Eating a whole tub of ice cream in one setting when you are heart-broken, having a compulsive sweet tooth, bribing your kids to get them to do whatever you want, or simply cooling down on a hot day in a tropical destination like Bali, there are numerous reasons why we eat ice cream and loving it!
Also read: 20 Bali cafes with Instagram-worthy dessert
For those who even travel to Bali to have an excuse to indulge in all the icy goodness, your holiday mission to find the best ice cream on the island will soon be accomplished.
We’ve tasted so many and here are the few that will make you addicted – the best of the best. Let’s travel to ice cream heaven!
1. Ice table with a view – Alila Ubud
What do we call “eating ice-cream in style”?
If eating the finest homemade ice cream with natural ingredients and fruits of the season is not good enough for you, we’ll tell you now – you can actually experience not just wonderful ice cream, but 5-star service and beautiful landscape at Alila Ubud, a hotel beautifully overlooking the tropical jungle and rice fields, known for its excellent personalized service and experiences.
Unknown by most, you don’t need to have the bank account of the rich and famous to enjoy a glimpse of their luxury.
For a mere IDR 175.000 ++ (not including 21% taxes and service charge) you will be presented with an ice cream table with 7 flavors, one more delicious than the other. They are the “brainchild” of Chef Erwan, who enjoys the time and creative freedom at Alila Ubud to come up with new flavors.
Fruits and flavors are sourced locally, Lemongrass and Kamanggi from their own garden, vanilla from Singaraja, coffee from Kintamani and so on and the flavors change according to the season.
I could not make up my mind which flavor got me hooked for life, but Ginger-Stracciatella was definitely a strong candidate for a life-long love story, a very different and delicious combination.
You don’t want to leave your newfound luxury retreat after you have savored your ice cream ? If you are lucky that day and subject to availability, you might be allowed to use the pool and carry on enjoying the stunning views. Definitely worth the trip to Ubud for me.2. Icy fruity Mexican popsicles: Paletas Wey
These unbeatable popsicles hail from Mexico and they are immensely tempting, especially during hot summer days.
They don’t contain any preservatives or food coloring, using only pure frozen fruit!
Try classical strawberry milk, dragonfruit (which is full of antioxidants), durian, the dulce de leche for sweet cravings, or the ultimate combination of avocado and chocolate.
As we are in a Mexican place, of course the Tequila flavour can’t be missed! Olé!
3. Whipping up Italian gelato culture in Bali – Gusto Gelateria
Gusto Gelateria is the vision and brainchild of Italian/French couple Manuela and Regis, who now call Bali home.
Regis is a chef by trade and creator of all the recipes, and his wife Manuela is the daughter of gelateria owners in Bologna, Italy (a country that is hard to beat for making some of the best gelato in the world).
So rather us having to travel to Italy, they have brought Italian gelato to Bali.
Gusto’s opening hours are from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm. Does a discipline like “Ice Cream eating marathon” exist? I would register.
Manuela was a pharmacist by profession, and she’s using those skills now to mix together delicious ingredients with her husband. And surely ice cream could also be called “medicine for the soul”.
So what makes Gusto’s ice cream so special and addictive?
They only use natural ingredients (makes up for the guilt of the ice cream calories), fresh fruits, nuts, real milk, sugar, butter, chocolate and so on. You will not find any artificial colorings nor gelatin. And I love the fact that they support the local economy. 70% of all their ingredients are from Indonesia.
Flavors change with the season, and you’ll get seasonal fruit like Soursop, Dragon fruit and Tamarilla during certain months – they are constantly experimenting with new flavors.
Soursop is a seasonal fruit so don’t be disappointed if you do not see it all year round at Gusto, but it means they stick to their principle of working with the seasons and not against.
Almond Brittle (Nougatine) is their bestseller, while children’s top of the picks come as no surprise – vanilla, fraise, choco, stracciatella, milk chocolate and croccante.
On a hot Bali day, try the refreshing lemongrass and mango flavor.
Starting at IDR 20,000 per cone or cup with two flavors of choice, Gusto is certainly a gelateria that offers fantastic quality ice cream at an affordable price.
Despite its huge daily fan base, no worries about finding a seat, there is ample indoor and outdoor seating. In case you bring your car, there is a big carpark just opposite (if you know the area, you would know that this is actually a very thoughtful service for their customers).
Ample space indoors and outdoors
Have a guess who are Gusto’s champion fans.
Top 5 nationalities with the sweetest tooth for ice cream at Gusto:
As long as I am in Bali, I know where I go on a day when I need a pick-me-up and I am not even among the top 5 nationalities.
4. The smurfs in a cone – Massimo Il Ristorante
If you believe that ice cream should not be a “stand-alone” treat, but the icing on the cake after a delicious feast of homemade Italian pasta and pizza, it’s time to rush to Massimo Il Ristorante in Sanur.
At Massimo, you’ll get surprising smurf flavored ice gelato (but no worries, Chef Massimo assures you that no smurfs are harmed in the process) or strawberry-laced gelato.
The only trouble you will have to go through is to pick your favorite flavor among numerous irresistible choices. All of them only contain real fruits and nuts, and no flavoring or additives are added. Thumbs up for so much quality in a cup.
Photo via: fajartrisna
Is that Grand Marnier there in the front? I have it.
Fruit Sensation, Mocca, Fruit Mix and Strawberry laced gelato, 4 of many more flavors
If you like your gelato while on the go, simply buy it from the front store and enjoy it while you stroll down Sanur’s alleys.
Being a true southern Italian and loving people, it is not rare to see fun Massimo stepping out of his kitchen to chit chat with customers.
If you are not up for a trip to Naples, Massimo’s gelato is close enough to “Bella Italia”.
5. Cozy gelato getaway from Seminyak beach – Lello Lello
Lello Lello’s slogan says “Without gelato there would be darkness and chaos”, and who am I to disagree?
I am all in favor of the light that brings their creative creations, such as Snoop Dog, Pandan & Ginger, Guava & Mascarpone or the Cookie Monster, to a tropical holiday in Bali.
This cozy gelato shop is just a short stroll from Seminyak beach and all the hipster shops, and with its lovely décor and relaxed seating, it is the perfect place for a cool pitstop before continuing with your partying or shopping.
Find the bubblegum gelato in the photo ! No, you cannot chew on it for hours.
Are you also one of those people who need a savory treat after the sweet one or vice versa?
Think curry and gelato are a weird mix? Let’s talk again after you have tried their delicious curries, followed by the gelato as the icing after the meal.
Lello Lello is famous for being a “curry house”, just as much as a gelato paradise.
Photo via: thelostguides, littlemissbali
If your gelato needs to be accompanied by some drinks, you will have no shortage to choose from either – juices, coffee, smoothies. fresh coconuts or a cold beer are just an order away.
Photo via: thelostguide
And now that you have developed a serious Lello Lello gelato addiction (yes, it exists, I am the living example) that needs to be constantly nourished, how about getting their loyalty card?
6. Cube In Ubud filled to the brim with hand-crafted gelato – Gaya Gelato
Minimalistic and sleek and once you step through the door, heaven’s gate opens
How lucky are we, that so many Italian gelato masters leave Italy to settle in tropical Bali, to delight us with so much artisanal gelato?
Gaya was Italian couple Massimo’s and Colette’s initial brainchild, and they have since then moved on to use their talents and passion to open ITALO GELATO in Sanur. (It’s at Jalan Danau Tamblingan No.178, check it out and let us know what you think!)
Successful Gaya itself opened two other gelateria in Legian and on Echo Beach in Canggu, so no excuse not to sample their delicious flavors such as coconut, passion fruit, chocolate orange or even black rice.
Only natural aromas are used and preservatives and artificial colouring are prohibited.
Gaya perfectly marries Balinese spices and fruits with locally sourced ingredients, such as nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and coffee.
If you are standing in front of all the flavors, but are overwhelmed by all the choices and want it all, you can actually try the flavors before deciding on what to get for the big scoop.
If your sweet tooth does not stop at gelato, just keep on walking around the shop you find other treasures such as cakes in cute tins, Italian tiramisu, or hot or frozen Cappuccino.
And if you’re just sitting at home in front of the latest DVD and craving an ice cream, keep their number on speed dial – Gaya makes home deliveries and even sells party packs of gelato.
Thanks Massimo and Colette for having left Italy to settle in Bali to sweeten our lives
7. Artsy and colourful beachside ice cream parlour – WaLa Gelato at Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran
WaLa Gelato cafe’s home is in the très chic 5-star Le Méridien in Jimbaran.
The street frontage to the fishermen’s village makes it the perfect place for a stopover on the way back from the beach, to indulge in some of their homemade gelato or their divine eclairs which are simply soooo French.
Besides indulging in some of their homemade gelato (which was already enough to make my taste buds go into overdrive), how about trying their Parisian pastries as well? Their divine eclairs that come in flavors such as pandan mangosteen or raspberry-rosella are to die for.