11 dreamy ice creams in Cardiff you simply have to try

11 dreamy ice creams in Cardiff you simply have to try

Summer in Cardiff means two things: picnics in Bute Park and an excuse to buy ice cream. As an ice cream lover, I tend to gravitate to the same shops for a little indulgence, but Cardiff has a lot to offer. Maybe you’re like me and find it hard to choose where to buy the best ice cream for the best summer vibes, and your camera roll… luckily I’ve done the hard work for us!

After a long day of exploring the city, or relaxing in the sun, you might want to sit back and enjoy a bowl of ice cream in comfort. Or maybe you’re looking for the best place for an ice cream date with friends, loved ones, or in peace by yourself. Personally, I think ice cream is always best enjoyed with a view. Whether you’re looking to stay on the move, sightsee, or just need a sugary pick-me-up with something to look at, here are 11 suggestions to try. For the latest restaurant reviews, sign up to our food and drink newsletter here

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1. The Secret Garden Café

Secret Garden’s soft serve ice cream comes in deliciously fresh flavors – Credit: Secret Garden Cafe Instagram

This independent cafe sits beautifully in the heart of Cardiff’s Bute Park, and is a must-visit if you’re passing through. Although their menu changes seasonally, The Secret Garden is known for selling creamy ice creams in summery flavours, such as apricot and orange, or pistachio and raspberry. The cafe is usually surrounded by happy dogs and laughing children, and the greenery around it makes it the perfect place for a picnic, or to soak up the flowers and sunshine. It’s definitely a favourite for anyone who visits the park regularly, and it really does define summer in Cardiff! Check out their Instagram here.

Where: Bute Park, North Rd, Cardiff CF10 3ER

2. Cadwaladers

Cadwaladers is definitely a top store for summer, especially since it’s right on the water. Cardiff BayWhether you choose to sit inside or on the pier, you can enjoy stunning views of the bay and soak up the scenery. It can be hard to find ice cream shops that cater to gluten-free and vegan customers, but Cadwaladers succeeds by offering gluten-free cones that, thankfully, didn’t taste too different from regular cones when we visited. The menu boasts some amazing sundaes and impressive milkshakes to go with them, or coffee and a hearty lunch for those who prefer a savory option.

Where: Mermaid Quay, 30, Cardiff CF10 5BZ

3. Coconut Ice Cream

Cadwaladers ice cream shop is a must-see in Cardiff Bay

Coco Gelato is an Italian dessert joint located on Woodville Road in Cathays, and is perfect for a group looking to share their indulgence. They make huge, towering sundaes starting at £12.50, piled high with toppings and sauces. They also have sharing platters on the menu, such as a traditional banana split and a tropical thunder. If you’ve got an ice cream lover at a birthday or event coming up, this is the place to take them, where the colossal platters are filled with nothing but ice cream, waffles, cookies and chocolate. You can also get ice cream for one person by buying three scoops for £6. Be warned; you’ll definitely leave the Coco Gelato with a sugar rush.

Where: 133B Woodville Rd, Cardiff CF24 4DZ

4. Chocolate with blackberries

Nestled in Cathays, Chocoberry is the place to go for a bit of elegance or a romantic atmosphere – or if you really want to embrace summer in dessert form. It has a bright interior, ideal for a photo op with its pink flower wall. They serve a range of desserts and drinks and are one of the nicest places to stop for a sweet treat on City Road, starting at £3.50 for a scoop of ice cream. If you’re planning an ice cream date, this is the place to go; they serve popular sundaes like the banana split, strawberry shortcake and Oreo haven.

Where: 205 City Rd, Cardiff CF24 3JD

5. Calabrisella Ice Cream Shop

Coco Gelato is known for its huge sharing platters – Credit:(Image: Facebook/Coco Gelato)

This restaurant offering a taste of Italy in the heart of Cardiff has been named the best dessert shop in Wales and the south of England. Calabrisella Gelateria, located on Canton’s high street, has taken first place in the Deliveroo Restaurant Awards 2024, which celebrate the best-loved independent restaurants in the UK and Ireland.

