The Full Scoop: Denver’s Best Ice Cream
According to our trusted ice cream expert, Drew Honness of Sweet Cow
When summer temps reach their peak, and cravings for something cool and creamy kick in, we’re headed straight for the fine frozen flavors of Sweet Cow Ice Cream.
This Front Range favorite serves up sweet, summer bliss by the scoop in the form of locally-sourced, small-batch, handcrafted ice cream that can’t be beat.
“We’re trying to make the best tasting ice cream, scooped by the friendliest scoopers, in the cleanest ice cream shop on the planet,” says Drew Honness, Sweet Cow founder and our own trusted industry expert.
“You put a smile on someone’s face when you’re handing them an ice cream cone,” Honness says. And that’s the notion behind everything that makes Sweet Cow, well, so sweet.
“We are part of the fabric of neighborhoods. The community is why we are here,” Honness explains. “We want you to come in and experience who we are, and the ice cream is the vehicle to deliver that experience.”
After launching its flagship shop in Louisville back in 2010, the Sweet Cow ice cream empire spread rapidly across the Front Range and now includes seven locations in Boulder, Longmont, Denver, and Aurora — oh, and don’t miss the Moo Mobile, making stops at markets, parties, weddings, and events across Colorado.
Sweet Cow’s dreamy, creamy desserts are just part of what makes it a standout sweet treat though. The company’s dedication to community and commitment to sustainability are just more reasons Sweet Cow stands above the rest in an ice cream scene that is as flourishing as it is flavor-packed.
But there are dozens of creamy contendenters competing for your summer sweet tooth. So we asked Honness, in all his Sweet Cow ice cream know-how, to help us wade through the syrups and sprinkles and give us the scoop on other local ice creameries that are worthy of a stop this summer.
And the Sweet Cow stamp of approval goes to …
Smith + Canon Ice Cream Co., 2260 E Colfax Ave #102, Denver
This independent ice creamery earns praise not only for its unique, made-from-scratch flavors that range from sweet to salty to spicy, but it’s also known for premium fresh-roasted coffee. Don’t miss Smith + Canon’s signature Nitro Cold Brew Ice Cream Float. “It’s small-batch ice cream made with care and quality ingredients,” Honness says.
Gelato Boy, locations in Boulder and Denver
Gelato Boy scoops authentic Italian-inspired gelato with a focus on taste, texture, and transparency. And for the record, a cone of Gooey Buttercake and Caramel is a great place to start. Honness says, “They do an amazing job sourcing locally and raising awareness about causes in the community. They have a very similar business philosophy [to Sweet Cow] about giving back.”
Nuggs Ice Cream, 5135 E Colfax Ave, Denver
Family-owned and focused on freshness, Nuggs is an easy answer to the age-old question, “Do you want dessert?” This shop combines the classics with a sense of community. “That’s what I love about Colorado — so many neighborhoods are supporting these small ice cream shops,” Honness says.
Häagen-Dazs, in stores and shops across Colorado
OK, this one’s not local or small. But it’s still delicious and Honness isn’t afraid to admit that. “They make a great chocolate peanut butter ice cream. They’re very simple in their ingredients and not full of a lot of junk!”