Ice cream, one of the staples of the summer, is forever cemented in memories of warm days spent with friends and family. Whether it’s colourful popsicles sold at school canteens or the occasional indulgent treat from high-end parlours, ice cream never fails to fix a bad day.
As our city expands, so does the variety of ice cream available in Karachi. Unique flavours, textures and styles have reached the market, blowing Karachiites away. From Korean shaved ice cream to Italian gelato, each ice cream offers a new experience.
Since summer is upon us and our cravings for ice cream have become almost unbearable, I have made it my mission to satiate my sweet tooth by trying some of Karachi’s most famous ice creams.
Made with organic ingredients, Lush Crush became a game-changer for health-conscious ice cream lovers. Another major plus point is their wide variety of flavours, easily topping all other ice creams in this ranking. From sugar-free to greek yoghurt to cake pops, Lush Crush has something for everyone. Lush Crush is on the more expensive side compared to other popsicles in the market, but for an all-natural option in a world of processed food, it’s definitely worth the price.
Price range: Starting from Rs300
My favourite flavour: Cookies and Cream
Location: Eight locations in Karachi including Gulshan, Clifton and Bahadurabad. Stores have also been opened in Islamabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi.
Infused with nitrogen, ice cream from Scream is something new. True to its word, the ice cream remained frozen, allowing me to properly taste it before it melted, which, as a slow eater, was such a blessing. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the nitrogen was not noticeable and the ice cream tasted like, well, ice cream. The shop sells three types of ice creams, the classic, sorbet and frozen yoghurt, so there were a lot of options to choose from.
Price range: Starting from Rs400 for two scoops
My favourite flavour: Strawberry Cheesecake
Location: Four outlets in Karachi — two located in DHA and one each in Gulshan and Shaheed-e-Millat
Although I was initially hesitant about including everyone’s favourite in this ranking, soft serve ice cream needed representation, and what better candidate than the beloved Kaybees?
Kaybees is well known for its classic flavours, cost-effective prices and more than generous serving sizes. In my opinion, no one can rival Kaybees when it comes to soft serve.
Price range: Starting from Rs120 for a basic cone/cup
My favourite flavour: Vanilla (there is literally only one right answer)
Location: There are eight branches in Karachi, including outlets in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, DHA and North Nazimabad
More of a cold dessert than an ice cream, as the server in the parlour told me, it was very different from the other ice creams I tried. It was on the pricier side, starting from Rs650 for one, albeit large, bowl of ice cream. Consisting of shaved ice, the texture was unlike traditional ice creams, so it’s not for everyone. However, I would recommend trying it at least once. It was cool and refreshing and something I hope to try again soon.
Price range: Starting from Rs650
My favourite flavour: Mango
Location: Khayaban-e-Nishat, DHA
This ranking would be incomplete without a few familiar names. Fit for any occasion, Iceberg never disappoints, maintaining that special something that makes it one of the best. In terms of affordability, Iceberg easily tops the list so, really, there’s no reason not to get it.
Price range: Starting from around Rs75 for one kulfi
My favourite flavour: Caramel Crunch
Location: Khayaban-e-Bukhari, DHA and Saddar
For me, one of the positives of Cosmopolitan is the flavour range they have to offer. Whether you are looking for plain vanilla or something more luxurious, Cosmopolitan does not disappoint. With flavours such as Ferrero Rocher, Salted Caramel and Nutella available at decent prices, it’s no wonder Cosmopolitan still remains such a big name in the ice cream industry.
Price range: Starting from Rs300
My favourite flavour: Lotus
Location: Sea View and Dolmen Mall, Clifton
Lieta has become a big name in the ice cream industry, and now that I have tried it, I can see why. Rich and creamy, it lived up to all of my expectations. With that being said, I don’t see myself having it again soon. The most expensive ice cream I tasted for this ranking, it’s perfect for a one-time treat only.
Price range: Rs2,000 for 450g
My favourite flavour: Belgian Chocolate
Where it’s available: On Foodpanda and select grocery stores
One of the pioneers of gelato in Pakistan, this ranking would be incomplete without Gelato Affair. As new competitors take over the market, the brand has long since lost the edge that made it so unique. Even then, their ice cream is still considerably more affordable than other brands on this list and they maintain a loyal clientele.
Price range: Starting from around Rs180
My favourite flavour: Chocolate
Locations: There are four outlets across Karachi — DHA, Dolmen Mall, Tariq Road, KDA and Jamaluddin Afghani Road.