Gelato Atlas

 Posted by on October 20, 2013
 

GelatoBThis page lists gelato places around the globe, so you can seek out excellent gelato wherever you are.  Many of these were sent in by readers, so I can’t vouch for their quality first-hand. The ones I have tried personally are indicated in bold, and have notes about their particular strengths. Otherwise, the place is either a reader recommendation or possibly a location I haven’t visited of a well-attested chain. Gelato places do sometimes close, so be certain to check the website before you go (if a place has one) to make sure it still exists.

Know another good place?  Please leave a comment on the Gelato Thread, and I will add your recommended place to my list.

See also my guide to How to Spot Good Gelato from 15 Feet Away, and my general gelato discussion post: Relax, Have a Gelato.

International Chains:

  • AmorinoEx Urbe says: an excellent chain, all natural, with great quality chocolate and nut flavors and fruit sorbets made of unusual seasonal fruits, especially strange oddball citrus which are always wonderful.  They may look gimmicky, especially since they have the strange practice of making the cone be shaped like a rose, but it isn’t just for show, the rose is actually easier to eat, giving you direct access to each “petal” of flavor.  They have the unusual policy of allowing you to have an unlimited number of flavors on one cone, so you can try four or five or even ten of their flavors at a time if you want to.  Locations in Italy, New York City, a few other US locations, London, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and several overseas French territories.
  • Frost Gelato.  I have never tried this chain myself, but it has locations in Arizona, New Mexico, Chicago and several nations in the Middle East.  Rowena WOELFLE comments: “Best gelato in the USA is at Frost a gelato shoppe in Gilbert Az.”  Ann Mulhern comments: “Frost Gelato, Tucson, Phoenix, and soon to open in Albuquerque. Truly amazing quality and the original cook-Nazario has created flavor unparalled. Salted Caramel and Pistachio are exquisite. I have never had a bad flavor and have probably tried them all.  Perfect consistency-always.”
  • GROM.  Ex Urbe says: An extremely trendy, all-natural, eco-friendly chain with biodegradable spoons etc. GROM’s ingredients are reliably top notch, but in my opinion their flavors vary a lot in quality between the really successful ones and ones where the balance just isn’t refined quite right to get the most out of flavors (especially seasonal ones).  Their cream flavors are, in my experience, more reliably excellent than their sorbets.  Recommended flavors: Caramel above all (powerful salted caramel), pear and apple (in fall/winter), grapefruit (in winter/spring), “Crema di GROM,” and also their hot chocolate, which is excellent and extremely thick.  Reliably good granita as well, and they have it earlier in the year than many places do it (it’s usually summer only but GROM offers it in early spring).  GROM is often not as good as local individual top quality gelato places but far above average, so a good fallback if you aren’t sure of finding a local gem.  Open late, which is convenient.  Locations in many Italian cities, New York, Malibu, Paris, Osaka, and Tokyo.
  • Gelato8Rivareno.  Ex Urbe says: I was blown away by the quality of the Florence Rivareno, so was overjoyed to discover that it is a chain, and starting to spread outside Italy. Rivareno has an extraordinary soft texture, and intense, well-rounded flavors.  Branches in Sydney, Australia, and in Malta, as well as 13 Italian cities.  Their basic “fior di panna” is hard to rival, their Crema Fiorenina is egg custard infused with citrus, and their Alice, Contessa, and other mixes use subtle flavors like toasted pine nuts to create delicate blends.  Their sorbets are seasonal and reliable, their granitas overpoweringly strong, and their hot chocolate is first rate.  In my opinion, if anyone is thinking of starting up a career as a gelato maker and wants to open a franchise of one of these big chains, I recommend Rivareno since it’s stunningly good, and somehow feels less hype-saturated than the more famous GROM and Venchi, even if it doesn’t have quite the same fame.
  • Venchi.  Ex Urbe says: Excellent all natural gelateria specializing in subtle chocolate flavors, also their signature crema, but their sorbets, while few, are top quality.  Recommended flavors: chocolate, chocolate sorbet, frutti di bosco.  Locations in many Italian cities including the Rome, Milan, and Naples airports, and Termini train station in Rome.  Branches in Japan, China, NYC, and other places (listed by location below).  Gianluca Rattazzi comments: “If you like chocolate, only Venchi is acceptable. They have different % of chocolate (e.g. 75%).  Additionally, they make it with milk or with water. As you can expect, they taste very different. Finally, they make it with different chocolates (blended) or from a single cocoa bean. In Rome they are in via della Croce (next to Spanish steps).  In my opinion, nothing else is even close.”
  • Gelato ti Amo.  I am not very familiar with this chain, which has only a few locations, but friends have vouched for it, and it has branches in New York City, as well as Albissola Marina, Cortona, Rome and Varazze.

