During the lengthy summer months of blazing city heat, there’s nothing like stepping into a bright, shiny, air-conditioned ice cream parlour to indulge in some sweet, cool treats.
Ice cream forms a central part of Argentine culture, installed by waves of Italian immigrants. There are an abundance of places to choose from across the city, though sometimes it can be a bit difficult to decide exactly where to go for the best selection and taste.
While it cannot be denied that chains such as Persicco, Un Altra Volta, Freddo, and Chungo deliver deliciousness in lovely parlours, the prices are high and the service can be somewhat sterile. So here are the top five ice cream parlours where you’ll find humble, home-made and tasty ice cream in BA that doesn’t necessarily break the bank.
This pleasant little parlour, founded in 1959, was one of the first ice cream shops to open in Belgrano. A family-run business started by Miguel Furchi with strong Italian roots; today Furchi is run by nephew Mercurio.
Furchi stands out among the rest as doesn’t include any type of conservatives or additives. Mercurio says that “our ice cream contains less fat than other types at 6-10% fat and 20-22% sugar content.”
There are an assortment of flavours, almost sixty to choose from, all neatly listed by category on the board. Special flavours available here are ‘Queso con frutilla’ (Mascarpone cheese and strawberry), ‘Fresco y Bata’ (Dulce de batata with mascarpone), ‘Ananá con perejil’ (Pineapple and Parsley) and the very highly-rated ‘Pan Dulce Helado’ (Christmas cake made out of ice cream) especially for the festive season.
Av Cabildo 1508, 4783-1689. Small cone, $15; kilo $83. No website, but delivery but phone is available.
El Podio, Almagro
With Calabrian roots, this wonderful parlour has been in existence for almost 40 years.
The atmosphere is cool, the decoration modern and clean. Their specialties are in the cream-based helados, such as Queso mascarpone con frutos del bosque (mascarpone cheese with fruits of the forest) and a few national favourites such as a whipped Mantecol flavour, and the famous peanut butter-lined Marroc chocolate and cream blend. Flan con caramel is an example of exquisitely churned ice cream with gooey caramel rippling thoughout.
Av Rivadavia 3778, 4982-1688, www.elpodio.com.ar. Small cone, $16; kilo $88.
Boasting its northern Italian roots – the family business in Italy began in 1887 – the Buenos Aires branch of Cadore opened in 1957 and is one of the oldest shops in the area. In the heart of theatreland, this particular parlour is perfect for stopping through after a show..
The list of flavours is simple but classic, including Sambayón with raisins, chocolate, vanilla crème, strawberry and more. The most famous flavour in the shop is the classic dulce de leche, and as soon as you try it you’ll understand the glory – it’s easily the best in town.
Av Corrientes 1695, 4374-3688, www.heladeriacadore.com.ar. Small cone, $17; kilo $90. Late-night delivery.
Arkakaó is a relatively new spot compared with the other contenders on the list. Just three years old, the Kakao business was brought to Argentina from Italy, gaining its ‘Ar’ on arrival to Buenos Aires.
This parlour breaks away for its presentation and politeness as well as the quality of the product. The staff are friendly, know what they’re talking about and are enthusiastic to guide your tastebuds toward true delight.
The list of flavours – written in Italian – is a lot shorter than most other shops, as the ice creams are made and are only kept for two days in order to keep them fresh. The top ‘a la crema’ flavour worth trying is the Zabaglione (sambayón) – a truly heavenly treat. Others include Ciccolato Extra Fondente (chocolate indulgence extreme amazingness), Cioccolato Cannella (chocolate and cinnamon), and Gianduja (hazelnut crème, great for Nutella fans).
Av Quintana 188, 4813-7585, http://arkakao.com.ar. Small cone, $26; kilo $108.
Another neighbourhood gem, located in the leafy green suburb of Olivos in Zona Norte, Arnaldo is the competition of the area. Originally opened in the Munro neighbourhood, Arnaldo today has expanded to become one of Provincia’s treasures, known for its high quality home-made taste.
Flavours are spread all the way across a long wall, and here the best ones to choose from are the classic flavours with dashes of liquor. One to try is sambayón con almendras (egg yolk mixed with white wine, cream, and crunchy almonds) as its punchy refreshing taste gives you something a bit different, yet yummy.
Arnaldo is located along Avenida Maipu half a block away from the Tren de la Costa, the tourist train which takes you to Tigre. It’s the place to grab a refresher before or after a trip to the river.
Av Maipu 2327, www.arnaldo.com.ar.