Fried ice cream, fish cones and a never-ending list of flavours
Instagram is constantly filled with just another manic sundae. We’re talking lilac scoops, breakfast cereal toppings, and cones in the shape of a little soft fish. With the weather edging towards double figures and the yearning for pool-side tan lines getting stronger by the day, the urge for something smooth, creamy and frozen is getting stronger. I scream you scream etc.
Although you can’t beat a Mr Whippy with a flake and some raspberry sauce from a van in the park, Manchester is always doing the absolute most, so it's all crazy flavours and creative cones from here on out. Whether you’re a frozen yoghurt fiend, love some soft serve, or you’re just after two scoops in a tub with a plastic utensil, this city has got you covered with cold food for every mood. We’ve managed to sneak in some fried ice, 50% fruit sorbet, and an ice cream sarnie too.
Read below for the inside scoop on the best spots for ice cream in Greater Manchester
We’ve all seen that iconic baby pink tuk-tuk trundling around Greater Manchester with its boozy ice cream offerings in tow. She’s our second favourite Jolene after Dolly’s arch-nemesis. A Few Scoops is the perfect way to get both a sugar rush and a little bit pissed at the same time, with flavours that range from Pornstar martini with vanilla vodka and an Old Fashioned with orange zest and bourbon. The menu changes seasonally so you can expect Piña Coladas and Pornstars in the summer and Espresso Martinis with Biscoff when it gets a bit chillier. If you don’t fancy following a tuk-tuk around town for your fix of inebriating ices, or visiting the spot at Sale Foodhall, you can also enjoy A Few Scoops at home if you order by midnight on Sunday for deliveries on the following Wednesday. Expanding beyond ice creams, AFS also do pancakes, brownies and classic waffles. Your neighbourhood ice cream van could never.
A Few Scoops, Foodhall, Sale M33 7ZZ
Confidentials is no stranger to an exclusive scoop. We knew about the pig-themed fire pits from the Ramona crew way in advance. However, the main exclusive scoop that we’re interested in at the mo is this Manchester-based ice cream biz that champions free-range cream from British farms. Not just your bog-standard vanilla, chocolate or strawberry affair, Exclusive Scoops’ menu includes a cherry Bakewell flavour, dark chocolate and ginger, and a Pimm’s inspired strawberry and cucumber sorbet. Another one of them travelling pop-up situations, Exclusive Scoop operates at different markets and fairs across Greater Manchester. Popular destinations include the Makers Markets, Levy Market and the Bramhall Worker Bee Market, but it's best to follow them on social media and stalk them like a frozen-obsessed fiend. If you’re hankering after a particular creamy concoction, owner Tom is always up for flavour suggestions at email@example.com.
We’re not here for a debate about whether frozen yoghurt is technically ice cream or not, it's frozen, creamy and swirls like a Mr Whippy, so that’s that settled. Frurt was set up in 2010 as the first frozen yoghurt shop in Manchester, and with branches on Whitworth Street, Bury New Road and Peter Street, they’ve got your yog needs covered from all points of the city. The frozen stuff comes in loads of different flavours including saffron, natural, taro, cotton candy and mango, and vegan soy options are also available in flavours like blueberry and vanilla. We’d list all of the toppings options too, but you’d be here all day and your yog would’ve melted, so we’ll just recommend some fruity additions like pineapple, kiwi and the obligatory hundreds and thousands.
Frurt, 41 Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5BD
After a vintage shell suit jacket and a new rainbow-coloured septum ring, the next best thing to pop into Affleck’s for is a Ginger’s ice cream. Providing both dairy and vegan goods and a selection of sorbets, the current seasonal menu has everything from Fior di Latte to white chocolate and cardamom. If an ice cream parlour is set up by a food stylist, you know it's gonna have the gift of the gram, and Ginger’s has shed loads with multicoloured cones, hand-drawn signs, and its own little branded van. Some other best sellers from chef Claire Kelsey include marmalade on toast, olive oil and sea salt, chocolate, ginger and rosemary. This spot has a British Street Food Award too, just sayin’.