Country-by-Country:

Australia:

  • Sydney has a branch of Rivareno (see above).  I’ve been to it and, except for a little bit of variation in the quality of some of the sorbet fruits, it’s every bit as excellent as its Italian counterparts. Lucky Sydney!

Austria:

  • The chain Amorino has a branch in Austria.

Bahrain:

Brazil:

  • Rio de Janeiro: has a branch of the chain Venchi.
  • Rio de Jameiro: Vero, in Ipanema.  Alberto comments: “Vero is owned by a italian guy and is awesome. Its pistachio is just like you said, with a bronzeish, pale green, and the guy is always inventing new flavors. I once had a caipirinha ice cream!”  Friend of the blog David comments “we can second the recommendation of Vero, in Ipanema, based on our visit last July.  A small shop with wonderful flavors, both the usual (every gelato place in Brazil has coconut, but this was exceptionally good) and the seasonally specific (like fruits that I can only guess by looking them up in the Portuguese Wikipedia and then hoping that there will be a corresponding English article to at least tell me the general family of plant).”

Belgium:

  • The chain Amorino has a branch in Belgium.

Canada:

  • Montreal:
    • Suite 88.  Ex Urbe writes: A stunning chocolate shop with several locations in the city and extraordinary gelato.  Several different types of chocolate, powerful sorbets, and a truly stunning fleur de sel caramel.  Each scoop is served with a chocolate wafer instead of a cookie.
    • Fous Desserts.  Ex Urbe writes: An excellent, all natural gelateria nestled in a bakery, with ambitious flavors and extraordinary sorbets.  Bay laurel and plum was one of the most outstanding.”  Jo Walton comments: “…te excellent gelato place we found near Laurier metro with the bay, rhubarb, salted caramel, and litchi and rose…”
  • Ottawa:
    • Piccolo Grande.  Aliza comments: “I was a long-time fan of Piccolo Grande, in the Byward Market. Their gelato compared well to the best of what I enjoyed in Italy.”
    • Stella Luna.  Aliza: “In Old Ottawa South (on Bank Street) – even better than Piccolo Grande. Delicious fresh-tasting strong pure flavours, great texture. Stella Luna also has good coffee and sandwiches.”
  • Vancouver:
    • Bella Gelateria.  Ex Urbe writes: Alas, I have not been in person, but I was at the Florence international gelato competition the year Bella Gelateria took the grand prize for their roasted pecan flavor, and it was indeed stunning.  Everyone I have talked to who has ever visited agrees it is a brilliant and world class gelato place.
    • Dolce Amore.  RTM comments: “It’s on Commercial Drive (the old Italian, working-class sector of the city), and although new, it’s quite good!”

China:

  • Mike’s comment suggests that good gelato is rare in China, and that Hong Kong is the best place to look.
  • Tian Jin, Beijing, and Hong Kong have branches of the international chain Venchi.

Egypt:

Finland

  • Turku: Cafe Harmonia on Brahegatan, a block or two up from the river. Marissa Lingen says “The apricot would make you weep. Other flavors looked promising also but I am a small eater and we were there limited time. This place also has lovely salads and pita and cakes and a place for children to play.”
  • Vaasa: Pizzeria Marco Polo. Marissa Lingen says: “As we were there in May, what we had was strawberry and blueberry, utterly fresh. The strawberry was lovely, but the blueberry was beyond excellent, that little gritty peel feel and flavor, the complete opposite of artificial blueberry. Pizzas also really fabulous.”

France and Overseas French Territories:

  • France has the chain GROM.
  • The chain Amorino has several branches in France, and in overseas French territories as well. (Jo says: I can especially recommend the one in Nimes.)

Germany:

  • The chain Amorino has several branches in Germany.

Greece:

  • Athens: Le Greche.  If your travels ever bring you to Greece, do try out the gelato at Le Greche, in Athens. Possibly the best gelateria here. If memory serves me well, they should pass all of your tests! Do check out also their FB page.

Italy:

