12 places to get locally made ice cream, ice cream and frozen yogurt

Editor’s Note: This story was originally written in 2022 and updated in 2023.

In Tucson, ice cream season is every season. I honestly believe the Tucson area could handle even more ice cream spots offering locally made treats, but right now we have at least 12.

While popular ice cream factories like The Screamery and Hub have kept our artisanal ice cream scene going for a while, newcomers like Blondie’s Ice Cream, Okashi, and Licks (in Catalina) have pushed creative ice cream into smaller lots to a new level. Keep an eye out for ice cream at Puro Ice, Tanna’s Botannas’ Mexican Italian ice cream shop that landed Sullivan’s now-shuttered ice cream recipes.

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Pictured is rainbow sorbet ice cream made by Dana Rengel at Decibel Coffee Works. It’s a Tucson take on the classic treat, including passion fruit, lime, and prickly pear.

Arizona Daily Star Gloria Knott

Blondie ice cream

Great affogato can be found at Decibel Coffee Works, using their locally roasted beans and locally churned ice cream. Dana Rengel, owner of food truck Blondie’s Ice Cream, is also Decibel’s baker, baking some of the best chocolate chip cookies in town. While Blondie’s offers ice cream flavors as unique as The Parent Trap — a peanut butter and Oreo reference to Lindsay Lohan’s movie — at events with its revamped horse trailer, you can find a shorter list of standbys. like lemon meringue at Decibel Coffee Works and vegan strawberry and vanilla at Substance Diner.

Pitches: Blondie’s is available at Decibel Coffee Works, 267 S. Avenida del Convento, and Substance Diner, 1015 S. Park Ave. You can also find Blondie’s at events around town.

For more, check out their Instagram or our story.

Pictured is Blue Ice Gelato’s Cookie Butter Ice Cream, which is one of the most popular flavors.

Gloria Knott, this is Tucson

blue ice

Gelato is lighter than ice cream, its custard usually being made with less cream and no egg yolk. Yet it is no less decadent, with extravagant flavors and a silky texture. Blue Ice, located in the Catalina foothills, offers over 50 flavors of this refreshing treat, including fig mascarpone, honey cucumber, and vegan sorbet options.

Location: 6878 E. Sunrise Drive

For more information, see their website.

Pictured in 2014 is pork belly flavored ice cream in a waffle cone, both made on-site at Brushfire Ice Creamery, 7080 E. 22nd St.

Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star

Bush fire creamery

Brushfire Creamery is almost like an ice cream speakeasy located in Brushfire BBQ. You think the brisket is the main event, and the ice cream is like their seasoned fries: a delicious side dish. Fake! The ice cream is worth the trip on its own, especially if you like your ice cream thick and creamy.

While the creamery is located at their east side location, a smaller selection of flavors are available at their other downtown location.

Pitches: East Side, 7080 E. 22nd St. | Midtown, 2745 N. Campbell Ave.

For more information, see their website.

Gelato flavors at Ceres rotate weekly. Pictured is a chocolate mint swirl with fine crushed mints and gummy worms.

Arizona Daily Star Gloria Knott

Ceres and Noodies

Ceres’ app is inspired by the upbringing of owner Carolyn O’Connor in Syracuse, New York. While Ceres will close on Monday, May 29 and back in mid-June, the restaurant normally launches two new flavors each week, which can be enjoyed on their own or mixed together. Toppings also rotate, from mini chocolate chips to three-berry sauce.

The gentle service is also available at Ceres’ partner restaurant, Noodies, which East open all summer! Flavors change, so check their Instagram to see what’s on the list!

Location: Ceres, 77 W. Washington St.; Noodies, 1730 E. Speedway

For more information on Ceres, see their website. For more information on Noodies, check out their website.

Frost co-founders Jeffrey Kaiserman, left, and Stephen Ochoa, right, master ice cream chef and Italian native Nazario Melchionda, at their ice cream shop, 2905 E. Skyline Drive.

Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star 2013


While Frost has expanded to an empire, with locations from Irvine, California to Kuwait City, Kuwait, they got their start in Tucson, when two Tucson locals traveled to Italy and brought back a master ice cream maker. My first favorite flavor of ice cream was their coconut ice cream, which I still can’t resist every time I visit.

For more information, see their website.

Frozen delight

One of my favorite daily memories from Tucson was one morning, while picking up Bubbe’s bagels, I saw an older woman sitting alone at a table at Frozen Delight. She was reading the newspaper with a small cup of espresso. The winter sun was casting softly through the window onto this small scene. It was very European and totally out of place for a mall, although nice. It made me want to incorporate Frozen Delight into my daily routine, especially their tangy frozen yogurt. While their ice cream offerings aren’t locally made (they’re Thrifty branded), their frozen yogurt is!

Location: 1101 N. Wilmot Road

For more information, see their website.

From left, balsamic roasted strawberry, coconut ash, and pistachio ice cream in olive oil at the HUB Ice Cream Parlor, 245 E. Congress St.

Rebecca Sasnett, Arizona Daily Star

Hub Ice Cream Parlor

What can we say about Hub that hasn’t been said before? The glacier is a flagship restaurant in the city center. They make wacky flavors, using ingredients like Honeycomb and Peeps. If you have a favorite, you should watch their rotating menu carefully to see when it becomes available again. Their ice cream can be presented in a cup, homemade waffle cone, bubble waffle, cookie sandwich, or chocolate taco.

You can also get their ice cream at their restaurant across the street at 266 E. Congress St.

Location: 245 E. Congress St.

For more information, see their website.

Licks Catalina is home to rotating ice cream flavors and the ability to infuse the treat with cereal. Here’s the Tucson Double Rainbow, with vanilla-strawberry ice cream, lucky charms, gummies, rainbow sprinkles and a drizzle of sweet cream.

Gloria Knott, this is Tucson

Catalina Lick

This Catalina ice cream parlor offers an assortment of unconventional flavors and methods. They offer bubble waffle cones and mix cereals like Cap’n Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Reese’s Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch into their ice cream. They also have dairy-free flavors and gluten-free cone options.

Location: Catalina, 16130 N. Oracle Road

For more information, check out their Instagram page.

Okashi’s Vegan Ube Ice Cream is made with coconut and is incredibly creamy.

Ellice Lueders, This is Tucson

Okashi ice cream and sweets

Dean Blair, the pastry chef behind Okashi, came to Tucson from Portland, Oregon to make ice cream. It incorporates flavors and techniques from Japan, the Philippines and France: ice creams like vegan ube (with a creamy coconut base) and pastries like matcha cream puffs. Each new weekly order form offers significant vegan and dairy options. Find her creations during the monthly Penelope pasta night pop-up.

Location: Pickup takes place at Dean Blair’s home in Blenman Elm. Place an order for details.

For more information, check out their Instagram, our story, or their website.

Pronghorn Pizza

This pizza destination in Sonoita, operating out of the Dos Cabezas winery, has now added ice cream to its amazing roster. Visit this summer to try their vegan strawberry sorbet and classic vanilla ice cream.

Location: Dos Cabezas WineWorks, 3248 AZ-82, Sonoita

For more information, check out their Instagram.

The Screamery uses no artificial colors or flavors in its Pumpkin Ice Cream.

Gloria Knott, this is Tucson

The Scream

The Screamery uses only natural ingredients in its fan-favorite ice creams. An in-house pasteurization process allows them to infuse creative flavors into their cream. They shine their best with kitchen sink flavors like cowboy cookies and snack foods.

For more information, see their website.

Sundaze Yogurt

Located in the Foothills, Sundaze offers an eclectic interior and over 75 flavors of frozen yogurt, including fat-free and sugar-free options. They also make smoothies!

Location: 4777 E. Sunrise Drive

For more information, see their website.

Japanese ice cream brand Cellato has created an ice cream flavor from some of the rarest ingredients in the world.

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