Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, which falls smack dab in the middle of National Ice Cream Month. And with temperatures forecast to continue in the triple digits through the weekend, it couldn’t come at a better time.
McDonald’s will be using its mobile app to offer free samples of its new soft-serve recipe. But for those who want something a bit more exotic, we’ve tracked down some of the most delicious frozen treats being offered throughout the valley. Sure, some of them aren’t, technically speaking, ice cream. But they’re all tasty and chilly enough to provide some sweet relief from the Las Vegas heat.
The milkshakes at the Fashion Show mall’s Sugar Factory — and its Candyland-esque rooftop Chocolate Lounge — are treats for both the eyes and the tongue. Drinks come garnished with assorted pastries and candies, and chocolate-coated mugs are adorned with sweet delights such as popcorn kernels, gumballs, pretzel pieces, M&Ms and graham cracker dust. Sugar Factory, Fashion Show mall, 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-685-0484, sugarfactory.com.
With the recent closing of Gelato Messina and another shakeup at Art of Flavors, the Southwest hotspot Gelatology has become ground zero for gelato lovers. But get in there quickly. Owner and local gelato pioneer Desyreé Alberganti is preparing to leave town to move closer to family — although she has vowed not to exit until she finds a buyer to continue her legacy. Gelatology, 7910 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-914-9144, gelatologylv.com.
Forget chocolate and vanilla. Rick Moonen and his pastry chef Renee Bartholomew offer a sampler of 16 varieties of ice cream and sorbet daily. Past treats have included Thai chili mango, lychee, sage guava, coconut curry and watermelon basil. The trick is, they don’t tell you what you’re getting — you have to guess. Get them all right and they’re free. RM Seafood, Mandalay Place, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-632-9300, rmseafood.com.
You’ll flash back to a simpler time ordering a Luv-It frozen custard from the window of the Oakey Boulevard institution. In business since 1973, this is still a family-run operation, with the fourth generation now in charge of overseeing the same original recipe. Luv-It Frozen Custard, 505 E. Oakey Blvd., 702-384-6452, luvitfrozencustard.com.
While others debate the merits of shave ice vs. shaved ice, head to Spring Mountain Road for a Taiwanese spin on the concept known as shaved snow. Snowflake Shavery offers thin, creamy, ribbons of icy goodness shaved off a round block, then drizzled with sweetened condensed milk or chocolate sauce and topped with options such as mochi, red bean, fresh fruit or cereal. Snowflake Shavery, 5020 Spring Mountain Road, 702-333-2803
Rolled Ice Cream
Start with liquid ice cream, pan chilled to just around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, then gather some sharp metal scraping tools and maybe a few toppings. After the server works his or her magic, you’re left with thin sheets of ice cream rolled into a unique summer treat. A second local location is expected in Henderson before the end of the summer, with more to follow. Rolled Ice Cream, 9484 West Flamingo Road, 702-541-8644, rolledicecream.com.
Waffle and Ice Cream
For a distinctly Asian twist on waffles and ice cream, head to the new west valley dessert and beverage shop The Patio. Owner Bank Atcharawan, formerly of Lotus of Siam, Chada Thai and Chada Street, offers scoops of corn, coco-peanut, bittersweet chocolate, toasted strawberry and other ice cream flavors alongside Hong Kong waffles — which resemble either bubble wrap, or a vintage sci-fi set, depending on your frame of reference. The Patio Desserts & Drink, 5225 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-433-4301, facebook.com/thepatiodnd.
Ice Cream Sandwich
For a French twist on an ice cream sandwich, head to Perfect Scoop Ice Cream and Boba. Rather than pack their 23 ice cream flavors, which include exotic treats like durian, green tea, taro and ginger, between standard cookies, they opt for light, crispy macaroons. 6446 N. Durango Drive, perfectscooplv.com. Also at 7377 S. Jones Blvd., 702-269-8225.
You never know where you’ll find one of the four local Kona Ice trucks, so keep your eyes peeled for their tropically themed trucks, adorned with a painting of a bamboo ice stand and a penguin in a Hawaiian shirt. Flavors such as tiger’s blood, ninja cherry and wild watermelon are made even better by the fact they have reduced sugar and are packed with vitamins C and D. On top of that, a portion of the proceeds goes to a local charity. kona-ice.com.
Contact Al Mancini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5250. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter.