Now if you’re not singing Hey Ya by this point, you aren’t human. Anyway, summer has, after a few false starts, finally hit London, and it’s high time you went out and indulged with the best ice cream in London. Luckily, this lot know a thing or two about whipped up sumptuous scoops. They’ll be a godsend, particularly on the hottest day of the year so far.
1. Chin Chin, Camden & Soho
A rather dramatic USP sees Chin Chin make their ice cream with liquid nitrogen, and that isn’t the only unique thing about them. The core range is a rather upscaled quartet: tonka bean, Valrhona chocolate, burnt butter caramel, and coffee and olive oil. Top that with the likes of grilled white chocolate, bee pollen honeycomb, cinnamon toast, or marshmallow fluff, and you’ve got one of the most delicious ice creams in town. Read more here.
54 Greek Street, W1D 3DS (Soho) and
2. Mamasons, Kentish Town & Chinatown
London’s first “dirty ice cream” parlour sounds more suited to the backstreets of Soho than Kentish Town, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled though, the name actually derives from the Filipino method of whipping up scoops in a drum using ice and salt – then giving it a naughty twist by serving it atop brownies or in pandan milk buns. Flavours such as black coconut and purple ube prove it to be a winning method, as does their rapid expansion into Chinatown nary a year after opening the original. Read all about it here.
91 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8NY (Kentish Town), and
3. Milk Train, Covent Garden
Milk Train’s deluxe soft-serve ice cream comes in quirky flavours like matcha and toppings like rainbow sprinkles and Oreos, but the best is yet to come. No mere waffle cone will suffice for these ice creams, for each one is surrounded by a wispy white cloud of candyfloss. A wonderful fluff of sugary joy that’ll have everyone staring after you with envy.
4. Bake, Chinatown
An iconic Insta snack come summertime, Bake’s taiyaki ice cream cones are shaped into hungry fish with a mouthful of soft serve. You’re restricted to the choice of chocolate, vanilla, or (clear favourite) matcha, but think of the likes! Read all about it here.
9 Wardour Street, W1D 6PF.
5. Soft Serve Society, Shoreditch
Now here’s a society I’d love to be a part of. Another champion of the soft-serve game, don’t expect a standard Mr Whippy at Soft Serve Society – flavours run from vivacious vanilla to a witchy charcoal coconut creation, and you can have ’em in cones, freakshakes, or cups.
Unit 35 BOXPARK, 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY.
6. Nardulli, Clapham
A weekend favourite amongst the Clapham crowd, gorgeous Italian ice creams sit very nicely inside the Art Deco building. Whether you have it in a cone, glass, or in the form of an ice cream cake, every flavour from After Eight to Tiramisu can be found at Nardulli.
29 The Pavement, SW4 0JE.
7. Udderlicious, Islington, Seven Dials, & Wembley
Independent ice cream parlour Udderlicious makes all their sweet treats in store. All the ice cream is organic and includes flavours like Banana Caramel and Raspberry Cheesecake. Because they’re so committed to only having what you want, they allow customers to vote for the next ‘flavour of the month’ – so go out there and bring that choco-pistachio-caramel-cookie-dough hybrid into reality. (Please.)
187 Upper St, N1 1RQ (Islington), 24 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LN (Seven Dials), and BOXPARK Wembley, HA9 0GU (Wembley).
8. Yolkin, Soho
It’s the best mashup in the ice cream game, and it all came from a desire to reduce food waste. Founder Sammie Le was a keen macaroon baker (fun fact: so is this writer!), but it wasn’t until she used the leftover egg yolks to create ice cream that Yolkin was born. Flavours such as Hong Kong French toast, matcha Oreo, and red velvet make this an absolute must-visit. Find out more here.
24 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DQ.
9. Gelateria 3Bis, Notting Hill & London Bridge
Born in Rimini, on Italy’s Adriatic coast, the pedigree of Gelateria 3Bis is unquestionable. They maintain a presence in Rimini with two ice cream parlours, but more pertinently, you’ll also find them in Notting Hill and Borough Market, where you can pimp up your scoop with crepes, waffles, and milkshakes.
178 Portobello Road, and 4 Park Street, SE1 9AB (London Bridge).
10. Snowflake, multiple locations
What better place for the “snowflake” generation than this cracking ice cream parlour? Amongst the standout flavours at Snowflake are Biscotto, Popcorn with Sea Salted Caramel, Honey and Date, and a Pistachio gelato that’s widely trumpeted as amongst London’s best. Plus, plenty of vegan flavours for the plant-powered crowd.
11. Gelupo, Soho
My favourite thing about Gelupo is that it was co-founded by a man named Victor Hugo, which is just japes. Coming a close second is the wide range of gelato flavours to be found at this offshoot of Italian joint Bocca di Lupo, from banana stracciatella to ricotta, chocolate & pepper. Summertime sees the arrival of boozy flavours such as Pimms & lemonade, gin & cucumber, and sour cherry & sambuca, and you clearly aren’t going to say no to those.
7 Archer Street, W1D 7AU.
12. Oddono’s, multiple locations
Most unhelpfully for my waistline, there was an Oddono‘s down the road from my old flat – and judging by the ever-present weekend queues, I’m not the only one who bravely faced down temptation. Find them everything from Battersea to Stoke Newington: they’ve mastered over 130 flavours without a single trace of colourings or preservatives, so it’s as close to guilt-free as you can get!
13. Greedy Goat, London Bridge
Deep in the heart of foodie paradise Borough Market, you’ll find a rather unique ice cream parlour. Greedy Goat is aptly named; their creations are all made from goat’s milk, which makes a scoop here lower in fat and calories than cow’s milk ice cream, and suitable for the lactose intolerant. Nope, we’re not kidding you…
Borough Market, Bedale Street, SE1 9AL.
14. Ruby Violet, Tufnell Park & Kings Cross
Organic ice cream and vegan sorbets are the order of the day at Ruby Violet, which brings serious dedication and craft to the ice cream game. Their strawberry sorbet is an absolute must-order in summertime, and you’re at the Kings Cross brand, you can pair it with a wander through Coal Drops Yard or along Regent’s Canal.
118 Fortess Road, NW5 2HL (Tufnell Park), and 3 Wharf Road, N1C 4BZ (Kings Cross).
15. Romeo & Guiletta Artisan Gelateria, Stoke Newington
Stokey locals know this is the place to be when the temperature ticks upwards – and they’re usually there ahead of the crowds. A rotating line-up of 22 flavours means you’re spoiled for choice, but we’ve been told the pistachio is a strong choice.
137 Albion Road, N16 9JU.
16. Happy Endings, Mile End
An apt one to finish one! Happy Endings‘ motto is “Everybody deserves one”, and we can’t disagree. Get ‘The Naughty One’, with miso salt caramel parfait sandwiched between chocolate Guinness cake and soy dulce de leche, and you’ll be a very happy camper indeed.
Arch 437, Burdett Road, E3 4AT.
Also published on Medium.