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Gelato in Houston

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So, where is the best gelato in Houston?

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  1. I've been obsessing over gelato since I got back from Italy in March. Just last night, I tried Nundini Food's gelato for the first time, and was very impressed. They have about 8 flavors going at once, and rotate those flavors on a regular basis. I had the chocolate and chocolate mint, and both were quite good. I also tasted the Nutella and pistachio flavors. The best gelato I've ever had is on the Piazza Navonna in Rome, but Nundini's is very close in taste and quality.

    I understand they supply gelato to many restaurants in town. You can buy a scoop for $1.50, a pint for $5 and a quart for $9. They're at 500 N. Shepherd, in a very unassuming warehouse. They also have a good selection of imported olive oils, wines, deli items, and pasta.

    6 Replies
    1. re: TommyBoy

      They have good sandwiches too but the service is extremely slow. I just shop around and inhale the olive oil while I wait.

      1. re: TommyBoy

        oooooh, Nundini Foods sounds like nirvana! Not heard of it. I'm going. And it's still there, 5 years later...


        1. re: Lambowner

          Lambowner, let us know what you think. It was the first specialty market I sought out when I moved here. I'd like to hear your impression.

          1. re: tlegray

            Well, tlegray, I went to Nundini today for lunch and bought a can of San Marzano tomatoes and a panini to go. The store part was smaller than I expected and they didn't have the tagliatelle I was looking for. They did have a large selection of oils and vinegars and even a bottled "wine reduction." But a large part of the pastas were De Cecco brand, which you can get in groceries. The deli meat department wasn't large either.

            They had 12 flavors of gelato, including an interesting sounding and looking Cassis flavor, mango and the ever popular pistachio. The pastries looked great too, expecially the cannolis. Most of the pastries, though, did not look house made.

            I was surprised to hear the 4 deli guys prounounce themselves "slammed" because when I looked around there were 4 full tables, two of which were already eating. Then I realized there is only one panini press and all the sandwiches are paninis. So I ordered the Genova to go (pastrami, mozz, tomato and lettuce) and spent the 20 minutes it took to fix it looking around some more.

            There was a table of 5 women dining in, and loudly offering pronouncements of their impressions: "I am NOT impressed with these desserts!! NOT AT ALL!!" Then another lady went to the sandwich counter and returned to the table stating boldly, "I am NOT impressed with this service!" (this in a sing songy, "Imma tell your momma" tone) Sandwich guy took 2nd unimpressed lady to dessert counter where they conferred and returned to their respective corners, sandwich guy muttering and unimpressed lady heard shortly thereafter proclaiming, "This is the BEST pasta I've had ANYWHERE!!" There were several types of cold pasta packaged in individual sizes in the to go case priced at about $2. I didn't have that either.

            So finally sandwich guy licked his finger and with a flourish, opened the plastic bag, tossed in my goods, which now included an iced tea and chips (for $1 more) and off I went. I've just finished a perfectly adequate panini. Crunchy ciabata and salty/fatty meat, enough for the month, really, so next time maybe I'll try one of their salads. Those looked good. Because table of ladies were likely what some would call, "difficult customers."

            So there you go, tlegray. Now, what was your "impression??" :)

            Nundini Imported Food Store
            500 N Shepherd Dr Ste A, Houston, TX 77007

            1. re: Lambowner

              "So there you go, tlegray. Now, what was your "impression??" :)" :-D

              I like the details in 'your impression" thank you

              I've lived in Houston for 9 yrs now. When I first moved here one of the things I missed most was my little Italian market. I also missed the smell of the place so I was very excited to hear about Nudini's and couldn't wait to go. It was not what I was looking for. That's not to say the panini I had wasn't good, it was very tasty, I think it was a caprese. We also enjoyed some gelato. The store seemed limited but that just could have been because of my expectations. It also felt more like a warehouse and not worth the effort for me to drive from Clear Lake. If I lived in the area I might checked it out on occasion. And I don't usually recommend it because it doesn't really offer allot in my opinion though that was 9 yrs ago and it could have changed. Since you seem to know food and Houston I wanted to see what you thought. Thank you so much for replying.

              1. re: tlegray

                Well thanks for pointing me to this place, which is close to my work. Since then, I have visited Revival Market, and their sandwiches are much better. That was a fun people watching visit, though, and I would go back. Just for the drama! I certainly wouldn't drive from Clear Lake for deli!

      2. Story in Sunday Chron about a couple new Gelato places opening.

        2 Replies
        1. re: John Scar

          Went to Coffee Grinz on Sw Freeway at Hwy 6 and found the Gelato to be outstanding.

          1. re: John Scar

            I think it is actually Coffee Groundz.

        2. Went to RainDrop Chocolates and they had some very yummy gelato.

          Mixed together the Mint and Chocolate flavors. IT was very tasty together. Wish they would let you mix flavors together in a small size cup like most gelato places I've been to, but you can only mix flavors in medium or large.

