Iowa City’s Cold Treat Competition

University of Iowa student Caitlin Scott taste-tests some of Iowa City’s best ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt: 

Capanna Coffee and Gelato
Capanna serves premium gelato—the Italian twist on ice cream. The local shop crafts their artisan gelato on the daily and always tops each serving with a vanilla wafer cookie. Delizioso! Customers can chose from three sizes: Bambino (small), Medio (medium), and Grandissimo (large). Capanna let’s you pile more than one flavor of gelato into your cup if you can’t quite decide on a single flavor. If you order a Bambino cup, feel free to select up to two flavors. Those with a Medio cup can select four flavors. Customers with a Grandissimo cup can sample up to five flavors. Finally, it pays to be indecisive! Sure, the gelato is awesome. But that’s not all Capanna gets kudos for. One of the best things about Capanna is simply the interior. Capanna’s shares their large space with the locally owned pizzeria The Wedge. Customers often grab pizza from The Wedge, some gelato from Capanna, and feast in the comfort of the artsy atmosphere the eateries are known for.

Most Popular Flavors:

1)   Stracciatella (Sweet Cream with Chocolate Chips)
2)   Mediterranean Sea Salt & Carmel
3)   Tie! Between Cookies & Cream and Chocolate

Employee Favorite: Raspberry and Chocolate

Personal Favorite: Turtle Mocha (Chocolate, Carmel, and Hazelnut Espresso). Side note: Capanna roasts their own coffee beans for their full-service espresso bar. Hence: their coffee is equally divine, which basically makes their coffee flavored gelato doubly good.

Capanna Coffee and Gelato
136 S. Dubuque St.

Iowa City, IA 52240

Whitey’s Ice Cream
Whitey’s is the go-to Ice Cream shop for University of Iowa students. Although Whitey’s was founded in Illinois, there are six locations in Iowa, including one in downtown Iowa City. The beloved, old school style Ice Cream shop is now considered to be an integral part of Iowa City’s sweet tooth culture. Whitey’s is known for its homemade ice cream, but their malts and shakes are big-sellers too! Whitey’s mixes their shakes and malts by hand. Fun fact: When finished, you can flip your malt upside-down and you won’t spill a drop…now that’s sweet.

Most Popular Flavors:

1)   Moose Tracks (Vanilla ice cream with a fudge swirl and chocolate-covered peanut butter cups)
2)   Chocolate Peanut Butter Revel (Chocolate ice cream with a peanut butter swirl and brownie bits)
3)   White Tiger Paws (Vanilla ice cream with a fudge swirl and Oreo brand cookie pieces)

Employee Favorite: Graham Central Station (Graham cracker flavored ice cream with pieces of graham crackers).

Personal Favorite: Viking Pride (Peanut butter ice cream with Oreo brand cookies and a fudge swirl). Admittedly, I first tried this concoction because of its name. I hail from Minnesota and still have a bit of that Viking pride! This one definitely does not disappoint, it’s like having every guilty pleasure rolled into one. Enough said.

Whitey’s Ice Cream
112 East Washington
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
(319) 354-1200


The locally owned frozen yogurt shop hasn’t even been open for a year and it’s already an Iowa City favorite. All frozen yogurt is self-serve at 39 cents per ounce. Customers complete their creation at the toppings bar, where they add everything from fruit, chocolate chips and brownie bits, to gummy bears and sprinkles. No frozen yogurt creation is complete without a special sauce. Customers top of their ‘froyo’ with a standard chocolate syrup, or shake things up with unique options like Nutella brand sauce and Jelly Belly brand syrup.

Most Popular Flavors:

1)   Cake Batter
2)   Chocolate
3)   Pomegranate Raspberry

Employee Favorite: Peanut Butter

Personal Favorite: Pistachio. It’s so good, you don’t even need toppings.

132 S. Clinton St.
Iowa City, IA 52240
(319) 338-0500


About: Caitlin Scott

My name is Caitlin Scott and I am currently a junior studying journalism and French at the University of Iowa. I fell in love with Iowa City after my first visit to the home of the Hawkeyes. In addition to the Hawks, I love writing, hiking, concerts and magazines. I also love to travel and hope to visit more of The Big Ten in the future!