Love ice cream? Visit these 3 not-so-ordinary sweet shops

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Despite the unseasonably cool and rainy weather, July is National Ice Cream Month, and we intend to celebrate. Every Tuesday, we're rounding up some of the best spots to grab a scoop around town. (Here's our first poston old-fashioned ice cream.) Below, we call out three sweet shops offering something out of the ordinary.

Coppa Gelato

If you want real, Italian-style ice cream, head straight to Coppa Gelato. This Westerville shop has an extensive menu of gelato and sorbetto, beginning at $3.50 for one scoop and a dollar more for each additional scoop. Fan favorites are the "Burban Meyer" butter pecan gelato and the Strawberry sorbetto, but the must-try scoops this summer, says owner Linda Warns-Davis, are James' Triple Chocolate, Amarena Cherry made with cherries from Bologna and Pistachio made with Sicilian nuts. If you want something more, try a Gelato Bomb ($4.50), which consists of a warm roll filled with a scoop of gelato, or the Affogato ($6.50), which is two scoops of your favorite gelato and two espresso shots.

Mardi Gras Homemade Ice Cream

What other ice cream shop uses a range of international ingredients such as saffron, figs and cardamom? Mardi Gras owner Mita Shah offers over 250 flavors throughout the year; right now, there's 48 flavors available of her savory, ethnic ice cream. Try a more typical-but delicious-flavor such as the mango or cheesecake ($2.65 for a small or $2.99 for a large), or get a little more experimental with the highly popular Blue Moon or Indian-style kesar pista flavors.

Portia's Cafe

This cute Clintonville cafe is a unique one, specializing in raw, vegan and completely gluten- and GMO-free cuisine. In addition to dairy-free parfaits, Portia's is set to start offering soft-serve vegan ice cream in the next two weeks. Making this specialty ice cream is no easy feat. OwnerPortia Yiamouyiannishas been experimenting with a coconut milk base, tapioca starch and locally made syrup to create her nut-free and soy-free treats. Flavors will include chocolate, peach and cherry, priced around 50 to 75 cents per ounce-and served in a gluten- and GMO-free cone.