It’s officially summer, and nothing tastes better on a scorching desert afternoon than a refreshing ice cream cone. This road trip leads to some of Arizona’s very best ice cream shops, some specializing in classics like chocolate and vanilla and others serving up decadent sundaes with every mix-in and topping imaginable. Ready to embark on one of our sweetest road trips ever: the Arizona Ice Cream Trail?!
The overall journey to each shop is a little more than 3.5 hours drive time. How long you spend at each shop — depends entirely on you. Let's get moving, shall we?
1. Novel Ice Cream (Phoenix)
Novel offers yet another revolutionary idea: donut ice cream sandwiches. If you've never experienced a warm, flaky pastry filled with partially melted, yet simultaneously cool and refreshing ice cream, it's time to change that for good.
Address: 1028 Grand Avenue #6, Phoenix, AZ. 85007
2. Churn (Phoenix)
Old-fashioned ice cream at its very finest is what you'll find inside this iconic shop. Hence the name, Churn proudly serves ice cream made in-house with fresh, simple ingredients. A rotating selection features Carrot Cake, Mexican Chocolate, Oatmeal Cookie Dough, and so many more scrumptious concoctions. Don't forget to stock up on some nostalgic candy like Necco Wafers and Atomic Fireballs before heading out!
Address: 5223 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ, 85012
3. The Baked Bear (Scottsdale)
If this picture doesn't evoke some serious drooling, your taste buds probably aren't working properly. The Baked Bear is a custom ice cream sandwich shop where patrons can choose their top and bottom cookie or brownie, filling, and toppings. Picture this: creamy, decadent Salted Caramel Fudge ice cream encapsulated in two Sea Salt Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies, all drizzled with hot caramel. Get your sandwich warmed up for a truly next-level treat.
Address: 7366 East Shea Boulevard, Suite 106, Scottsdale, AZ, 85260
4. Sweet Republic (Scottsdale)
Sweet Republic boasts handcrafted, artisan ice cream made with local ingredients and plenty of love. Over 20 different unique flavors include Salted Butter Caramel Swirl, Blueberry Cheesecake, Jameson Irish Cream, and even Sweet Corn (don't knock it 'till ya try it!).
Address: 9160 East Shea Boulevard #105, Scottsdale, AZ, 85260
5. Sugar Bowl (Scottsdale)
Open since 1958, Sugar Bowl has certainly perfected the craft of ice cream making. Fancy flavors are nowhere to be found on the menu, but sometimes classics are the most satisfying. Get yours made into a float, shake, sundae, banana split, or parfait.
Address: 4005 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251
6. Udder Delights (Gilbert)
Udder Delights is definitely not your average ice cream shop. Not only do the owners prioritize fresh, local produce for fruity flavors, but they also have their own dairy farm! Over a dozen flavors are offered year-round, with several more introduced on a rotating, seasonal basis. There are even dairy-free options available!
Address: 1385 East Warner Road, Suite #103, Gilbert, AZ, 85296
7. Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery (Tucson)
Not many restaurants also have a full ice cream shop under the same roof, so Hub is truly a game-changer. Even the staple flavors are innovative, including S'mores, Nutter Butter, and German Chocolate. Rotating selections like Mexican Wedding Cookie and Peanut Butter M&M push the envelope even further.
Address: 266 Congress Street, Tucson, AZ, 85701
8. The Screamery (Tucson)
Screamery wholeheartedly believes ice cream shouldn't contain any unpronounceable ingredients, so they pasteurize it on-site with grass-fed milk. Each batch is made separately, and the freshness only becomes more evident with every successive bite. Keep it traditional with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or cookies & cream, or branch out and try something more exotic such as Ooey Gooey Butter Cake or Cowboy Cookie.
Address: 2545 East Speedway Boulevard, Suite 145, Tucson, AZ, 85716
How many of the shops on this Arizona ice cream trail have you been to? Did we miss your favorite spot?! Let us know!