Ginger's Comfort Emporium, Afflecks, Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
Grandpa Greene's at Wandering Palate
As well as doing them famous “picky bits” that we wrote about after our meander over to Monton, Wandering Palate also serves Grandpa Greene’s ice cream. Made in Greater Manchester with whole milk and thick double cream, flavours include cookies and cream, salted caramel, cherry, and tutti-fruity. Vegan options also include mango and passionfruit sorbet and lotus. If you need to cleanse your palate after wandering through the flavours of an Eccles Spritz and mushroom pate with blue cheese, cop yourself a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and take in all of the curated interiors. It’s the thick stuff.
Wandering Palate, 191 Monton Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 9PN
You probably know this spot for its endless stock of Asian goodies and that neon LED shopping trolley, but they do ice cream too. If you follow Hello Oriental on social media you’d have seen that vegan ice cream and waffle cones have become a permanent feature on the menu (complete with gold foil and black soft serve). Because a cone is so 2000 and late, you can also get your ice cream in a teddy bear bun or a fish-shaped soft cone, to really amp up your clout as you stroll around Symphony Park. If you’d prefer some stuff to whack in the freezer at home, you can’t leave without some Little Moons mango mochi balls.
Hello Oriental, Unit 3B South Pavilion 2 Symphony Park, Manchester M1 7FS
This is it, this is the sure-fire Instagram story win you’ve been looking for, and just in time for Summer. The last time one of our team had a Lazy Sundae double scoop cone, it was all over their Doc Martens, dungarees, and both hands as they strolled through the Northern Quarter, so make sure you’ve not got your Sunday best on. If you love unique flavours and colours, Lazy Sundae has everything from salted egg custard to taro cheesecake and the super green matcha red bean. You can cop a cereal-encrusted cone to house your scoops, or have them with a croffle (croissant waffle) and a monogrammed wafer. If you don’t take a photo or spill some drips on an item of white clothing, it didn’t happen.
Lazy Sundae, 110 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LR
If you miss those choc ices you’d get with a school dinner that were wrapped in a light layer of white greaseproof paper, Nell’s has made ice cream sarnies that look just like them. All priced at £4.50 each, the flavours include salted caramel in a chocolate biscuit, red velvet, cookies and cream and a vegan chocolate cookie. Never one to miss the boat with classic flavours, Nell’s has also prepped for Wimbledon with a strawberry and cream special with collated cream ice cream. If you have even an inch of room in your tum after a 22-inch pizza, fill it with an ice cream sarnie, you won’t regret it.
Nell's, 39 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW
Gelato in a brioche bun is almost as good as hummus inside ravioli, and Sicilian NQ does both. A gelato brioche col tuppo is a sweet brioche bun filled with any gelato flavour of your choice. However, if you’d rather ditch the carbs and just have a full cup of the frozen stuff with a cannolibcchio shell, you can order a coppa della cask instead. Some of Sicilian’s signature flavours include vegan Oreo, pistachio and melting tiramisu, for a proper taste of Sicily in a few scoops.
Sicilian NQ, 14 Turner St, Manchester M4 1DZ
You can’t take a trip to the Costa del Salford without having some homemade gelato from Simona at Taste IT. On a recent visit to the city centre’s neighbour, we sampled some of Simona’s mango sorbet, made with 50% fruit and a simple sugar and water mixture to maintain that super fruity, unfiltered taste. They also had strawberry and banana on the sorbet list too. When it comes to the gelato selection, there’s ricotta and pear, black Sicilian cherry, coconut almond, hazelnut tiramisu, and a vegan black forest. If you’re into those super-sweet sugar-crash vibes, there’s also lotus Biscoff, dirty Nutella, and a white chocolate cheesecake. Simona loves to talk about her gelato too, so if you want to know more about the processes, the flavours, and her trips to Sicily, have a chat over a tub of the good stuff.
Taste It, 69 Blackfriars Rd, Salford M3 7DB
Fried ice (not to be confused with fried rice) is “carefully crafted around a crushed cover with a sprinkle of condensed milk and sprinkled with peanut”. If you’re a bit confused, don’t worry, we were too. Fried ice cream sounds like a chemical impossibility, but the ice cream is simply frozen solid before being coated in batter, quickly deep fried and served up nice and cripsy. Also named Kim Chien on this Vietnamese spot’s menu, this fried icy delight is only £3 per scoop and is served up in a classic little glass ramekin. Eating the whole thing is a bit like tapping a boiled egg to remove the hard shell and reveal a creamy frozen yolk. Dreamy.
Viet Guy, 338 Palatine Rd, Northenden, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 4HE
Header image: A Few Scoops
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