The Best Ice Cream in Manchester

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Different flavoured icecreams on a green background and facing alternate ways
Candy Zimmermann

Ice cream isn’t one of the first things that springs to mind when you think of Manchester. It doesn’t have the smokin’ hot summer days of Sicily, long white beaches in Sydney nor the warm seas of Jamaica (yep, it’s in the top 10 places to eat ice cream in the world). But does all that really matter especially when you’re 6 years old or have a penchant for a double Butter Pecan ice cream on a Sunday afternoon. We think not. Like lots of other artisan skills, ice cream making seems to have hit a whole new level and there’s even a National Ice Cream competition to celebrate the very best. It seems only right that gives you the scoop on Manchester’s finest ice cream shops…

Ginger Comfort Emporium

Lady leaning out of an icecream van
Ginger's Comfort Emporium

1st Floor, Affleck’s Palace, 52 Church Street, Manchester M4 1PW

The interestingly named Ginger Comfort Emporium is award winning and it’s easy to see why.  Ginger’s was started back 14 years ago as a passion project by Claire Kelsey, then a chef and food stylist. She's since bagged several British Street Food Awards along the way. She started out refurbing an old ice cream van and has been making small batch, inventively flavoured real dairy ice cream, sorbet and vegan ice cream since.  Some of her most bonkers and delicious flavours were conceived then and are still best sellers today like ‘Marmalade On Toast’, ‘Olive Oil & Sea Salt’, and ‘Chorlton Crack’ - salted caramel peanut butter.  Drooling? So are we!

Other flavours include Strawberry, blackberry, mint and sage, and good old milk chocolate.   The shop is located on the first floor of the famous Affleck’s Palace in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and open from 10.30 – 6pm daily.

You can also see the van in market across the North West and its available to hire for weddings and parties.

You can make an order for collection here

Grandpa Green’s Luxury Ice Cream

A green tub of vanilla icecream
Grandpa Green's

Ward Lane, Diggle, Saddleworth, Oldham, OL3 5JT

This little ice cream parlour knows a thing or two about ice cream! Grandpa Greene made his own ice cream using a churn in the back yard of his corner shop in Salford. Today they use his traditional recipe thrown in some modern essentials and created a mouth-wateringly deliciously rich treat. We think a lot of the great taste comes from their Saddleworth dairy farm supplier – J&R Lancashire and Family – whose cows graze on open fields across the Saddleworth hills.  They also pride themselves on using the best British fruit where possible and you can really taste the difference.'s favourite flavours include Raspberry Pavlova, Lemon Meringue and Luxury Chocolate.  Alternatively, you can sink your teeth into an assortment of zesty tasting vegan plant based sorbets.

You can make an order for collection here

Lazy Sundae

2 icecreams - triple stack with vanilla, chocolate and Lazy sundae wafers on the top
Lazy Sundae

Lower Halle Mall, Manchester Arndale, Manchester M4 3AQ

Lazy Sundae is a hit Northern Quarter dessert parlour which arrived recently in Manchester’s transformed Arndale Centre. It boasts a menu with eccentric / inventive flavours which include Jasmine Milk Tea, Matcha KitKat and Honey Butter Corn Crunch. You can your chosen flavour served in a crusted Lazy Sundae cone or in a tub.   It’s good to see several vegan options on the menu too – Mango Sticky Rice, Vegan Coco, Avocado Coco and Pandan ice cream are all dairy-free. If you’re after something a bit different, they’ve got an array of delicious bubble teas on offer – from fruity flavours to their cheese foam-topped option, which consists of cream cheese, milk, whipped cream, salt and sugar.

Black Milk

Black Milk

Black Milk, 88 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LF

Alex’s bakery is located in the trendy Northern Quarter and they serve up some of the best milkshakes, ice cream sundaes & scooped gelato, and pancake stacks in Manchester!   It’s got a wide selection to choose from including Hazlenut Cream, Bailey’s Choc Chip and Cookies and Cream.  Its Milkshakes include white chocolate pistachio, white chocolate and strawberry and the rather delectable salted caramel and biscoff. They’re open from 12pm – 10pm daily and till 11pm at the weekends so you can kick-back and sample as many sweet treats as your stomach can take.

