The declaration that ice cream should not be eaten during cold weather is a myth because honestly, it's a delicacy that can be enjoyed all-year-round. It puts a smile on everyone's face and brightens the day, despite all the crappy moments you have to face. So why not?
Colombo is swarming with ice cream parlours, and we compiled a list of all the places where you can have your ice cream fix. So step into any one of the following places, and indulge in some cold, creamy goodness!
Jolly's Ice Cream serves up some really nice ice cream with a super authentic Sri Lankan touch. Originally from Nittambuwa, now they've got three branches in Colombo; Dehiwala, Battaramulla and Marine Drive.
Their Kiri Kopi ice cream is definitely one of the most Sri Lankan ice creams we've come across. The classic taste of the typical Sri Lankan kiri kopi is all over it, which is simply brilliant. Jolly's does a legit Raspberry flavored ice cream, with bits of raspberry embedded in the pink coloured creamy, milky texture, giving it a bit of tartness and a fruity kick. I've tried almost all of their flavors, and never have I ever been disappointed.
The service at their branches is very efficient and friendly. They even let you try the different flavors before you place the order, which is very thoughtful.
Isle of Gelato was an instant hit when they first opened up in Galle last year and they've made their way into the heart of Colombo, by setting up shop in Food Studio. Their gelato is made using 100% raw ingredients and they've got like 70 flavors, all made from scratch. Aside from gelato, they do a range of fruit-based, diary-free sorbets and ice cream sandwiches.
If you've been a fan of Isle of Gelato, by now you should know that they use 100% raw ingredients to make their goodies. Plus, the milk content here is quite low, which only makes the gelato even better, as it gives the opportunity to the flavours to stand out without holding back. As for texture, it's light, smooth, very creamy and tends to melt in your mouth so easily.
We highly recommend their Almond Mochaccino, which is a mash-up of coffee, chocolate, almond and caramel and Holy Grail, and an irresistible concoction of chocolate ice cream, peanut brittle, and salted caramel, making for an ultimate flavor explosion.
There's not a single time that I've left Crescat Boulevard, without dropping by the Roots outlet down the foodcourt. They do some great gelato, with many interesting flavors, and some of them have a super Sri Lankan touch.
Take their Chocolate Biscuit Pudding (CBP) gelato for an instance. We, Sri Lankans, love our Marie biscuits, and when it comes in between gooey layers of chocolate, we love it even more. Roots Gelato recently teamed up with Bellisima , to create the ultimate Sri Lankan CBP gelato flavor. They've done an incredible job of combining the chocolate in the Bellissima CBP and the chocolate ice cream into one cohesive mix.
Their Chocolate gelato is another great flavor you can go for. It's creamy and decadent and tasted like a cheaper version of the Haagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream.
Il Gelato has been hailed for their gelato for many years now, and all for a good reason - they serve up some of the best gelato/ice cream/sorbet in the city.
Priced at Rs. 490, their double scoops make the most sense as you can get two flavors of your choice in a single cup, or a cone. The Dark Chocolate and Biscotto is a great combo you can try. The former is extremely chocolatey and that's abundantly clear when you see it. Combining it with the biscotto helped lighten up the intensity of the chocolate and add a bit of creaminess. The Panacotta is another good one, and it's pretty accurate in terms of flavor.
You can enjoy these flavors, and a lot more from their branches at Duplication Road, Ward Place, Park Street and even from the tiny parlor inside the popular Uptown Kandy.
Frosty Roll is a rolled ice cream parlour in Wellawatte. We absolutely loved their Coffee Kat (Rs. 450), which satiates the palates of both KitKat chocolate and coffee lovers. It's a delicious blend of coffee, milk, and KitKat, topped with whipping cream and garnished with chocolate chips. Their Choco Blast (Rs. 450) is the chocolate lover's heaven! It comes as a combination of oreo, Nutella and chocolate milk, topped with whipped cream and garnished with me more Oreos, wafer sticks, Koko crunch as well as chocolate syrup.
If you're into fruity flavors, you can go with Strawberry Blast (Rs. 450) which is made with frozen strawberries and strawberry syrup, and topped with whipped cream, strawberry wafers, and a strawberry. Their ice creams are very rich in flavor, have a creamy texture, and made for sharing.
Carnival Ice Cream has been around for decades, and is well known and loved by the locals for their massive variety of flavors. Aside from the ice cream, they also do a range of good shakes and waffles.
We highly recommend their Double Berry (Rs 550), which comes in a tall glass filled with strawberry compote, strawberry ice cream, canned peaches, topped with a generous whirl of whipped cream, sprinkles and a wafer. It's like a very berry sugar attack, but delicious and fills you up.
