Where to find the best ice cream in Joburg

12 Dec 2023
It's a hard job, but someone has to do it. We set out to find the best ice cream and gelato across the city. Here's our comprehensive list of the best in ice cold, meltingly moreish, sweet churned treats. Read our list of where to find the best soft serve here


Fab & Co is the place where ‘"fabulous people meet to eat" in Parkhurst, and it also makes fabulous gelato and sorbet. They’re all about experimenting with funky flavours like malva pudding and custard, gorgonzola and caramelised fig, and New York cheesecake, but our favourites happen to be their simple pink grapefruit and blood orange sorbets; if they’re on display make sure you get a scoop.


Creamy vegan Belgian chocolate gelato from Forest Gelato. Photo: Forest Gelato.

Forest Gelato at 44 Stanley is all about seasonal flavours, environmental consciousness and ensuring their products are free from artificial additives and preservatives. And their gelato is sublime! They gravitate towards more ‘adult’ flavours like orange and Szechuan pepper, and fresh plum and kirsch, but our favourites are the vegan Belgian chocolate gelato and the creamy vegan coconut and lime, both insanely rich and unbelievably good!


At Gelatissimo, Italian Chani Lavine has set out to create an authentic Italian gelateria in the heart of Glenhazel. There’s a big emphasis on only using the very best ingredients infused with love and joy. It’s also Kosher. The tiramisu and white chocolate flavours are pretty fabulous and their homemade crisp Belgian waffles add to their appeal.


Freshly churned gelato from Gelato Mania. Photo: Gelato Mania.

Gelato Mania, the Cape Town-based brand that exploded across the Western Cape over the last few years, has brought their sensational artisanal gelato to The Firs in Rosebank. They’re firm believers in quality ingredients and only the freshest full-cream milk (they go through 360 kg of Belgian chocolate per week to make their chocolate gelato). Those watching their calories will delight in knowing that Galato Mania has chocolate and hazelnut ‘lite’ gelato made using low-fat milk and sweetened with stevia as well as a vegan option made with soya milk.


Cannolis drizzled with chocolate at La Cremosa. Photo: La Cremosa.

La Cremosa does it the Roman way: there are no flashy displays of gelato dripping in toppings; it’s hidden in containers within the counter to ensure the gelato is at its freshest and best. They use 100% natural ingredients, no syrups and no flavourings. Our favourites are the Nutella and pistachio along with their double delicious caramel and chocolate gelato. La Cremosa also does mighty fine homemade cannolis and makes all their sugar cones in-store. You’ll find them in Dainfern Square and Melrose Arch.


The irresistible display at Le Parc by tashas. Photo: Le Parc by tashas.
Le Parc by tashas is a little Parisian oasis at Hyde Park Corner that makes its own gourmet ice cream, all laid out in the most gorgeous display, making it virtually impossible to pass by their venue without sneaking a peak. There are always six different flavours on offer as well as one special flavour of the week; these include Pistachio, Ferrero Rocher, Strawberry Cheesecake and Pink Bubblegum. You can also go all out with toppings from their audacious selection of caramel popcorn, brandy snaps, 100s and 1000s, chocolate pearls and flaked almonds.


Butter pecan, campfire s'mores and stroopwafel ice cream from Paul's. Photo: Paul's Homemade Ice Cream.

Ice cream isn't quite the same as gelato; with Paul's Homemade Ice Cream, the base for their ice cream is a custard that uses eggs, whereas gelato does not. The difference is in the texture and the flavour, Paul’s is quite a lot richer and denser, but equally as sweet. Paul's is best known for their Birthday Cake ice cream which contains small squares of cake and rainbow sprinkles. Other far-out flavours include churros with dulce de leche swirls, stroopwafel, and bread and butter pudding. There are also carb-free varieties, a vegan, dairy-free ice cream made with coconut cream, and even 'ice creams' for dogs. Find the chain all over Joburg, in select supermarkets and even at garage shops for ice-cream emergencies. 


Chocolate OVERLOAD from Soweto Creamery. Photo: Soweto Creamery.

Photographer Thando Makhubu used R350 Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant to start the Soweto Creamery ice cream parlour. The Jabulani shop soon went viral and put them on the map as an absolute must for anyone visiting the area. Punnets of ice cream are topped with insane combinations of whole Magnums, Toblerone, giant cookies and beautiful fruit drizzled in chocolate and syrups with wonderful names like Caramel Canyon, Chocolate OVERLOAD, and Planet Sweetness.


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