Ice cream in Addis: 9 quick facts about Italian Gelato!

gelato ice cream in addis ababa served at best western plus

Gelato ice cream in Addis Ababa is quickly becoming a favorite dessert in the city. Both Ethiopians and Foreigners, young and old, enjoy this cold treat. But what exactly is gelato? Is it the same as ice cream?

Become a gelato ice cream expert with these 9 quick facts.

a close up picture of the 12 different flavors of gelato ice cream in addis ababa served at sweet dreams best western plus
Gelato has evolved over the years, but we are proud to be serving 12 fresh flavors every day that reflects the authentic recipe plus our own special twist.

1) Italy invented gelato.

Just like pizza and pasta and other great foods, the world is indebted to Italy for the creation of Gelato ice cream.

Some people disagree. Because in the Bible, there is a reference of Abraham urging his son to cool off by drinking goats milk with snow. Alexander the Great, while in India, enjoyed snow mixed with honey. He even required large holes to be dug in the ground to preserve the snow.

But gelato, as we think of it today, was truly born in Italy.

2) Royalty ate gelato first

The start of gelato began with someone you would never expect.

His name was Ruggeri, and he was a chicken seller from Florence. One day he competed in a contest called, “The Most Unusual Dish You’ve Ever Seen” by the Italian royal court. He won with his, “frozen dessert.”

When Catherine de’ Medici married the King of France, she asked Ruggeri to move with her to show French chefs that Italians were better at cooking. Because the other chefs hated him, he gave the queen his recipe and went back to selling chickens.

ice cream in addis ababa by sweet dreams on the opening day
Gelato ice cream is now celebrated around the world. This was the opening day of Sweet Dreams by Best Western Plus.

3) The Ice Cream Revolution

Another man from Florentine named Bernardo Buontalenti, served his own rendition of ice cream to more royals in Italy.

More importantly, Bernardo figured out how to better preserve snow with specially designed underground rooms. This allowed non-royals to finally enjoy the treat. His name quickly became synonymous with ice cream.

4) Gelato was created 500+ years ago

Both of these now-famous Italians, who created their recipes around the same time, started around the year 1500. This means that the gelato icecream dates back almost 520 years!

5) Gelato means “Frozen”

Gelato is the word for “Frozen.” It simply refers to Italy’s version of ice cream.

While gelato roughly translates to “frozen,” it is now synonymous with good ice cream and cool hangouts.

6) Gelato has less fat than American ice cream

Ice cream and gelato use the same ingredients– dairy, sugar, eggs, flavoring (like strawberries), and air. However, one difference between Gelato ice cream and traditional American style ice cream is that Gelato uses 2/3’s less butterfat. This makes it almost 25% lower in calories and in fat than traditional ice cream.

7) Gelato has a more intense flavor

Ice cream is churned fast. This folds in a lot of air. This increases its volume and gives it an airy texture.

Gelato is churned slower which makes the flavor more intense.

8) Gelato is served at a warmer temperature

Gelato is served 6–8°C warmer than ice cream. This allows you to better taste the deep flavor because it isn’t too frozen to enjoy.

Eat your gelato ice cream in a cup, cone (fasting), waffle cone or waffle bowl! Or try getting it on the side of chocolate cake.

9) Gelato is the better choice

Gelato is the best choice if you enjoy rich flavors, silky texture, and less fat/calories. You’ll get a better taste, a smoother texture, and a healthier option by choosing gelato.

Where should you get gelato ice cream in Addis Ababa?

Sweet Dreams by Best Western Plus, is our new dessert cafe. It’s located to the left of our main entrance, but still part of our brand. You can’t miss the bright yellow umbrellas outside

We are proud to serve 12 different flavors of gelato-each prepared fresh that morning.

Serving ice cream at best western plus's sweet dreams
We like to think that not only is our gelato the best but so is our wonderful & friendly team!

Most popular gelato flavor?

Salted caramel is our most popular flavor.

With Alcohol?

Yes, that’s right. We also serve a Coconut Malibu with alcohol! It is absolutely delicious.

Waffle Bowls?

That’s right. Enjoy your gelato in a cup, a waffle bowl, waffle cone, or on the side of chocolate cake.


Don’t worry, for any fasting or dairy-free individuals out there, we always offer 1-2 flavors just for you.

buy four scoops of ice cream and get one scoop free for 45 birr at sweet dreams by best western plus

Visit Sweet Dreams by Best Western Plus today!

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