Denver

The 12 Best Ice Cream Shops in Denver

Cool off with something sweet.

Courtesy of High Point Creamery
Courtesy of High Point Creamery
Courtesy of High Point Creamery

If you throw a stone in Denver in any direction you’ll hit one of two things: a brewery or an ice cream shop. Even with there being plenty of options, a good lot of it is great, with a few really pushing the envelope for what frozen treats can really be. In a world of rediscovered leisure, there might be no better symbol of our newfound freedom than luxuriating over a cone right there in front of whatever location you happen to pick that day. And while it may be all the more appealing with summer in full swing, these are the types of spots that can be enjoyed year round. So go out and enjoy the classics, or relish in the newfound splendor that more than a few on the list will still bring pints straight to your door.

Little Man Ice Cream
Little Man Ice Cream
Little Man Ice Cream

Little Man Ice Cream

LoHi
This shop quickly became a Denver icon since it first opened in 2008 thanks in large part to its unique architecture-aka the 28-foot-tall, 14,000-pound cream can from which the scoops are served. Lines will almost inevitably get long, but it’s well worth the wait for the most famous flavor alone, Salted Oreo. But you can’t go wrong whether you opt for a banana pudding float, seasonal honey almond in a waffle cone that’s made on site, or one of their sorbets or vegan options. It also gives back through the Scoop to Scoop initiative which donates a scoop of rice, beans, or other essentials to those in need for every scoop of ice cream the place sells.
How to order: The walk-up window is open every day from 11 am – 12 pm

Magill’s World of Ice Cream

Lakewood
This is the classic ice cream shop of your childhood dreams, seemingly unchanged in the four decades that it’s been open. The shop first debuted in 1981 and maintains that nostalgic feel, complete with old-school ice cream sandwiches, brightly decorated ice cream cakes for every special occasion, and of course, scoops of their house-made flavors-there are 40 of them available daily, including customer favorites like seven layer coconut and Jack Daniel’s chocolate chip.
How to order: Magill’s is open every day from 10 am – 9:30 pm. While the inside is back open, it’s still offering curbside pickup.

Courtesy of Milkroll
Courtesy of Milkroll
Courtesy of Milkroll

Milkroll Creamery

Congress Park, Aurora
If scoops have somehow grown dull, Milkroll allows folks to forgo the traditional method and experience ice cream in the ever-popular Thai-style instead. Made to order on sub-zero metal plates, flavors, and add-ons are stacked together and rolled into lavish displays full of decadent charm. You start by picking your base from flavors like chocolate, caramel, matcha, and ube. Then you can customize your creation with options that include everything from M&Ms and gummy bears to Poky Sticks and red beans. There’s also a selection of house-made combos, like the colorful Unicorn Magic which is loaded with strawberry waffle sticks, frosted animal crackers, and sprinkles, then crowned with fluffy blue and pink cotton candy.
How to order: The Aurora location is open every day from 1 pm – 9 pm, with the Congress Park location being open every day from 2 pm – 9 pm

Smith+Canon Ice Cream

Cheeseman Park
This spot gets extra creative with their flavors, even going into spicy territory. But the real highlight is that they also serve nitro cold brew and espresso, which means you can get the ultimate caffeinated ice cream mash up: the affogato, aka espresso amped up with a scoop of your choice of ice cream flavor. But whether you want that coffee-enhanced kick or not, flavors like strawbeñero and their signature Foxy Brown (think cinnamon rolls and cheesecake) will keep you coming back.
How to order: Order online for pickup or delivery. The shop is also now open every day for walk in orders.

High Point Creamery
High Point Creamery
High Point Creamery

High Point Creamery

Hilltop, Berkeley, RiNo
Do you have a hard time choosing just one flavor? Three words: ice cream flight. High Point’s signature flights are perfect for sharing (although that’s definitely not required) and include five flavors of your choice and a side of chocolate sauce. Current seasonal flavors include cornbread with strawberry jam, funfetti, and mango coconut lassi. For anyone feeling festive, the place also offers bombes, which stack three of the available flavors into something resembling an ice cream cake, though without all the fluff.
How to order: Each of the three locations is open Monday – Thursday from 12 pm – 9 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 12 pm – 10 pm. 

