The hot Dallas summer often calls for a cold treat to cool down. And with ice cream, gelato and custard shops spread throughout the city, you can bet there are plenty of options to satisfy even the most enormous sweet tooth. Head to these places the next time the mercury rises.
First up is Deep Ellum’s Chills 360, the first establishment in Dallas to serve up trendy, Thai-inspired ice cream rolls. This place isn’t just about the final product though; it’s about the experience, as customers get to watch cream turn to ice cream right before their eyes in less than two minutes, with zero preservatives or stabilizers added. The secret is in Chills’ cold plate method, where cream is poured on a -16°F surface, resulting in an especially smooth and creamy texture that’s scraped into rolls. Even better: The ice cream is made to order, so you can choose all your favorite toppings!
If you’re in Lakewood this summer, make sure to stop by Hypnotic Emporium, a one-stop-shop for all your cold dessert needs. The throwback ice cream parlor offers a wide array of sweet treats—ice cream, ice cream cookie sandwiches, shakes and more unique offerings like their “cloud cone” with cotton candy and “the dream,” a donut stuffed with ice cream. Hypnotic also offers hard-to-find classic candies that you can buy separately or use to top your order. Afterward, make sure to gather your loot and head to nearby White Rock Lake for the perfect summer evening.
Azucar Ice Cream Company is also a great choice for a cold treat. With its first location located in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, this Cuban-inspired ice cream shop only calls one other place home: Dallas’ North Oak Cliff neighborhood, the Bishop Arts District. You’ll find unique flavors here, like café con leche (coffee with milk), platano maduro (sweet plantain) and mantecado (Cuban vanilla). But their most famous menu item is the trademarked Abuela Maria, a premium vanilla ice cream mixed with ruby red guava, rich cream cheese and crispy, sweet galletas (cookies).
If you’re still craving an authentic international experience—this time across the Atlantic—head to Botolino Gelato Artigianale, an Italian gelato shop. The shop was founded by Carlo “Botolo” Gattini, who trained under gelato masters in Italy and now brings his signature style to Greenville Avenue, emphasizing simplicity, time-tested methods and a respect for wholesome, natural ingredients. The shop offers only 16 flavors at a time to ensure freshness and all flavors are made from scratch with zero paste, powder or preservatives. Many flavors come with soymilk alternatives, and there is also a large “sorbetto,” meaning dairy-free and water-based, menu.
Last up is a true Dallas establishment: Wild About Harry’s, the longstanding hot dog shop in Knox/Henderson. There’s no better place to grab a frozen custard, as Harry’s offers over 50 homemade flavors and plenty of classic toppings to choose from. The custard recipe is said to be a guarded family secret, which Harry’s mom perfected in Depression-era Oklahoma by using the freshest ingredients from the nearby country store. If custard isn’t your thing, the shop also offers plenty of build-your-own sundaes and shakes. And though there are to-go options, this is definitely a place to dine in, where you’ll find bright and colorful décor that honors the restaurant’s 20-plus-year history.