  • Asti:
  • Arezzo:
    • Arezzo is home to the second branch of Vestri (see under Florence).
  • Bergamo:
  • Bologna:
    • Bologna is a brilliant food hub, known for its pasta and mortadella, but also for gelato, so filled with amazing gelato places.
    • Galleria 49 Ex Urbe writes: Located just one block up from the Basilica of St. Dominic, this is one of the truly great gelato stops on Earth.  Fresh, intense fruits, soft creamy milk flavors, amazing sophisticated flavors like toasted pine nut, flavors with delicious chocolate or hazelnut drizzles (a common practice but they balance it unusually well), or flavors based around ricotta or marscapone. Their fresh fruit granita is also stunning. It is somewhat hidden under a portico across from a little park in the middle of the street, so look carefully.
    • Bologna is also home to the famous Carpigiani Gelato University, gelato-making school.
    • Cremeria Funivia: Ex Urbe writes: another excellent gelato stop.
    • Has a branch of  the excellent chain Venchi.
  • Ferrara:
  • GelatoCFlorence:
    • Carapina has two branches in Florence and one in Rome.  Ex Urbe writes: This is another excellent example of the wave of new all-natural organic high end gelato places specializing in fruit in season and top notch ingredients. Highly recommended both for their fruit and cream flavors, everything from kiwi and grapefruit to toasted pine nut.
    • Della Passera, Via Toscanella, 15/red, 50125. In the Oltrarno. Open noon to midnight. Jo writes: Excellent little gelato place doing everything right. One of the best hazelnuts I’ve ever had, and both fruit and cream gelati were wonderful. We tried five flavors between us and they were all stunning. (I can also confirm Ada’s unerring eye for spotting good gelato from fifteen feet away. They weren’t even open!)
    • Il Procopio Ex Urbe writes: Not my favorite gelato in Florence but solid and well done, neither too artificial nor too sweet, and worthwhile to pop into from time to time because they try odd and ambitious combinations, like lemon basil sorbet, or rhubarb.
    • Perché no…!  Ex Urbe writes:  A very special gelato place, founded in 1939, still making classic gelato without artificial additives because they never started using them in the first place.  Located by Orsanmichele in the heart of Florence, all its flavors are refined, well-balanced and powerful.  The fruit sorbets are their true powerhouse, with stunning seasonal fruits, especially frutti di bosco, agrumi di Sicilia (winter citrus), mandarin, watermelon, fig, cantaloupe, pear, and occasionally even redcurrant (ribes).  Excellent chocolate sorbet, and amazing strawberry mousse (which often runs out by day’s end.)  Also extraordinary are their panna cotta, almond, peanut, yogurt, and rose flavors, but they don’t have all of them reliably, they change daily.  In summer they do a watermelon granita which is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever tasted – I am not a huge lover of watermelon for normal eating but the granita (and gelato) concentrate and intensify it so much it’s amazing.  I’ve been known to eat 5 in one day! Especially good for lactose intolerant and vegan visitors, since they have an entire case of dairy-free gelati including their sorbets and also soy-milk based gelati in delightful cream flavors.  Less expensive than the big chains.  They close on the early side (open later in the heat of summer) so go during the day.  Great place to finish off a lunch of pizza from O’ Vesuvio, or a sandwich from I Due Fratellini (both extremely delicious cheap lunch places in the heart of Florence, located on the next block from Perché no…!).
    • VestriEx Urbe writes: This is a joint Italian-Japanese-run chocolate and gelato place with locations in Florence and Arezzo, and some of the finest and subtlest chocolate gelato I have ever had.  Not to be missed for chocolate lovers.  They have amazing hot chocolate and cold drinking chocolate in summer, and will make you an affogato where they pour liquid over their gelato using either hot chocolate, cold chocolate, espresso, or Bailey’s.  While a delicious hub and staple for Florentine chocolate lovers, Vestri is also very famous in Japan despite having no branches there, and has become a must-go-to stop for Japanese tourists in Florence.
    • Vivoli.  Ex Urbe writes: Vivoli is one of Florence’s most established and well-respected classic gelato places.  Many people swear by it, especially Americans, but it is not to my personal taste because the gelati are extremely sweet and candy-like.  For people with a strong sweet tooth it may be the best choice in town, but I personally prefer subtler, darker, and tarter flavors.  I would describe their raspberry as more like the syrup than the fruit, and if that excites you then it’s the place for you.
    • Florence has branches of Rivareno (not to be missed!), and of GROM and Venchi, conveniently open quite late.
  • Milan:
    • Has GROM, several branches of Venchi, including in the airport, and a Rivareno in Milano Marittima (RA).
  • Naples: has a branch of the chain Venchi in the airport.
  • Padua (Padova): has a branch of Venchi, and also of GROM.
  • Rome:
    • Carapina has two branches in Florence and one in Rome.  Ex Urbe writes: This is another excellent example of the wave of new all-natural organic high end gelato places specializing in fruit in season and top notch ingredients. Highly recommended both for their fruit and cream flavors, everything from kiwi and grapefruit to toasted pine nut.
    • Caruso.  Alberto comments: “And in Rome I’ve discovered by accident a phenomenal one, I Caruso, that later was considered the best in town, see this article.”
    • Come il Latte.  Via Spaventa 26, 00187.   Very highly reviewed and often discussed.
