11 dreamy ice-cream stops in Cardiff you simply have to try

-Credit: (Image: (Image: Facebook/Coco Gelato))
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Facebook/Coco Gelato))

Summertime in Cardiff means two things: picnics in Bute Park and an excuse to buy some ice cream. As an ice cream lover I tend to gravitate to the same shops for a little indulgence, but Cardiff has so much to offer. Maybe you’re like me and find it hard to choose where to buy the best ice cream for the ultimate summer vibes, and your camera roll… luckily I’ve done the hard work for us!

After a long day of exploring the city, or lounging in the sun, you may want to sit and enjoy a bowl of ice cream in comfort. Or, maybe you’re looking for the best spot for an ice cream date with friends, loved ones, or in peace by yourself. Personally, I find that ice cream is always best enjoyed with a view. If you’re looking to stay on the move, go sightseeing, or just need a sugary pick-me-up with something to look at, here are 11 suggestions to try. For the latest restaurant reviews, sign up to our food and drink newsletter here

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1. The Secret Garden Cafe

The Secret Garden's soft serve comes in deliciously fresh flavours -Credit:Secret Garden Cafe Instagram
The Secret Garden's soft serve comes in deliciously fresh flavours -Credit:Secret Garden Cafe Instagram

This independent café sits beautifully in the heart of Cardiff's Bute Park, and is vital to visit if you're walking by. While their menu changes seasonally, The Secret Garden is known for selling summery flavoured soft serve ice cream in flavours such as apricot and orange, or pistachio and raspberry. This café is normally surrounded by happy dogs and laughing children, and the greenery surrounding it makes it the best place for a picnic, or to enjoy the flowers and sunshine. It’s definitely a favourite to anyone who regularly visits the park, and really defines summer in Cardiff! Take a look at their Instagram here.

Where: Bute Park, North Rd, Cardiff CF10 3ER

2. Cadwaladers

Cadwaladers is absolutely a top tier shop for the summer, especially since it’s directly on the water at Cardiff Bay. Whether you choose to sit inside or on the pier, you can get gorgeous views of the bay and enjoy its scenery. It can be a struggle to find ice cream parlours that cater to gluten-free customers as well as vegans, but Cadwaladers succeeds by offering gluten-free cones which thankfully weren’t very different to the normal cones when we visited. The menu displays some incredible sundaes, and impressive milkshakes to go with them, or coffee and a filling lunch for those who prefer a savoury option.

Where: Mermaid Quay, 30, Cardiff CF10 5BZ

3. Coco Gelato

Cadwaladers ice cream parlour is an essential stop in Cardiff Bay
Cadwaladers ice cream parlour is an essential stop in Cardiff Bay

Coco Gelato is an Italian dessert parlour located on Woodville Road in Cathays which is ideal for a group looking to share in their indulgence. They prepare grand, towering sundaes from £12.50, packed with toppings and sauces. On the menu you can also find sharing platters like a traditional banana split and tropical thunder. If you have a birthday or event coming up with an ice cream lover, this is the place to take them where the colossal platters are filled with nothing but ice cream, waffles, cookies, and chocolate. You can get ice cream for one, too, by purchasing three scoops for £6. Careful; you will definitely leave Coco Gelato on a sugar high.

Where: 133B Woodville Rd, Cardiff CF24 4DZ

4. Chocoberry

Nestled in Cathays, Chocoberry is the best option for some elegance or a romantic atmosphere - or if you really want to embrace summertime in the form of dessert. It has a bright interior, ideal for a good picture with its signature pink flower wall. They serve an assortment of desserts and drinks and is one of the nicer places to stop for a sweet snack on City Road, starting at £3.50 for one scoop of ice cream. If you’re planning an ice cream date, this is the place to have it; they serve popular sundaes like banana split, strawberry shortbread and Oreo haven.

Where: 205 City Rd, Cardiff CF24 3JD

5. Calabrisella Gelateria

Coco Gelato is known for its huge sharing platters -Credit:(Image: Facebook/Coco Gelato)
Coco Gelato is known for its huge sharing platters -Credit:(Image: Facebook/Coco Gelato)

This restaurant offering a taste of Italy in the heart of Cardiff has claimed the title of best dessert shop in Wales and the south of England. Calabrisella Gelateria, located on the high street in Canton, claimed the top spot at the Deliveroo Restaurant Awards 2024, which celebrates the best and most loved independent restaurants across the UK and Ireland.

