The sun’s occasionally out and signs of summer have arrived (British summer does somewhat exist). There’s no better time than now to be indulging in ice cream – it’s essential! The London ice cream scene has developed quite a bit over the years as artisanal ice cream and innovative creations now take over the market. Are you searching for that velvety gelato or smooth soft serve? Or are you looking for funky flavours and unique creations? No matter your preference, London has definitely got you covered. Here is a list of the best ice cream around town in London for you to try this summer (although it’s ice cream season any time of the year, right?!):
From Firenze to London, Badiani has always been my top spot for serving one of the best gelatos in town. All flavours go back to their copyrighted artisanal gelato base since 1974 – a ridiculously fragrant, silky and velvety vanilla gelato that’s freshly handmade each day. Standout flavours include Pistachio, Coffee, Caramel, Hazelnut, and many more.
In addition, there also do some amazing gelato cakes, gelato cookies, and pinguinos (gelato on a stick with chocolate coating – think of a magnum).
T’s Fried Scoop
Fried ice cream – yes, fried ice cream. Starting out in 2020, T’s Fried Scoop has only gone from strength to strength capturing the attention of the likes of Time Out, Daily Mail, and Thrillist, as well as plenty of curious foodies around town. It is essentially an ice cream scoop wrapped with dough with a coating of your choice and then deep-fried till golden. The coating offers a really good crunch and a terrific mix of hot and cold sensation in your mouth. Additionally, the dough has this almost cake-like texture which goes so well with the whole concept.
Want to know more about the story behind T’s Fried Scoop? Check out our interview here with their founder, Natasha, as she talks through how it’s like to start a business during a turbulent year and all the highs and lows.
Following their huge success of the Covent Garden summer pop up in 2019, Darlish is back again in 2021 at the same spot to satisfy your ice cream cravings! Darlish specialises in ice cream with Middle Eastern flavours such as Orange Blossom & Pistachio, Tahini, Coconut & Cardamom, Turkish Coffee etc. just to name a few. But their ultimate signature is their Baklava Ice Cream Sandwich, which was the dreamiest treat ever made. I promise you it’s not going to be too sweet and that they really nailed down the perfect flavour balance and texture.
Yolkin’s famous creation of macaroon ice cream sandwiches needs no further introduction. Popular flavours include Red Velvet, Cookies & Cream, Milo, Pandan, etc. If a macaroon ice cream sandwich is too sweet for you, simply opt for regular ice cream scoops as they offer plenty of unique Far Eastern flavours for you to choose from. My personal favourite flavours include the Matcha Oreo, Hong Kong Milk Tea, Vietnamese Coffee, Chinese Egg Tart, and so on. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for any seasonal treats as they make the most adorable ones you’ll ever lay eyes on!
Chin Chin is one of the first to bring liquid-nitrogen ice cream into the London market and took it by storm from the get-go. From there, Chin Chin continued to be crowned for serving one of the best hot chocolates and desserts in town. In other words, you fancy something sweet? Head down to Chin Chin. Back to their ice cream, classic flavours include Tonka Bean, Burnt Butter Caramel (one of my favourites!), Valrhona Chocolate, Coffe & Olive Oil etc. and you get to choose from a range of toppings as well (I personally like to go with their honeycomb). But if you want something more extravagant, they serve up a mean Tiramisu Sundae (no alcohol), Sticky Toffee Pudding Sundae, and many more eye-popping creations.
Mamason’s Dirty Ice Cream
The Filipino ice cream and dessert parlour swept the London market off its feet with its striking purple-coloured Ube ice cream and desserts. Apart from Ube, Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream offers a range of unique flavours such as Black Charcoal Coconut, Queso (i.e. cheese), Calamansi, and many more. My favourite treat from them ought to be their Bilog, which is basically a sweet toasted Filipino bun, a.k.a Pandesal, that’s filled with ice cream. Simply put, it’s like a pillowy doughnut stuffed with ice cream and it’s absolutely a heavenly and decadent treat!
