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La Pecera, Taiyaki, ice cream
Photograph: La Pecera La Pecera's Taiyaki ice cream creation

The best ice cream in Madrid

From the latest trends to some of the oldest scoops in town, discover the best ice cream in Madrid, and where to get it

By Gorka Elorrieta and Noelia Santos
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Of course we want to eat ice cream all year round. But when the heat starts to permeate is when we really get a hankering for the creamy sweetness, and what we’re after isn’t just any old frozen dairy product; we want the best ice cream in Madrid! And lucky for us, that’s just what Madrid wants to give us when the city’s ice-cream parlours do their best to outshine each other. The choices are so varied that we can have our pick from ice cream inspired by far-flung places on the other side of the world, to impossible cones, waffle cones in the shape of fish, fruit and jalapeño ice lollies, ice cream–filled brioche, varieties made with fresh Galician cow’s milk, and the list goes on. In fact, it goes on right here. Do your research now so you’re ready when your sweet tooth lets you know it’s time.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Madrid

Cool off with the best ice cream in Madrid

Maison Glacée
Photograph: Maison Glacée

1. The Pâtissier / Maison Glacée

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Retiro

Pastry with chocolate and extra virgin olive oil, or strawberries with cream, or black olives, or meringue and heavenly 'tocino' bacon. If anything on this brief list makes you salivate, you have to get immediately to Ricardo Vélez's place. They call him the cocoa chef, and his melting-chocolate cake will show you why. Vélez has opened this Maison Glacée ice-cream parlour (you'll find another at Alcalá, 77), where he and his team work with the most exquisite ingredients, and the waffle cones are made to order. If you order the half-kilo cup, you'll kick yourself for not having doubled that.

N2 Lab
Foto: N2 Lab

2. N2 Lab

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Chueca

The 'bolas de dragón' (dragon balls) are a huge hit with kids. These chilly treats are dipped in liquid nitrogen, so when you eat them, thanks to the temperature difference between them and your mouth, you get to experience blowing out smoke, just like a dragon. At N2 Lab they also make smoothies and waffles, but the stars are the 'nitrolados', ice creams made with liquid nitrogen, which are illustrated as symbols on a periodic table. The space, in fact, feels something of a crazy laboratory when it's bustling. All of the mixers give off smoke. Their ice creams, more than six regular flavours and one that changes weekly, bear the gluten-free seal and some are vegan. The salted caramel is irresistible. Top tip: if you want nuts as a topping, ask for them to be folded inside the ice cream instead of sprinkled on top. It's a winner.

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Töto Ice Cream
Photograph: Töto Ice Cream

3. Töto

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Malasaña

The white chocolate with lime or the baked apple with cinnamon are two top reasons to get to this ice-cream parlour, where you'll find 18 flavours to choose from. Oh, and get yours in a cone, because they are made fresh every day. Hernàn tells us, 'Toto is my father's nickname. He taught me everything I know because, since 1972 my family has run an ice-cream parlour in Argentina.' You can imagine how dreamy the 'dulce de leche' is.

Popota
Foto: Popota

4. Popota

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Malasaña

At Popota they seek the essence of flavours, and that's why they use ingredients like hazelnuts from Reus and pistachios from Castilla-La Mancha (which they roast themselves), create a different base for each ice cream, and use haute cuisine processes such as vacuum centrifuges or low temperature. You'll also find they care about tradition (try the sublime horchata), seek out surprises (croissant, kumquat, or banana with 'gofio' toasted flour), work with Valrhona chocolates and design new product lines. But the big summer hit is often their amazing 'granizados' (slushies).

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Lupita Paleta
Photograph: Lupita Paleta

5. Lupita Paleta

Shopping La Latina

The 'paleta' frozen treats that are gobbled up in Mexico are carefully crafted from natural ingredients. Just like with any gastronomical delights, they employ flavours that brighten the palate and make your whole body happy. And yes, jalapeño is also an ingredient used in these popsicles, in addition to tequila, lime, avocado, corn, coconut, peanut... They're all made with lots of natural fruit, without no added colouring or flavouring. And they do the same thing in this small ice cream parlour in C/Toledo, where you can try your paleta dipped in chocolate and crowned with a topping.