The Italian ice cream and dessert spot opened in 2021 and is a passion project of founders Salvatore Vara, Angelo De Meo and Domenico Ventura, who wanted to expand their Calabrian offering to include fresh, house-made ice cream.

Where: 187 Cowbridge Rd E, Cardiff CF11 9AJ

6. Puddy’s Ice Cream

Puddy’s Ice Cream is a cute little family-run shop on Woodville Road in Cathays. They sell amazing bowls of fried ice cream with a variety of homemade sauces and toppings, and you can build your own scoop of fried ice cream with waffles and cookie dough. They’re perfect for your Instagram feed, especially during the festive season. If you want to go beyond a simple ice cream cone, Cardiff’s first fried ice cream shop is the place to start!

Where: 132 Woodville Rd, Cardiff CF24 4EE

7. Fainting, Duke St Arcade

Calabrisella serves award-winning gelato – Credit: WalesOnline/Rob Browne

Swoon Gelato is a sophisticated gelato bar located opposite Cardiff Castle and the perfect place to grab a cone or cup and explore the castle grounds before heading into Bute Park. They don’t offer the simple flavours that your little ones might gravitate towards, but for adults the menu is a delight.

You can also buy ice cream cakes here, in flavours such as raspberry and dark chocolate sorbet, or vanilla and pistachio stracciatella with passionfruit icing. A popular option for gelato gifts, for a more luxurious gelato bar, its price range of £5.25 to £9.50 for cones and cups makes it a special yet affordable treat.

Where: 11 Duke St, Cardiff CF10 1AY

8. Joe’s Ice Cream

Joe’s Ice Cream has its first recipe dating back to 1922 and is a Welsh classic. Its Cardiff branch is conveniently adjacent to Roath Recreational Grounds and Roath Pleasure Gardens, making it the perfect stop on the way home schoolor sit on the grass and soak up the sun. Joe’s serves ice cream that’s good for £2.70, offering us seasonal sundaes, and while this summer’s flavour is caramel overload, you can also get the simple classics. They only have five parlours in Wales, and we’re lucky to have one in Cardiff. Luckily, they cater for large events and also supply smaller venues with their stock…

Where: 69 Wellfield Rd, Cardiff CF24 3PA

9. Roath Park Royal Kiosk: Marshfield Farm Ice Cream

Swoon Gelato at Duke Street Arcade – Credit: Richard Swingler

The Royal Kiosk in Roath Park offers a beautiful view of a stream and Roath Lighthouse. They’re so perfectly positioned that you can grab a cone right outside the playground and by the time you’ve finished your ice cream, you’ve already made it to the ducks to feed. This kiosk is definitely a family favourite as it’s always packed on Saturdays, but it’s worth the wait (the queue moved faster than I thought).

They offer soft serve ice cream with sweet sauces, and with a variety of scooped ice cream flavors to choose from, it’s hard to decide! I’ve never had soft serve ice cream this creamy; it beats the strawberry ice cream at McDonalds. Although be prepared for a sugar rush, it definitely satisfied my sweet tooth.

Where: Roath Park, Cardiff CF23 5PJ

10. Llanfaes Dairy

Joe’s on a classic ice cream in Wales

Llanfaes Dairy is located on Mermaid Quay, just metres from stunning views of Cardiff Bay. It’s the perfect little shop for families heading to the Ferris wheel, which is less than a two-minute walk away. Tubs and cones are reasonably priced at £2.60-£9.95, and sundaes start at £4.50. An essential stop while you’re in the bay with your family.

Where: Mermaid Quay, Ground Floor Unit, Ocean Buildings, Cardiff CF10 5BZ

11. Brü Café and Gelato Cardiff

There are often queues at the kiosk in the summer – Credit: South Wales Echo

Bru is located in Cardiff city centre, opposite Cineworld, making it the perfect place to stop off after a day out in the city or a movie. They also serve coffee and lunch, and can serve vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan and halal dishes, as well as ice cream. At £2.95 a scoop, I’d say their handcrafted gelato or sorbet is a fantastic option for a post-shopping snack.

Where: Unit B, Ty Admiral, David St, Cardiff CF10 2EH