Courtesy of Sweet Cow
Courtesy of Sweet Cow
Courtesy of Sweet Cow

Sweet Cow

Highlands, Platt Park, South Broadway, Stanley Marketplace, Louisville, North Boulder
This spot’s got a winning ice cream trifecta: ice cream that’s made daily; earth-friendly recyclable and compostable cups and spoons; and pretzel cones. Yes, you can get any flavor, from cookies and cream to German chocolate, in a pretzel cone for a sweet and salty experience that should noy be missed. If you’re not a cone fan, opt for a heaping drizzle of their caramel sauce made with local Hammond’s Candies caramels.
How to order: All six locations are back open to indoor ordering, though preorders can still be placed online

Dang Soft Serve Ice Cream

Park Hill
Have you ever dipped French fries into a frosty and wondered why that’s not more of a thing? Well, now it is. This shop from the same owners at Little Man specializes in the sweet and salty combo of soft serve and fries. But they go beyond the typical vanilla, chocolate, or swirl. Flavors change frequently but are likely to include options like peanut butter, lilikoi, and matcha, with multiple vegan choices, and an array of fun toppings-cookie butter sauce, anyone? 
How to order: Open for walk-ups Sunday – Thursday from 12 pm – 9 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 12 pm – 10 pm

Courtesy of Sherry's Soda Shoppe
Courtesy of Sherry’s Soda Shoppe
Courtesy of Sherry’s Soda Shoppe

Sherry’s Soda Shoppe

Five Points
Since opening the original Rosenberg’s Bagels in 2014, Josh Pollock has continued to bring a taste of the East Coast to Denver with Famous Original J’s pizza and Lou’s Italian Specialties. Then in March 2020, he opened his latest in his concept-an old-school soda shoppe complete with retro favorites like malts, phosphate sodas, and orange creams, along with black and white cookie ice cream sandwiches and CBD soda add-ins. Now that the place is back open, much of the real magic can actually be enjoyed, sitting on one of the wooden barstools and reminiscing to a simpler time that you may or may not have been around for.
How to order: Open for walk-ins Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 12 pm – 8 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 12 pm – 10 pm

Ice Cream Riot

Cheeseman Park
Munchie cravings meet ice cream at this shop with the slogan “roll joints not ice cream.” Yeah, they’re not afraid to call things as they see it, and they’re also not afraid to have some fun with their flavors-one of their signature options is cheddar goldfish after all. Other items to not skip: Pop-Tart ice cream sandwiches, Philly water ice, and ice cream cannoli. 
How to order: It is open for walk-ups Sunday – Thursday from 1 pm – 10 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 1 pm – 11 pm. Delivery is still available online.

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream
Bonnie Brae Ice Cream
Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

Washington Park
This old-school, family-owned joint that makes ice cream fresh daily has been around since 1986 and remains one of the standards in Mile High ice cream perfection. They offer 30+ flavors daily, including vegan options, and while most flavors stay in the traditional range (rocky road, rum raisin, and mint chocolate chip are all accounted for) they’re not afraid to play around with new ingredients too. Chocolate cardamom? They’ve done that. Monkey Fingers and Udder Budder, those are around too. 
How to order: It is open every day from 11 am – 10 pm. Deliveries are also available through Bonnie Brae Liquor

Courtesy of Eskimo Bros. Nitro Ice Cream
Courtesy of Eskimo Bros. Nitro Ice Cream
Courtesy of Eskimo Bros. Nitro Ice Cream

Eskimo Bros. Nitro Ice Cream

Various locations
Eskimo Bros. is another newcomer, opting to serve its liquid nitrogen-produced ice cream from a cart at locations across the city. Using local ingredients and a technique that makes for smaller ice crystals and a creamier end result, the Bros. have found a way to update the classic model and present it with fun ever at forefront. Especially since flavors tend to change, the Nutella Oreo is worth chasing the Bros. to whatever corner town they’re currently peddling at. 
How to order: Directly from the website.

Pint’s Peak

Various locations
Pint’s Peak popped up during the pandemic, when trained pastry chef Caitlin Howington decided she wanted to start doing small batch, often limited runs of generally remarkable flavors. Options like Smoked S’mores, Thai Basil, and Triple Berry Pie-triple berry basil compote, almond brown sugar streusel-are generally nabbed up shortly after they go on sale each Monday. With a seemingly endless knack for coming up with new flavors, Howington has made clear that expecting the unexpected is just part of the program. 
How to order: Currently, ordering can be done on Pint’s Peak’s website. Though at the end of July, the weekly deliveries will come to an end as Howington works to get the ice cream into more stores across the Denver area. Updates can be found on Pint’s Peak’s Instagram.

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Colin Wrenn is a Thrillist contributor.

Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer who likes her ice cream loaded with extra sprinkles. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter for more updates on food, fun, and life in the Mile High.

Denver

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Denver This Year

For a successful St. Patrick's Day, hit these parades, barcrawls, parties, and festivals.

VISIT DENVER
VISIT DENVER
VISIT DENVER

Grab your green and your Guinness-St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and there’s fun to be had. In addition to being the first big celebratory holiday after New Year’s, St. Paddy’s is also a signal of spring; more hours of sunshine, T-shirt temps, and filling Blake, Market, and Larimer with drunken revelry make up a particularly Denver type of equinox. However you plan to celebrate-with family friendly activities or for those over the legal drinking age only-there are parades to be watched, playful drinks to be sipped, and a whole lot of shamrock-ing to do.

Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits

Dance a jig or two at Mile High Spirits’ Shamrock Shenanigans

March 17
If you’re ready to put your dancing shoes to good use, wiggle your way on over to Mile High Spirits-doors are opening at 12 pm and there’s no cover ‚Äėtil 10. Enjoy MHS’ drinks, big dance floor, and even bigger outdoor patio for all the Irish pride and shenanigans you can handle.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts

Whip up steak for a St. Paddy’s Date Night

March 17
Cook Street’s special St. Paddy’s Day class involves making the perfect steak while sipping on Irish whiskey. On Friday only, learn about proteins, cooking methods, and choosing side dishes carefully while cooking up traditional Irish cuisine.

Crawl around town. You know, figuratively…

March 17 – 18
Is it a drinking holiday in Denver if there aren’t a handful of bar crawls happening? Probably not. St. Paddy’s Day is no different; you can start crawling from a number of bars, but a few in particular have everything plotted out for you (for a small fee). Start at the Ginn Mill and receive a map of over 10 pub locations you’ll be crawling to either Friday or Saturday, plus drink special vouchers. There’s also a crawl departing from Nola Jane (Friday only) with its own food and drink specials, plus a scavenger hunt and some St. Paddy’s merch, too.

The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat

Visit one of Denver’s Irish Pubs

March 17 – 18
If you can’t think of a better place to spend St. Paddy’s Day then at a local Irish pub, we salute you-just be prepared to throw a few elbows making your way to the bar. Denver’s got several good ol’ pubs from Broadway to Larimer Square that’ll be in full swing this weekend, pouring fresh pints as far as the eye can see. Check out Scruffy Murphy’s, Nallen’s, The Irish Rover, Finley’s, The Celtic on Market, or the Fainting Goat for that SPD revelry you know, love, and trekked out for.

Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square
Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square
Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square

Sip and savour St. Paddy’s themed bevvies

Through March 17
Everyone pulls out the green food dye and mint flavouring for St. Paddy’s, but there are some other creative drink specials to sample, too. The OG’s got a boozy milkshake for the occasion, aptly named “Who’s Your Paddy,” a mix of vanilla ice cream, Cr√®me de Menthe, Tullamore Dew, Bailey’s, and whipped cream. BEZEL’s Irish Matcha Man is pretty unique, with Teeling Small Batch whiskey, lime, thyme-infused honey, and matcha powder. And then Slater’s 50/50 takes it to another level (unsurprisingly) with its Lucky Mint Green Shake: mint-flavored ice cream in a frosting-rimmed glass with Lucky Charm marshmallows, rainbow stripe sour strips, whipped cream and green sprinkles. Other notable specials can be found at Poka Lola Social Club, Dairy Block’s Moo Bar, and Seven Grand.

Sing along and cheers to live music

March 17
Denver’s The Monkey Barrel is known for its regular live performances, and this St. Patrick’s Day you can tune in to Elijah Petty & The Part-Times and other musical guests if you’re in search of a chiller spot to sip your Guinness. Or, have one of the best burgers in town while relishing the shenanigans and live music of Cherry Cricket Cherry Creek this St. Paddy’s Day. Food and drink specials will also be available through the holiday weekend, so leave extra room or wear your stretchy (green) pants.

HRCA Race Series
HRCA Race Series
HRCA Race Series

Show your St. Paddy’s spirit by‚Ķ running?

March 18
Feeling restless? Or maybe you’re itching to get a few laps in before hammering down several pints this Saturday? Either way, Highlands Ranch is hosting its St. Patrick’s Day 5K where finishing the race gets you St. Patrick’s Day merch, an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, and of course, a complimentary pint courtesy of Living the Dream Brewing.

Holidaily Brewing Company
Holidaily Brewing Company
Holidaily Brewing Company

Drink and do good at Holidaily Brewing Co.

March 17
This St. Paddy’s Day, Holidaily and the Gluten Intolerance Group are putting on their Raise a Pint, Lend a Hand fundraiser. A special glitter and green Firkin tapping is happening at 4 pm at both taprooms, with special (and gluten-free) treats available at the Golden location, thanks to Farmhouse 5280 and Waive the Grain bakery. 10% of all St. Patrick’s Day sales will be donated to the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery

Party at a local distillery

March 17 – 18
Talnua Distillery is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day bash to remember this year, featuring food trucks, live music, special themed cocktails, and more. Limited bottles of Talnua’s exclusive Olde Saint’s Keep whiskey will be available for purchase, which you can hang onto while you dance along to pipe bands or eat a brat or two from El Jefe’s.

Watch some Irish step dancing

March 17
Head on over to Stanley Marketplace to witness the talent and skill of the students at the Wick School of Irish Dance at 12 pm, and follow it up with a green cerveza at Cheluna Brewing Co. Of course, plenty of tasty lunch and dinner options are available around the marketplace so you can soak up a bit of that beer.

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Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer and editor. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver food and other Mile High shenanigans.

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