A freezing scoop of ice cream is the perfect solution to the sweltering heat of Saigon. From artisanal gelato to sensational shaved ice sundaes, this city has plenty of frozen treats to cool your cravings.
An ice cream parlour is the ideal place to take a break and put the fast pace of life in Ho Chi Minh City on ice. There’s nothing better than sitting back and watching the world go by with a sweet treat in hand. Whether you’re after simple, family-owned parlours or stylish franchises, you’re sure to find your perfect ice cream spot in Saigon.
Danish-owned Osterberg brings ice cream flavours from all over the world to Ho Chi Minh City’s Thao Dien neighbourhood. The intensely creamy gelato recipe never fails to satisfy but there’s also a wide range of dairy and sugar-free options for those with dietary requirements – although they’re so good you’d never guess the difference.
La Dolce Vita is unquestionably one of the best spots in the city for authentic Italian gelato. Owned by a Sicilian expat, La Dolce Vita’s ice cream is the stuff of legends. Their cà phê sữa đá gelato will delight fans of Vietnamese coffee, whilst their spicy chocolate flavour might just be the dessert you never knew you needed. These delectable creations can now be enjoyed at the popular Pendolasco restaurant, as well as the original Thao Dien parlour.
Ralf’s smooth, creamy gelato has become wildly popular in Ho Chi Minh City since the store’s opening in 2016. The parlour prides itself on its use of all-natural ingredients to produce sensational scoops from scratch, rather than relying on prefabricated products. Although the ice cream itself is authentically Italian, there are plenty of Vietnamese-inspired flavours on the menu, such as phở and fish sauce (trust us, it’s delicious). A visit to Ralf’s Artisan Gelato is a decadent treat you certainly won’t regret – or forget.
This family-owned ice cream parlour is beloved for its deliciously fruity flavours, which include soursop, coconut and longan. Each mouth-watering scoop is served with peanuts and contains a hidden longan berry, a surprise that delights first-time customers. Located in District 1, Kem Nhan Chu Tam is a popular hangout spot for students and possibly one of the city’s cheapest places for an ice cream fix.
The delightful appearance of Lickie Ice Dream’s frozen treats makes them doubly sweet. Their colourful ice cream pops come in various adorable shapes, such as paw prints, and are decorated with bows, hearts and butterflies. If you prefer soft-serve, opt for a homemade charcoal cone – as long as you don’t mind a temporary grey tinge to your teeth.
With parlours located all over the country, Fanny is one of Vietnam’s leading producers of ice cream. As well as luxurious, all-natural ice cream, Fanny offers a ‘special’ range that includes enormous fondue platters, incredible crepes and even a cyclo-shaped sundae. There’s a warm, family-friendly atmosphere inside each branch, although the Tran Hung Dao location is easily the best due to the generous ice cream buffet on the first Friday of every month.
Ice cream roses are a pretty dessert trend that has taken Instagram by storm. Roseice’s rainbow petals will certainly have you snapping away – just be sure to eat it before it melts. Located on Saigon’s popular walking street, Roseice is a small but adorable parlour that can usually be spotted by the line of Insta-happy ice cream fans queuing outside. There’s a wide range of multicoloured flavours you can combine to create a dessert that’s as tasty as it is beautiful.
This innovative dessert fusion parlour combines Korean patbingsu (a shaved ice dessert typically made with fruit, beans and condensed milk) with Western ice cream. These unique sundaes not only look spectacular, they taste sensational, too, thanks to a virtually endless list of flavours and toppings. Be sure to take a friend along, as these fantastic creations are too big – and too good – not to share.
If Fly Garden’s ice cream doesn’t make you fall in love, its lovely decor will. This boutique dessert cafe feels as though it belongs in a fairytale – the perfect spot for an ice cream break. The ultra friendly staff make you feel right at home and are always happy to let you try before you buy. The Fly Garden Bowl, a selection of ‘local’ flavours including coconut and jackfruit, is particularly tasty.
Sometimes, you just can’t beat good old Baskin-Robbins. Their insanely creamy formula is beloved all over the world and for good reason. Several branches of the popular chain have opened across the city in recent years, mostly in District 1. Their Brown Sugar Sweetness milkshake is to die for and their amazing ice cream cakes are a big hit on birthdays and other special occasions.
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