I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Or in this case, gelato. Gelato is the Beyonce of the world of frozen treats: it is real, it is unique, and everybody wants it. I have found countless ice cream and frozen yogurt joints on and around campus, but finding a gelato shop is an infrequent yet sweet find. When I heard of Capogiro Gelato Artisans, I was ecstatic.
As I was researching Capogiro, I was impressed to find that the company has four Gelato Cafes throughout Philadelphia as well as cafes throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and gourmet grocers in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Another remarkable feature of this chain is that the workers make 27 flavors of gelato fresh each morning. This is a factor that really sets Capogiro apart from other ice cream and frozen yogurt shops. It has a blog, called “Capoblog,” which has helpful information, facts, and more. Capogiro also ships and delivers for events, parties, or if you just want a ton of gelato next week and you are too lazy to walk and get it! For delivery, each order must consist of six pints of gelato or sorbetti. You can choose from Italian classics, the vegan or dairy free list, herbs and spices, seasonal gelati, and seasonal sorbetti.
The University City shop is located at 3925 Walnut Street, easily accessible for Drexel and University of Pennsylvania students as well as anyone in the surrounding area. I had high expectations going to Capogiro because I heard the gelato was delicious. However, as I looked up reviews, I noticed wonderful comments about the gelato and food but many negative comments about the staff. When I got there I was not greeted, even though they were not busy. There were about five staff members behind the counter just talking. Most of them seemed bored and acted like they would rather be anywhere but there. For a customer, that is a huge turn-off. But in my book, if the food is satisfying, that usually will override a discourteous employee.
I am a fan of quaint stores, shops, or just about anything that stands out from your typical franchise. Capogiro has a modern vibe when you walk in. There are normal tables and chairs but also a miniature bar, chalk boards with the shop’s creatively designed menu, unique lighting, and bottles lined up on shelves on the wall. When I went to order I was captured by the extravagant flavors, including bourbon butterscotch, Cara cara orange, kiwi, Mexican coffee, Nutella, sea salt pistacchio Siciliano, Caribbean sunrise papaya, fior di latte, Thai coconut milk and mojito. Miraculously, one of the staff members kindly asked if I would like to sample any flavors; obviously I accepted. Every flavor I tried was rare and out of this world. Even basic flavors had a new, refreshing taste. I ended up getting a scoop of lemon which was tart and crisp on top of a scoop of luscious chocolate with peanut butter that was roasted right on the premises creating a natural, savory flavor. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they also sold other fare with their own Italian twist, such as panini, grilled cheese, breakfast items and espresso.
Overall, I’d rate this place four out of five stars. The atmosphere was relaxed, the gelato was delectable, there were other delicious options, and the location is great. The only downsides were the price and the staff. I chose the smallest size and paid over five dollars. What was interesting though was that everything else seemed decently priced — I assume they overcharge for their gelato because it is made there and is made daily. However, top-notch gelato is worth the few extra dollars. If the staff was more welcoming and engaging, my experience would have been more enjoyable. I would not make the trip there every week, but I would definitely recommend Capogiro Gelato to anyone looking for exquisite gelato.