Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt: Ciao Gelato | SteamboatToday.com

Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt: Ciao Gelato

Scott Franz

Ciao Gelato's Kathy Nerney, left, with owners Lynne (center) and Massimo Romeo.

At Ciao Gelato, you don't just get a frozen treat or a slice of pizza.

If you're lucky, Lynne Romeo will be behind the counter ready to ask you about your day, your family, and just about everything else.

And before the gelato is in the cup, you'll have made a new friend.

“We like this little spot,” Lynne says in Ciao Gelato’s newest location on Lincoln Avenue. “It’s fun being on Main Street.”

Ciao Gelato is also a place where local school children like to hang out and become part of the Ciao family.

When parents are running late and they need more time to pick up their children in the downtown area, the kids go to Ciao.

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When Ciao Gelato had to close in Steamboat Springs two years ago because it couldn't afford to renew its lease at its old location at Seventh and Yampa streets, the community saw just how popular, and valued, the eatery was.

It wasn't just losing gelato, it was losing a community gathering spot.

The possible last day of the gelato shop in October, 2014 attracted a long line of customers wanting to get one last taste, and a tribute from the Steamboat Springs High School band to mark the occasion.

"Ciao is one of those beautiful places that bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart, even aside from the comforting satisfaction to my taste buds," Clark resident Mary Anne Fairlile said on the eve of the store's closure. "They are a place where our young people frequent where their name is remembered, and their story is honored."

Good luck finding such glowing Yelp reviews for other ice cream shops.

But some things are just too good to go away forever.

In less than a year, Lynne Romeo and her husband, Massimo, found another location on Lincoln Avenue next to the Smokehouse, and their gelato, pizza and family-friendly atmosphere continue to draw rave reviews.

Regular gelato flavors include Nutella, mango, blueberry cheesecake, cookies and cream, dark chocolate and more than a dozen more.

Lynne says at the new location, the gelato shop is part of a network of family friendly businesses that include a candy shop, a children’s arcade and a soda fountain.

“We fit in better here,” she says.