La Pecera
Photograph: La Pecera

6. La Pecera

Shopping Malasaña

Since opening its doors in 2018, this small ice cream shop in Malasaña has become one of the best places in Madrid where you can try authentic 'taiyakis', Japanese ice cream in a waffle cone shaped like a fish. They're delicate, original and delicious all at once. You can choose from among four different cone flavours and loads of toppings. It's the perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth and your Instagram account. 

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Di Angelo Gelateria
Photograph: Di Angelo Gelateria

7. Di Angelo

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Arganzuela

Di Angelo's display is always full of tantalising colours and flavours, many of which are lactose-free and gluten-free. They use a lot of fresh fruit and seasonal products, and, except for some obvious classics (chocolate, vanilla...), every season they refresh their inventory. You'll enjoy creamy texture and yummy cones that are made daily. At the helm is Angelo De Santis, originally from Sicily, who has spent almost two decades spreading happiness in the neighbourhood.

Rocambolesc
Photograph: Rocambolesc

8. Rocambolesc

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Barrio de Salamanca

If you didn't get to try Rocambolesc's special unicorn ice cream on sale during Pride week or their limited-edition Dustin ice lolly that came out in celebration of the third season of 'Stranger Things', don't worry. New editions, which won't be so quick to come and go, continue to make their debut at this ice cream shop run by Jordi Roca and Alejandra Rivas. For 2020, they've got an amazing sherbet with two seasonal flavours to choose from: mango, carrot and orange, for a shot of beta-carotene to go with your summer tan, and the very tropical coconut and pineapple, an homage to the man who sold coconuts up and down the beach when Roca was a kid.

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Zúccaru heladeria
Zúccaru

9. Zúccaru

Shopping Centro

To our great fortune, pasta and pizza are not the only gastronomic delights Sicilians have exported. The latest to arrive in Madrid is brioche filled with artisanal ice cream, a treat from the Italian island that's made beautifully in this local ice cream parlour. Plus, they use select ingredients; for example, the milk, comes from an organic farm in Madrid. And that's just the beginning, because, sure, ice cream rules over the summer, but you Zúccaru also serves up cannoli, Neapolitan sfogliatella, savoury focaccia and, of course, an authentic panettone. It's never been so easy to resist temptation.

Ice & Dreams
Photograph: Ice & Dreams

10. Ice & Dreams

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Malasaña

From the photogenic cottony clouds wrapped around a cone like Saturn's rings to the Dark Dreams flavour, a curious chocolate and coconut mix made with a pinch of activated charcoal, and the waffles on a stick, every concoction you see through the huge window at Ice & Dreams is thanks to young entrepreneur Pedro Buerbaum, big ideas picked he's up along the way from travelling and living in various countries.

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Helado de Patagonia
Patagonia

11. Patagonia Artesanal

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Lavapiés

At Patagonia Artesanal you'll find an enormous choice of flavours and that their creations are a mash-up of Argentinian and Italian know-how that Carlos Arribas (with more than 30 years of experience in the field) brings to the table. You can't miss the clear dedication both in the selection of raw materials and in each of the manufacturing processes. A fun bonus is you can see everything being made before you enjoy it.

La Commedia
Photograph: La Commedia

12. La Commedia

Shopping Retiro

At La Commedia's counter are a selection of artisanal ice creams, made only with natural ingredients, and among them are a good number of vegan options. Their big hits are the 'flavours of paradise', with four gourmet creations – the pistachio cream ice cream with hazelnut and chocolate, and the red velvet with beetroot are out of this world. And there's more: Piedmont nocciola, Sicilian pistachio, flor di latte, amarena reale and gianduia (the genuine article of chocolate and hazelnut cream), as well as fresh fruits, including passion fruit, banana and mango. They're all so great, they just might be your downfall.

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13. Bico de Xeado

Shopping Chamberí

At Bico de Xeado, you won't get just any ice cream. Theirs are made with freshly milked (and pasteurized) milk, all completely natural and crafted using the traditional method, resulting in genuine farm-fresh ice cream. In their production they only use milk from a farm in the municipality of Miño, in La Coruña, where the first Bico de Xeado ice cream parlour opened. As for the flavours, you'll find classics with a touch of originality such as strawberry, vanilla and even chocolate mint chip among other more exotic varieties.