The Italian gelato and dessert spot opened back in 2021 and is a passion project for founders Salvatore Vara, Angelo De Meo and Domenico Ventura, who wanted to expand their Calabrian offering to include fresh, homemade gelato.

Where: 187 Cowbridge Rd E, Cardiff CF11 9AJ

6. Puddy’s Ice Cream

Puddy's Ice Cream is a cute little family-run parlour family on Woodville Road in Cathays. They advertise amazing fried ice cream bowls with an assortment of handmade sauces and toppings, and you can build your own fried ice cream ball with waffles and cookie dough. These are picture perfect for you Instagram, especially during a holiday season. If you want to move past a plain ice cream cone, the first fried ice cream shop in Cardiff is the place to start!

Where: 132 Woodville Rd, Cardiff CF24 4EE

7. Swoon, Duke St Arcade

Calabrisella serves award-winning gelato -Credit:WalesOnline/Rob Browne
Calabrisella serves award-winning gelato -Credit:WalesOnline/Rob Browne

Swoon Gelato is a sophisticated gelato bar located opposite Cardiff Castle and the ideal place to grab a cone or cup, and explore the courtyard of the castle before entering Bute Park. They don’t offer the plain flavours that your little ones might gravitate towards, but for grown-ups the menu is a delight.

You can purchase ice cream cakes here too, with flavours like raspberry sorbet and dark chocolate, or vanilla stracciatella and pistacchio with passionfruit glaze. A popular option for gelato gifts, for a more luxurious gelato bar their price range of £5.25 – £9.50 for cones and cups makes it a special but affordable treat.

Where: 11 Duke St, Cardiff CF10 1AY

8. Joe’s Ice Cream

Joe’s Ice Cream dates its first recipe back to 1922 and is a Welsh classic. Their Cardiff branch is conveniently adjacent to Roath Recreational Grounds and Roath Pleasure gardens, making it the perfect stop on the way home from school, or to sit on the grass and enjoy the sun. Joe's serves proper feel-good ice cream from £2.70 providing us with seasonal sundaes, and while this summer’s flavour is the toffee overload, you can get the plain classics as well. They have only five parlours in Wales, and we’re blessed to have one in Cardiff. Fortunately, they cater for large events, and also provide smaller locations with their stock…

Where: 69 Wellfield Rd, Cardiff CF24 3PA

9. Roath Park Royal Kiosk: Marshfield Farm Ice Cream

Swoon Gelato in the Duke Street Arcade -Credit:Richard Swingler
Swoon Gelato in the Duke Street Arcade -Credit:Richard Swingler

The Royal Kiosk in Roath Park offers us the beautiful view of a stream and Roath Lighthouse. They’re so perfectly placed that you can grab a cone on the way out of the playground and by the time you’ve finished your ice cream, you’ve reached the ducks to feed. This kiosk is clearly a favourite of several families as it's always packed on a Saturday but it’s well worth the wait (the line moved quicker than I thought it would, too).

They offer soft serve with sweet sauces, and with a variety of scooped ice cream flavours to choose from, it’s hard to decide! I’ve never had soft serve so creamy; it beats the strawberry ice cream from McDonalds. Although do prepare for the sugar rush, it definitely satisfied my sweet tooth.

Where:  Roath Park, Cardiff CF23 5PJ

10. Llanfaes Dairy

The Welsh cake ice cream from Llanfaes Dairy Ice Cream
Joe's in an ice cream classic in Wales

Llanfaes Dairy is on the Mermaid Quay, metres away from a lush view of Cardiff Bay. It’s a perfect little shop for families who are heading towards the Ferris Wheel, which is less than a two-minute walk away. The tubs and cones are nicely priced between £2.60 – £9.95 and the sundaes start at £4.50. An essential stop while you’re at the Bay with your family.

Where: Mermaid Quay, Ground Floor Unit, Ocean Buildings, Cardiff CF10 5BZ

11. Brü Coffee and Gelato Cardiff

There are often queues for the kiosk in summer -Credit:South Wales Echo
There are often queues for the kiosk in summer -Credit:South Wales Echo

Bru is located in Cardiff City Centre, opposite to Cineworld, making it perfect for a rest stop after a day out in town or a movie. They serve coffee and lunch too, and can serve veggie, gluten-free, vegan and halal dishes and ice cream. At £2.95 per scoop, I’d say their handmade gelato or sorbet is a fantastic option for a post-shopping snack.

Where: Unit B, Ty Admiral, David St, Cardiff CF10 2EH