Denver’s finest ice cream parlor for scoops, shakes and affogatos

Ice cream cones will be waiting for customers at the pickup counter at the Sweet Cow Ice Cream Parlor in Denver on Wednesday May 19 (Photo by Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)

Editor’s note: This is part of the new series from The Know, Staff Favorites. Each week we share our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, the outdoors, and more. (We’ll also let you in on some of the hidden gems). Here you will find our previous employee favorites.

Denver’s ice cream scene has something sweet for everyone. There’s ice cream whispered, ice cream in giant cream jars, ice cream from old-fashioned soda shops, ice cream deliveries, and ice cream pop-ups.

But for ice cream, which I crave weekly – sometimes daily, let’s face it – there are fewer options. Here are the three on my personal shortlist, depending on what type of treat I’m looking for.

Cute cow

This is the place for scoops and pints in ever-changing flavors that really get my special brand of ice cream freak excited. I’m talking about Snickers, Orange Creamsicle, Vermont Maple Walnut, Fluffernutter, and many more. I love that each place (six in total, between Denver, Louisville, and Boulder) has a slightly different set of tastes. Also, I love the cows everywhere and I wish I were young enough to play with them. 1882 S. Pearl St., Denver, plus five other locations, sweetcowicecream.com

The Scotcheroo Blender from Knockabout Burgers at Avanti consists of soft ice cream, peanut butter sauce, chocolate syrup, butterscotch syrup, rice crisps and chocolate chips. (Provided by Knockabout Burgers)

Knockabout burger

The blenders here are a dream. Sometimes I think of her first thing in the morning and just before I go to sleep. And they’re straightforward: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough; Salted Caramel and Toffee; and Scotcheroo with peanut butter, chocolate, butterscotch and rice krispies on top. (They all start with a vanilla soft ice cream base.) Sometimes you will also come across crazy seasonal specials like Matcha Lavender or Rainbow Unicorn Delight. 3200 Pecos St., Denver, at Avanti F&B, season opening May 25th, avantifandb.com

MORE: Nine of our favorite Denver ice cream parlors to cool off this summer (and a handy guide to choose from)

Curt Peterson, owner of Smith + Canon Ice Cream Co, pours an iced coffee drink for a customer, June 6, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Mohatt, Special to The Denver Post)

Smith + Canon

Every time I have ice cream with my coffee, I think I should do it more often. And the combination, I’m sure, is best at Smith + Canon on East Colfax Avenue and the new Clayton Hotel. For the latter, you should opt for Affogatos, ice cream scoops with espresso on top. My order is the Foxy Brown (tastes like cinnamon rolls and cheesecake, combined!) With a dash of decaffeinated coffee. In the original salon on Colfax, ask for a full coffee cart. 233 Clayton St., at Oak Market at the Clayton, and 2260 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, smithcanon.com

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