As Fairfield University students, we are always looking for new and exciting places to eat downtown. We discovered Dave’s Gourmet Paletas while waiting for the campus shuttle on a sunny fall afternoon. The heat inspired us to get something cold and refreshing.

Why Paletas?

While we didn’t initially know what paletas were, we had a feeling they were just what we were looking for. Dave Rock opened his gourmet paleta shop on May 27, 2021 in downtown Fairfield, Connecticut. He first tried paletas at a shop in Miami, Florida and instantly knew he needed to bring them to the north. This was possible with the help of chef Christina Victoria who was recently featured on Food Network’s Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey’s After Dark. Together, Dave and Christina brought the traditional Mexican frozen treat to the community of Fairfield County with the hopes of many more shops to come.

In Spanish “paleta” means tiny shovel. Since paletas are an authentic Mexican treat, Dave was committed to keeping his shop consistent with traditional Mexican decor. All the tiles lining the floor are imported directly from Mexico to maintain the authentic feel of the shop. A beautiful sun imported from Mexico adorns the wall inside the shop and an ornate Mexican bench sits outside. On a gorgeous day, the decorative bench is perfectly situated for enjoying a fresh paleta outside with friends.

The store is brightly lit with Mexican decor, brightening the mood and accentuating the freshness of the flavors. We were immediately greeted with bright smiles and enthusiasm from Dave and Christina. They told us all about the freshness of their ingredients and their store’s values. It was clear how much they valued their product and how thoughtful they were with every decision they made. From the food to the ambiance, Dave’s is certainly committed to providing its customers with the most authentic experience possible paired with the freshest and brightest flavors.

Dave’s is also committed to maintaining the freshness of their ingredients and paletas. Since they do not use any preservatives, they only keep paletas for 48 hours to ensure quality control and freshness. Of their 21 flavors, all are gluten free except the cookies and cream and 5 are non-dairy. While they do sell products that contain nuts, they keep extra paletas stored in the back to ensure no cross contamination has occurred for people with allergies. All paletas are about 250 calories each and are made with the highest quality ingredients.


Dave makes seasonal flavors like apple cider and pumpkin to keep their customers excited to try new flavors and combinations. Strawberries and cream is one of their most popular flavors; It is a milk-based paleta filled with hand sliced strawberries. They also make a key-lime flavor that was intended to be seasonal but was so popular among customers, they made it a main flavor! Their authentic flavors include traditional rice pudding and mango chamoy. The rice pudding paleta is milk based and uses a traditional recipe for rice pudding. Mango chamoy is one of the water based paletas that combines chamoy, a Mexican spice, with mango to create a sweet and mildly spiced paleta. They also have chocolate hazelnut, peanut butter chocolate that has a full Reese’s peanut butter cups inside, and so many more.


For toppings, they have melted semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate with chopped hazelnuts. They have marshmallow fluff, that they toast like s'mores, and cookie butter, which is both gluten free and nut free. They also have an array of toppings like coconut, crushed graham crackers, nuts, and candy.

What We Tried:

We were lucky enough to try three of the 21 flavors that Dave’s Gourmet Paletas offers. The first of the three was one of their vegan seasonal options. It was an apple cider base coated in their delicious cookie butter topping. For added texture and excitement, the paleta was topped with coconut flakes and halloween themed sprinkles.

Elizabeth Benson

The second paleta flavor we tried was chocolate. The paleta was customized with a take on the classic and tasty s’mores treat. Christina brought the excitement with a torch to decorate the marshmallow fluff coating. In addition to this, we added a drizzle of dark chocolate and a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs and coconut flakes; we can never have enough coconut!

Elizabeth Benson

Our third and final flavor tested was the popular strawberries and cream base. On top of this, we added a coating of their high quality semi-sweet chocolate with chopped hazelnuts topping. We also added a drizzle of white chocolate and halloween themed sprinkles to stick with the festive vibes. We loved each paleta and have made it a goal, like many customers, to try every flavor!