The time is right – in case you haven’t noticed, the summer has officially begun. Finally, it is (almost) as hot as in Italy and we can properly enjoy a few scoops of ice cream to cool down after a full day of hard work. If you are a bit lost as to where to find the best ice cream shops, the hard working writers of TheSquare.Gent have sacrificed themselves for you and did a proper ice cream crawl through the town. Here they are: the top 5 ice cream shops of Ghent (in no particular order)!
The prices at the shops are more or less the same all over Ghent: about 2 EUR for one scoop and between 3-4 EUR for 2 scoops. You can usually choose between a scone or a (paper) cup for free, while all the toppings are charged extra.
The white van with the stripes in the colours of Italy has probably already caught your eye in Ghent. The vehicles of this family-run business can be found in the centre of Ghent and at the train station. Additionally, their vans also venture to different locations outside of town, surprising you with a delicious break on your cycling trip for example.
They boast homemade, real Italian ice cream and I can confirm that their pistache tastes delicious. Follow their Facebook page for the latest information on the flavours of the day. You can also order ice cream per litre and ijs taarten (ice cakes).
Location: Korenmarkt, Gravensteen, Sint-Baafs, Zuid, Gent-Sint-Pieters and different locations outside of Ghent
Plus: they’re everywhere and who doesn’t love an ice cream van??
Nonno is another Italo-Gentian family-run ice cream shop, famous for freshly made ice cream on location. Expect some innovative flavours, for example ginger, and solid, full flavour.
Their fruit-based ice creams are actually sorbets, made with real fruit, beetroot sugar and water. This makes them suitable for vegans and people with lactose-intolerance. Nonno can be found at 2 locations in the city centre, so if you really liked the first one, there’s the next one just around the corner.
Location: Kortedagsteeg 22 and Jakobijnenstraat 5
Plus: The shop on Jakobijnenstraat is open every afternoon until 22h, except on Sunday when they close at 18h)
This Belgian ice cream chain – I bet you thought it was really Australian! – has its shop in Ghent on the Veldstraat, which means you should avoid it on Saturday afternoons as it gets super crowded.
The ice cream flavours are rich and filling, think cuberdons and cookie crunch, and there is no shortage of sweet toppings. You can also order a waffle or a milkshake, if ice cream is not your thing. But they also have a good selection of fruit-based sorbets for those who prefer lighter flavours.
Location: Veldstraat 21
Plus: It has other options besides ice cream. If you have a favourite flavour, you can find it at their shops all across Belgium
Talamini ice cream has the reputation as the best ice cream in Ghent, at least south of the Gent-Sint-Pieters train station. This year, they have joined forces with Larmuseau – of the Ghent-specialty sneeuwballen fame – to offer their goods also north of the station.
What I liked about their ice cream is the fresh and light flavour, which is very welcome in this heat. Since becoming part of the Larmuseau family, their ice creams can also be ordered online and delivered to your home (not as scoops, obviously).
Location: Talamini: Maaltebruggestraat 9 (only ice cream), Larmuseau: Koning Albertlaan 63 and Dorp-Oost 9 (Lochristi)
Plus: You can get ice cream and sneeuwballen at the same place!
This is my personal favourite and not only because it is almost right next door to my place. Conveniently located between the train station and the centre of town, this small ice cream shop has a very homey feel.
A nice lady behind the counter, a couple of rickety chairs and a setting sun – the perfect ingredients for an ice cream after a long hot day. My favourite flavours are the salty caramel and a real-banana-ry-tasting banana.
Location: Koningin Elisabethlaan 21
Plus: You can sit on their little terrace outside and watch the world pass by, or take your ice cream with you to enjoy it in the shade of the Citadelpark.