Merseyside's best places to buy an ice cream tried and tested

Esposito's in Court Hey Park
-Credit: (Image: Liverpool Echo)

When the weather is warmer, and even when it's not, there's nothing like a scoop of ice cream for a treat.

Whether you're tempted by a whippy, or a huge sundae, there are plenty of places in Merseyside to get your ice cream fix. If it's your sweet treat of choice, you don't have to travel far to get your hands on a delicious gelato or mout- watering knickerbocker glory.

From independent ice cream parlours , offering unique flavours, to established gems that have multiple sites across the region, there is something for everyone.

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Below we have rounded up a few of our favourite ice cream shops from around the region - chosen by a handful of Liverpool ECHO reporters. However, we're well aware that there will be places we've missed off the list.

If there are any you think deserves praise, let us know in the comments and we'll add them to the list. Here are some of the best places to get ice cream in Merseyside:

Esposito’s - Christopher Megrath

Esposito’s is a little family business nestled at the end of most parks. Mill Dam, Victoria Park, Runcorn Hill Park and Court Hey Park all boast venues making for the perfect rest stop on a Sunday stroll or a summer day.

All your typical offerings of cake, coffee and treats are on offer but ice cream is where Esposito’s shines brightest. These scoops are some of the smoothest, tastiest and coldest you’ll find anywhere in Merseyside. The entire menu is a dream for sweet tooths like me. You’ll be spoiled for choice between Nutella Rocky Road, Coco loco and a slew of classics including raspberry ripple and salted toffee. A personal favourite is cookies & cream followed by blue bubblegum. I’ve never been disappointed by a new experience at any Esposito’s store which is why I make a point of visiting whenever I can.

The Reader Ice Cream Parlour
The Reader Ice Cream Parlour -Credit:Liverpool Echo

The Reader Ice Cream Parlour - Hannah Rees

I’ve only started visiting Calderstones Park in the past year or so but now a trip isn’t complete without popping in to the Reader Ice Cream Parlour. Set in the stunning surroundings of the park, the little cafe serves hot drinks, snacks and delicious Cheshire Farm Ice Cream. Even better, all of its profits go towards the Reader Charity.

Safi’s Desserts - Ellen Kirwin

When Scoops off Walton Vale closed down many, many years ago, it was a sad day for locals who’d visit for a sweet treat. However there’s a new ice cream parlor and desserts venue that is filling the gap in the market.

Safi’s Desserts can be found on Walton Vale by the Subway and Pizza Hut. But there are also five other Safi’s located across Liverpool, including in Old Swan, Norris Green and Liverpool city centre. While desserts are its bread and butter, boasting handcrafted cheesecakes, stacked cakes and loaded waffles and cookie dough, it also has a large selection of ice creams. For those who are looking for something more indulgent than a cone, Safi’s offers huge “Amsterdam-inspired” sundaes filled with plenty of added goodies.

Nicholls Famous Ice-Cream of Parkgate
Nicholls Famous Ice-Cream of Parkgate -Credit:Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo

Nicholls of Parkgate - Ryan Paton

Despite living in Merseyside my whole life, it was only last month that I finally made the short journey to Cheshire to see Parkgate for the first time. The picturesque resort has everything you need to enjoy a perfect day out in the sun.

Great views of the Dee Estuary, brilliant pubs to enjoy a pint and a legendary fish and chip shop. However, the jewel in the crown is arguably the award-winning ice cream parlour which has stood proudly on the promenade for 75 years. I was inspired to head to Nicholls of Parkgate when it was used as a filming location for an upcoming Netflix show and I was not disappointed.

I ordered a two-scoop combination of cinder toffee and pistachio which I ate on a bench while taking in the panoramic landscape. I can’t believe it’s taken me 30 years to experience it.

Carte D’or Ice Cream Parlour and Cafe, Eastham Village - Jamie Greer

In my opinion, where you have an ice cream is often just as important as the taste itself. That’s why the Carte D’or Ice Cream Parlour and Cafe gets my vote. It does all the classics and you can’t really go wrong with that. For me, it always has to be a 99 with a flake and raspberry sauce.

But what makes this special is the location. It’s best to visit here on a sunny day as families, friends and sometimes bikers turn up to enjoy an ice cream on the banks of the Mersey. The cafe is actually the old ticket office for the ferry which used to take passengers to and from Liverpool back in the day.

While you’re here, be sure to take in the picturesque streets of Eastham Village with its old cottages and gas lamps for street signs. The nearby Eastham Country Park is great for a walk or leisurely bike ride too.

Gelato on Lark Lane, Aigburth - Alice Walker

Gelato ice cream shop on Lark Lane
Gelato ice cream shop on Lark Lane -Credit:Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

Ask anybody in the Aigburth area where to get ice cream and I guarantee they will say Gelato. The quaint cafe has been on Lark Lane for a number of years now serving gigantic portions of ice cream to the masses for cheaper than you’d expect.

The flavours are incredible - I can never decide between cookies and cream or Ferrero Roche when I go, but they have all the usual classics as well. The staff are friendly and the cafe has vegan and lactose-free options as too. One of my favourite things to do on a sunny day is head to Gelato, get an ice cream and take it to the lovely Sefton Park which is only a stone’s throw away. You absolutely cannot beat it.

Some more recommendations...

Paolo & Donato's Italian Deli, Williamson Square

For an authentic taste of Italy, visit Paolo and Donato's in Liverpool city centre for their homemade gelato. Founded over 10 years ago by brothers Paolo and Donato, the deli also serves vegan gelato. The mountains of ice cream in the window will be enough to entice you through the door.

Purchase an ice cream lollipop, three flavours or a whole 1kg tub depending on your appetite. Flavours include blueberry, lime cheesecake and chocolate.

Caffe Cream

With stores in New Brighton, Birkenhead Park, Woodside Ferry Village and Birkenhead Precinct, Caffe Cream boasts homemade ice cream and locally-sourced food.

The award-winning ice cream is made in Caffe Cream's ice cream factory on the Wirral, using traditional Italian production methods and milk and cream from local farms.

Ice Cream Shop, West Kirby

John Hughes from The Ice Cream Shop
Ice cream at Paolo & Donato's Italian Deli in Williamson Square

John Hughes has been the proud owner of the Ice Cream Shop in West Kirby since 2019. Located on Grange Road, the store may seem like any other, but after only a brief few moments inside you'll soon discover it's anything from normal.

Ice cream lovers can expect all of the classic big hitters from vanilla and chocolate to mint and strawberry. For those with more experimental tastebuds, Ice Cream Shop also offers everything from West-Indian mango to Cornish cream tea and even bacon and maple syrup.

Flavours Ice Cream, Southport

Flavours Ice Cream on Nevill Street serves speciality coffees, tea, cakes and up to 30 artisan flavours of homemade real dairy ice cream made with fresh produce from local farms.

A range of other delicious desserts are available too, including sundaes, donuts and waffles.