Best ice cream spots in Amsterdam
Amsterdammers sure love their frozen treats. From traditional gelatos to popsicles that are acceptable for adults to eat and vegan options galore, there’s now a huge range of Italian-style, artisanal and local offerings across the city. Here is the inside scoop on the top ice-cream spots in and around Amsterdam. Some retailers are only open in the summer months and others will have a line of chilly flavour fanatics outside all year round.
This family-owned ice cream institution in the heart of De 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.
Owner Carlo Petroni, who originally hails from Torino, wanted to bring real-deal gelato to Amsterdam when he opened Miuz on the Overtoom. Freshly made with carefully sourced ingredients, the gelato is slow-churned and stored the proper way in covered, circular containers. And, as in Italy, you order by size not by the scoop (from €4 for a piccolo to €7 for a grande). We tried several flavours and loved the tiramisu (with coffee, eggs, mascarpone and Marsala-dipped Savoiardi), appeltaart (inspired by Dutch apple pie, with biscuity crust bits and crispy fresh apple pieces) as well as Carlo’s favourite, the classic nocciola, a creamy concoction of milk and IGP hazelnuts from Piemonte.
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.
With flavours ranging from 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. Its the perfect place to cool down after some hard-hitting facts courtesy of the Sloten Windmill Museum next door.
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.
On a warm evening, or actually just any 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 / Marathonweg 10, Zuid
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.
IJskoude de Beste
A balmy 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.
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.
Deer Mama Vegan Mylk & Burger Bar | Ceintuurbaan 71, De Pijp
Juicebrothers x Van Leeuwen | citywide locations
The NICE Company | sold in shops and cafes citywide
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.
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.
Van der Linde
Vying 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.
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).
IJssalon 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.
This retro sundae parlour is hidden in the city centre on the Kloveniersburgwal in De Wallen. Get yourself a colourful scoop loaded into an old-school cone for the perfect chilled stroll around the oldest part of the city. The small terrace by the canal is also a great spot to enjoy a good coffee and cappuccino when the weather is nice.
IJs van Oost
With 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. Parked halfway up the Javaplein in Oost, the ice cream parlour is perfectly poised at the start point for a walk in Oosterpark or Flevopark.