          Worth a trip~!
          810 Waugh Dr #100 Houston TX 77019 713.524.2864

          1. Does RainDrop have tables, or is it to-go only? I tried to go on a Monday once, but apparently they're closed on Mondays.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PPPPP

              Sorry, just checked back on this post. :) They had some small tables at Raindrop.

            2. I really miss Dolce Freddo in Rice Village. :(

              I hope this thread gets more replies!

              Does anyone have a suggestion for the North side of town - perhaps around IAH?

              1. Try Paciugo

                Very good consistent Gelato across the chain. They are based here in DFW.

                1 Reply
                1. re: irodguy

                  I'm so pleased you posted tihs, irodguy! I would like to take visitors out this weekend but not break the bank.

                2. Just back from Paciugo and I wasn't impressed. While it's not terrible it's not gelato like I had in Italy so I don't think I'll be going back. They do offer a soy gelato though for those who can't have milk.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tlegray

                    I second that, but admit I became a gelato snob in Florence. I did recently discover Dolce Gelato in the Galleria during a shopping trip, and it was really good. My test is the pistacio (it should not be bright green!), and it completely passed.

                  2. Black Walnut Cafe in Houston has really good gelato! There are several locations including one in Rice Village and another in Sugar Land near First Colony Mall that was just built.

                    1. At Pacuigo I used to get a chololate soy milkshake made with water instead of milk. It sounds gross but I loved it!!

                      1. You could try Paciugo's as others have suggested. It is good, but not great. It is probably impossible to find gelato as good as what you had in Rome (both because it is that much better there and because your memory has made it even better). You may have to adjust your expectations a bit. :-)

                          1. re: superluckycat

                            17 in the Alden hotel has delicious sorbets. you might be able to order (w/o a meal) in the adjacent bar, A+. i tried cherry, green apple, and mandarin sorbets. pure fruit, not achingly sweet like other sorbets i've tried in houston, reminded me of Berthillon in paris. makes me salivate just thinking about them!

                            on the other hand, i found the gelato at dolce vita to be too sweet. the strawberry gelato at Nundini i thought had good texture, but the strawberry taste was muted (and just no comparison at all to the sorbets at 17, or Bassett's strawberry ice cream in Philadelphia).

                          2. If it has not been mentioned then Raindrop Chocalates has great gelato! Blood orange and the mango are both out of this world good.

                            1. You gotta try Trentino Gelato at 917 Franklin Street. Marcello has been supplying some of the forementioned restaurants with his creations. He also sells at the Midtown Farmers Market on Saturdays and the Rice University Market on Tuesdays.
                              Saturday I had a scoop of avocado gelato and it was heaven!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: chef0625

                                There is this man from Argentina who makes gelato here in Houston. This is the same man you speak of, Marcelo Kreinde. I agree with you. His flavors are amazing! I’ve tried his gelatos at The Coffe Groundz in Midtown at Brazos and McGowen (near Specs). I first discovered his product at the Midtown Farmer’s market --- I was hooked instantly.

                                This is his website: http://www.trentinogelato.com/index.html

                                1. re: chef0625

                                  I looked at the site that Jayro listed, and the avocado is under the sorbet, not gelato. Is that what you had. And I know this is a dumb question, but exactly what is gelato?

                                2. Pricing: Decent pricing, and different size cups give you different numbers of choices of flavors (e.g., 2 flavors for one size, 3 flavors for one size up, etc.)
                                  Quality: I've tried gelato elsewhere in town,but this place is the most tasty and wonderful.
                                  - Smooth, consistent texture
                                  - Not too sweet! It is so difficult too find treats that are not overly sweet
                                  - Very refreshing
                                  - Great variety of flavors, all pretty tasty, my favorite is the pistacio , durian...
                                  - Great italian ice cream cake( choice of your favor)
                                  Store/Staff:- Very clean and fun, Polite and helpful.They never make you feel like they're trying to kick you out, even when they're closing, quite patient.

                                  Try this place!
                                  Gelato Cup Italian Ice Cream
                                  9889 Bellaire Blvd #108
                                  Houston, TX 77036

                                  1. I have another question, where can you even get Italian Ice in Houston?

                                    It is a staple in the NY where it can be had at any pizza place that sells slices. Previously there was a place in midtown that unfortunately closed.

                                    Is there any where else that has it?

                                    1. Stopped in to Arpi's Phoenicia Deli before a visit to Phoenicia and I had grapefruit gelato. It was very good and something I'll look for whenever I go to Phoenicia.

                                      Also was in Nundini's and got their spumoni gelato/ice cream. I don't find spumoni here in Houston often and when I do it seems lacking. This was the best I've found so far. Not excellent but good.

                                      Phoenicia Deli
                                      12116 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077

                                      1. I'm getting fat just reading this blog. I stopped in at Gelato Blu last month for no reason at all other than it was on my way. I have no comparison, because I've not had Gelato before, but it was good.