    • Delmonte i Borgo Pio 131. Gregory Sokoloff writes “Massimiliano Del Monte founded it by inveigling a well-known but retired maestro of the craft to give him his recipes and thus resurrect in spirit one of Rome’s more beloved gelateria (whose exact identity, alas, remains a secret). At least that’s the rather florid story I translated for him on his website. I can attest from arduous personal consumption that the product is indeed heavenly, and gets high praise from visitors. Most importantly, I have a picture of myself behind the counter scooping as if I were the very proprietor himself.”
    • Della Palma.  Ex Urbe says: A stunning spectacle of gelato with 150 flavors in huge decorative piles and amazing varieties like profiterole, Mars bar and chocolate caramel almond fig.  I usually go to Della Palma to look rather than eat, since my tastes tend toward the simple sorbets and not the elaborate concoctions which are its specialty, but it’s worth visiting just to see, especially since it’s conveniently located between San Crispino and Giolitti.  It is also a candy store, notable for selling lollipops with a picture of the pope on them, great as gag gifts.  Offers gluten free flavors & cones.
    • Don Nino, on the Via dei Pastini just east of the Pantheon. Phil Koop says: “Despite the hokey name, this place is entirely acceptable, pretty much what I think of as a standard, high-quality, small Italian gelateria. I did not actually try any of the ices, but the nocciola was very intense,  with the slightly gritty texture that indicates ground hazelnuts mixed in. It was an especially marked contrast to the frankly inferior stuff served to me by Venchi the day before. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Giolitti, and if I had time on my hands I would aim for one of the more exalted establishments. But if you are just ducking into the Pantheon and want a quick gelato without braving the queue at Giolitti, it’s just the ticket.”
    • Gelato10Giolitti.  Ex Urbe says: the most fun and famous gelato place in Rome, a huge classic pastry shop with a dizzying array of flavors.  Giolitti is not 100% organic, so some of their flavors are inferior to what all-natural places produce, but most of them are still brilliant, and the presentation and atmosphere make it truly special.  A medium cone (3 flavors) is dipped in dark chocolate (which keeps the cone from getting soggy as you eat) and they always offer excellent quality whipped cream on top.  If you ask for “panna dentro” (cream inside) they will stuff the cone with whipped cream before putting the gelato on, leaving you with a cream-stuffed chocolate pastry as the finale to your gelato experience.  Recommended flavors: visciola (super tart sour cherry), blueberry, raspberry, white chocolate, champagne (sorbet, genuinely alcoholic), grapefruit, lemon, caramel (delicate), caramelized fig, and when in season apricot and watermelon (delicious! plus they put in chocolate chips to be the seeds).  Beware their mint unless you like it strong because it is as powerful as an Altoid, and their dark chocolate is very cake-like.  They also produce excellent granita in summer, especially their frutti di bosco.  I recommend requesting a granita that is half lemon and half frutti di bosco.
    • Palazzo del Fredo Giovanni Fassi.  Patrick comments: “When I lived in Roma, I had 2 favorite gelato places, primarily because I was a poor young adult that couldn’t afford the top-notch places. One was…  “Giovanni Fassi” in the Esquilino neighborhood (right down the street from my apartment.) Given the number of natives in both places, they seemed pretty good.”
    • Old Bridge.  Patrick: “2 favorite (affordable) gelato places… one was  “Old Bridge” right off of Piazza Risorgamento”
    • San Crispino.  Ex Urbe says: Extremely top quality, specializing in delicate complex flavors like basil liqeur crema, and rare sorbets like plum or mandarin.  Not my favorite stop for basic flavors, but excellent for unusual ones.  A big signature is their selection of semifreddos, which are not gelatos at all but a fluffy, mousse-like chilled dessert which they mix with tiny shards of merengue to give an amazing contrast of wet and dry at once.  Branch in Rome airport, as well as one just north of the Pantheon, and another near the Trevi Fountain.
    • Rome has GROM, several branches of Venchi, including in the airport and at Termini station, and Rivareno both in the city and in Lido di Ostia.
    • Ex Urbe Notes: ROME: THE GELATO CORRIDOR.  Giolitti, San Crispino, Della Palma (with Venchi chocolate), and a GROM are all located within 2 blocks of each other in the district directly north of the Pantheon, so you can make an afternoon of going and trying them all, or make the area your hub and come again and again.
  • Siena:
    • Bar Cavallino Bianco, Piazza Dante 12, 53043 Chiusi, Siena.  Yvonne comments: “The bar opposite the train station in Chiusi (SI) has the most astounding nut gelati: pure Hazel nut or Almond but also the ‘Lars Porsenna’ (named after the first Etruscan king of Roma). Unrivalled for the quality of ingredients. Drop in there whilst changing trains from Siena to Rome.”
    • Siena also has a branch of GROM.
  • Trieste: Gelateria da Zampolli.  gelato comments: “When in Trieste, go to Zampolli.”  Trieste also has GROM.
  • Torino: has branches of RivarenoVenchi, and GROM.
  • Venice: has a branch of Venchi, and also of GROM.  See also Kerrin Rousset’s guide to good gelato in Venice.
  • Verona:  has a branch of Venchi
  • Vicenza:  has a branch of Venchi
  • You can also find branches of GROM in: Alessandria, Aosta, Bergamo, Chieri, Chioggia, Cremona, Cuneo, Ferrara, Genova, Lecco, Lucca, Mantova, Mestre, Modena, Novara, Parma, Perugia, Sanremo, Trento, Treviso, Udine, Vercelli, and Viareggio.
  • You can also find branches of Rivareno in Brescia, Bordighera (IM), Chieri (TO), Pavia, and Pescara.

