When your little sugar babes scream for ice cream, we’ve got the scoop on the most delicious ice cream shops near you to visit. Read on for the sweet deets on where to order up the best ice cream in San Diego.MoreLess
South Swell was voted "Best of San Clemente" three years in a row--and for good reason! The shop is the brainchild of local owners dedicated to serving the community their creative frozen treat creations. Their delicious chocolate or vanilla ice cream bars are dipped in smooth, warm chocolate and then designed with your choice of toppings. You may also choose to try one of their amazing, cleverly named specialty bars such as The Parent Trap.
You can't beat the convenience of a walk-up ice cream shop during these times of social distancing. Mr. Trustee recently opened adjacent to Cardellino in in Mission Hills and they're serving up yummy soft-serve ice cream, handcrafted ice cream and to-go pints from their walk-up window. Go treat yourself to some of the delectable flavors on their rotating menu including standouts like White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie Dough or Captain Crunch and Malted Milk soft-serve.
They're not technically ice cream, but they're still very worthy of a mention here! Holy Paleta's handcrafted pops are made with all-natural ingredients and full of delicious toppings. Bold, inventive and exciting flavors range from kid-faves Strawberry Lemonade and Watermelon, to Chamango on a Stick and Pineapple Mojito. Kids will go wild for the raspberry lemonade paleta that's dipped in white chocolate and adorned with Fruity Pebbles cereal.
This decadent, artisanal homemade ice cream shop was founded by a mother-daughter duo and a visit here is a doubly sweet treat because your ice cream is served with a chocolate chip cookie! All of JoJo's Creamery ice creams, cookies, waffle cones and sauces are made from scratch. Ice cream flavors include elevated versions of classics and interesting, flavorful delights such as Cayenne Sea Salt Caramel. You'll appreciate that JoJo's Creamery ice creams do not contain corn syrup or stabilizers.
Looking for a cool spot for family date night? Salt & Straw isn’t your average ice cream shop by any stretch. The family-run business conjures up wildly imaginative San Diego-specific flavors made using ingredients from local businesses. Made locally in small batches, their ice creams combine local, organic and sustainable ingredients into unique flavors you can’t find anywhere else.
Journey off the beaten ice cream path and try a new and delicious frozen treat at SomiSomi. Known as Ah-Boong in Korea, this Taiyaki soft serve is a culinary art form. Start by choosing between four flavors (or get a swirl) of: True Milk, Ube, Black Sesame or Matcha. Then choose a filling of red bean, custard or Nutella. This is piled high into a goldfish-shaped waffle cone known as boong-uh-bbang.
Not all shaved ice is created equally. Taiwanese “snow” is shaved off large cylinders in ribbons so pretty they resemble peonies. Flavor choices include lychee, Stumptown coffee and matcha and toppings include everything from cheesecake and panna cotta to popping boba. The folks at Iceskimo offer this pro ordering tip: "request condensed milk layered in the middle for extra sweetness and creaminess."
When you’re craving nostalgia along with your butter pecan, head down to this beloved National City ice cream parlor. Their website proudly proclaims they make ice cream in the same outdated, inefficient manner they did when they opened in the 1940s: in freezers. They have a wide variety of chocolate flavors, sherbets, sorbets, coffee flavors, fresh and fruity flavors and creative creations. Something for everyone!
Check out this scoop shop in Carlsbad Village and now at Del Mar Highlands too. Grab a giant scoop for your whole brood, after the beach, dining or visiting the Wednesday Farmer's Market. What's more, you'll from over 32 flavors to choose from. Handel's is known for its freshly-made ice cream with natural ingredients and huge ice cream cones. Little ice cream eaters love the crazy Purple Dinosaur which tastes like grape Skittles, and bigger kids go for the Oreo Dough or Chocolate Chunk.