If an ice cream cone just won’t cut it one hot summer day, then consider the slushie, a popsicle, maybe even a frozen baked Alaska, or really, really cold Cheetos to help cool off.
These 10 frozen treats — so much more than scoops and cones — come inside glasses or between two cookies. Some of them, believe it or not, are on sticks. A few are boozy and hip, while others verge on health food (because they have fruit). For the literal coolest snacks of summer, read on.
Red and white wine slushies at Acova
At this newer Highland neighborhood spot, the Misty is the house special. It’s a slushie made in the style of chocolate-vanilla-swirl soft serve. Only here, the chocolate is red wine, the vanilla is white wine and the swirl is a heavenly, why-not-have-both-wines combination. Come summertime, the bar at Acova opens to the outside for patio Misties. There’s also a kids playground for when the parents are busy enjoying their grown-up drinks. 3651 Navajo St., 303-736-2718; acovarestaurant.com
Paletas at La Oaxaqueña
The fruit and ice cream popsicles at this family corner store are fan favorites in flavors such as pineapple, tamarind, Oreo and bubble gum. When you’ve tried them all, move on to shaved ice diablitos, chili and lime mangonada ice pops and strawberry crushed ice besafresas. 3060 W. Mississippi Ave., 720-425-0204
Mini ice cream sandwiches at Peteybird
These teeny tiny ice cream sandwiches are actually a pretty reasonable size for snacking. But don’t worry, they can be bought individually ($3), in flights of four ($11) or by the dozen ($30) for more fiendish eating. Flavors such as graham cracker and key lime, s’mores and sugar and peach ginger are available throughout the year or seasonally. The sandos can be enjoyed from an alley-facing counter off Blake Street in RiNo. 3040 Blake St., 720-432-2430; peteybird.com
Harry Potter tasting at The Inventing Room
Reopening on June 1 for the summer season, this SloHi dessert shop specializes in science-experiment sweets. That means liquid nitrogen over everything from the meringue to the Cocoa Crisps. Try the new Harry Potter tasting menu which includes a butter beer float, flexible chocolate frog and pop rock lollipop, or order the frozen hot chocolate with exploding whipped cream. 4433 W. 29th Ave., 303-960-6656; tirdenver.com
Baked Alaska at The Constellation
At Little Man Ice Cream’s newest neighborhood scoop shop in Stapleton, a Baked Alaska Pop is the house special — s’mores ice cream twice dipped, in chocolate then meringue, and torched to order. You’ll eat the burnt ice cream bar underneath a full-size airplane fuselage at the site of Denver’s first airport. 10175 E. 29th Dr., 303-993-2751; constellationicecream.com
Fernet soft serve at Bar Fausto
The hippest of the frozen treats on this list has become an institution all its own at the RiNo Bar Fausto. It’s a two-for that brilliantly combines herbaceous Fernet Branca with airy soft-serve ice cream. As trendy as it sounds, since the dessert debuted along with the bar in 2015, it has stuck around the menu, garnering classic status. 3126 Larimer St., 720-445-9691; barfausto.com
Thai-style ice cream at Milkroll
In a process that originated in Thailand, the cream here is poured onto a pan, frozen flat and then scraped and rolled rather than scooped into a cup or waffle cone. Customers can choose from existing creations such as the Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, waffle sticks, mochi and panda cookies. Or make your own roll with a choice of five base flavors and more than 30 toppings and mix-ins. 3500 E. Colfax Ave., 720-381-6099; facebook.com/milkrollcreamery
Push pops at Steuben’s
Your childhood creamsicle dreams can still come true at Steuben’s, which serves throwback frozen treats in its retro diner settings (two locations: Arvada and Uptown). Among the house milkshakes, icebox bars and choco tacos, you’ll find this classic orange creamsicle push pop to be a nice and portable snack come summer. 523 E. 17th Ave., 303-830-1001; 7355 Ralston Road, 303-830-0096; steubens.com
Frozen bellinis at El Five
This LoHi restaurant serving “tapas de Gibraltar” puts its own twist on a classic Italian bellini during brunch service. Try the Mediterranean restaurant’s frozen apricot version with rose wine, white rum, fruit puree and mint and basil. Take it out to the fourth-floor balcony for views over downtown Denver. 2930 Umatilla St., 303-524-9193; elfivedenver.com
Olive oil gelato at Spuntino
The tasting trio of house-made gelato is worth saving room for at this neighborhood Italian restaurant on 32nd Avenue. Choose three flavors from chocolate caramel sea salt, olive oil, vanilla, Oreo and other daily specials, or pick a single flavor and pour an espresso shot over top of it for an end-of-meal affogato. 2639 W. 32nd Ave., 303-433-0949; spuntinodenver.com
Updated June 4, 2019 at 4 p.m. The following corrected information has been added to this article: Because of a source error, this story has been updated to reflect items available on The Inventing Room’s summer menu.