Japan:

  • Japan contains many branches of the chain Venchi.
  • Osaka and Tokyo have branches of the chain GROM.

Jordan:

Korea

  • Perche No! Exciting news, Perche No! one of the best gelaterias in the world now has a branch in Seoul, with more branches coming across Asia. Chocolate and pistachios sent from Italy, and the workers are trained by Ciro of the Florence original. The address is Gangnam, inside Newcore Outlet, Seoul.

Kuwait:

Lebanon:

Luxembourg:

  • The chain Amorino has a branch in Luxembourg.

Malta:

  • Malta has a branch of Rivareno.  Lucky Malta!
  • Malta also has a branch of Amorino.  It’s good to be Malta!

Morocco:

  • The chain Amorino has a branch in Morocco.

New Zealand

  • Auckland: Giapo. 279 Queen St, near Wellesley St.. Reader Thomas Lumley says: “Gianpaolo Grazioli makes expensive, baroquely overdecorated gelato that is so worth it. Also has sorbet and ice cream.”

Oman:

Poland:

  • Krakow: Pracownia Cukiernicza Stanisław Sarga, ul. Starowiślna 83, 31-052 Kraków.  Paulina comments: “They have no website unfortunately.  The forest berry flavor is amazing, but any option you choose is worth of trying and they are served from containers covered by metal leads, isn’t it a proof of quality in most cases? :D”

Portugal:

  • The chain Amorino has two branches in Lisbon.

Qatar:

Russia:

  • Moscow has a branch of the chain Venchi.

Saudi Arabia:

  • The chain Frost Gelato has a branch in Saudi Arabia.
  • Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) also has a branch of the chain Venchi.
  • The website map for the chain Amorino suggests it might also have a Saudi Arabian branch but the map is a bit hard to interpret.

Singapore:

Singapore has a branch of the chain Venchi.

Spain:

  • The chain Amorino has several branches in Spain.

UAE:

  • The chain Frost Gelato has a branch in the United Arab Emirates.

UK:

  • Crickhowell Pavlova Coffee and Gelato, 17 High Street Crickhowell, Powys, has gelato made from fresh ingredients on a local farm. Jo writes: Some of the flavours were weird, but the pure fruit sorbets were excellent (especially the blackberry) and the mandarin cheesecake flavour was fun. Only gelato worth having in Wales as far as I know. A delightful find.
  •  London:
    • La Gelateria.  Beth comments: “London is a bit of an ice cream desert (anywhere someone offers you “an ice cream” and can be expected to mean (a) soft serve or (b) a popsicle needs help). But gelato has started to become more popular in the last couple of years. I commend La Gelateria to you.”  Ex Urbe writes: Organic, made from scratch, a great gelato place conveniently in the heart of the Theatre district, and particularly good at making strange and oddball flavors be genuinely delicious.  Everything was good, and they did a great job with flavors I would never have expected to be successful, like porcini mushroom, or sesame, or spicy basil sorbet.  And just around the corner on the same block is a branch of Amorino, also excellent.  When I’m nearby I always hit both.
    • Food For Thought (Covent Garden) Bob writes: “particularly the strawberry / banana / cream / oat pudding”
    • Covent Garden has a branch of the excellent international chain Venchi, and of the equally excellent Amorino.
  • St Andrews Jannettas 31 South St. Jo writes: Four generations of a family originally from Italy and still making gelato in Scotland. A lot of the flavours were good, but the pure fruit sorbets were lacking something.

Gelato7USA:

