorbet flavours change constantly, but you can expect innovative options such as strawberry and mint, strawberry and basil, and G&T. Ice cream flavours include salted caramel, chocolate, coffee, and fresh mint with chocolate chips. You’ll also find vegan options like sweet melon and roasted peach.
Unframed Ice Cream
All the flavours at this new-ish parlour are constructed with a scientific level of precision to give a perfectly smooth texture while still being light. Flavours may include peanut butter, Nuttrikrust, Valhrona sea-salt chocolate, and a caramelly-flavoured burnt Valhrona white chocolate. Order a scoop on a sugar cone or in a cup and choose from toppings like dirty sea-salt caramel, crumbled raw coconut macaroons from Moonbeam, or crumbled Amaretti biscuits.
Cold Gold (Stellenbosch)
Sweet-toothed foodies can order a variety of ice creams, sorbets, vegan ice creams and banting ice creams at this Stellies gem. There are normally around 70 flavours in stock at any given time, with options such as cappuccino-caramel swirl, honey-and-cinnamon crunch, chocolate rocky road, salted-caramel cheesecake, and white chocolate with toasted coconut. Banting-friendly scoops, dairy-free sorbets and paleo options are also on offer.
Créme de Levain (Stellenbocsh)
This quaint patisserie located on Church Street offers craft ice cream served as a stand-alone scoop, on top of flapjacks or waffles, in a milkshake, or sandwiched between cookies. The café offers around 25 hand-made flavours, including delicious options like salted caramel, blueberry, Turkish delight, malva pudding, coffee and lemon cheesecake.
DV Café Roastery & Ice Creamery (Paarl)
Not only known for luxurious chocolates and good coffee, this Spice Route café also scoops up glorious ice cream. The icy treats are homemade in the DV kitchen using the shop’s own chocolate and coffee along with local produce from surrounding farms. Daily flavours might include chocolate, espresso, vanilla, strawberry, peanut butter, rum and raisin, caramel and mango-passion sorbet.
Schoon de Companje (Stellenbosch)
Fanny Chanel ice cream is the brand responsible for scoops at this bakery and deli. The ice cream is made with Usana Farm eggs from pasture-reared chickens, Jersey cream, organic honey and sugar, all-natural flavours and seasonal fruits. Flavours change constantly but options include the likes of lemon curd, double chocolate, white-chocolate brownie, roasted marshmallow and honey malt.
While we take care to ensure all the information in this story is correct, please note that some items may change without our knowledge.
Have we missed out your favourite ice cream parlour? Let us know in the comments section below.