Cafeteria Chocolatería Bombón
Photograph: Cafeteria Chocolatería Bombón

14. Bombón

Bars and pubs Café bars Malasaña

When it's ice cream you need in the hot months, the folks at Bombón have got you covered with organic and vegan varieties. They favour the Pink Albatross catalogue but also work with other brands who provide flavours they love. You can choose how you want yours: in a cone, in a tub or... in a taco! Three scoops, three dollops of whipped cream and a splash of their extraordinary chocolate sauce that turns into a crispy topping once it hits the ice cream. Definitely one of the deadly sins.

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15. Lolo Polos Artesanos

Shopping Malasaña

They got their start in Madrid with this flagship branch in Malasaña, and since then Lolo Polos has opened another in the Spanish capital, in Plaza de Santa Bárbara, and one in the Canary Islands. Their legion of followers just keeps growing, thanks to their incredible rich and fresh ice lollies. We're talking about totally natural and hand-crafted frozen treats made with fresh fruit, no artificial colours, preservatives or flavouring. And the best thing is that you can get them all year round.

Mamá Elba
Photograph: Mamá Elba

16. Mamá Elba

Shopping La Latina

Mamá Elba works only with artisanal ice creams. But unlike many ice cream parlours, here they don't make the ice cream themselves, which may seem like a point against them, but it's not. Because what they do is search among the best national ice cream makers and small producers, and select the ice creams with the greatest artisan tradition. What they all have in common is that they work with only natural ingredients and products. And the result is more than you might imagine, as Mamá Elba features about 50 different flavours, plus some that aren't on the regular menu.

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Corleone / Wasabï Shop
Photograph: Rosalisa

17. Corleone

Shopping Malasaña

'We are a family business. It was started by my father in Sanxenxo, and we've moved it here. We have more than 80 recipes that we rotate daily,' says Cristian from the other side of the display case, the most striking corner in Wasabï Shop. In addition to the dozen flavours in view, Cristian tells us, at Corleone they also bring out more seasonal temptations. For example, for Halloween, they make an ice cream using black vanilla and another with pumpkin pie. They just added a lemon crisp variety, but big hits are the red velvet and the avocado. Order them and find out why. 

Creamies
Photograph: Creamies

18. Creamies

Shopping Malasaña

When Creamies arrived in Malasaña, they immediately won us over with their amazing ice cream sandwiches made with ice cream smooshed between two freshly baked cookies. They are available in various sizes, even an XXL version. The flavours are very 1980s: from the classic vanilla to more electric ones, such as the blue ice cream inspired by Cookie Monster. And last but not least, they also have ice cream sandwiches made with berliners (doughnuts with no holes) instead of cookies, and bubble waffle cones. All options come loaded with toppings of your choice.

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19. Sani Sapori

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Lavapiés

Every day, lovers of top-quality Italian ice cream make a pilgrimage to this small ice cream parlour in the Lavapiés neighbourhood. Freya Lo Giudice, finalist in the 2011 Spanish Ice Cream Championship, is the master craftswoman in charge of preparing these delicacies for which she uses only natural products such as organic cane sugar, milk and fresh fruit. The menu also includes juices, smoothies and breakfast treats. And you can buy organic products such as teas, chocolates, sauces and honeys.

20. Los Alpes

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Moncloa

Madrid's oldest ice cream parlour is still among the best in town. Los Alpes was founded in 1950 by Pedro Marchi and his wife, Marcelina Ladero, who passed down the Italian tradition of making artisanal ice creams through the generations. And you can still taste that in the intense flavours, nearly all of which are classics, and the creamy textures. They use quality products, such as organic strawberries, Sicilian pistachios and milk from a cooperative that supplies them daily.

