Oh, ice cream. It’s there for us as the perfect treat on a hot summer’s day. It’s there for us to eat a whole tub of when times are bad, and it’s there for us whenever we damn well feel like it.
Fortunately, here in Christchurch, delicious ice cream is not hard to come by in our fine city. Luckily for you, we’ve done our research and put together a list of the Garden City’s best ice cream joints so you can taste your way around the finest in town.
Gelato & Tea - G&T
Oxford Terrace, Riverside Market Laneway
Welcome to Riverside Market gem Gelato & Tea. Offering up a handful of delicious Asian flavours that include gluten-free options, our top picks here are the chai latte and matcha with banana. Also not to be missed is the Black Hawaii, which is a natural black gelato made from vegetable carbon that boasts a coconut and cocoa chocolate taste. Come for the yummy ice-cream but stay for the gorgeous Taiwanese bubble tea also on offer, a rare find in the central city.
New Regent St & Cashel Street
Rollickin Gelato is a local favourite that definitely serves up some of the best gelato in the city. Their mouth-watering creamy gelato is made from organic milk delivered daily, and comes in a dazzling array of flavours. Think unique combinations such as custard and rhubarb, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff and the crowd pleaser, hokey pokey and dark chocolate. If dairy isn’t your thing, their sorbet menu is just as extensive and delicious and the dessert menu is to die for. Don’t be surprised to find big crowds at these ever popular cafes.
The Gelato Lab
Opawa Road, Opawa
Gelato is one of the best foods to come out of Italy and The Gelato Lab in Opawa stays true to its roots by using traditional Italian methods when creating their stunning artisan gelato. Their Italian chef blends the gelato from scratch with delicious flavours such as coconut, fresh mint, gingernut and Italian sour cherry. They even boast an entire cabinet filled with nine different flavours that are all dairy-free! This will definitely make you feel like you’ve been transported to a Gelateria on the streets of Italy.
Airstream Ice Cream
Hereford Street, Christchurch Central City
An absolute gem in the heart of the central city lies a shiny silver van with a big sign for ice cream on top, that instantly makes you desire this tasty treat. Airstream Ice Cream is a local favourite that offers a little bit of everything. Their real fruit ice cream is a must-have with all the classics including strawberry and raspberry. Delicious ice cream isn’t the only tasty treat on offer and we recommend trying out their gourmet bagel range or having some kombucha on tap. There’s a little something for everyone and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and guilt-free!
Fuse Real Fruit Ice Cream
Cashmere Road, Cashmere
How good is ice cream knowing it’s created using real fruit? Fuse Real Fruit Ice Cream's trailer is parked across the playground on Cashmere Road and is an absolute must for some authentic fruit ice cream. Do yourself a favour and venture beyond the typical berry with their “real nut” ice creams, a mix of peanut butter or Nutella with ice cream or frozen yoghurt – delicious! They also create their own ice cream sauces such as white and milk chocolate on-site. An absolute must.
Sumner & High Street
If you’re an ice cream lover but struggle to find vegan options, look no further than Utopia Ice. Owners, Mandy and Sebastian have brought to the Chur, the French artisan custard style of creaming to provide a wide variety of innovative flavours that are mainly dairy and gluten free and half plant based. Try your hand at outrageous combos like asparagus and cream cheese, white chocolate and olive oil and raspberry and saffron. Using locally grown ingredients, and fruit from their own garden, head on out to Sumner or Utopia Ice’s newly opened High St store for a scrumptious ice cream experience with a community feel.
Ben & Jerry’s
Riverside Market Laneway
Another great find nestled at the Riverside Market is the beloved American scoop shop Ben & Jerry's. After being available at our local supermarkets, last year saw the arrival of the company’s first brick-and-mortar store in the South Island. For dairy and non-dairy lovers alike, enjoy flavours with the wackiest of names from ‘Netflix and Chill’d’ to ‘Gimme S’more Renewables’. If one ice-cream wasn’t enough, the store also sells their infamous tubs so you can enjoy the goodness of Ben & Jerry’s right from the comfort of your own home.
Ice Cream Charlie
Rounding off this list is good old Ice Cream Charlie. This is an ice cream place that is as historic as it is delicious. Originating in 1903 when Sali “Charlie” Malomet started introducing the people of Christchurch ‘vanilla ice’ from his cart in Cathedral Square, which is now preserved in a local museum. Vanilla Ice is still the only flavour that Ice Cream Charlie offers but they do it mighty fine. Made from 100% NZ dairy milk and cream and with no preservatives, go and try out the oldest gastronomic product in Canterbury, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
Ready for something a little more savoury? Check out the best restaurants in Christchurch.
Image credit: Gelato & Tea, Rollickin Gelato, The Gelato Lab, Airstream Ice Cream, Fuse Real Fruit Ice Cream, Utopia Ice, Ben & Jerry's, Ice Cream Charlie.