Food & Drink

Best Gelato In Charlotte

July 23, 2014 7:00 AM

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(Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Gelato has finally made its way to the Queen City. The Italian version of ice cream differs from American ice cream in several ways. Gelato typically contains four to eight percent butterfat. This differs from ice cream which is usually a minimum of 20 percent butterfat content. By using a slow churning process, gelato has less air whipped into it, resulting in a product that is denser than ice cream. The density tends to produce richer, more intense flavors.

If you can’t make it to Venice to check out gelato in its natural environment, you can visit one of these places in the Charlotte area to make up your own mind in the gelato versus ice cream competition.

Bella Fresco Cafe
8200 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
(980) 949-6131
www.bellafrescocafe.com

This is a great place to taste homemade gelato in an ever-changing procession of flavors including bacio (chocolate hazelnut), crème brulee and other delicious concoctions. One of the best ways to test the waters is splurging on a banana split – you can taste several flavors and enjoy bananas and sauces. It’s heaven in a bowl.

Va Da Vie Gelato
Park Road Shopping Center
4343 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
www.parkroadshopping.com

The newest addition to Charlotte and the Park Road Shopping Center is Va Da Vie Gelato. This cute little shop just opened up at the end of May. It is churning up to 10 flavors of gelato and fresh sorbetto in-house daily. It uses locally sourced dairy products to make the freshest product around. Look for the all white building in the center of the parking lot and take a taste. You’ll be back.

Café Yofflers
11318 N. Community House Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 543-5123
www.yofflers.com

Located in the heart of Ballantyne, Cafe Yofflers offers customers a choice of both gelato and frozen yogurt. Every day, customers can select one of a dozen flavors of gelato which they can customize at the toppings bar. Top your gelato with fresh fruit, sprinkles or candy bits. This gelato is free of artificial flavoring and chemicals and is made with organic milk. Try the mango caramel popcorn or the salted caramel.

Related: Best Breakfast Sandwiches In Charlotte

Bar Cocoa at the Ritz-Carlton
201 E. Trade St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 547-2244
www.barcocoa.com

Step inside Bar Cocoa and you’re instantly transported to an elegant, cosmopolitan hideaway. Take a seat in one of the cozy nooks and enjoy one of the many delectable treats prepared daily. The house-made gelato is memorable, with varying flavors. Try a dish of the vanilla with one of the French macarons to dip into the icy goodness. A week later, you’ll be back to try other flavors.

Pino Gelato
Concord Mills Shopping Mall
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027
(704) 979-5000
www.pinogelato.com

The just-right-sized trays of hand-crafted gelato at Pino Gelato will get you in the mood for sweet, cold gelato instantly. The gorgeous, deep colors of ripe fruit, chocolate, caramel and coconut are among the selections available for you to taste. It’s so beautiful that you almost want to stare more than eat, but don’t. The taste will put the vision to shame. In addition to amazing gelato, Pino Gelato is very much about giving back, using biodegradable materials, recycling and buying renewable energy as well as investing in local teams and charities.

Related: Best Barbecue In Charlotte

Lauren J. Walter is a freelance writer covering all things Charlotte. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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