With its pink-upholstered booths and swift young staff who look so cheerful carrying raspberry glaciers (Sprite and sherbet), golden nuggets (Sprite, sherbet, and ice cream), and Turkish coffee sodas, the Sugar Bowl is the ultimate ice cream parlor. In particular, we recommend the Camelback sodas, made with either vanilla or coffee ice cream, and “extra luscious malts,” for which the glass is lined with your choice of marshmallow, hot fudge, or caramel sauce.
In an age when nutritional nannies wag their fingers at sugar itself, we would love this place only for its name. But that is just a manifestation of the unrepentant classicism that makes the Sugar Bowl such a treasure. Jane, an ice cream soda aficionado, declares these to be among the nation’s best. Where else do you have the opportunity to order such bygone faves as a Dusty Road, a Banana Royale Split, and a classic Tin Roof sundae? These soda fountain masterworks are all the better for the jolly pink setting.
Several years ago, Roadfooder Charlene Kingston wrote to tell us, “The Sugar Bowl is the name of the ice cream counter that [cartoon character] Dennis the Menace visits, named after this restaurant. Hank Ketcham [Dennis’s creator] used to come and visit Bil Keane (creator of Family Circus) who lived in Scottsdale near this famous local landmark, and he used the name in his strip as an inside joke with Keane.” So not only is it a good place to eat ice cream: it is a cultural landmark, too!