The ice cream man doesn’t seem to exist anymore, at least around campus. Even though Amy’s Ice Creams is a local favorite for frozen desserts, Austin’s diverse selection of gelato makes this Italian treat another worthy summer indulgence.
The strong flavors and less creamy nature of gelato have made it a popular alternative to ice cream. Unlike ice cream, gelato is made from milk and cream — rather than just cream — and some variations of gelato even forgo the latter altogether. It also contains less sugar than ice cream, giving it a lower fat content. On top of this, gelato is made at a slow churning rate, which makes this Italian dessert denser and more filling than most ice creams.
Dolce Vita, a swanky coffee and dessert shop located in the heart of Hyde Park, offers a creative selection of gelato as well as sorbets. Made fresh daily, Dolce Vita’s gelato is prepared with whole milk and no cream, making the treat rich in flavor.
Despite its small selection, Dolce Vita is constantly experimenting with new flavors and rotating unique choices. Seasonal fruits such as figs are made into a sweet, milky gelato as well as a corresponding, tarter sorbet. Even sweeter flavors such as chocolate Guinness and peanut butter Nutella are also worth trying.
Dolce Vita’s dark lighting and relaxed patio make it the perfect place for a date-night dessert.
WHAT: Dolce Vita
WHERE: 4222 Duval St.
WHEN: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-midnight; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-midnight
Hidden within the 26 Doors Shopping Center on 38th Street, Tèo is one of the only Austin shops dedicated to gelato. Tèo, like Dolce Vita, also makes its gelato with milk rather than cream, but Tèo offers a larger selection of gelato, showcasing classic flavors such as espresso and dark chocolate alongside unconventional choices such as Cap’n Crunch.
Tèo’s salted caramel gelato has a surprisingly delicious flavor. The frozen treat is the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
Tèo also hosts $2 Tuesdays where you can get a small serving of gelato for $2 when you pay cash.
WHERE: 1206 W. 38th St.
WHEN: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m.-midnight; Saturday, 8 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Whole Foods versus Central Market
The battle of the upscale grocery stores continues beyond their food selection into the realm of desserts. Both Whole Foods Market and Central Market serve a decent array of gelato flavors.
Panna cotta with coffee crunch and soy chocolate are some of the decadent options found at Central Market. For the less adventurous, Whole Foods serves the basics, such as chocolate and stracciatella (a white gelato with chocolate shavings), but also offers more unique flavors, including avocado and bacon.
Both places use cream as well as milk in their gelato recipes. Their choices are much creamier and heavier than that of Tèo and Dolce Vita and are more reminiscent of ice cream. Central Market does a better job capitalizing on the richness of their gelato, however, by offering sweeter flavors.
WHAT: Whole Foods Market
WHERE: 525 N. Lamar Blvd.
WHEN: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
WHAT: Central Market
WHERE: 4001 N. Lamar Blvd.
WHEN: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily