Whether you're on the lookout for frozen yogurt, a creamy gelato, an icee or a traditional ice cream cone, Albuquerque has a place that will hit the spot every time.
If you are conscious of trying to support small and local business, you'll be pleased to know this list includes local shops and mom and pop places—some of which carry national brand ice creams, but no franchises or big chains are on the list.
Pop Fizz has paletas, or fruit and cream popsicles in flavors that range from cucumber chile lime to mango red chile. Where else in town can you pick up an ice cream taco or a carrot cake popsicle?. Flavors include cookies and cream, cinnamon churro and mint chocolate chip—and there's plenty more. The small eatery also has soda floats; try the creamsicle or create your own float with a selection of cane sugar sodas (no high fructose syrups here). Snacks, hot foods and aguas frescas round out the list.
The nostalgic ice cream shop is perfect for kids and the young at heart. They'll scoop up your favorite flavor and top it with some perennial kid favorites. Take the kids because there are toys and games to play with, along with hats and dress ups for the younger ones. It's easy to stay a while and slow down to a kid paced life at I Scream.
Shaved ice is incredibly refreshing, and Dakine provides a large variety of flavors that range from the standard cherry, blueberry, and apple to more esoteric ones such as wedding cake, passion fruit, and mango. They also offer a large number of suggested combinations, doing the footwork for you. Try the Beach Comber, a combination of cherry, grape, and lime, or the Waikiki, a combination of blue Hawaii and sour green apple. Sugar-free alternatives are available, and all shaved ice is free of preservatives, fat-free and has no high fructose corn syrup. Shed the guilt, and for those who can't do dairy, it's a chance to celebrate.
Dakine also offers smoothies, blended coffees and Hawaiian treats like Pukka dogs.
Itsa has a restaurant that is both nostalgic and perfect for picking up a Philly cheesesteak, veggie sub or corn dog. They also carry a selection of refreshing Italian ices in classic flavors that include cantaloupe, tangerine, lemon, lime, cherry, root beer, and peach. They have gelati, a layered Italian ice with ice cream, or an ice cream scoop of vanilla and spumoni. Itsa also has a fresh dipped Nutty Buddy bar.
JP's Frozen Custard Cart
Have cart, will travel! JP's motto is "Have Custard, Will Travel" because their shop is self-contained and you'll find them most everywhere. They use New Mexico grown nuts and all natural ingredients.
JP's is a traveling cart and you'll find them out and about at events all summer. On most weekends, they're parked at the southeast corner of 4th and Osuna.
These paleterias sell cold treats made from fresh fruit. Paletas (popsicles) come in flavors like strawberries with cream, non-alcoholic pina colada, and chile for those who like a bit of spice. You'll find smoothies, gelato, and fro-yo as well as ice cream.
Olo has two locations, one in Nob Hill and one on the west side. The popular yogurt studio is a self-serve, with a variety of flavor choices and a toppings bar where you can put your favorites in for a one of a kind treat. Cups are sold by weight. Yolo sells real cultured yogurts, nothing powdered or packaged.
Rude Boy is probably the most popular place for picking up some freshly baked cookies. Couple that with ice cream and a milk bar, and you've got a predicted future full of return trips. Try a giant cookie waffle with ice cream or a brownie ice cream sandwich. Rude Boy is conveniently located across the street from UNM, near Winning Coffee, Gyros and the Frontier. Another convenience is Rude Boy offers gluten-free and vegan cookie varieties.
The small Old Town ice cream shop is a standard spot for tourists to pop in, and for locals who happen by.
It was a sad day when the fabulous Ecco Gelato closed in Nob Hill, though there is still a location in Santa Fe if ever you need a fix. Luckily for Albuquerque residents, the fabulous Van RIxel brothers scoop gelato and sorbet into pints that can be found at lucky stores around town, and also at their Chocolate Cartel location. Buy some chocolate while you're there; the chocolate covered almonds are divine.
Gelato flavors change with the seasons, but chocolate is a favorite, along with strawberry habanero, pumpkin pie, and blueberry lavender. The brothers are nothing short of artists.