They don’t take bookings but you can book Black Milk’s catering service here

Ice Cream Farm

Ice Cream Farm

The Ice Cream Farm, Newton Lane, Tattenhall, Cheshire CH3 9NE

As the name suggests, this isn’t your simple ice cream parlour. It’s an award winning attraction in Cheshire and the world’s largest ice cream shop!   You can check as it’s in the Guinness Book of Records. You can take your pick from more than 50 flavours of Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, including original flavours such as Rhubarb and Cream, Rocky Road, Turkish Delight and Liquorice and blackcurrant.  With over 50 flavours, there’s bound to be something which suits you.  There’s also a tempting line-up of sorbets, delicious desserts, hot and cold drinks, ice cream milkshakes and the Farm’s legendary six-scoop sharing platter. There’s now an ice cream drive through which you can walk, cycle or drive to and Sticky Paws and a family friendly restaurant which is all about ‘eating with kids made easy’.  

It's a great all round place if the kids are looking to burn off some excess energy after all the sugar - with a great mix of indoor and outdoor play attractions for children of all ages.

Entry to The Ice Cream Farm can be pre-booked – which we recommend during weekends and school holidays, as well as tickets for our popular children’s events.

You can book tickets here


Outside of the shop with white sign and rows of sweets

9 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB

Sweet opened last summer in the heat of Manchester city centre and is serving up ice cream, milkshakes, slushies and more, including strawberry, mint choc chip, and vanilla. It tastes divine and we love the fact it’s made from a locally-sourced fresh dairy farm within the Ribble Valley called Mrs Dowson’s. It supplies award-winning ice cream which comes from a third-generation dairy farm. It’s 100% natural farm-made dairy ice cream that uses full cream milk fresh from the farm’s dairy herd and local, fresh ingredients. Sweets! Is located in Stevenson Square in a bit of a sun trap so you grab a seat outside and munch on your favourite flavour before it melts!


White yogurt in a tub with blackberries scattered at side

2/4 Victoria Road, Hale, WA15 9AF

So, we’ve got to be honest, this isn’t technically an ice cream shop. But we wanted to include it because it’s incredibly popular and we know not everyone’s keen on ice cream or has an intolerance. Meet Yogberries in Hale village. Their frozen yoghurt is 100% natural, fat free, low calorie and delivered fresh from a British farm made using real yogurt.   The menu is simple, you choose your yogurt flavour – natural, chocolate, vanilla or seasonal either small, medium or large and then agonise over 20 different toppings. It’s a tough choice believe us. Worried that the yogurt won’t taste as good as ice cream? Don’t! It’s rich and you can dive in knowing that it’s a healthy option.    The shop also prides itself on leaving out all artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives.  They also use compostable packaging and cutlery and the store is now powered by 100% renewable electricity.  What’s not to love?!

It's open from 11.30am -8.30pm (and 9.30 on a Saturday).

Ben & Jerry’s Manchester

tubs Ben & Jerry's icecream
Ben & Jerry's

Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 8EH

Who doesn’t like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream?  It’s so popular that they’ve opened a scoop shop in Manchester’s shopping mecca, AKA The Trafford Centre.  The favourites are all there – Cookies on Cookie Dough, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Cookies and Cream. It’s a buzzy place and the perfect spot to unwind after a day of shopping or to treat yourself to a well-deserved indulgence.  If you’re non-dairy, then why not sample their oat and almond based scoops – Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Chocolately Love Affair. They’re certified vegan and full of the chunks and swirls we’ve all come to love abot Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

The shop’s open from Monday to Sunday 11am – 8pm.

San Carlo

Chocolate icecream being scooped out with metal scooper
San Carlo

The best ice cream comes out of Italy, right? Well this small chain of Italian restaurants makes its own ice cream and it certainly fits the mould.  There'll be no agony after your filling pasta dish as it's a limited ice-cream menu. We liked the San Carlo Special best of all - Chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla ice cream with warm Nutella sauce. Their legendary hazelnut flavour is totally mourish!

You can book a table here