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21. Mistura

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Chueca

Mistura have really made a name for themselves in Madrid, offering some of the best ice cream in the city across five locations. They bet on organic and low-fat artisanal ice creams that they mix up with different toppings on a granite plate at -20º C. They use top-quality products such as Bronte pistachios and farm-fresh milk. Also try their incredible American-style cakes, biscuits and desserts with coffee, tea or home-made hot chocolate. 

22. MadWaffle

Shopping Centro

Freshly made bubble waffle cones are definitely one of the latest crazes in the ice cream world that are here to stay. At MadWaffle, they're made with vanilla, chocolate or a mix, then stuffed with scoops of traditional ice cream or swirls of soft serve. MadWaffle got the inspiration from Hong Kong's street-food variety of bubble waffles, which are as common there as churros are here. As far as we can figure, MadWaffle was the first of its kind in town, and once it opened, in 2017, imitators popped up over the city. And we couldn't be happier.  

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23. Alboraya

Restaurants Ice-cream parlours Goya

If you want to try the best horchata in Madrid, get yourself to Alboraya immediately. The owners of this ice cream parlour are the second generation of the Monrós family who lived in the Valencian town of Alboraya and moved to Madrid more than 30 years ago. They brought with them their artisanal recipe for horchata, 'leche merengada' and ice cream. The ice cream flavours are rotated, and new ones are featured each season.

24. Helados Gamela

Shopping Chueca

This ice cream parlour comes to Madrid from Galicia, where it became famous for inventing 'popitos': made-to-order ice cream bars on a stick. They look a lot like the ones you're used to from big commercial brands, but they are worlds apart. Hand-crafted with natural ingredients, moulded on-site, bathed in your choice from a variety of chocolate shells, and crowned with toppings. You can also opt for ice cream in scoops, ice cream sandwiches made with cookies, natural and seasonal fruit ice lollies, frozen yogurt, smoothies, slushies, smoothies and more.

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Malvy's Shakes
Photograph: Malvy's Shakes

25. Malvy's Shakes

Shopping Malasaña

Malvy's Shakes is great at making their impossible ice cream cones. These amazing concoctions defy the laws of gravity and the stable blood pressure of whoever gets the chance to enjoy them, but, oh, is it worth it. Try a cone surrounded in candy floss, a taiyaki cone shaped like a fish, or a black cone, all stuffed with ice cream and overflowing with toppings of your choice. The result is a colourful and gorgeous-tasting treat, able to compete with even the craziest freakshake, which they also have on the menu.

26. Gelateria La Romana

Restaurants Italian Santiago Bernabéu

With different locations throughout the city, this Italian gelato parlour is one of the most famous in Madrid. Its artisanal ice creams boast flavours as intriguing as green apple and panna cotta, and in summer there are more than 24 different flavours to choose from, all made with natural products and fresh organic milk. They also have special ice creams for lactose-intolerant customers and a selection of cakes, crêpes, and finger-licking-good pastries. 

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27. Giuseppe Ricci

Restaurants Italian Barrio de las Letras

The commitment to Italian tradition is strong in these ice cream parlours, which began their journey in 2003 and today are a classic among Madrid residents. With their own workshop, they make ice cream by hand, with great care and patience, and using only natural products. They offer some very light lactose- and sugar-free soy ice creams and a small variety of savoury ice creams with flavours such as gazpacho cream, blue cheese, and green olives. You can also choose from rich sorbets.

28. Sienna

Restaurants Italian Retiro

One of the oldest ice cream parlours in Madrid, Sienna's location in C/Narváez is still kitted out in the original decor it opened with decades ago. Head in and you'll often find neighbourhood residents who have been sweetening their summers for years with luscious hand-crafted ice creams. Oreo, dulce de leche, yoghurt, cream cheese with strawberries ... at Sienna they have found the perfect balance between traditional flavours and new varieties. A classic among ice cream parlours in the city.

Cool off even more in Madrid swimming pools!

Room Mate Oscar rooftop pool
Photograph: Room Mate

The best swimming pools in Madrid

Things to do

Madrid may not have a coastline, but there are some great outdoor swimming pools where you can get out of the summer heat and splash around in the pool. From Olympic-size swimming pools in sports centres to exclusive swims on hotel rooftops and natural pools in nature, Madrid offers you plenty of ways to cool off. 

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