Tongues ready, people! Here’s the scoop on Vienna’s 13 favourite and most iconic places for ice cream and gelati. You’ll be walking around with an ice cream smile all summer!
Tip: start on the outer districts of the city and have your tongue lick its way to the centre.
Tichy – Best Ice Cream
Where: Reumannplatz 13, 1100
Daily: 10am–11pm (March–October)
Described before our ice-cream melts: These guys not only invented the famous Eis-Marillen-Knödel (an ice cream version of the Austrian apricot dumpling dish), but it also seems they invented the time machine. Their legendary ice cream creations (like Spaghetti Eis), or the simple ice cream in a cone or cup, is served by motherly waitresses in white and pink striped dresses. It all transports you to a world in which a scoop of ice cream makes everything better.
Our favourite flavour: the Eis-Marillen-Knödel – they’re so creamy … we mean crunchy … we mean fruity. Wait, what?
We love… the seemingly hidden salon in the back, with its unexpected stained glass door and ceiling.
Tuchlauben – Best Ice Cream
Where: Tuchlauben 15, 1010
SUN: 11am–10:30pm (March–October)
Described before our ice cream melts: Under an eye-catching chandelier, Tuchlauben hosts both businessmen in suits and sandal-wearing tourists, all looking for an indulgent moment on a hot, sunny day in the 1st district. Here, they all become children for a moment as they lick at, what some consider, the best ice cream in the city.
Our favourite flavour: the fatty, creamy nougat that they apparently keep in the back in a special fridge and only bring out for connoisseurs. Or the apricot… or the dark chocolate… or the lemon sorbet – ok, just try all of them. At the same time on one singular cone – we’d love to see that ice cream tower!
We love… that the waiters have been there for decades, even before management changed. It gives a very homey, familiar feeling to the place.
Osvaldo Bortolotti Eissalon – Best Ice Cream
Where: Baumgasse 1, 1030
Daily: 10am–12am (March 1st to end of October)
Described before our ice cream melts: “Allo, howa are you,” said in his sharp, innocent, charming Italian accent. He doesn’t know our name, and we don’t know his, but it doesn’t matter. We love him like a regular at a pub loves the barman. He’s our iceman. This is one of the third district’s most beloved ice cream parlours. A mama and papa family business, this place is like a birthmark in the district – it’s always been there, holds memories, and unusually long strands of hair grow out of it (ok, maybe not the last one). Every single delicious flavour at this old-timer ice cream salon is made out back with fresh ingredients, and your tastebuds would know this fact even if we hadn’t told you.
Our favourite flavour: lemon sorbet or the fruit cup (Fruchtbecher) which looks like a Caribbean dancers’ costume.
We love… the orange and purple décor which has a look somewhere between a 60’s nightclub and a game show set.
Check out our full review of Osvaldo Bortolotti Eissalon, here.
Eis Greissler – Best Ice Cream
Where: Rotenturmstraße 14, 1010
Daily: 11am–9pm (all year long)
Described before our ice-cream melts: This organic ice cream joint with its country-side, we-keep-a-cow-out-back kind of concept, is in the middle of the city and always comes with a queue of people looking to satisfy their sweet tooth. Partly because the place is tiny, and partly as one needs time to decide on the flavour with the interesting options on offer – elderflower, goat cheese or poppyseed, and so the list goes on, just as unusually.
Our favourite flavour: The pumpkin seed oil ice cream – this is the taste of Austria at its best!
We love… the fact that they get the milk from their own cows.
They also have… another store in the 6th district (Mariahilfer Straße 33, 1060)
Gelati da Salvo – Best Ice Cream
Where: Obkirchergasse 26, 1190
Described before our ice cream melts: This 19th district favourite takes you back to your childhood, especially if you spent a big part of that on family holidays along the Italian Riviera. Classic ice cream cups like the Peach Melba, the Amarena-Becher or Heisse Liebe will surely make you want to take out your camera before digging in.
Our favourite flavour: Mango. And Peach. And blueberry. And any fruit really, since they only use fresh fruits to enhance the colours and flavours. On second thought, just try the fruity madness that is the “Eispizza” fruit cup.
We love… the fact that this place has been around since 1938 and reminds us of that neighbour you’re always happy to see.
Eissalon am Schwedenplatz – Best Ice Cream
Where: Franz-Josefs-Kai 17, 1010
Daily: 10am–11:15pm (March–October)
Described before our ice cream melts: The Molin Pradel family has owned this bonafide Italian gelateria since 1886, making it perhaps the oldest in Vienna. Silvio’s great-grandfather Arcangelo, a talented ice-cream maker, came from the Venetian Zoldo Valley to Austria in 1885, bringing with him the secrets of the traditional handmade ice-cream. The pistachio and lemons come from Sicily, and the vanilla is made with real beans.
Our favourite flavour: Nocciolone, which is Gianduia chocolate with real Piemonte hazelnuts (also delicious: the Nocciolone vegan version)
We love… all the fruit flavours (and we do like the vegan version, too).
We also suggest… having the affogato (espresso with a vanilla ice-cream scoop) or the famous iced coffee served up here.
Gelateria Hoher Markt – Best Ice Cream
Where: Hoher Markt 4, 1010
SUN: 10am–11:30pm (March–October)
Described before our ice cream melts: Gelateria Hoher Markt’s owner, Fabio De Prophetis, has been making handmade gelati for over 20 years. It is an immeasurable pleasure seating outside, making a mess of your tasty gelati, while admiring the famous Anker clock, and the fountain which adorns the Hoher Markt square. If you like exotic flavours, this season you can try the Poire Royal, a Belgian recipe, made up of pear, cinnamon and a lot of sugar.
