London’s Best Ice Cream, 2018
With the city hotting up once more, here's our guide to the best ice cream in London
Location: 17-21 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9RP
Hours: Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Smartphones and tastebuds at the ready – Dominique Ansel's What-A-Melon soft serve is back for the summer. The New York-based inventors of the cronut, seem to have hit on a second winner here, hollowing out a juicy slice of watermelon, replacing the seeds with dark chocolate, and filling it with fruity watermelon soft serve. Get them while they're hot – or should we say cold.
Location: 71-72 Burlington Arcade, W1J 0QX London
Hours: Monday - Saturday 08:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Sunday 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Ecoutez: Luxury French bakery Ladurée has parked their pretty, vintage ice cream cart just inside the Piccadilly entrance to Covent Garden's Burlington Arcade. For July only, fans of the brand's pastel-coloured sweet treats will be able to pull up a chair and indulge in a taste of French sumptuousness.
Scoop: A Wonderful World of Ice Cream
Location: The British Museum of Food, Gasholder 11, 1 Lewis Cubitt Square, London, N1C 4BY
Hours: 03 Jul 18 – 30 Sep 18, Times vary
Spoons at the ready, because an exhibition exploring the past, present and future of ice cream is opening in London. SCOOP: A Wonderful World of Ice Cream is the work of Bompas & Parr, the multi-sensory experience connoisseurs known for their awe-inspiring pop-ups. The exhibition will lead you down sweet-smelling corridors and into caves lit by glow-in-the-dark ice cream. With its fountain of Hundreds and Thousands, and inhalable vanilla-flavoured fog, this truly is an experience to make Willy Wonka proud.
Soft Serve Society
Location: 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GY
Hours: Monday - Saturday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
While the mere shape of the ice creams here might resemble a Mr Whippy, once you’ve chosen your flavour, added your toppings, and then some more on top of that, the offering at Soft Serve Society is anything but. Premium flavours and fun-loving extras are what this parlour’s all about. Whether you go for a sundae, a freakshake or a simple soft serve, your eyes and taste buds are in for a treat.
Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream
Location: 91 Kentish Town Road, Camden, London, NW1 8NY (plus a West End location coming soon)
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Europe is home to just one Filipino ice cream parlour: Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream. The good news? It's in London. Trading from Camden this past year, the store is so popular it’s opening a second branch this September on Newport Court in the West End. You won’t find the likes of vanilla, strawberry or mint choc chip here; instead, all scoops are inspired by flavours of the Philippines (think Ube – a vibrant purple yam with a unique earthy taste; Milo – malt chocolate powder; and Black buko – a coconut concoction made with activated charcoal). We recommend going all out and getting yours served as a hot ice cream sandwich.
The Sloane Bros. Frozen Yoghurt Co
Location: 214 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SA
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Those who prefer fro-yo to ice cream won’t be disappointed with the offering at this trendy little East End store. Four different flavours of colourful yoghurts are available, plus toppings including some of the relatively healthy variety — think nuts, fresh fruits — as well as sugary biscuits and local specialities.
Location: Various locations including Marble Arch, Soho, Oxford Street, Bayswater and South Kensington.
Location: Available in select stores (Stratford Fine Foods, Kent Frozen Foods, Whole Foods Market UK).
We'd be hard pressed to name anything more desirable than frozen alcoholic juice on a stick. Although not sold exclusively from one location, you can find their delicious frozen dreamsicles in various grocery stores across the UK. Their book Poptails: 50 Sensationally Intoxicating Cocktail Lollies is available to order now.
Location: Pop up shop inside Siam Eatery 24 Wellington Street, Covent Garden
Hours: Saturday - Sunday 12 PM - 4 PM
The ultimate food fusion has finally arrived, gracing both our Instagram accounts and our taste buds. Macaroon ice cream sandwiches are available at the independently run pop up, with new ice cream flavours every week including Cinnamon Toast, Creme Brûlée, Raspberry Ripple and Matcha Oreo.
Location: In & Out Club, 94 Piccadilly, Green Park
Hours: Tuesday - Thursday 12PM - 5 PM, Friday - Saturday 12 PM - 9 PM, Sunday 12 PM - 7 PM
Childhood dreams you never even knew you had are being made possible at food truck Nosteagia, which features egg waffles (popularized in 1950s Hong Kong), ice cream, and various toppings. Never worry about losing a scoop again - your ice cream is kept safely nestled in a layer of edible bubble wrap. Available in flavours like Marshmallow Chocolate, Bananarama and King Chocolate.
Location: 44 Bedford Street, Covent Garden
Hours: Monday - Sunday, 1:00PM - 9:00PM
The most Instagrammable ice cream in London, and therefore the world, probably, Milk Train's cones comes surrounded by a cotton candy cloud and seemingly float down the street. Featuring matcha and yuzu flavours and additional toppings to create the ultimate Sunday Instagram.
Location: 130 Wardour Street, Soho
Hours: Monday - Wednesday 1 PM - 10 PM, Thursday - Sataturday 11 AM - 12 AM, Sunday 12PM - 10PM
Resist the call of the chocolate chip, shun butterscotch and turn your nose up at pistachio. Joking of course. And now with Yorica!, the UK's first vegan, free from ice cream parlour, everyone can enjoy. Also on Wardour Street, all their ice cream is free from wheat, gluten, dairy, lactose, eggs, nuts, GMO and artificial sweeteners – and everything is fully vegan, yes even the cookies and cream.