Bear’s Ice Cream
Bear’s Ice Cream is a small family-run ice cream parlour in west London, inspired by Icelandic ice cream traditions and combined it with English seasonal flavours. Their signature Bears Glacier features high-quality Jersey Milk Ice Cream with various toppings of your choice, ranging from meringue and fresh fruits to cornflakes, nuts, popcorn, fudge, etc. Additionally, they also plenty of other creative flavour combos such as Mango & Jasmine Tea Sorbet, Peanut Butter & Banana, Blueberry/Lavender Jam Meringue Swirl, and many more!
Rendang and Rice
Not an ice cream parlour per se, but this unique ice cream creation from Rendang & Rice ought to be included on your radar for London ice cream spots. Fried bao rolled in spiced sugar, filled with their homemade speculoos ice cream and topped with Biscoff crumbs and sprinkles – now isn’t this quite a winning combo?!
Another big name from Italy to London, Grom is a great ice cream parlour to stop by for some quality gelato. Their flagship Crema Di Grom (pastry cream with Meliga biscuits & chocolate pieces) is no doubt a popular hit, alongside with other seasonal changing flavours including pistachio, coffee, chocolate, etc. as well as plenty of refreshing sorbet flavours. Grom has it’s own organic farm in Northern Italy where they source all their ingredients from no matter the location – so you can always expect fresh and high quality stuff from them!
Soft Serve Society
If you want quality soft serve ice cream, Soft Serve Society is one to be on the list. Their soft serve sundaes are no doubt an eye-catching treat, as well as their ice cream freakshakes.
Did you know that some branches of Hotel Chocolat offer ice cream and it’s pretty amazing? Like their other chocolate offerings, the ice cream from Hotel Chocolat is no short of extraordinary. Infusing a mix of Jersey milk and cream with their pure roasted cocoa nibs, the resulting product is a sensational swirl of silky and velvety ice cream with a unique note of flavour seeping through the palate. It seemed bold to name themselves “Ice Cream of The Gods” but it’s definitely one right up there!
Rosslyn Coffee might not be an obvious choice for an ice cream stop as it is an artisan speciality coffee shop. But they actually serve up some exquisite soft serve ice cream in the summer! In collaboration with Happy Endings Ice Cream, their ice cream features a vanilla-infused milk base using the esteemed The Estate Dairy, and blended it with a 24-hour cold brew from Origin Coffee Roasters and dusted with Mork Chocolate.
You would’ve seen me mentioning Tsujiri’s matcha soft serve on my London’s best matcha desserts guide and it’s definitely worth another mention here for top London ice cream spots! Using premium matcha powders, the popular matcha dessert house no doubt offers some really good quality matcha desserts including soft serve and sundaes to indulge in. Choose from matcha, hojicha, or black sesame soft serve and treat yourself to some classic Japanese toppings such as red beans, mochi balls, kinako, kuromitsu, and/or genmai.
I absolutely adore Buns From Home as their croissant buns are simply too good to resist. For this summer, they have added a new item on the menu featuring Apple Crumble Ice Cream that’s topped with a mini version of their signature cinnamon bun – now how exciting is that!
Whipped London is literally the definition of indulgence at its best. Started out with their decadent cheesecake creations and then to epic stuffed cookies, Whipped has now come up with another scrumptious idea this summer – Cookie Cheesecake Tacos. Forget the calories here, it’s basically a chewy cookie shell filled with gelato that’s supplied by La Gelatiera and then topped with cheesecake chunks and more heavenly toppings!
Knoops specialises in chocolate, an idea that’s born out of persistence for the perfect hot chocolate recipe. For hotter days where hot chocolate isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds, they have then gone on trying to perfect the best ice cream recipe and et viola! Knoops’ ice cream is crafted from whipped soft serve that’s made with real white chocolate, drizzled with their popular 54% chocolate that’s made into a sauce plus a little Knoops chocolate disc on top as a final touch. It’s going to be as lovely as their hot chocolates!