The Cherry and Coffee Nut flavors are very good as well. As for shakes, you cannot go wrong with the California (Rs. 440), which is an impressive mix of cherry, vanilla ice-cream, pears, treacle, cashew nuts, whipped cream, and a wafer.
This is the place to go for a number of flavors in one place, and for a serious nostalgia fix. It's a massive place, with plenty of space, so do not worry if you go with a crowd.
If you need ice cream at 2.30am in the morning, CityRest Fort has got you covered, because they serve ice cream 24/7! It's not a conventional ice cream parlor - they store their ice cream in large plastic tubs in a freezer located in the corner of the lobby. So you can either enjoy the ice cream at the lobby, which could be slightly weird as you're not a hotel guest, or you can patrol the street with the ice cream.
They've got a good collection of flavors, ranging from smelly Durian to nutty Hazelnut and all of them are priced at Rs. 170 a scoop. The peach flavor was especially good, with strong notes of peach, while the Strawberry ice cream is satisfying as your standard strawberry ice cream.
Jaffna's legendary, Rio, has been perched along Marine Drive for about six years now. They've got a wide array of sundaes - very saccharine but surprisingly likeable.
The Blueberry Sundae (Rs. 230) is not made with actual blueberries - it's sweet vanilla ice cream with a hint of blueberry flavor, and lots and lots of violet coloring. But anyway, it's a good choice you can go for. If you like your sundae to be loaded with smarties, jelly and nuts, you can try the Rio Mega Special (Rs. 180).
The place itself is fairly spacious, and constantly buzzing on any day, any time of the week, so the service can get a bit slow.
Priced at Rs. 300, Frozen down MC FoodCourt does a bunch of ice creams and aside from that, they serve up a few cupcakes, brownies, and caramelly sweets.
We liked their Fudgebrownie ice cream, that comes with chunky bits interspersed in rich ice cream, topped with chocolate sauce. It also lived up to its name of being a fudgy, brownie ice-cream while retaining the qualities of all three components.
You can either indulge in their ice creams (and other desserts) at the noisy food court itself or take away - your choice.
Located down Thimbirigasyaya road, Scoop Colombo (not to be confused with the old Scoop) is the latest ice cream parlour in town. Priced at Rs. 280 a scoop, they do a range of homemade ice cream.
Generally, their ice creams do not have that creamy, buttery texture that one would expect from good ice cream - they're a bit hard, with little icicles wedged in. Anyway, in terms of flavors, we really liked the Choco Mellow, which is a brilliant combination of chocolate ice cream and marshmallow. It had very decadent chocolatiness which wasn’t overpowered by the sweetness of the marshmallows. The Creamy Cookie is another great choice you can go for. It's an oreo based ice cream, that boasts a rich oreo flavor along with bits of oreo cookie scattered about. You can decorate your ice creams with any amount of toppings, because they offer you bottles of sprinkles, granola, chocolate chips and nuts etc.
This place itself is very tiny - with like three chairs and a table, so your better option is takeaway.
If you're around the Ratmalana area, this is a good spot to grab some delicious rolled ice cream. For a small ice cream parlour, they have a pretty extensive menu including flavors like Cookie Monster, Milo Tella, Kit Katty and Choco Luv etc.
We highly recommend their Kinder Bueno Frostie (Rs. 480), which is a Bueno goodness infused ice cream with chocolate chips and whipped cream. The texture itself was creamy and soft with the milky flavor of the Bueno popping out. We liked the Malt Crunch (Rs. 550) too, which is a simple concoct of malt and chocolate but had an incredible flavor.
Aside from ice cream, they also serve mains like pasta, fish and chips, rice, burgers and even soups.
JAM Rolled Ice Cream is another good spot to satisfy your rolled ice cream cravings. You can either opt for their set menus, or DIY section which you get to pick and choose your flavors and toppings. We recommend the latter.
We concocted a mocha based ice cream, incorporated with strawberries, topped with marshmallows and whipped cream. The strawberries went well with the mocha flavored ice cream, but they're quite stingy with their toppings so there was a scarce amount of marshmallows. The soy ice-cream incorporated with Oreos and topped with M&Ms and chocolate sauce was another good combination we tried out.
Chillato is a soft-serve ice cream place located in Battaramulla. There's nothing remarkable about their ice cream, because what they serve is just a base of vanilla ice cream (small - Rs. 250, large - Rs. 350), with tons of sauces and toppings to make a unique flavor. You can order preset combinations off the menu, or create your own.
We liked What's Popping, which consisted of Rice Krispies, popcorn and a sauce of your choice. We got the strawberry sauce. Chillato is usually generous with the toppings, so it helps to compensate for the lack of flavor of the ice cream.
The place is owned by a lovely couple who were friendly and very helpful, and the place itself is cozy, with lots of parking space and an outdoor section.
So what's your favorite ice cream spot? Let us know in the comments.
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