Spring has officially sprung in Barcelona! After a long and rainy winter in the Catalan capital, the warm weather is finally upon us. And what better way to celebrate the sunshine than with a scoop (or two) of creamy gelato? We’ve put together a list of the best ice cream shops in the city so you can treat yourself to top-notch ice cream all summer long. You’re welcome!
The crème de la crème of ice cream in Barcelona. Located on the charming, part-pedestrianised Carrer d’Enric Granados in Eixample, this tiny heladeria draws a crowd around the clock thanks to its top-quality ice cream, made on-site by Italian owner Massimo Pignata. From classic gelato and granita to coffee and chocolate affogatos, there’s plenty to choose from on the carefully crafted menu. Ice cream creations aside, you can also tuck into a range of temping pastries and desserts such a fudgey chocolate brownie and zingy lemon merengue pie. Grab a seat on the sun-drenched terrace and watch the world go by. Delacrem, Enric Granados 15.
Sweeten up your day with a gelato from this truly charming ice-cream parlour owned by Tracy, from the U.S., and Giovanni, from Italy. It’s all about using the freshest produce at Swiit. The ice cream is made with organic milk from local Catalan farms and all the ingredients are fair-trade and free from artificial flavors and preservatives. Although the menu changes with the seasons, you can expect classics such as Belgian chocolate or hazelnut (made with nuts shipped from Italy) as well as more experimental flavors such as ginger and pear or violet. The husband-and-wife duo also offer gourmet coffee from around the world, whole wheat waffles and an irresistible homemade banana bread. With a quirky outdoor seating area overlooking a tranquil square and the city’s Roman walls, Swiit is the perfect place to take a break from the heat. If you’re in the Gothic Quarter, be sure to stop by. Swiit, Baixada de Viladecols 2c.
It’s a family affair at this traditional Sant Antoni ice cream parlour. Italian owner Roberta, from Como, uses her family’s recipes to churn the gelato on-site every day. The focus is on classic flavors such as chocolate, strawberry and pistachio, with a few exotic flavors such as matcha (tea), ginger and basmati rice with cardamom thrown into the mix. For the more health-conscious, you can treat yourself to one of Roberta’s seasonal fruit sorberts or dairy-free ice creams. All ingredients are natural and additive-free. If you’re in the mood to indulge, opt for the brioche Siciliana con gelato, a delicate, buttery Sicilian brioche, filled with your choice of ice cream. You won’t regret it. Gelatomania, Av. de Mistral, 64.
eyescream and friends
A young, iconic brand serving up original shaved gelato in Barceloneta, eyescream and friends was founded by EU alumnus Joad Lopez, along with business partner Federico Mendoza. Bringing a novelty fun experience to the ice cream industry, eyescream and friends invites visitors to take a cardboard tray, select a scoop or two of their favorite flavor, add two toppings and decorate their dessert with edible eyeballs. A great location near the beach, an array of flavors and toppings to choose from and a unique, interesting concept make this a must-visit. eyescream and friends, Passeig de Joan de Borbó 30.
El Tío Che
El Tío Che was the brainchild of Joan Pere Iborra, who set up shop with a table and a jar of horchata (tigernut milk) on Passeig de Joan de Borbó more than 100 years ago. He would encourage passers-by to try the refreshing beverage by calling out “Xe, prova” (“Hey you, try this!”). In 1912 Iborra’s family, from Alicante, joined him in Barcelona and decided to turn Joan’s venture into a proper business. With previous locations in El Born and Barceloneta, today the popular ice cream parlor is based on the lively Rambla de Poblenou and is run by Joan’s great-grandchildren. Choose from a variety of traditional ice cream flavors as well as sorbets, homemade lemonade, churros, bocadillos (sandwiches) and tapas. Open until 2 a.m. during the summer months, you’ll find queues of people lining up outside to enjoy their delicious offerings at all hours. El Tío Che, Rambla del Poblenou, 44-46.
This Willy Wonka-esque ice cream shop is the creation of Jordi Roca, the legendary pastry chef of the three Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca, renowned for its inventive flavors and cutting-edge techniques. Forget vanilla and mint-choc chip, at Rocambolesc you’ll find a selection of quirky flavors such as baked apple, milk and coconut with violet. Choose a tub, cone or panet (brioche bun), pick your flavor then go to town on your toppings! You’ll find everything from cotton candy and caramelized hazlenut to freeze-dried lavender and gauva jam. Get set for a truly unique ice cream experience. Rocambolesc, La Rambla 51-59.