Our favourite flavour: chocolate (meant to be one of the best in Vienna by real ice cream experts … who wear white lab coats and lick and spit ice cream for a living)
We love… Fabio’s charming wife Marina who hails from Rome. Only in a platonic way, of course. Similar to how we love their ice cream.
Leones – Best Ice Cream
Where: Lange Gasse 78, 1080
April: daily: 12pm–8pm
May & September: daily: 12pm–9am
June–August: daily: 12pm–10pm
Described before our ice cream melts: “We make traditional Italian ice cream out of fresh, natural ingredients. No artificial additives. No ifs, ands, or buts,” reads the Leone’s ethos on their wall, and one lick will convince you that they live by this creed. That’s right, the vanilla flavour is made from real vanilla beans, and the coconut with real coconut milk. A youngin’ on Vienna’s crowded gelati scene, this place is a hip ice-cream hang.
Our favourite flavour: Coconut, and the vegan dark chocolate is just heavenly.
We love… that they also offer vegan flavours, but only for the sake of taste.
Good to know… that from now until the end of August, Leones will also have a pop-up gelateria in the 2nd district (Praterstraße 16), with a focus on slow food and regional ingredients. Daily from 12pm–9pm.
Check out our full review of Leones, here.
Schelato – Best Ice Cream
Where: Lerchenfelder Straße 34, 1080 & Schleifmühlgasse 11, 1040
Described before our ice cream melts: Life is good at Schelato – pronounced with a sharp ‘shhhh’ (please don’t try pronouncing it with a mouthful of ice cream). The ice cream is organic and the flavours are outlandish which first strike you with their colours and odd ingredients, and then hit you with their unusual, yet delicious flavour. Beetroot and poppyseed warrant our first, hearty WTF?! Followed by the flavour containing avocado. But damn is the taste outstanding. And they’re not just scoring points for their originality. Even the more plain sounding flavours like lemon sorbet, buffalo milk, the mango and French caramel inspire a moment of silence after the first spoonful.
While we have no doubt they exist here, we don’t see one parent or child in the place while we’re there. Instead, 20-somethings are chilling in the atmospheric garden out front which nestles up to a florist – another perfect union created.
Our favourite flavour: salted caramel
We love… the mad ice cream science happening downstairs in the cellar laboratory where the ice cream is made.
We also love… how the sunset streams down Lerchenfelder Straße, and hits Schelato like a sweet spot.
Check out our full review of Schelato, here.
Eissalon Daniel – Best Ice Cream
Where: Hütteldorfer Straße 70, 1150
Public holidays closed (March–November)
Described before our ice cream melts: One of the cheapest ice creams in town can be licked at Eissalon Daniel. It’s not the prettiest, but neither are you when you have their ice cream dribbling down your face when lapping at it like a thirsty dog’s tongue. The ice cream is the real deal here, with all flavours made by hand, from fresh ingredients and a secret family recipe which has been around since 1928.
Our favourite flavour: You have to go for any of the plentiful ice cream cups here. Try and fit your whole face in one like we did.
Eissalon De Rocco – Best Ice Cream
Where: Kutschkergasse 40, 1180
Daily: 11am–11pm (March–October)
Described before our ice cream melts: Cream, strawberries and ice cream is piled high in our ice cup and we’re shaking our hands at our sides at De Rocco’s gelateria like a seal having an epileptic fit. De Rocco has been around forever (it seems since the dawn of time… or at least the invention of gelati) and it caters for all types – including diabetics, those in need of lactose free, and vegans. It also has a secret weapon – the Schokoguss (a milk chocolate topping which becomes a hard shell in seconds). Technology these days. Situated on the corner of a pleasant market in the 18th district, we’d recommend you get your ice cream to go and explore the surroundings.
Our favourite flavour: Bacio – it’s out of this world!
Veganista – Best Ice Cream
Where: Neustiftgasse 23, 1070
Daily: 11am–10pm (all year long)
Described before our ice cream melts: Veganista ensures that vegans are walking around with the summer ice cream smile, as well. This is the only gelateria solely dedicated to vegan ice creations in Vienna, and it’s more than worth you and your tongue checking it out, even if you’re not of the vegan persuasion. From the no-milk-product approach, creative flavours are born. And they’re always mixing it up at Veganista, with a menu that adapts to the season, which is full of flavours that you’d struggle to think up even when under the influence of a Veganista ice cream sugar high.
Our favourite flavour: there are too many, but try cookies, maple pecan, basil, matcha or Marillenknödel.
We love… the tiles on the floor of the Neustiftgasse Veganista
They also have… two other locations: Margaretenstraße 51, 1050 & Alserbachstraße 5, 1080.
Gelateria La Romana – Best Ice Cream
Where: Stiftgasse 15–17, 1070
Described before your ice cream melts: La Romana became a legend and a favourite in Vienna as soon as it opened. The sweet looking gelateria on the shady Stiftgasse in Vienna’s 7th serve up some of the most super-smooth gelato you’ll ever bury your face in. And the creamy goodness kept in traditional lidded pots behind the front counter are all made in the old time-honoured way, with no nasty stuff included. They’ve got a couple of things that make them stand out from the crowd, beginning with the caramel and chocolate that you can fill your cone up with, or drizzle over the top of your ice cream. Not to mention the ice cream brioche sandwich. This may be a global chain, nevertheless, there’s no denying the creamy smile-inducing ice cream they serve up here.
Our favourite flavour: Crema dal 1947 – it will make you rethink what you thought of vanilla.
We love… the chocolate and caramel on tap