Photograph courtesy Capogiro
From the National Geographic book Food Journeys of a Lifetime
Capogiro Gelato, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Made with the freshest ingredients (such as milk from Amish grass-fed cows), the artisan gelatos and sorbettos handcrafted each day at Capogiro Gelato include flavors not seen anywhere else—Madagascar bourbon vanilla, melograno (pomegranate), nocciola Piemonte (hazelnut), Saigon cinnamon, Thai coconut milk (with a dash of rum), and zucca (long-neck pumpkin).
Planning: Capogiro has four cafés in Philadelphia.
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, St. Louis, Missouri
Made from fresh cream, eggs, and sugar, frozen custard is a midwestern dessert that looks, tastes, and acts like its close cousin, ice cream. The stand on Grand Boulevard has been open since 1931, serving frozen custard in cones, shakes, root-beer floats, and house specialties, such as Hawaiian Delight and Crater Copernicus.
Planning: Drewes has several locations in St. Louis.
Bombay Ice Creamery, San Francisco, California
Some of the planet’s best Indian ice cream can be sampled here, in the Hispanic Mission District. On offer are flavors such as chiku (sapodilla), cardamom, chai-tea, saffron, rose, and ginger, rarely found beyond the Indian subcontinent. Traditional kulfi (a frozen milk dessert) is also on the menu, plus lassi (yogurt drinks).
Planning: The opening hours change with the seasons, so check before planning a visit.
Devon House, Kingston, Jamaica
Built in the late 19th century as the home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, Devon House is a masterpiece of Caribbean Victorian architecture and home to the island’s most celebrated ice-cream stand. The 27 flavors run a broad gamut from traditional cherry and pistachio to exotic island treats like mango, coconut, and soursop. There is even an offbeat, beer-based ice cream called Devon Stout. Grab a cone and recline in the sprawling gardens.
Planning: Devon House is in central Kingston. Admission includes a tour of the house and access to the gardens.
Helados Scannapieco, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This tiny, no-frills shop seems little changed from 1938, when Italian immigrants Andres and Josefina Scannapieco first opened the doors. Members of the Scannapieco clan still make ice cream the way the family have for 70 years. The menu runs 50 flavors deep, from chocolate and vanilla to other delights, such as durazno (peach), canela (cinnamon), lemon champagne, and caipirinha (a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça and lime).
Planning: Helados Scannapieco is at Avenida Córdoba 4826 in the Palermo district.
Ice Cream City, Tokyo, Japan
With dozens of stands selling more than 300 flavors between them, Tokyo’s appropriately named Ice Cream City offers some of the planet’s more unusual ice creams, from soy chicken and orchid root to sea-island salt and unagi (eel). If you have more conventional tastes, Italian gelato and American ice cream sundaes are also available.
Planning: Ice Cream City is part of the food-themed section of the Namja Town amusement park in the Sunshine City shopping complex 15 minutes’ walk from Ikebukuro station.
Glacé, Sydney, Australia
Glacé is celebrated for its cutting-edge, ice-cream-based desserts, such as bombe Alaska, checkerboard terrines, and chocolate-dipped petit fours. Rose petal, vanilla bean, strawberry pistachio, and Belgian chocolate count among its signature flavors.
Planning: Glacé has one retail outlet, at 27 Marion Street in Sydney’s Leichhardt district.
A’jia Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
There is nothing more romantic than a summer evening beside the Bosporus, especially when you are having ice cream on the outdoor terrace of the A’jia Hotel. The dessert menu includes fried vanilla ice cream, passionfruit sorbet, and traditional Turkish dondurma (ice cream) made from goats’ milk.
Planning: Located on the western shore of the Bosporus, the A’jia is a 19th-century mansion transformed into a hip new waterfront hangout.
Vaffelbageriet, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tivoli Gardens amusement park is the venue for this century-old ice-cream outlet. The specialty is ice cream served in a large waffle cone, called the Amerikaner, which takes up to four scoops plus syrupy topping, whipped cream, and chocolate-covered meringue puff (rather than a maraschino cherry).
Planning: Tivoli Gardens is in central Copenhagen, and is open from mid-April through late September. The entertainments include concerts, rides, and 40 restaurants.
Perchè No!, Florence, Italy
Going since 1939, Perchè No!—Why not!—sells intensely flavored ice cream produced fresh on the premises each day. The selection varies, but favorites include honey and sesame seed, green tea, and a rich coffee crunch with pieces of chocolate. They also sell a wide assortment of fruit sorbets and granitas.
Planning: Perchè No! is in Via dei Tavolini, about two minutes’ walk from the Duomo.
Nat Geo Traveler All Access
Available in print and for iPad®! See destinations come alive with 360-degree photos, videos, and more!