Though we’re obsessed with being active, who doesn’t love a cold and delicious treat after long days on the crag, relentless hikes, or hours in the water surfing (that what A Playful Life is all about anyway). As we trot the globe we’re always searching for the best creamy treats around. From Italian gelato to SoCal’s acai bowls, these are our all time favs:
B 052. Rovinj, Croatia
When we went to Europe. All the hype was about Italian gelato and we were sooooo excited to try it. And the Italian gelato did not disappoint. We weren’t, however, expecting that Croatian gelato would exceed the taste and flavor of even Italian gelato. After taking a stunning bike ride from the campground of Campsite Polari we checked Trip Advisor and wound our way through the narrow and confusing streets of Rovinj. Alas, we found the most scrumptious, unique, and rich flavors of gelato in our entire life. Our favorite part of this Gelateria was the multitude of chocolate infusions.
Favorite flavors: Chocolate Hazelnut, Chocolate Orange, Choc
Panhandle Cone & Coffee, Sandpoint, Idaho
We’re not huge I’ve cream lovers, we’re usually seeking artisan gelato wherever we go. But as we’re walking down the street in Sandpoint. We couldn’t resist walking into Panhandle whose inviting cafe was decorated with hipster and the best ice cream we’ve ever seen. Flavors ranged from Ugandan Vanilla, to Sasquatch, to Buttermilk Huckleberry, to Peppermint Fudge, to Caramel with Chocolate Covered Pretzels. The employees were very friendly and the wifi made it nice to stop by to work with yummy treats.
Favorite flavors: Peppermint Fudge, Caramel with Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Orange Chocolate Chip
Tante Jeanne, Hossegor, France
Like I said before, we’re not big ice cream people and considering France renowned delicacies, we had no idea we’d fall in love with the street-side idea cream parlor and cafe ___. They have flavors ranging from simple chocolate and caramel, to fruit and nut flavors like pistachio and pecan, to creamy treats like Reese’s and cookies and cream. My mom became obsessed with the pistachio which brought us back here every day of the week to get ice cream. There’s a flavor for everyone here as long as you can figure out how to order in French.
Favorite flavors: Pistachio
Bonta, Bend, Oregon
Besides Smith Rock, Bonta is probably our highest reason for continuing to come to the amazing city of Bend. There is no better treat after long days of hiking, mountain biking, waterfall jumping, and rock climbing in the surrounding area. The flavors are so pure and rich, you can literally taste how they are made with local ingredients only. Their Honey Lavender will be the best tasting soap of your lifeClick To Tweet and the Espresso made from beans directly across the street leaving you satisfied and craving more.
Favorite flavors: Peanut butter with Theo Fudge, Honey Lavender, Chocolate with Sea Salt
Sambazon Acai Cafe views, Cardiff
Sambazon, Encinitas, California (and Newport Beach, CA)
Acai bowls are the single best things after surfing. Acai bowls are fruity and creamy and can be combined with granola, fruit, chocolate, and peanut butter. Nowhere else makes acai bowls as good as Sambazon cafes. It’s like eating ice cream, but better. Choose any topping you like, I promise it will taste good.
Favorite flavor: Machado Bowl
Shave Ice Paradise, Hanalei, Hawaii
Yes, I know it’s not ice cream or gelato but it very well could be because it competes in taste to either one. Anywhere else in the world, even a lot of places in Hawaii, cannot balance the ice to syrup ratio to make it taste creamy and just sweet enough. Most of the time, shave ice tastes more like I’m drinking chemical ridden flavored syrup with a hint of ice. Not in Hanalei. When I was little, the best part about going to Kauai was the shave ice. Because their Shave Ice is the perfect combination of syrup drizzled over a perfectly round, soft but not melted piece of shaved ice over a scoop of ice cream that only Hawaii can master, Macadamia Nut ice cream.
Favorite flavors: Bali Hai Sunset
Gelateria Artigianale Tarifa, Arco, Italy
Like I said before Italian Gelato did not disappoint. In Arco’s perfect mountains town (Arco is a rock climber’s paradise by the way) of cobbled streets is the awesome gelato shop called Gelateria Artigianale Tarifa. While there is another gelato shop a few doors down that may have had richer gelato, this gelato shop had delicious gelato of large proportions. The gelato was perfectly fluffy, but rich, smooth, and creamy. This is the best dessert after exploring the mountains and having some pizza in town.
Favorite flavors: Zabaione, Peanut Butter
- Alberto Gelateria, Corniglia, ItalyIf you’ve read our blog Hiking the Cinque Terre, you know that on long day of hiking in the Tuscan sun nothing sounds better than a refreshing scoop of gelato. Many don’t even think to stop in Camogli, shadowed by its more touristy neighbor towns, but that is probably the reason it has such good gelato. The flavors are simple but they explode inside your mouth.
Favorite flavors: Mango, Pistachio, Chocolate
Are you a foodie? Even if you’re not a foodie, everyone loves ice cream. Please share this post with your friends!
Or are you the kind of person who tries not to ice cream because it’s not “healthy”? If you said yes, read this. It’s all about moderation and sourcing. Click here to find out about Eating to Play and developing a good relationship with food.