The 12 Best Ice Cream Shops in Denver

Cool off with something sweet.

High Point Creamery ice cream flight
Ice cream flight at High Point Creamery | Courtesy of High Point Creamery
Ice cream flight at High Point Creamery | Courtesy of High Point Creamery

If you throw a stone in Denver in any direction you'll hit one of two things: a brewery or an ice cream shop. Even with there being plenty of options, a good lot of it is great, with a few really pushing the envelope for what frozen treats can really be. In a world of rediscovered leisure, there might be no better symbol of our newfound freedom than luxuriating over a cone right there in front of whatever location you happen to pick that day. And while it may be all the more appealing with summer in full swing, these are the types of spots that can be enjoyed year round. So go out and enjoy the classics, or relish in the newfound splendor that more than a few on the list will still bring pints straight to your door.

Little Man Ice Cream Best Ice Cream DEN
Little Man Ice Cream

This shop quickly became a Denver icon since it first opened in 2008 thanks in large part to its unique architecture—aka the 28-foot-tall, 14,000-pound cream can from which the scoops are served. Lines will almost inevitably get long, but it’s well worth the wait for the most famous flavor alone, Salted Oreo. But you can’t go wrong whether you opt for a banana pudding float, seasonal honey almond in a waffle cone that’s made on site, or one of their sorbets or vegan options. It also gives back through the Scoop to Scoop initiative which donates a scoop of rice, beans, or other essentials to those in need for every scoop of ice cream the place sells.
How to order: The walk-up window is open every day from 11 am - 12 pm

This is the classic ice cream shop of your childhood dreams, seemingly unchanged in the four decades that it’s been open. The shop first debuted in 1981 and maintains that nostalgic feel, complete with old-school ice cream sandwiches, brightly decorated ice cream cakes for every special occasion, and of course, scoops of their house-made flavors—there are 40 of them available daily, including customer favorites like seven layer coconut and Jack Daniel’s chocolate chip.
How to order: Magill’s is open every day from 10 am - 9:30 pm. While the inside is back open, it’s still offering curbside pickup.

Milkroll ice cream best in Denver
Courtesy of Milkroll

Congress Park, Aurora
If scoops have somehow grown dull, Milkroll allows folks to forgo the traditional method and experience ice cream in the ever-popular Thai-style instead. Made to order on sub-zero metal plates, flavors, and add-ons are stacked together and rolled into lavish displays full of decadent charm. You start by picking your base from flavors like chocolate, caramel, matcha, and ube. Then you can customize your creation with options that include everything from M&Ms and gummy bears to Poky Sticks and red beans. There’s also a selection of house-made combos, like the colorful Unicorn Magic which is loaded with strawberry waffle sticks, frosted animal crackers, and sprinkles, then crowned with fluffy blue and pink cotton candy.
How to order: The Aurora location is open every day from 1 pm - 9 pm, with the Congress Park location being open every day from 2 pm - 9 pm

Cheeseman Park
This spot gets extra creative with their flavors, even going into spicy territory. But the real highlight is that they also serve nitro cold brew and espresso, which means you can get the ultimate caffeinated ice cream mash up: the affogato, aka espresso amped up with a scoop of your choice of ice cream flavor. But whether you want that coffee-enhanced kick or not, flavors like strawbeñero and their signature Foxy Brown (think cinnamon rolls and cheesecake) will keep you coming back.
How to order: Order online for pickup or delivery. The shop is also now open every day for walk in orders.

High Point Creamery Best Ice Cream DEN
High Point Creamery

Hilltop, Berkeley, RiNo
Do you have a hard time choosing just one flavor? Three words: ice cream flight. High Point’s signature flights are perfect for sharing (although that’s definitely not required) and include five flavors of your choice and a side of chocolate sauce. Current seasonal flavors include cornbread with strawberry jam, funfetti, and mango coconut lassi. For anyone feeling festive, the place also offers bombes, which stack three of the available flavors into something resembling an ice cream cake, though without all the fluff.
How to order: Each of the three locations is open Monday - Thursday from 12 pm - 9 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 12 pm - 10 pm. 

