Where To Get the Best Ice Cream in Puerto Rico

Decadent ice cream treats abound on the island of Puerto Rico
Decadent ice cream treats abound on the island of Puerto Rico | © Nan Palmero / Flickr
Kris Pethick

Ice cream has morphed into more than just a cold treat: it is now also part science experiment, part art form. Nowhere is this more true than in Puerto Rico. Heladerias around the island are mixing up new flavors and crazy experimental treats all the time. Take the one in Lares for instance, that has 45-50 different flavors, like rice & beans or garlic. The ice cream rolls at the Himalaya Ice Co in San Juan are a creative twist that can’t be missed. Here is a list of some of the unique flavors you will find in Puerto Rico.

Himalaya Ice Co

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert, Ice Cream

Himalaya Ice Co
© Fen Labalme / Flickr

Ice cream rolls are one of the latest cold treat crazes, and Puerto Rico is in on that game with Himalaya Ice Co in Old San Juan. Sweet cream is poured onto a very cold (-35°C, or -31°F) steel surface that looks like a big round pizza pan. They then “chop in” other things like chocolate or fruit, and continue to “stir fry” the ice cream. Once it hardens, they use a metal scraper to roll it up. Add your favorite toppings and you will have a mighty treat that you will want to have time and again.

Queen Donuts

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert, Ice Cream

© Queen Donuts

You just never know where you will find an exquisite treat. Queen Donuts is a vibrant colorful tasty place to go for donuts and treats of all kinds, including their ice cream filled donuts and donut sundaes. A fresh warm glazed donut with a scoop of ice cream and covered in hot fudge and sprinkles is a heavenly experience. Try a scoop between a fresh chocolate glazed donut, or go crazy with a chocolate doughnut with chocolate sprinkles, Nutella and a mint chocolate chip scoop.

Heladeria Lares

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

Heladeria Lares
© iferneinez / Flickr

Nestled in the mountains is the little town of Lares, home to some of the most unusual ice cream flavors you will ever try. Tucked into the plaza is the famous Heladeria Lares, where you will find traditional ice cream flavors, many ice creams made with native fruits like mango, papaya and avocado, and some very unusual taste treats like rice & beans ice cream, sweet potato, corn or garlic. They allow you 2 free samples to help make your decision, and you only live once so be daring and try something out of the ordinary. Try a dish with a scoop of corn and a scoop of sweet potato, and you can say you are just eating your vegetables.

Los Chinos Ice Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert, Ice Cream

Kings Cream, now Los Chinos, is the hot spot for cold treats in Ponce
© Tito Caraballo / Flickr

Formerly “King’s Cream,” this ultra-popular heladeria in Plaza las Delicias of Ponce is now known as Los Chinos. They make their own super cream ice cream in many different flavors. Mango, coconut and parcha (passionfruit) are probably the favorites. This is a small shop and the line goes out the door and down the street, but it is worth the wait.

Tip Top Ice Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert Shop, Dessert, Ice Cream

Tip Top Ice Cream
© Ralph Daily / Flickr

The plazas of Puerto Rico are home to so many important things, like the Catholic Church, City Hall, other administrative buildings, hot dog carts and great ice cream! Aguada is no different, and their plaza is where you will find Tip Top Ice Cream, a shop and an ice cream cart. They not only have delicious ice cream, but they also have cookies, brownies and cheesecake that you can have with it. This is full-on dessert mode, Puerto Rico style. For a light refreshing treat, try their popsicles made with fresh native fruits.

Rex Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert, Ice Cream

Rex Cream
© Kristine Pethick / Flickr

With stores in Cabo Rojo, Mayagüez, Cayey and Aguadilla, there are a number of places on the west side of Puerto Rico where you can get refreshing creamy ice cream in a rainbow of flavors. The most popular is corn ice cream with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Heladeria Eberries Ice Cream

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert, Ice Cream

Heladeria Eberries Ice Cream
© Mabel Lu / Flickr

Think of every ooey-gooey sweet treat you can put in a dish and then cover it with ice cream and your favorite toppings, and you will have envisioned your trip to Heladeria Eberries Ice Cream. Smooth cheese cake, moist chewy brownies, cake balls, fresh fruits and then their delicious homemade ice cream are just a few of the many concoctions you can devour at their shop.

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