As ice cream shops come and go throughout the metropolitan area, successful ones often need to find an angle to differentiate themselves. That may mean unique flavors, a specific style, or an inventive presentation. At the north end of downtown Phoenix, a small store known as Fatty Daddy’s (sometimes written with the initials “OG” in front of its name on social media) has created its own niche by offering ice cream side-by-side with espresso, boba, bubble waffles, macarons, and cookies in a sort of Asian-American-European celebration of frozen desserts.
Fatty Daddy’s is located on the ground floor of the Union at Roosevelt apartment building. Its street address suggests a location on First Avenue, but the entrance is actually around the corner facing Roosevelt and across the street from Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. The Roosevelt/Central light rail station is situated just half a block to the east, and bike racks are found in the building’s parking structure on First Avenue. From there, it’s a quick walk through the garage to a shaded sidewalk that leads to Fatty Daddy’s and other retail tenants at Union.
The space is compact with an emphasis on the display case full of ice cream and the chalkboard menus hung above it. Seating is limited to a counter facing outward with a view of Roosevelt, a tiny counter on the side, and a small area with lounge-style seating to the side. Pink walls and decorative lighting give the space a fun feel. The flavors on display are always a mix of gelato, ice cream, and sorbet with some constant flavors such as cookies and cream and many other specialty products like banana peanut butter chocolate chip that rotate seasonally.
Sorbet flavors like mango and coconut offer a lighter, more tropical touch well suited to hot summer days in Phoenix. For any flavor, options for consumption go beyond the usual cups and cones. One of Fatty Daddy’s specialties is the cookie cup, a scoop of any chosen flavor topped with a thin macaron, also available in multiple flavors, and a toasted marshmallow. Bubble waffles are made to order and can also be used to enclose frozen treats in any combination of flavors and toppings, ranging from classic rainbow sprinkles to spicy and salty chamoy sauce.
The liquid dimension of Fatty Daddy’s menu includes espresso and cappuccino beverages, including the combination of ice cream and coffee known as an affogato. There are also black and green milk teas served in a variety of flavors with the option to add different types of boba and popping pearls. For something even richer, the shop can make any of its flavors into a milkshake. One particularly good choice for a shake is mango ice cream with the resulting concoction being a thick drink that is smooth and full of authentic tropical fruit taste.
In terms of tastes, textures, and influences, there are even more disparate elements that appear periodically in the display cases. Classic breakfast cereals like Captain Crunch and Fruity Pebbles show up blended into frozen flavors, and Butterfingers and Oreos can be sprinkled on top. At the same time, classic ice cream varieties and simple fruit essences are not overlooked. With a convenient location on Roosevelt Row where Downtown meets the historic districts north of the city center, Fatty Daddy’s is a neighborhood ice cream shop with a global feel.
888 North 1st Ave. #105, Phoenix AZ 85003