  • Alaska:
    • Palmer and Wasilla: Palmer Downtown Deli and Cafe Kudrino.  Colleen Stryken comments: “I am the proud owner of two stores, Palmer& Wasilla Ak! We get our base fresh from a dairy farm here in Alaska! We use fresh fruits when we can and always try to be creative with our gelato! Thanks for promoting Gelato!”
  • Arizona:
    • Phoenix (Gilbert), Tuscon: Frost Gelato.  Rowena WOELFLE comments: “Best gelato in the USA is at Frost a gelato shoppe in Gilbert Az.”  Ann Mulhern comments: “Frost Gelato, Tucson, Phoenix, and soon to open in Albuquerque. Truly amazing quality and the original cook-Nazario has created flavor unparalled. Salted Caramel and Pistachio are exquisite. I have never had a bad flavor and have probably tried them all.  Perfect consistency-always.”
  • California:
    • Berkeley: Tara’s Organic Ice Cream.  Recommended by a good friend, with flat bins and all the other right hallmarks.
    • Corte Madera. the Village at Corte Madera shopping center, Marin County, in the San Francisco Bay area, has a branch of Amorino.
    • Escondito: EscoGelato.  Comment posted on this blog by owner Suzanne Schaffner: “We make all our gelato fresh daily and use local products whenever they are in season. In addition to classics like pistachio, hazelnut, and stracciatella we offer flavors like almond fig, sour cream brown sugar and apricot goat cheese. We don’t use any flavor compounds and all of our flavors come from “real food”.”
    • Los Angeles:
      • Gelato Bar at 1936 Hillhurst Ave.  Justin comments: “I wasn’t aware of these techniques for judging good gelato the last time I was there, so I don’t know how well it would stand up, but some the best gelato I’ve ever had (by flavor) was at the Gelato Bar at 1936 Hillhurst Ave in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. I recall the woman behind the counter talking about how her husband studied how to make good gelato in Italy, and about how much time and effort goes into concentrating the flavors. I had an unbelievable pear and a fantastic Greek yogurt/honey; the tartness of the Greek yogurt complimented the sweetness of the pear nicely. A friend of mine was in love with their grapefruit sorbetto on that same trip.”
      • (Silver Lake): Pazzo Gelato.  Maliboo comments: “Amazing job with the fruit sorbettos, always keeps it seasonal. Strawberry sorbet with chocolate chunks, chocolate hazelnut gelato, pear sorbet.”
      • And there’s a branch of Amorino in Beverley Hills.
    • Los Gatos: Dolce SpazioRobert Berger comments: “Dolche Spazio Gelato 221 North Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos is quite good. We go there regularly!”
    • Malibu: has a branch of the international chain GROM.
    • San Diego: Bottega Italiana.  Ex Urbe says: I tried the Seattle branch, not this one, but they are likely similar.  It was a good gelato place conveniently close to the wonderful Pike Place market.  They did everything right in terms of ingredients and lack of preservatives.  Of the six flavors I tried there four were wonderful, one merely average, and one disappointing, so definitely worth-it on average, and extraordinary by US gelato standards.
    • San Diego area: Bobboi Natural Gelato in La Jolla. Phil Koop says: As the name suggests, it is an organic/natural place. The gelato is properly stored in covered bins. The nut creams and the fruit sorbets are both of surpassing excellence. The salted caramel is weaponized pleasure stimulation. Nor can you go wrong with any of the chocolate creams or sorbets. Worth a detour, if you are in San Diego.
    • San Francisco (Walnut Creek and North Beach): Gelateria Naia.  Avi comments: “Apparently Naia in Berkeley has closed, but they opened a store in Walnut Creek.”  Evelyn comments: “Gelateria Naia in Berkeley and North Beach, San Francisco (and in freezer cases all over the Bay Area, mostly in Whole Foods). All natural, high-quality gelato, including an impressive range of sorbetti and soy-based concoctions.  ow, flat-packed product in metal tins with flat lids. Cheerful decor in oranges and yellows and little cycling caps on the scoopers. Cash only; have they never heard of Square?  Good seasonal flavors and an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients: chocolate from Tcho, tea from Numi, coffee beans from Blue Bottle. An interesting selection of ever-changing innovative flavors: rose, Earl Grey, jasmine, marzipan, ACE (energy drinks from Europe), and the “savory” line, which, last time I was there, was comprised solely of black sesame and saffron, but which the scooper told me was going to be expanded. But then I moved, so who knows. They’ve expanded into gelato bars; I don’t quite know how that works, because they’re much harder than the ideal consistency of gelato, but the flavors are quite tempting and they seem popular in the Bay Area for parties and events. But the best part is the cute little trinkets–a demitasse of espresso beans, a parrot for Madagascar vanilla, a silk flower for rose–that decorate most of the flavors (the ones that aren’t just fruit, which have, duh, a fruit on them) to help you decide and remember what you want!”  Ex Urbe notes that most gelato which can be packed and sold in freezers has preservatives in it to keep it from turning into a block of ice, but it can still be quite delicious.
  • Georgia: There’s a branch of Amorino in Atlanta.
  • Illinois:
    • Chicago:  Frost Gelato (Chain); for comments see under Arizona or chains
