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Picture this: it’s a typical Stellies summer day; the sun is beating down on you as you walk across the Rooiplein; and you have a sudden craving for ice cream. Luckily, not far from campus, there are three ice cream shops that could help satisfy your craving.  

Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream

Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream, located on the corner of Bird and Church Street, is a new and vibrant artisan ice cream shop that is perfect for a quick escape. 

The bright, lively décor is reminiscent of childhoods spent on the playground, and creates an inviting and nostalgic atmosphere. 

The aesthetic, which is catered towards a younger demographic, draws in young customers according to the manager, Wilma van Wyk. 

“I really think [the owner’s] branding is very funky and up to date, and it’s young and hip.” 

The shop, which is the fifth addition to the locally owned franchise and owned by ice cream enthusiast Kristen Buttress, prides itself on its handcrafted ice cream. “All her ice cream is artisan, handmade and really thought through. 

“She’s extremely passionate about the process of artisan ice cream, so we’re continually bringing in new flavours. She’s forever developing new flavours,” Van Wyk added about Buttress and her ice cream.

There is no lack of variety, with options for everyone, from their ice cream to their handmade waffle cones. 

“We always have between two to four vegan flavours either in the 5oo ml tub or you can buy it in the scoops and then we have a vegan cone. We also have sugar-free [and] dairy-free ice cream, and we only use Xylitol and natural fruits to sweeten our ice creams that are sugar-free,” said Van Wyk. 

This new shop is sure to capture the hearts of locals and Maties alike!

Gelato Mania

Located on Andringa street, this Stellenbosch staple is a well-known spot for students and is perfect for a little taste of Italy. 

Gelato Mania pride themselves on their artisanal gelato imported straight from Italy. “Our gelato is special because it’s Italian, and we stock our products from overseas,” says employee Olwethu ­Khayingana, who has been working at Gelato Mania since 2019. 

With a wide range of flavours, including vegan and dairy-free options, customers never have to worry about options, and the aesthetic of this shop is the perfect backdrop for an Instagram post with their iconic neon wings and “Instagram room”. 

Their gelato is “the perfect combination of smoothness and creaminess” according to Khayingana, who highly recommends her personal favourites: salted butter caramel and chocolate brownie.

LATE NIGHT SCOOP Gelato Mania is open until 10:30pm daily. Photo: @gelatomaniact on Instagram

Crème de Levain

Lastly, there is Crème de Levain, which is a relaxed, floral ice cream shop. While Gelato Mania is a slice of Italy in Stellenbosch, Crème de Levain is a scoop of France. This shop is situated on Church Street and has an inviting exterior and interior with cherry blossom décor and floral wallpaper. Thanks to their design, the shop has a feeling of spring in Paris. 

“I think what makes this place special is, number one, the décor—I mean, even if people aren’t in the mood for ice cream, I do get a lot of people coming past commenting on the décor. Some people even walk all the way up to the counter to say ‘hey the place looks cool’,” says Benedict Webster, who is the manager at Crème. 

Another notable feature of Crème is the music that appeals to listeners of all ages and is an inviting part of a visit to this store. The main appeal of this ice cream store, however, is, of course, the ice cream. “Our [flavours are swapped] out daily. We’ve got some insane flavours—I mean Turkish delight, white chocolate and basil—anything under the sun,” says Webster. 

There are also vegan and dairy-free options available. “Our sorbets are all dairy-free. They do use egg whites, so they’re not vegan, but I always have at least one vegan flavour at any given time,” he adds.

So, whether you’re an ice cream fanatic or a casual consumer, rest assured that one—if not all—of these spots will fulfil all your ice cream needs and then some.

FLAVOUR FRENZY Crème de Levain has 21 handmade gourmet flavours to choose from. Photo: @cremedelevain on Instagram
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