Updated: Aug 9
The Swiss summer is well and truly in full swing. As temperatures soar, so does our desire for the good stuff: ice cream, Eis, or Glacé (as it is called in Swiss German). According to Telebasel, ice cream makers are rejoicing while Switzerland sweats; the hot summer has already contributed to sales of over 17.5 million litres and counting! Basel can certainly call itself a Glacé-Stadt, with no less than 21 gelaterias tested in 2021 by BaZ online. So when the urge strikes, where are the best place to go?! Here are our top picks.
And the winner goes to....Basel! According to Gault Millau, the prestigious French restaurant guide (think Michelin, but with a focus purely on food), the Basel area has three out of the top ten best ice cream places in Switzerland. You can practise your German and read all about it here: Top Ten Gelaterias in Switzerland.
Acero (second place) is a Basel legend, as you will see by the long queues on hot days. After a decade in Rheingasse, Acero has recently relocated to Alpenblick in Klybeck while they find a new permanent home. Acero has a good selection of different flavours including a number of vegan options.
Eisuru Gelato (third place) has firmly made a name for itself in Basel with its traditionally-made Italian ice cream, intensive flavours and unique creations with a Japanese twist. Here you will find matcha green tea, earl grey and kuro-goma (black sesame) alongside more traditional flavours and smooth sorbets. Having started out at Markthalle, Eisuru has since expanded to Kirschgarten and St. Jakob.
In Oberwil (and my personal favourite) is Gabriella Gelato Artigianale (sixth place). Gabriella’s passion for quality ingredients alongside her joyful customer service make for a memorable experience. Flavours change daily, often showcasing experimental options alongside flavour-packed sorbets and regular favourites. My personal favourite is the chocolate sorbet, followed by hazelnut and baileys. It is well worth venturing outside of the city and making the trip!
Acero Klybeckstrasse 29, 4057 Basel
Eisuru Markthalle Steinentorberg 20, 4051 Basel
Gabriella Gelato Artigianale Hauptstrasse 36, 4104 Oberwil
If it’s authentic Italian gelato you are looking for, you are spoiled for choice. Two places traditionally known for their savoury dishes, also serve up some fantastic sweet treats. Sapori del Sud 2, (best known for its delicious Pastrami sandwiches) and Gabri’s Pasta (known for its fresh pasta) also have a number of delicious, Italian gelatos and sorbets to finish your meal.
Another great choice, Gran Gelato is just a stone’s throw away from Barfüsserplatz, with a good selection of flavours including vegan gelatos and sorbets. One of my favourites is the vegan chocolate orange gelato - so delicious and so smooth!
If you are looking for something worthy of Instagram (which tastes as good as it looks), head over to Amorino, where Italian gelato is presented to you as an ice cream rose with a fantastic selection of flavours to choose from.
Rheingasse 47, 4058 Basel
Sapori Del Sud 2
Rheingasse 23, 4058 Basel
Gerbergasse 58, 4001 Basel
Steinenvorstadt 53, 4051 Basel
New in Town
Now onto our favourite newcomers. Umlaut-loving, Glacé Löööv was founded by a group of young chefs and food technologists. Just over a year old, Löööv has quickly become a firm favourite, not just for their delicious flavours, but moreover for their ‘brutally local’, sustainable philosophy. The milk products for their ice creams come from the Beider Basel dairy and with their partnership with WERT!stätte, Löööv are contributing to the prevention of food waste by saving local fruit deemed not good enough for retail and turning it into delicious seasonal sorbets.
Cuckoo and Gelateria Di Berna are some more recent additions to the Basel ice cream scene, coming to us originally from Bern. Cuckoo (the Bern location placing fourth on the GM list) prides itself on producing ice cream that is less sweet than regular versions, focusing entirely on the intense flavour of the ingredients. Gelateria Di Berna is a Bern ice cream legend known for having the longest queues, but rest assured it is worth the wait.
For a vegan treat be sure to try Enila Plant Based Ice Cream, which produces exclusively vegan ice cream, using homemade coconut and cashew milks with tantalizing cookie chunks that are baked on-site. Think of Enila as a vegan take on Ben and Jerry’s. They have eight ‘always flavours’ such as mocha almond fudge, salted caramel macadamia cookie, and apple crumble and four additional flavours that change monthly.
Glacé Löööv St. Johanns-Park, 4056 Basel
Cuckoo Hutgasse 4, 4001 Basel
Gelateria Di Berna Offenburgerstrasse 32, 4057 Basel and Clarastrasse 13, 4058 Basel
Enila Plant Based Ice Cream Klybeckstrasse 58, 4057 Basel
If frozen yogurt is more your thing, then head to Frojo Cafe. With its generous toppings selection spanning fresh fruits, sweeties, chocolates, crunchies and a range of different sauces, there is plenty of choice for any palate.
If you love fro-yo but are looking for a vegan alternative, try Vintage PopUp Frozen Yogurt, which offers regular as well as vegan creations. Toppings are seasonal, prepared from local produce and everything including the cup and spoon is edible!
Frojo Cafe Blumenrain 3, 4051 Basel
Vintage PopUp | Frozen Yogurt (May to October) Offenburgerstrasse 49, 4057 Basel
I hope you have enjoyed this ice cream review as much as I did doing all the research for it! But don't just take my word for it, do some 'research' of your own 😉. Let us know your favourites in the comments and enjoy your Glacé-time! :)
Alison Waterfield is a Brit who has been in the Basel area for over a decade. She currently resides in Oberwil, where she enjoys having countryside on her doorstep as well as town being only a short tram ride away. She loves cooking, baking and anything food-related and is a beginner food stylist and photographer. She enjoys being in nature and relaxing doing anything wellness-related, as well as engaging in creative activities such as abstract and fluid art and crochet.