    • Chicago: Black Dog Gelato.  Eric C. comments: “Excellent, all natural, in-season fruit kind of place. Black Dog has a supremely talented executive chef who pushes our more exotic flavors.” Ex Urbe adds: An excellent place, recommended. They are using oddball combinations of flavors to make up for the fact that fruits and milk aren’t always top quality here in cold Chicago, but their combinations, both sorbet and milk-based, are very prudent and the whole delicious. They sometimes close before their official closing time if they run out of gelato early.
    • Chicago: Eataly in Chicago at 43 East Ohio Street.  Steve Halter comments: “a couple of weeks ago. Their gelato was quite good. I had the hazelnut (rich hazelnut flavor) and my wife the chocolate mint. A very good sign was that the mint was white rather than dyed green. The gelato was stored in the covered bins as in your picture from Rivareno above. Their sign stated that it was produced daily in small batches.”  Ex Urbe says: I have had gelato at other branches of Eataly and found it quite enjoyable if not outstanding; I shall have to try the Chicago branch myself soon.
    • Chicago has a branch of the very good Italian chain Amorino.
  • Louisiana:
    • New Orleans: La Divina.   Comment posted on this blog by owner Katrina Turillo: “La Divina makes gelato and sorbetto from scratch in New Orleans, LA. Grass fed milk and seasonal, local ingredients. Signature flavors include creme brulee, bourbon pecan, chocolate azteca.”
    • Baton Rouge: A new branch of La Divina is scheduled to open soon.
  • Maine:
    • New Brunswick and Portland: The Gelato FiascoMeg comments: “Seasonal flavors, proper colors, flat bins, no decorative syrup. I have no idea about the lemon because I was so overwhelmed by the cranberry and allspice flavors that I felt no need to order more.”
    • Portland and Freeport: Gorgeous Gelato.  Marlene comments: “Please check out Gorgeous Gelato in Portland, ME! Your article includes a lot of subtleties I never realized until now, but my own personal “gelato test” has always been NOCCIOLA, and Gorgeous Gelato’s is some of the best I’ve ever had. In fact it’s hard for me to try other flavors there, because I love their nocciola so much! Owners are from Milan and I believe their product would meet many, if not all, of your criteria for excellence.”
  • Massachussetts: There’s a branch of Amorino in Boston
  • Michigan:
    • Ann Arbor: Marissa Lingen comments “Iorio’s Gelateria dyes their rose gelato pink, but when I was there did not dye their fruit flavors, which were lovely. A few weirdo flavors for those who like that sort of thing, a bunch of really solid flavors for those who love the basics.”
  • Nevada – There’s a branch of Amorino in Las Vegas.
  • New Hampshire:
    • Hanover:  Morano Gelato.  Susan comments: “You should try Morano Gelato in Hanover, NH if you find yourself anywhere near Dartmouth College. Forbes Magazine wrote it up as the best gelato in the country. The founder spent 6 years making gelato in Florence. I’ll try some of the other places in these comments, but Morano Gelato passes all of the tests in this article with flying colors and then some!”
  • New Mexico:
    • Albuquerque:  Frost Gelato (Chain); for comments see under chains or A.
    • Santa Fe: Ecco Espresso Gelato. Matt comments: “There is a great place in Santa Fe, New Mexico called Ecco Gelato. They pass almost all the tests (nocciolla is sometimes seen, but they always have chocolate hazelnut). They use local milk, and no premixes as I know it. On par with good Italian Gelaterias.”
  • New York:
    • New York City:Ex Urbe says: Dolce Gelateria is a unique and brilliant place, fully as good as very good gelato I have had in Italy at Rivareno or the international gelato festival.  They have a stunning olive oil flavor.  Also a funny thing popular in germany where they extrude the gelato so it looks like noodles. Located in the West Village in south Manhattan, 33 Barrow St. near the Christopher St. stop on the 1 line.  (The whole neighborhood is great too, with excellent ramen and Czech restaurants, and a branch of a stunning cheese and salumi shop called Murray’s with fresh pasta, homemade burrata and more.) Temporarily closed for relocation: June 2016
    • New York City: Ex Urbe says: Chikalicious dessert bar does amazing sorbets, and its cupcake annex often has gelato.
    • New York City: Now has the only external outpost of the Florentine gelateria Vivoli, near Harold Square.
    • New York City: the Eatily Italian food nexus (near the Flatiron) has reasonable gelato (supplied by Venchi, Chain).
    • New York City: has Gelato ti Amo (Chain), recommended by a friend.
    • New York City: has Amorino (Chain).
  • Ohio:
    • Cincinnati: Madisono’s.  Karyn comments: “I have recently moved away from a favorite gelato maker of mine, Madisano’s in Cincinnati.”
  • Oregon:
    • Portland: Alotto Gelato.  Kyle comments: “they started at a farmer’s market, use local produce and come closest to the magic that emptied my pockets in Spain.”
  • Minnesota:
    • St. Paul: Cow BellaMris comments: “Cow Bella in St. Paul, MN, is very seasonal, has appropriately-colored gelatos, and flat metal lids, just off the top of my head. I haven’t tried the lemon (and it’s not on display, so I can’t look), but the pistachio is so amazingly good that I have been known to decline chocolate and caramel (both of which are incredibly Mrissish flavors) in order to have pistachio. And fig! You have explained why there was fig when I was there last fall and not when I was there early this summer, so now I will go back hoping for more fig.”
