This family-owned ice cream institution in the heart of the Jordaan exudes serious vintage vibes. The parlour started as a snack bar and spaghetteria in 1957, but quickly expanded to traditional Italian gelato. The original maker would spend the morning chopping rough ice to cool the ice cream carts which were peddled to markets across the city. He earned the nickname of The Singing Ice Cream Man from the Jordaan and even had his own gelati-themed pop single produced. Check out a range of interesting flavours including lemon cheesecake, stroopwafel, blood orange and limoncello.
Monte Pelmo // 2e Anjeliersdwarsstraat 17, De Jordaan
If you’ve spent more than a few hours in the city, you’ve probably already spotted this ubiquitous ice-cream chain - rightly popular for its unbeatable flavour selection and artisanal quality. IJscuypje started with one small shop near Albert Cuypmarkt and has quickly expanded with 15 stores and stalls across the city. The brand makes its ice cream fresh on location using traditional Dutch recipes and delicious ingredients. If you’re watching the waistline, they have a good selection of sorbets and sugar-free options, too.
IJscuypje // citywide locations
Our favourite: Gosschalklaan 7, Westerpark
The country's first popsicle bar is on a mission to positively change the chilled goods landscape in a socially responsible manner. IJsmanschap serves handcrafted ice cream on sticks using completely natural ingredients. While you may scoff at the thought of eating an ice lolly if you’re over the age of eight, they’re making a comeback in all the hippest cities: New York, Tokyo and now Amsterdam. Try one of their bestselling flavours (chocolate hazelnut, white chocolate with raspberry and coconut mango) or sample a limited-edition offering.
IJsmanschap, Van Spilbergenstraat 2H, De Baarsjes
On a warm evening, the line outside Massimo Gelato is a sure-fire sign of its status as one of the most authentic Italian gelaterias in the city. Massimo learnt the trade from his uncle who used to make ice cream with dairy from his nonna’s shop on the Ligurian coastline. Flavours are seasonal and straight-to-the-point with milk procured from a local organic farm and lemons for those zingy sorbets shipped in straight from Sicily. You’ll find some inspiring tastes of the week (dark chocolate sorbetto with forest fruit jam for example) along with vegan options.
Massimo Gelato //
Jan Hanzenstraat 15, Oud West
Van Ostadestraat 147 H, De Pijp
Pretoriusstraat 89, Oost
Under the trendy glow of La-La-IJs’ neon sign, indulge in over 20-flavours of cooling goodness including whole milk and vegan options or sorbets squeezed from the ripest fruits. Experimental concoctions are dreamed up by the former pastry chef of one of the city’s top fine-dining restaurants so expect flavours like apple-fennel, cardamom or buttermilk with turmeric and lavender. All the ice cream is made with organic produce in the most eco-conscious way possible, handcrafted on their solar-powered machine, named Michel.
Transvaalstraat 3, Oost
Tollensstraat 65F, Oud-West
IJskoude de Beste
A summer evening stroll through Noorderpark wouldn’t be complete without a frosty purchase from this well-loved neighbourhood parlour. The Italian-style taste and quality are among the best in the city with delicious flavours conjured daily from the freshest produce. You’ll be equally enticed by the classics as you will the more uncommon combinations whipped up from your favourite chocolate bars and... energy drinks? The coffee also comes highly-rated if you fancy a two-hand deconstructed affogato situation.
IJskoude de Beste // Meeuwenlaan 331, Noord
It’s fabulous news for ice cream lovers who avoid dairy as there are more and more vegan parlours popping up across Amsterdam. Imported straight from New York, Juicebrothers x Van Leeuwen was Amsterdam’s very first vegan ice cream bar and is now so popular you’ll find their locations citywide. Deer Mama has a vegan milk and burger bar in De Pijp where you can order delicious dairy-free milkshakes and creamy soft serve scoops doused in coloured sprinkles. Also, keep your eye out for NICE lollies - a Dutch popsicle brand made only with organic fruit, water, tea or juice and a little cane sugar or honey - great for kids and grown-ups alike.
Amsterdammers have been making the pilgrimage to Pisa for traditional gelato since 1935 and this retro ice-cream stand has been competing for the title "Best Ice Cream in Amsterdam '' for about as long. With excellent quality and Italian service with a smile, the long lines are absolutely warranted and the queue is well worth the wait.
Pisa IJs // Scheldeplein 22, Zuid
Literally around the corner from Pisa, you will find another ice cream paradise: Venetië IJs. These two gelaterias have divided the milk-loving connoisseurs of Amsterdam Zuid into two groups for many years. Pisans and Venetians swear by their own right and will never agree on which of the two is actually the better. We recommend getting a scoop from both businesses and conducting the ultimate taste test.
Venetië IJs // Scheldestraat 68, Zuid
Van der LindeVying for the title of best ice cream in the country, Van der Linde serves – wait for it – just plain old natural-flavoured ice cream. And nothing else. But this ain’t no Mr Whippy; it’s a soft, velvety sugar cloud of frozen whipped cream. Choose from cones, cups or waffle ice-cream sandwiches, each in three sizes. A long line regularly snakes out the door of this narrow, generations-old shop in Amsterdam’s city centre, so be prepared to wait.
Van der Linde // Nieuwendijk 183, Centrum
Westerpark is best experienced with a Doardi ice cream in hand. On summer days, you’ll see a throng of gelato brandishing enthusiasts pouring into the park via the old drawbridge. Enjoy endless combination possibilities with the wide selection of flavours, dozens of extra toppings, the option to upgrade to a chocolate cone or have a side of Belgian fries (naughty).
Doardi // Van Limburg Stirumstraat 15, Westerpark
IJssalon GarroneIJssalon Garrone serves the tastiest ice cream in Haarlem (and possibly in the Netherlands). This family-run parlour has been making ice cream since 1949 using traditional Italian recipes and only the freshest ingredients. As well as all the usual flavours, give your taste buds a treat with more unexpected combinations including lychee, gooseberry and olive. The salon has won numerous awards in the ice-cream world – and the experts are very rarely wrong.
IJssalon Garrone // Grote Houtstraat 179, Haarlem
IJssalon TofaniA retro sundae parlour where you can get your scoop loaded into an old-school cone for the perfect chilled stroll around the oldest part of the city.
IJssalon Tofani // Kloveniersburgwal 16, De Wallen
Van SoestVisit this chocolate-lovers paradise at any time of year, but especially on a warm day for a cooling cone of pure cocoa indulgence.
Van Soest, Frederiksplein 1A, Centrum
IJshoeve SlotenFrom Oreo to Ferrero Rocher, IJshoeve Sloten knows what it's all about at their cosy farm shop location where you won’t have to queue.
IJshoeve Sloten // Sloterweg 1335, Nieuw West
IJs van OostWith combinations like caramel sea salt, mint chocolate and honey yoghurt, you’ll happily wait in line for a creamy scoop made the traditional way at IJs van Oost.
IJs van Oost // Javastraat 79, Oost
De IJspraktijkIJspraktijk (formerly Sundaes) does superbly executed classic flavours but most come to try more imaginative creations such as liquorice, guacamole or yoghurt baklava.
De IJspraktijk // Waterlandplein 28, Noord