Now as an adult I get to make almost all my own decisions and with so many flavors and so many great places to get your fix in London I decided to a give you a run down of my faves.There is something inexplicably comforting about ice cream. For me it’s the nostalgia; loading into the car and going out for a rare treat as a family. Getting to chose my own flavor was so liberating for me. As 1/6 kids it was one of the rare chances I had to explore what I liked as an individual.
I live in North London so I’m spoiled for choice! We’ve got Marine Ices which is an INSTITUTION! It was founded in 1931 so I’m pretty sure it’s one of the oldest in the city. They make really amazing authentic gelato and have perfected their classic flavours. I don’t normally like Vanilla but theirs I make exceptions for. On hotter days I’ve seen the queue wrapping around the BLOCK so you know it’s good.
There is also Ruby Violet in Tufnell Park, they’re more modern and a bit more adventurous with their flavour creations! I’m Canadian and a few months back I tweeted at them asking if they would consider making a Canadian classics that I was really missing; Tiger Tail and they did! It’s orange ice cream with a black liquorice swirl, so it does actually look like a tigers tail! It sounds horrid but it’s absolutely amazing!
ChinChin Labs in Camden Market uses liquid nitrogen and make their ice cream and make it right there in the shop. It’s small and the queues can be long, especially during the summers, but the shop front is open and you can watch as they make the nitro ice cream! With puffs of frosty fog and hissing and splooshing of nitro being stirred and blended into their ice cream, it’s dinner and a show! I hate queueing for ANYTHING but I don’t mind it so much here because you have something to watch! I usually go for their ice cream sandwiches, they’re brownie with burnt butter caramel ice cream is so decadent!
I have to say though my personal favourite is MAMASONS. They’re Europe’s first Filipino ice cream parlour. Their shops in Kentish Town and Chinatown are insta-dreamlands with marble, crushed velvet, and palm leaf wallpaper. They make a Calamansi (citrus fruit) sorbet that is the most refreshing thing I have ever eaten ever. I’ve been going a few times a week with this heat! They’re open late most nights so I’ll get home from work and instead of going home head in the other direction and grab myself a scoop or two. Their staff is super fun and friendly and I always feel like I’m hanging out with friends when I’m there. They give good ‘gram too, I love watching their stories and seeing them make the ice creams and sorbets, it’s really cool to get to see the behind the scenes of ice cream! If you want something super gram-able their Black Boko ice cream is delicious and goth af! It’s coconut ice cream with activated charcoal, you can have it served up in a charcoal cone if you want that all black authentic Camden goth vibe.
If you spend any time in the West End, and love the hustle and bustle and all the glamor. People say ‘you eat with your eyes first’ and that’s definitely true when it comes to most west end eateries.
Places like Yokin with it’s over stuffed Macaron ice-cream sandwiches really appeal to me…unfortunately because of my NUT ALLERGY macarons are off the menu so if like me macarons aren’t your thing they do an ‘ice cream taco’! How they got their name is a particularly cute(if not apocryphal)story; their founder Sammie was obsessed with macarons and hated wasting the egg yolks so looked for recipes they could put the yolks in! How cute is that? I love that these gorgeous creations came out of not wanting to WASTE anything.
Milk Train in Covent Garden created cones so heavy in toppings they seem that defy gravity! You can add a ring of cotton candy to you cone so it looks like you’re eating the most perfect swirl of soft serve straight from a cloud! If you’re all about add-ons this is definatly the place for you, your cone is customisable so you’re really only limited by your own imagination.
Happy Endings is another MUST TRY food hot spot. As if the name didn’t give it away they do more grown up desserts. If you’re going to go for a visit be brave!
They take old school flavours and add a twist you wouldn’t expect and sometimes don’t even trust but then you eat it and it’s like WOW how did I ever live without this?! They’re hot chocolate with an olive oil marshmallow is to die for. I usually go for their ice cream sandwiches. My recommendation is ‘The Naught One’ ; a miso salted caramel parfait with chocolate Guinness cake and soy dulce de leche. I like that they add something grown up like Guinness and miso and it really elevates the flavour.
Last on the list, but for no reason than poor organisation on my part is Odonno’s. They’ve been around since the early 2000’s and since then have tried their hand at around 130 flavours. They’ve won awards for their pistachio flavour so I would suggest trying that one first, again thanks to my nut allergy I can’t partake in that particular flavor but I’ve enviously watched friends slurp through theirs and they say its spectacular. They import their pistachios from Sicily which just shows their dedication to making quality products for their customer.
Where are you favorite spots to grab a scoop or too?