  • Pennsylvania:
    • Philadelphia: Capogiro.  Tara comments: “Capogiro in Philadelphia is my go-to place for gelato. Fantastic quality and unusual flavors. They use seasonal and local ingredients.The flavors change frequently, though there are some constants, like bitter chocolate and stracciatella. You can even get it shipped though I haven’t tried that. There’s three locations in Philadelphia if I recall correctly. Most of my trips to Philly usually end up with me popping by Capogiro.”
  • Texas
    • The Turtle Gelateria 514 Center Ave, Brownwood, TX. (reccommended by owner, not yet tried by us.)
    • Houston Sweep Cup Gelato, 3939 Montrose Blvd, Suite L, Houston TX. Tim Cooper writes “beet with honey was a revelation”. 200 flavours “with a Texas twist.”
  • Utah:
    • Salt Lake City: Dolcetti Gelato. Eric C. comments: “Excellent, all natural, in-season fruit kind of place. I believe the family at Dolcetti apprenticed in Italy for a time.”
  • Virginia:
    • Alexandria: Killer E.S.P.  Anne Marie writes: “I like Killer E.S.P. (Espresso Sorbetto & Pie) in Old Town Alexandria just outside of DC. They switch up their flavors a lot and I always find something I love. I always get psyched when I see they have some pear or melon in the case.”
  • Washington DC:
    • Espresso and Gelato Bar located by the Cascade Café in the corridor connecting the two wings of the National Gallery of Art (Smithsonian).  Ex Urbe says: Implausible as it is to find in a museum cafe, this is real gelato and the fruit sorbet flavors, particularly apple and strawberry, are of extraordinary quality.  Lila comments: “For people using this thread as a reference: as both Ex Urbe and I have found from experience, the best gelato in D.C. is, weirdly enough, in the cafe in the basement between the two wings of the National Gallery of Art, the one right next to the interior waterfall. Try the apple.”
    • Pitango.  Two locations in DC and the subject of a lot of debate among site users.  Bong comments: “Pitango in DC is great, though incredibly expensive. I think their smallest size will cost you in excess of $5. Also, their crema flavor refers to espresso crema, and it is delightful.”  Hailey comments: “Pitango in the DC metro area is the best! They pass the presentation test (stored under round metal lids, not piled up) and offer Crema (I would assume this is the equivalant of fior di panna) and Nocciola, as well as a variety of seasonal flavors. The gelato is creamy and soft just as it should be. It is definitely the closest you can get to the gelato in Italy, and hands-down the best gelato in D.C.”  Lila comments: “I’ve had Pitango when in D.C. and it fascinates me, because it passes all the tests which should indicate good gelato, and yet it isn’t. I don’t know what they’re doing wrong. The colors are right, the storage is right, but it’s as though someone took a knob marked ‘flavor’ and turned it way, way down. It’s the correct flavors, just not enough of them. And yet, how do you get the right flavors in that mild a way without adding ingredients which ought to produce a different flavor? Extremely confusing experience. As is generally the case with mediocre gelato, the chocolate and coffee flavors are perfectly acceptable. The best gelato in D.C. is… in the National Gallery of Art.” Chuck Savage comments: “Pitango has it all but he flavors are weak at best.”  David comments: “In Washington DC where I live, there is one outstanding gelateria; Pitango Gelato, with two locations in town. they use all organic ingredient no flavoring or chemicals, and all their fruit sorbeti are made with fresh fruits. I think they are by far the best gelato in town, Yet, I find myself arguing with my friends that tell me that because pitango “hide” their gelato in covered bins, they would prefer to go to one of the places where they can “see what they eat”. Your article gave me the right explanation. Thanks!”
    • Dolcezza.  In Georgetown.  Bong comments: “Dolcezza is another place worth trying”
  • Washington State:
    • Seattle:
      • Bottega Italiana.  Ex Urbe says: This was a good gelato place conveniently close to the wonderful Pike Place market.  They did everything right in terms of ingredients and lack of preservatives.  Of the six flavors I tried there four were wonderful, one merely average, and one disappointing, so definitely worth-it on average, and extraordinary by US gelato standards.
      • Cupcake Royale. Ex Urbe says: I stumbled by this place en route to Gelatiamo, and even though it is mainly a cupcake place I was impressed by their skill in balancing ambitious flavors.  The “burnt caramel” flavor genuinely tasted like that super dark, savory edge caramel gets when you let it burn, and their rhubarb strawberry ginger sorbet was also strong. Anywhere that does well at such a range, herbed sorbet and complex cream, I trust with the rest too.
      • Gelatiamo.  Beer & Skittles comments: “Check out Gelatiamo in Seattle. It’s some of the best gelato outside of Italy that I’ve had!” Christine comments: “I agree…Gelatiamo in Seattle is divine! Owner is from Italy and learned from the best!”  Ex Urbe writes: I visited Gelatiamo eagerly based on these recommendations and they’re 100% right.  This is truly excellent, Italian-quality gelato, with smooth, rich creamy texture and powerful, well-balanced flavors.

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  One Response to “Gelato Atlas”

  1. Apparently Naia in Berkeley has closed, but they opened a store in Walnut Creek.