Interior Design

11 Design-Forward Ice Cream Shops We Adore

July 25, 2017

Ice cream shops are universal happy places—how can you leave one without a smile? You can always count on finding an ice cream flavor to satisfy that sweet tooth whether it's with a standby like mint chocolate chip or a new flavor like Earl Grey honeycomb. Ice cream makers are not only letting their imaginations run wild with flavor creation, but they're taking the same approach to their shop design, as well. We found 11 fresh ice cream shops across the globe with different perspectives in taste and design that are anything but vanilla. We'd love to visit all of them to enjoy a scoop—or two!

Photo by Party/Space/Design

Shugaa is located in Bangkok, Thailand, and uses minty greens, soft pinks, and white hues to evoke our favorite ice cream flavors. Party/Space/Design studio designed the interior using sugar as their design concept by highlighting crystalline, geometric, delicate, and translucent forms. 27 The Residence at 61 Bldg., Sukhumvit soi 61, Klongtan-nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Photo by Eisdieler

Eisdieler ice cream parlor reimagines the classic summer dessert by serving ice cream in long, thin black sugar cones. This iconic element of the shop is translated onto the walls through modern geometric patterns contrasted with crisp white throughout the space.Promenade 9, 4020 Linz, Austria

Scroll's flagship store designed by Studio Twocan in Victoria, Australia, evokes the cold plate ice cream-making method of rolling fruit and flavors into ice cream though the clever use of layered colorful concrete. Shop K0110 Chadstone Shopping Centre, Chadstone, VIC, 3148

Shop the Story

Ice cream-making becomes a performance at Snow Picnic in Tokyo and Mister in Vancouver where liquid nitrogen is used to make ice cream to order. The design concept of science-meets-food is wildly different, but works for both shops (see below).

Photo by Takumi Ota

Snow Picnic offers a comfortable living room ambience using timber furnishings with vintage tiles accented throughout the shop. Cantilevered planes create different platforms for customers to view their orders being created. 1 Chome-15-12 Arai, Nakano-ku, Tokyo

Mister is located in a 1912 warehouse loft conversion space; the design acknowledges the history of the building while highlighting the futuristic method of liquid nitrogen ice cream-making. Plate steel, slab concrete, plywood, and soapstone serve as the backdrop for this frozen treat. 1141 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P2, Canada

Photo by Rocambolesc Gelateria

Rocambolesc Gelateria in Girona, Spain, takes a fantastical approach where the world of Candy Land meets ice cream. Bold spirals, lights, and pipes evoke what it would be like inside a grand whimsical ice cream-making machine. Carrer de Santa Clara 50, Girona

The Italian gelato shop Dri Dri's cheerful facade draws you inside to a beach hut-style interior. Chelsea Farmers' Market, London SW3 6NR

Dri Dri also hits the streets at CityWalk, Dubai, with this converted tuk tuk accented with its iconic scoop graphic and pops of bright color. 39 Al Safa St - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Photo by Anagrama

Retro ice cream shops often play on old school nostalgia, but Winter Milk in Mexico takes a fresh approach, particularly with its delightful packaging and branding by Anagrama. A '60s aesthetic gets a modern spin with clean lines and crisp pops of color. Sin Nombre de Col 3, 66376 Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Photo by Jaime Navarro Soto and Edward Way

You'll take a curious glance at Gelatoscopio in Mexico City. The bright shop encourages visitors to discover the its ice cream menu through graphic, circular elements that are sprinkled across the walls; interactive elements range from mirrored lenses to kaleidoscopes suit all ages, children to adults. Oscar Wilde 20, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Frankie & Jo's is a plant-based ice cream shop located in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. The interior reflects the mission behind its ice cream, pure and simple. Materials and finishes include blush concrete block with foliage to accent. 1010 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122

Photo by Alan Gastelum

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream in New York City takes a fresh approach to the meaning of the American ice cream parlor. The shop focuses on small batch ice cream with attention to flavor. A similar approach is taken inside with a crisp white, minimal design approach with attention to detail. The brilliant blue facade is both eye-catching and perfectly evokes chill on hot summer days. 2 Rivington Street New York, NY 10002

For more ice cream recipes, tips, and saves for when things go awry, check out Ice Cream & Friends, our cookbook dedicated to ice cream and all its pals: pops, gelato, milkshakes—sprinkles, cones, and so much more.

Which ice cream shop are you dreaming of visiting? Tell us in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • pepina
  • Lyna Vuong
    Lyna Vuong
Lyna Vuong

Written by: Lyna Vuong

I'm a food studies grad student, cook, and interior designer. (I love a colorful palate/palette!)


pepina July 25, 2017
Never thought I'd find smth out of my rather small Austrian hometon on Food52! Well deserved though. Eisdieler truly is a great ice cream shop - not only for its design. :)
pepina July 25, 2017
*hometown of course
Lyna V. July 25, 2017
It's a really stunning, graphic pattern! (refreshing from many common ice cream parlor designs too.) Hope to be able to try their ice cream one day :)