There's more to good ice cream in Singapore than Birds of Paradise, which everyone seems to think is the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I'm here to tell you that you're missing out on the rest. Who am I to say? Well, as a former ice cream shop server, I think I’d know a thing or two about ice cream. And I’m not joking when I say I have a slight obsession with it. In fact, the very reason behind my decision to work part-time at an ice cream shop revolved around my love for ice cream. Though I’ve concluded that customer service is not the line of work for me, my love for ice cream remains. In fact, while in Italy, I even ate 2–3 cups of gelato a day — the calories don’t count while you’re on holiday!
here's nothing quite like a frozen treat on a hot summer's day, which happens to be everyday in Singapore. While many places pride themselves on serving the fancier and more bougie gelato, the term ice cream and gelato are used very much interchangeably here. No worries, though — we've separated them for you in this list. So, without further do, here’s where to get the best of each — ice cream, gelato, and soft serve — in sunny Singapore.
Ice cream contains milk, cream, sugar, and sometimes, egg yolks. Egg yolks are used to bind the ingredients together, especially in richer concoctions like chocolate and coffee. The ice cream is then churned to introduce air into the mixture. The end product is a soft, fluffy mixture. If you’re allergic to egg, make sure to ask your servers about the ingredients beforehand.
The Daily Scoop
Opened in 2004, The Daily Scoop is a household name, with outlets at every corner of Singapore. With a wide array of flavours on rotation, The Daily Scoop definitely has something for everyone. What makes The Daily Scoop ice cream special? For one, the ice cream is churned entirely by hand! The difference is noticeable — you get a denser, more luxurious texture, with less air incorporated into the mix. You’ll know that they are dedicated to their quality — unsatisfactory batches are never served to customers. The ice cream is churned at their Sembawang Cottage outlet, so you know where to go for the freshest ice cream!
Address: 369 Sembawang Rd, #01-05, Singapore 758382
Hours: Monday–Thursday, 11am–10pm, Friday–Saturday, 11am–10.30pm, Sunday, 2–10pm
Phone: 6754 1233
Just Because Creamery
There’s no reason not to treat yourself to an ice cream, and that’s exactly the motto the folks here live by. Specialising in tea-infused flavours, Just Because Creamery started as a hole-in-the-wall spot which has since expanded into a bigger café. If you’re a fan of chamomile tea, you’re sure to love the Honey Chamomile and Butterfly Pea Flower (the butterfly pea flower adds nothing to the taste, though). Go for the Cold Brew Coffee with Cacao Nibs if you need a caffeine boost. My personal favourite is the Homemade Waffle Cones, which are crisp, buttery and pair perfectly with the ice cream.
Address: 8 Jln Legundi, #01-08, Singapore 759274
Opening Hours: Tuesday–Wednesday, 6.30–10pm, Thursday–Sunday, 12.30–10pm, Closed on Monday
Located in Tanjong Pagar, Apiary is an ice cream shop that churns out — no pun intended — some really good ice cream. All dairy products are pasteurised on site in their kitchen, with no artificial flavours or colourings added in the process. I’m a big fan of their signature flavour, Apiary, a wildflower honey ice cream adorned with French nougats. It’s mild on the palette, but pleasantly fragrant, the nougats adding a lovely crunch element. Another best-seller is the Sicilian Pistachio, which I can confirm is one of the better Pistachio ice creams in Singapore.
Address: 84 Neil Rd, Singapore 088844
Opening Hours: Monday–Sunday, 12pm–10pm, Friday–Saturday, 12pm–10.30pm
Phone: 6493 7273
Gelato contains the same ingredients as ice cream, but uses a higher ratio of milk, and often, only milk. It is churned more slowly, leading to a dense, thick and often sticky texture. As it has a lower fat content, the flavours are able to shine through. It’s served at warmer temperatures, too, so if it’s melting really fast, you know it’s authentic gelato!
Originating in Italy, Venchi specialises in all things chocolate. Unfortunately, it was lacking that oomph that I felt when I had it in Italy. However, in terms of texture, it has the trademark stickiness that we are looking for — a sign of good gelato. Of course, the chocolate flavours are sure to please any chocolate lovers out there!
Address: 290 Orchard Rd, #B1-25 The Paragon, Singapore 238859
Opening Hours: Monday–Sunday, 11am–9pm
Phone: 6365 0646
Dopa Dopa Creamery
Named after the neurotransmitter dopamine, Dopa Dopa truly lives up to their name. Their gelato is stored in pozzettis, steel tubs which each carry a flavour. It prevents cross-contamination of flavours, and it’s how they do it at the best shops in Italy! While they don’t have a huge selection of flavours, what they lack in quantity, they make up with quality. Dopa Dopa Creamery pretty much nails gelato. Their signature Pistachio is a delight, roasty-toasty, decadent, and rich. It’s no wonder, they roast their own pistachio paste for the gelato — they even sell it in store!
Address: 29 South Bridge Rd, #01-01, Singapore 058665
Opening Hours: Monday–Thursday, 12–10pm, Friday–Saturday, 12–10.30pm, Closed on Sunday
Phone: 6535 3539
Celine’s Gelato Cart
Celine’s Gelato Cart is owned by a former Singapore Airlines stewardess. Using her travels as an avenue to sample the best gelato around the world, she has since opened her own venture in Novena (it started as a gelato cart, hence the name!). Just like Dopa Dopa Creamery, the gelato is stored the authentic way, in pozzettis. East meets West in Black Sesame, a sinfully-rich and delightfully nutty ice cream where the black sesame truly shines through. The Pistachio is not as good as Dopa Dopa Creamery’s, but is definitely one of the better ones out there. Durian lovers will love the rich, creamy, and dare I say, borderline gelat, D24 Durian flavour.
Address: 275 Thomson Road Novena Regency, #01-30, Singapore 307645
Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10am–8pm, Closed on Sunday
Phone: 9067 1353
Soft serve has the highest amount of air whipped into the mixture. It’s what gives it its ultra soft and silky texture. It is dispensed from a machine, making it a cheap option to serve at buffets like Shabu Sai — they get more bang for their buck! That doesn't mean soft serves are bad. Look out for Japanese-style soft serves, where the taste and the quality of the ingredients shine through.
Using only raw Hokkaido milk, Icenoie Hokkaido is a chain originating from, well, Hokkaido that uses 100% raw Hokkaido milk for their soft serve. The result? A rich, creamy soft serve where the milk is the star of the show. It’s definitely one of my favourite soft serves in Singapore, and, if you love the taste of milk, it’ll probably be your’s, too. It may be on the pricier side for a soft serve, but every once in awhile, it's worth it. For something truly unique, try the Crème Brûlée Rich Milk Soft Serve.
Address: 350 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238868
Opening Hours: Monday–Sunday, 11am–9pm