September 21 is the official end of a very hot summer!  No better way to cool down than with a scoop of ice cream!

Denver ice cream


Denver has an abundance of delicious ice cream shops. I had a fun summer tasting their offerings and learning a little about them. If you enjoy ice cream, plan to visit one of these delicious locations. 

Bonnie Brae
799 S University Blvd,
Denver, CO 80209

Established in 1986, their motto is, “Yes, we make it here.” Popular picks are Butter Brickle and Cappuccino Crunch, but they change their offerings regularly, so just ask for the latest fun flavor. Vegan and dairy free options available. 

Frozen Matter
530 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Located in Uptown Denver, Frozen Matter is an ice cream shop and speakeasy in the same location. Frozen Matter is in the front, and Retrograde is in the back. Enjoy ice creams, ice pops and spirit pairings made with organic ingredients from local farms. Vegan options are available as well. Try flavors Milk and Cookies and Mighty Mint Chip or cocktails at Retrograde for $14.
frozenmatter.com and retrogradednvr.com

High Point Creamery
Three Denver locations to pick from:
Hill Top: 215 S. Holly Street, Denver, C0 80246
RiNo: 2669 Larimer Street, Denver, C0 80205
Berkeley: 3977 Tennyson Street, Denver, C0 80212
This mom and pop-owned shop features both sweet (think Brown Sugar Cinnamon and Cookies 3 ways and Cream) and savory (Tin Cup Whiskey and Pistachio Brittle) and unique (Cornbread with Strawberry Jam!) flavors to keep the whole family happy. The culinary team also bakes entire pies, cakes and more to feature in the ice cream! 
Most popular flavors: Basil with Blackberry Swirl + out Tin Cup Whiskey with Pistachio Brittle. You might also see a pretty pink food truck around town. 

Ice Cream Riot
1238 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80218
Opened in 2014, this Colfax shop serves up small-batch ice cream scoops and water ices at the counter in a no-frills space.
Most popular flavors: Dirty Cookies & Cream and Cheddar Goldfish. 

2039 E 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Liks opened in 1976. Dishes up cups and cones in myriad innovative flavors, plus frozen yogurt and sorbet. Most popular flavor: Mint chocolate chip.

2620 16th St, Denver, CO 80211
Opened in 2008 and named after founder Paul Tamburello’s father Peter, whose nickname was Little Man. A 28-foot milk-jug shaped shop scoops unique flavors of homemade ice cream and is open until midnight. Most popular flavor: Salted Oreo. Family friendly with a slide for kids.

Nuggs Ice Cream
5135 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220
Opening in 2014, this family-owned ice cream shop serves scoops with locally sourced ingredients, seasonal flavors with nostalgic styling, and patio seating. East High School students often work there creating a friendly neighborhood environment. Fun art on the walls inside and out. Most popular flavor: Cookies and Cream. 

Sweet Action
Two locations to pick from:
52 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
1061 S Gaylord St. Denver, Colorado 80209

Sources from local Colorado dairies, purveyors, farmers, bakers, and produce for ingredients. A sustainable business powered entirely by wind. Most popular flavor: 

Sweet Cooie’s
3506 12th Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Lovingly named after owner Paul Tamburello’s mother Elaine, whose nickname was Cooie. I like their focus to support and empower women. A portion of every scoop goes to women’s education and family needs. Most popular flavor: salted oreo. Also known for gooey cooie ice cream sandwich and chocolate truffles. 

Sweet Cow
Locations in Louisville, Boulder, Stanley Market in Aurora, and two Denver locations.
3475 W. 32nd Ave. D, Denver, CO 80211
1882 Old S. Pearl St. Denver, CO 80210
A Colorado-based small batch ice cream that is community based, homemade, locally sourced ingredients, and fresh daily. Motto is “simply moolicious!” Most popular flavors: cookies & cream and chocolate chip cookie dough.

The Constellation Ice Cream
10175 E 29th Dr, Denver, CO 80238
Inspired by the community’s history of aviation as the original home of Stapleton International Airport, the shop looks like an airplane. The Constellation supports STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programs by donating to local schools and relevant nonprofit organizations with a portion of each scoop purchased. 

Yum Yum’s Ice Cream
2423 S. Downing St., Denver, CO 80210
Opened in 2021 and conveniently located next to the South Downing location of Denver Beer Company. Most popular flavor is Vincent Van Goat. Some flavors are mixed with brews from next door such as Icey Princess. The popular raspberry Kolsch called Princess Yum Yum is infused in this tasty blend and is how name of the shop came to be. Ingredients are locally sourced from Colorado dairy farms and fields. 

Lisa J. Shultz is a book reviewer and an art and culture columnist for The Villager since 2020. Lisa is a Denver native, and she loves to inspire exploration of the city’s treasures in her book Essential Denver. Find out more about her and her book at LisaJShultz.com or call her at 303-881-9338.