The sun is shining, the pool is ready, and things that don’t usually melt are starting to. It’s officially summer in Arizona, which means ice cream and other frozen delights are more necessary than ever. So slather on that sunscreen, slip on some flip flops and don’t forget your sunglasses. Here are four cold treats to beat the heat!
699 S Mill Ave #117 Tempe, AZ 85281
Whether it’s taking a break between window shopping or making a quick stop before heading home from happy hour with friends, no trip to Mill Avenue is complete without a visit to Slickables. Since 2011, owner Tina Chau has been serving up cookie ice cream sandwiches for a (ice)-screaming deal of only $2.50. Cookie selections include classics like chocolate chip and peanut butter, and specialty cookies like red velvet (Tempe location only) and funfetti. After picking two cookies, a hefty scoop of one of Slickables sweet and fruity ice cream flavors is smooshed between your cookie selections, creating a chewy and cold treat perfect for a hot Arizona summer day. As an open chocoholic, I recommend two gooey double chocolate chip cookies with a scoop of coffee ice cream. If you don’t feel like braving the scorched streets of Mill, Slickables can bring cold sweet treats right to your door! Be sure to check out their Mesa location for smoothies and sundaes.
4005 N Scottsdale Rd Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Complete with checkered floors and picture perfect pink walls, the Sugar Bowl has been taking visitors back in time with its classic diner food and thick milkshakes since 1958. Located in the heart of Old Town, the Sugar Bowl invites its guests to slow down and enjoy the sweeter things in life, like their summer favorite, the Baseball Winner parfait. This home run of a treat starts out with gooey marshmallow topping, then a hearty serving of refreshing strawberry ice cream topped with a thick layer of hot fudge, followed by some cool mint ice cream and finished off with a dollop of fluffy cream. With its in house arcade and tasty treats, the Sugar Bowl has established itself as the perfect and classic summer hangout joint. So bring a friend and play a round of air hockey, or share a shake with a summer fling and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes over mounds of whipped cream. Don’t feel like sticking around? Get something to go! I can personally attest that there are few things better than shopping Scottsdale boutiques while sipping a rich chocolate milkshake.
1006 East Warner Rd Suite 101 Tempe, AZ 85284
In every valley neighborhood, one can find one of these chilly and colorful snow shacks chocked full of Arizonans looking for a cold treat to escape the heat. Started in 1990, Bahama Bucks has been shoveling its iconic “Sno” and dousing it in one of its 91 flavors for customers. From flavors like pickle juice to piña colada, there is something for everyone. On my first outing here, back in 2010 when I finished freshman year of high school and made the traditional migration from the classroom to the Bahama Bucks up the street, I ordered a pink lemonade shaved ice topped with cream. Unlike typical shaved ice, Bahama Bucks finely carves their ice so it’s as smooth as fresh powder and melts almost instantly when it hits the tongue. I have tried many flavors, but this tart treat continues to be my favorite and I’m always sure to order it as soon as temperatures become 100+. Shaved ice not your thing? They also make smoothies, custom sodas, frozen coffee drinks called frostalattés, and even sell Sno 2 Go ® just in case you get the urge to pelt your friend with a snow ball in the middle of June.
I Roll Thai Ice Cream
1949 W Ray Rd Suite 27, Chandler, AZ 85224
Who said that ice cream had to be served in scoops? At I Roll Thai Ice Cream, customers are encouraged to stop and smell the roses, the ice cream roses that is. These ice cream florists start by spreading ice cream into thin layers and then, using a spatula-like tool, scrape the ice cream row by row to make it roll into small delicious roses. As if the roses weren’t pretty enough, I Roll Thai Ice Cream then tops their creations off with a variety of toppings such as fresh fruits and candy. Customers are invited to try their specialty dishes or create their own masterpieces. I opted for the Nutella Party: vanilla ice cream mixed with Nutella, rolled and topped with graham crackers. I also added strawberries, almonds and whipped cream, all free of charge. Bits of Nutella made this already creamy dish even creamier and the strawberries complimented the hazelnut flavors wonderfully. Customers are able to enjoy their roses at lakeside tables on I Roll Thai Ice Cream’s back patio, or can stay inside to draw and contribute to the ever growing sticky note mural. Even though they have only been open since August of 2017, the walls are already nearly covered in simple doodles and inspiring quotes from patrons. Be sure to stop in soon, and don’t forget to make your mark!