We all scream for ice cream
This ice cream churner in Jiyugaoka specialises in craft creations made with premium ingredients handpicked from producers in 50 different locations across Japan. It prides itself on being transparent with its operation, often listing the provenance of its ingredients as well allowing its customers to peek into the ice cream making process through the shop’s glass windows. The flavours change seasonally; in June, the single origin jersey milk from Tokachi and the grapefruit from Kawachi are stellar. Prices start from ¥450 for a single scoop; cones cost an extra ¥100.
Bringing Los Angeles vibes to Tokyo, Abbot Kinney serves up some creative gelato flavours in a relaxed environment reminicent of the namesake street the shop is named after. The shop churns its gelato fresh every day, with flavours reflecting ingredients of the season. Classic flavours like hojicha, matcha and Gianduja chocolate are available year-round whereas zunda (mashed soybean) mochi, peach yogurt and fig cream cheese are limited to summer. For something a bit more quirky, try the gelato sando, which reminds us of a giant ice cream-filled dorayaki.
Strawberry lovers will want to make a beeline for this Harajuku café and takeaway stand dedicated to the luscious red berry. The menu is packed with all sorts of strawberry desserts, from soft cream and shaved ice to cakes and mochi daifuku topped with a huge strawberry. If that wasn't enough, the interior is also decked out in red and pink to make you feel like you're sitting in one giant berry.
Super Ice Creamery provides guilt-free, non-dairy frozen desserts made with healthy, all-natural ingredients – in other words, superfoods in ice cream form. The shop even uses the latest food technology to freeze fruit instantly as well as create super creamy textures without the use of dairy. The menu consists of soft cream and gelato made from blue spirulina, coconut, almonds, charcoal, strawberry and chocolate, just to name a few. Frozen treats are available in either ice cream or popsicle form, but if you’re eating for the ‘gram, opt for a colourful parfait or shake instead.
NYC streetwear guru, designer and Kith owner Ronnie Fieg is also a passionate cereal fan. He opened his very own cereal bar in the Big Apple after 20 years of pondering, and has now brought that same operation to Tokyo. The backstory is that young Ronnie's parents forbid him from eating cereal as a child, so he'd secretly get his own by exchanging it with the packed lunch he brought from home. Here at Kith Treats, breakfast meets dessert with the delicious cereal-infused ice cream and milkshakes, served alongside a few of Kith's coveted tees and hoodies.
Relish in a smooth scoop of sesame ice cream at this specialist shop in Omotesando which uses ingredients from long-standing sesame house Kiku Sangyo in Mie prefecture. Besides crowd favourites kuro (black) and shiro (white) sesame ice cream, it also offers original flavours such as goma-shio (sesame salt) and tsubutsubu zakkoku (chunky mixed sesame). To really get into the tasty depths of sesame, try both the kuro and shiro side by side and you'll be a sesame ice cream expert by the time you finish.
Located just a short walk from Gakugei-daigaku Station, this established cake shop has been turning out all sorts of sweets since 1952. Here you'll find everything from classic strawberry shortcakes and mont blanc cream cakes to pudding and tarts. The attached tea room, on the other hand, is worth a visit for its parfaits and ice cream, with one of their most popular items being the mocha soft serve. It comes in a sundae glass, on a bed of coffee jelly and with an ice cream cone attached to the side. Not a fan of coffee? You can't go wrong with one of their fruity sherbets or the classic chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
Guilt-free dessert? Sign us up, because healthy AND delicious ice cream really does exist. The scoops at Kippy’s are made from raw organic coconut cream and natural sweeteners like dates and honey. Plus, they are also dairy and gluten-free, perfect for those suffering from food allergies.
Choose from popular flavours such as the double dark chocolate sweetened with raw honey and the coffee, which uses dates for a sweet finish. A healthy-ish selection of toppings can be added for an extra ¥100, where you can sprinkle on everything from bee pollen and goji berries to spiced pecans and honey salted caramel.
This hip and popular roastery-café on Harajuku's Cat Street is one of the city's flashiest specialist coffee haunts. Every day, you'll get to choose from two kinds of single-origin beans for your espresso-based drinks, but its soft serve is especially noteworthy. If you can't decide between the espresso or milk flavours, just go for a mix of both, which, come to think of it, is essentially a frozen latte.
Occupying a beautifully renovated 60-year-old wooden house, Mighty Steps Coffee Stop has been serving coffee and ice cream in Nihonbashi since 2014. Providing speciality blends under the concept of 'anytime coffee', owner Yasuo Ishii also offers accompanying treats which you can enjoy any time of the day. We say, go straight for his super rich ice cream creations that come in tempting flavours such as pistachio, strawberry, mascarpone or salted caramel.
Shizuoka-based matcha sweets purveyor Nanaya teamed up with venerable Asakusa tea shop Suzukien to bring you the richest green tea gelato in Tokyo. Go for the Premium No. 7 gelato, which apparently is certified as the ice cream with the world's highest matcha content – and this shop is the only one stocking it outside of Shizuoka prefecture. While the matcha gelato also comes in six other levels of intensity, most customers only come here for the 7.
A revered Kyoto tea shop famed for its use of Uji matcha, Tsujiri now graces Tokyo with a shop in Ginza Six's depachika. Besides their green staples, they sell Ginza Six exclusives such as the Tsujiri double rich matcha soft ice cream and the Tsujiri rich matcha terrine. The soft serve comes in both a regular and 'rich matcha' version – order both and see if they can taste the difference. Note that everything is for takeout only, although there are some benches close by for you to sit and savour your tea-flavoured treats.
This Harajuku ice cream stand is disguised as a pink ice cream vending machine, but you actually order from the staff hiding inside. You can choose your preferred ice cream animal – the elephants, koalas, panda bears are all good, but we say go the whole hog with the triple decker piggie option in three different flavours (the exact flavours are chosen by the staff). Just be sure to snap a photo before it melts.
Daily Chiko is no regular ice cream stand. If you're around Nakano Broadway, you definitely won't want to miss their eight-layered 20cm tall soft serve. The flavours change once in a while depending on how the manager feels, but vanilla, chocolate, matcha and ramune soda seem to be staples. Though this monstrous dessert looks intimidating, the ice cream itself is surprisingly light and only packs a third of the calories in a typical soft serve. A mere ¥480 lets you take up the challenge. Daily Chiko also operates an udon shop next door, so you can fill up on noodles before moving on to the main dish.
As the name implies, the gelato at this Asagaya shop is simple, honest and delicious. Made with fresh, seasonal fruit, the selection varies throughout the year but you can expect the same high quality throughout. You'll find this shop close to the Matsuyama-dori shopping arcade north of Asagaya Station.
Considering the recent boom in all things natural, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that Californian-born organic ice cream shop Three Twins has decided to open an outlet in Tokyo. Unlike some ice cream manufacturers, artificial colourings, seasonings and preservatives aren't used here. On the menu, you'll find 11 different flavours, including the standard Madagascar Vanilla, the sweet-and-sour blend of orange and chocolate named Chocolate Orange Confetti, and the San Francisco fave, Sea Salt Caramel.
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