It’s second semester. That must mean that while many of your friends are having the time of their lives studying abroad, you’re stuck in Ann Arbor to face the Polar Vortex (Part 2). But don’t fret; Iorio’s Gelateria is the light at the end of that dark, dark tunnel.

In the summer of 2011 two siblings and Michigan students, Mary and Nick Lemmer, opened up the shop for business. Inspired by their Italian heritage and love of the popular treat Italian Ice, the Lemmer’s decided to share some of the deliciousness with the rest of us. With over 20 flavors of gelato to choose from (including some dairy-free options), as well as espresso, cappuccino and Italian soda, this little shop on E. William Street is perfect for any occasion.


Photo by Alex Weiner

As I trekked through another blizzard, all I wanted was some warmth. But when I walked into Iorio’s it was like an ice-cold treat was the answer to all my prayers. The shop is pretty small, including only a few tables and the counter with the gelato case. But when the gelato looks as delectable as Iorio’s does, a small cozy shop is all you need.

I decide to go for the Medio size, which is a 6 oz. cup for $4.10, in which you can mix as many flavors as you want. Yeah, you heard me: as many flavors as you want. They also offer a 4 oz. Piccolo size for $3.35 and 8 oz. Grande for $4.60. To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed when I found out I could pick unlimited flavors, but the friendly employee was happy to explain any flavor and let me try a sample.

After some serious taste testing and deliberation I settle on four flavors for my afternoon snack. I immediately had my eyes on the Espresso and Pumpkin Amaretto, two of my all time favorites when it comes to ice cream. Then, I was told the Bacio was one of their most popular flavors, which is a dark chocolate gelato with whole hazelnuts. Finally, I was feeling adventurous and decided to try the Guinness Espresso Chip, which did in fact resemble the beer, but in a good way.


Photo by Alex Weiner

Once I finally picked my flavors (so many to choose from…), I was reminded why eating gelato in the middle of sub-zero temperatures is totally acceptable. Not only was the Italian treat delicious, but it was unique from any other ice cream in the area. Although the prices seem a little steep for such a small portion, Iorio’s is worth every penny.


Location: 522 E. William Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Hours of operation: Sun-Wed: 11 am-10 pm, Thurs-Sat: 11 am-11 pm