Location: 3 Warf Road, Kings Cross and 118 Fortress Road, Tufnell Park Parlour
Hours: Monday 10 AM - 7PM, Tuesday - Sunday 10 AM - 10 PM, both locations
Handmade sorbets and gelato in posh flavours like pistachio, rosewater and masala chai.This Tufnell Park ice cream begins in London’s Victorian Dairy with local, fresh ingredients. It’s all very yummy mummy, but it's heavenly.
Location: Food truck, varies.
Hours: Track them down on Instagram to find out!
Participate in the world's most delicious urban scavenger hunt by keeping tabs on Blu Top, the ice cream truck that's bringing delicious deserts to a street corner near you.
Location: 103 Gloucester Road, South Kensington
Hours: Monday - Saturday 12 PM - 11 PM, Sunday 12 PM - 10 PM
Four Winters has opened a new branch in Gloucester road, bringing its ice cream revolution to the West side of London. Why revolution? Because Four Winters freezes its ice cream with liquid nitrogen, resulting in a deliciously smooth cream, free of tiny bits of air and ice. Capturing the season's best ingredients, Four Winters creates interesting twists to our favourite flavours, such as Spicy Mango Pineapple and Blue Violet.
Location: Borough Market
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 AM - 5PM
Made exclusively with British goat's milk, Greedy Goat is a Borough Market staple. Enjoy a variety of flavours guilt-free – their ice cream comes in unexpected flavours such as Honeycomb, Gin and Tonic and Raspberry Eton Mess.
Dum Dum Donutterie
Location: Various locations including Brixton, Shoreditch, Croyden and Harrods.
If, for some reason, egg waffles don't appeal to you, try Dum Dum Donutterie's doughnut cones. Dum Dum's has once again proven their innovation at the forefront of the artisan baked doughnut market by reshaping their signature doughnuts into edible, ice cream holding chalices.
Location: 29 The Pavement, London, SW4 0JE
Hours: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
This cutesy neighbourhood ice cream, parlour perched on the edge of Clapham Common, often has a crowd swelling outside its doors. Keeping things traditional with genuine Italian ice cream, Nardulli has a friendly family atmosphere and a wide variety of flavours sold in cones, cups or – for those looking for something a little more hearty – on crêpes or accompanying cakes.
Location: Various locations, including Hampstead, South Kensington, Battersea, East Dulwich and Chiswick
“Life’s too short to eat bad ice cream” say the folk at Oddono’s Italian Ice cream parlour. We couldn’t agree more, so enjoy the absolute best, made with love from authentic recipes, at Oddono’s South Kensington flagship, or pop into its other branches in Hampstead or East Dulwich. No flavour will disappoint, but we have a soft spot for the pistachio.
Location: Various locations including Covent Garden, Soho, South Kensington and Brixton.
Scoop’s Covent Garden, Soho and South Kensington ice cream parlours are the best stop for luxury ice creams in Central London. For serious cocoa indulgence, their chocolate fondant ice-cream can’t be beaten. There’s even a chocolate fondant sorbet for the dairy-avoidant among us! Mop up melting pools of ice cream with deliciously doughy waffles, crepes and churros.
Location: 187 Upper Street Islington, 24 Earlham Street Covent Garden
Times: Varies, typically 11AM - 11 PM in both locations
The Udderlicious ice cream is, we’re pretty sure, made by wizards. Made fresh by smiley wife-and-husband duo, this Islington institution has a tempting pastel-coloured selection of gelatos. Bored of vanilla? Udderlicious’ flavor combinations are a foodies’ delight. The strawberry and basil sorbet is like a mouthful of summer, and for all its cool creaminess, the apple crumble summons warm and cosy thoughts of home-cooking.
Chin Chin Labs
Location: 49-50 Camden Lock Place, 54 Greek Street
Times: everyday 12-7pm, everyday 1-9pm
Back in 2010, Chin Chin Labs were the original nitro freezers; seven years on, that idea might have lost its freshness but their ice-cream certainly hasn’t. With a catalogue of avant-garde flavours (strawberry and hay springs to mind) on continual rotation, a visit to these mavericks guarantees a surprise. Expect a theatrical experience complete with nitrogen tanks, goggles and lab coats. A new Chin Chin Club arrived in Soho earlier this June.
La Grotta Ices
Location: 5 Voyager Estate South, Spa Road
Times: selected Saturdays, 9am-2pm
Kitty Travers’s hand-made flavours are nothing if not wholesome: made with organic milk and strictly seasonal fruits, these are ice creams coaxed from her ex-greengrocers shop in North Lambeth. To feel virtuous as you indulge, try peaches, crème fraîche and tarragon, or apricot and chamomile sorbet. Travers sells at Spa Terminus on selected days but her ice creams can be bought by the tub all year round from Leila's Shop on Calvert Avenue or the General Store on Bellenden Road.
Location: Borough Market, 4 Park Street
Times: Wednesday - Saturday 10 AM - 5PM
For an experience as authentic as it gets, try Gelateria 3Bis, a permanent fixture at Borough market. These are ingredients – mascarpone, pistachios, figs, liquorice – flown in directly from Italy and shared by the only other two 3Bis gelaterias in cobbled coastal Rimini. That batches are made on-site every morning is just one sign of the parlour’s trademark dedication to craftsmanship.