sweet cow
Courtesy of Sweet Cow

Highlands, Platt Park, South Broadway, Stanley Marketplace, Louisville, North Boulder
This spot’s got a winning ice cream trifecta: ice cream that’s made daily; earth-friendly recyclable and compostable cups and spoons; and pretzel cones. Yes, you can get any flavor, from cookies and cream to German chocolate, in a pretzel cone for a sweet and salty experience that should noy be missed. If you’re not a cone fan, opt for a heaping drizzle of their caramel sauce made with local Hammond’s Candies caramels.
How to order: All six locations are back open to indoor ordering, though preorders can still be placed online

Park Hill
Have you ever dipped French fries into a frosty and wondered why that’s not more of a thing? Well, now it is. This shop from the same owners at Little Man specializes in the sweet and salty combo of soft serve and fries. But they go beyond the typical vanilla, chocolate, or swirl. Flavors change frequently but are likely to include options like peanut butter, lilikoi, and matcha, with multiple vegan choices, and an array of fun toppings—cookie butter sauce, anyone? 
How to order: Open for walk-ups Sunday - Thursday from 12 pm - 9 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 12 pm - 10 pm

Sherry's Soda Shoppe
Courtesy of Sherry's Soda Shoppe

Five Points
Since opening the original Rosenberg’s Bagels in 2014, Josh Pollock has continued to bring a taste of the East Coast to Denver with Famous Original J’s pizza and Lou's Italian Specialties. Then in March 2020, he opened his latest in his concept—an old-school soda shoppe complete with retro favorites like malts, phosphate sodas, and orange creams, along with black and white cookie ice cream sandwiches and CBD soda add-ins. Now that the place is back open, much of the real magic can actually be enjoyed, sitting on one of the wooden barstools and reminiscing to a simpler time that you may or may not have been around for.
How to order: Open for walk-ins Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 12 pm - 8 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 12 pm - 10 pm

Cheeseman Park
Munchie cravings meet ice cream at this shop with the slogan “roll joints not ice cream.” Yeah, they’re not afraid to call things as they see it, and they’re also not afraid to have some fun with their flavors—one of their signature options is cheddar goldfish after all. Other items to not skip: Pop-Tart ice cream sandwiches, Philly water ice, and ice cream cannoli. 
How to order: It is open for walk-ups Sunday - Thursday from 1 pm - 10 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 1 pm - 11 pm. Delivery is still available online.

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream Best Ice Cream DEN
Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

Washington Park
This old-school, family-owned joint that makes ice cream fresh daily has been around since 1986 and remains one of the standards in Mile High ice cream perfection. They offer 30+ flavors daily, including vegan options, and while most flavors stay in the traditional range (rocky road, rum raisin, and mint chocolate chip are all accounted for) they’re not afraid to play around with new ingredients too. Chocolate cardamom? They’ve done that. Monkey Fingers and Udder Budder, those are around too. 
How to order: It is open every day from 11 am - 10 pm. Deliveries are also available through Bonnie Brae Liquor

Eskimo Bros. Nitro Ice Cream
Courtesy of Eskimo Bros. Nitro Ice Cream

Various locations
Eskimo Bros. is another newcomer, opting to serve its liquid nitrogen-produced ice cream from a cart at locations across the city. Using local ingredients and a technique that makes for smaller ice crystals and a creamier end result, the Bros. have found a way to update the classic model and present it with fun ever at forefront. Especially since flavors tend to change, the Nutella Oreo is worth chasing the Bros. to whatever corner town they’re currently peddling at. 
How to order: Directly from the website.

Various locations
Pint’s Peak popped up during the pandemic, when trained pastry chef Caitlin Howington decided she wanted to start doing small batch, often limited runs of generally remarkable flavors. Options like Smoked S’mores, Thai Basil, and Triple Berry Pie—triple berry basil compote, almond brown sugar streusel—are generally nabbed up shortly after they go on sale each Monday. With a seemingly endless knack for coming up with new flavors, Howington has made clear that expecting the unexpected is just part of the program. 
How to order: Currently, ordering can be done on Pint’s Peak’s website. Though at the end of July, the weekly deliveries will come to an end as Howington works to get the ice cream into more stores across the Denver area. Updates can be found on Pint’s Peak’s Instagram.

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Colin Wrenn is a Thrillist contributor.
Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer who likes her ice cream loaded with extra sprinkles. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter for more updates on food, fun, and life in the Mile High.