Photographs: Julie Bidwell; Sunny Daes By Garvin Burke; Cold Stone By Mandy Rondinello; Jimmies By Istockphoto © Anthonyrosenberg; Cream By Istockphoto © Mayamo
Human beings have been enjoying ice cream for centuries, with the treat’s origins dating back to the second century B.C. In the summer of 1790, George Washington reportedly spent $200 on ice cream (roughly $5,340 today). Washington may have had a legendary sweet tooth, but who can blame him? We all scream for ice cream as soon as summer heats up. With that in mind, my girlfriend, Mandy Rondinello (an ice cream pro who worked at Cold Stone Creamery as a teenager), and I compiled a list of seven popular Stamford parlors, and spent an evening out on the town sharing and sampling their MOST POPULAR FLAVORS. Here’s what we think.
Seven Ice Cream Joints
1. Gofer Ice Cream 869 High Ridge Rd.
2. TropiGlace 864 Cove Rd.
3. Gusnova Gelato Stamford Town Center, 100 Greyrock Pl.
4. Volta Gelateria Creperia 30 Spring St.
5. Sunny Daes 633 Shippan Ave.
6. Cold Stone Creamery 1109 High Ridge Rd.
7. Dairy Queen 885 Summer St.
Gofer Ice Cream
SEA SALT CARAMEL ICE CREAM
“Definitely my favorite. It tastes like I’m eating a salty caramel candy. It’s hard to get ice cream flavors right sometimes, but this is on point. It’s not too salty, there’s not too much caramel—it’s blended just perfectly.”
“Salty caramel, for me, is synonymous with school being out for the summer. Gofer transported me right back to my childhood. As soon as I took a bite into the cone, that salty caramel sent me to a beach near the boardwalk, a breeze at my back, my feet in sand. Top-notch, really.”
MANDY and DAN voted Gofer’s sea salt caramel their favorite flavor
MANGO ICE CREAM
“So interesting. South American-style ice cream? It really tastes like part Micalizzi’s (of Bridgeport) Italian ice, part sherbet, and part ice cream. It’s just so tough to pin down! But the mango flavor and chunks of fruit make this outstanding. Probably would be better in a cup, though. The cone flavor clashed a bit with the mango’s fresh taste.”
“Mango is still relatively new to me, but TropiGlace’s mango ice cream made me a true believer. It’s so refreshing! The owners and staff were so kind and welcoming, too. It’s a real family, down-to-earth environment. I’d love to go and get this again.”
“This is so rare: a non-dairy gelato option, especially refreshing for lactose-intolerant ice cream lovers like me It legitimately tastes just like ice cream. It doesn’t feel at all dairy-free, and there are real pineapple chunks in it. So good.”
“Probably the most surprising place we went. It’s incredibly light and refreshing, and there’s no doubt that—as we were told—they make everything here with fresh fruit. Outstanding, and the fact that it’s non-dairy is mind-boggling!”
Volta Gelateria Creperia
“I actually think it’s light and airy, and it’s so flavorful—it’s almost peanut butter-esque! It’s really good, but quite filling. It’s a big serving; good thing we shared this.”
“It’s super-rich and smooth. It’s a bit heavy for me but if you’re looking for a one-day summer treat, you really can’t do much better than this. It’s definitely authentic Italian gelato, through and through.”
VANILLA SOFT SERVE
“It’s smooth and rich, but it’s also pretty light. What I like most is that it doesn’t melt too quickly—there’s no dreaded drooping ice cream cone on a hot summer day to be found here.”
“This is a flavor that truly lives up to what vanilla should taste like. It’s one of the most flavorful soft serves I’ve had in my life, honestly. Tip of the hat to Sunny Daes.”
Cold Stone Creamery
BIRTHDAY CAKE REMIX (Signature Flavor)
“It’s really a treat and a show. It’s definitely an eight-year-old’s dream and it’s nostalgic. A little too intense for me but I can see why people like it.”
“This is essentially a kid’s birthday party rolled into a cup. It’s an explosion. Cake batter ice cream with a brownie and hot fudge and topped with rainbow sprinkles. Awesome, but certainly not something to form a habit eating.”
CHOCOLATE & VANILLA SOFT-SERVE SWIRL
“It really sends me back to hot summer days as a kid; my mom and dad would take my sister and me to the park and we’d go to Dairy Queen for chocolate-vanilla swirls after. ”
“It’s a classic, just like the Stamford DQ—owned and operated by the same family since 1959. This ice cream cone is about as summer, and about as American as one can get.”