There’s nothing quite like basking in the hot summer sun with an ice cream in hand. Here in London, we’ve been promised that summer is just around the corner, and with the expectation of rising temperatures, why not consider a trip to one of the city’s best ice cream parlours to help you cool down?
London offers a unique mix of traditional family-run parlours through to brand new pop-ups putting their own twist on the classic sweet tweet and in this guide, we’ve found something to tickle even the fussiest of taste buds.
The Best Ice Cream Spots in London
Gelupo, Soho, W1D 7AU
Located in the heart of Soho, Gelupo has been serving up ‘the finest gelato this side of the Alps’ since 2010. Established by the owners of the ever famous Italian restaurant, “Bocca Di Lupo“, this little ice cream parlour follows the same glorious path, offering some daring (yet tasty) creations you won’t find anywhere else.
At Gelupo, it’s not just about offering the customer a quick scoop of ice cream to cool down and enjoy. It’s about providing them with a delectable treat that they will never forget. Sure it may be a little more pricey than your average Mr Whippy soft serve ice cream cone, but we guarantee you won’t find even half of these flavours anywhere else.
Some of the most creative creations you’ll find in-house include a kiwi, gin and elderflower mix and ricotta sour cherry combo. They even offer a range of changing specials in the summer, enticing you back again and again.
If you’re in the Soho area and looking for a fresh and exciting way to cool down, be sure to check out Gelupo. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Oddono’s, Multiple locations in London
Oddono’s has been making its mark in London since 2004, offering its award-winning fresh and natural gelato to visitors far and wide.
The best thing about Oddono’s has to be the amount of choice you have. With more than 130 flavours to choose from, there is something to be found for everyone.
In addition to oodles and oodles of tantalizing flavours, another marvellous thing Oddono’s is only too happy to boast about is that all of its creations are completely colouring and preservative-free. As they make all visitors to their shops aware that ‘Life’s too short to eat bad ice cream’.
You can now find one of their parlours in various locations throughout the capital, including Wimbledon, Hampstead, Chiswick and South Kensington, the later conveniently placed close by our London aparthotels. So what excuse do you have not to visit now?
Read More: What is an Aparthotel?
Ruby Violet, Tufnell Park and Kings Cross
The original Ruby Violet branch opened in Tufnell Park in 2012 and is a fantastic family favourite spot with fun and funky decor, a London hidden gem.
If Tufnell Park is a little too far out of your way, Ruby Violet’s second parlour lies in the heart of Kings Cross’ Canal Quarter, offering a uniquely fantastic experience (more than just a quick scoop of ice cream) for all who pop by.
No other ice cream parlour is likely to take as much pride in its interior design decisions as Ruby Violet. The vintage 1920s tiles on the floor of their Tufnell Park shop come from a townhouse in Belgium via France, while all of the lights in the Kings Cross parlour come from India. No wonder it’s also known to be frequented by a celebrity or two from time to time.
However, these design touches shouldn’t distract at all from the amazing ice cream on offer.
At either location, you’ll find an array of flavours to enjoy in either a cup or cone, along with all the toppings you could ever want. Or, if you can’t decide what to go for, they offer a tempting tasting menu for a bargain £15. With this delight, you get to choose six different flavours from those on display. We can’t wait to go back!
Udderlicious, Covent Garden, Islington and BOXPARK Wembley
If you’re looking for somewhere to visit on a fun-filled family day out in London that serves excellent organic ice cream in a fresh and modern setting, then Udderlicious is the spot for you.
With branches in Covent Garden, Islington and now BOXPARK Wembley, there are so many reasons why this little ice cream parlour has made such a name for itself.
Firstly, everything is organic, so it’s about as healthy as ice cream can get.
Secondly, there are 20-plus flavours on offer at any one time and these flavours are updated every month and are voted for by their customers. So for this month’s menu, you can head over to their website, if nothing takes your fancy this month you can take part in the vote for next month!
Another unique feature of their friendly little Upper Street parlour that has everybody talking is the sweet little swing seat that makes the decor even cuter and perfect for a quick Instagram shot, ice cream in hand of course.
La Gelateria, Stratford, Covent Garden, and Hornsey
Anyone who loves gelato will think they’re dreaming when visiting one of La Gelatiera’s London parlours.
Considered to be one of London’s finest artisan gelato providers, the experts behind this incredible brand have created an array of fresh and tasty Italian gelato and sorbets for all to enjoy.
The brand has more than 90 different creations to its name, many of which are award-winning, and all are made using 100% natural ingredients.
There are staple favourites such as salted caramel or coconut to devour, while new works of genius such as basil and chilli or watercress and lime are frequently added to the menu.
If the unpredictable London’s weather takes a slight turn for the worse during your visit, then be sure to check out their fantastic range of Italian hot chocolate. Handmade using luxurious Domori chocolate, the thick and creamy texture makes for a tantalizing treat that can warm you up if the rain does return.
In addition to all their sumptuous sweetness, you can even watch the gelato being made through a glass panel on the floor of the parlour in the Stratford branch. A very cool touch for ice cream enthusiasts.
Chin Chin Labs, Camden Lock and Soho
As the name suggests, Chin Chin Labs is something of a marvel amongst the world of ice cream makers.
The self-proclaimed ‘future of ice cream’, if you’re expecting a classic vanilla ice cream cone, you’ve come to the wrong place. At Chin Chin Labs, everything feels like a slightly crazy science experiment and we absolutely love it.
The creators of Chin Chin Labs noticed a gap in the market and dived in headfirst. Their ice creams are made using liquid nitrogen, giving them a distinct dense and almost chewy texture. Take our word for it, it’s incredible!
They’ve got some genuinely sumptuous flavours available such as Burnt Butter Caramel, Tonka Bean and Valrhona Chocolate. Plus, they have an even better selection of toppings to add, including Bee Pollen Honeycomb, Hazelnut Sand, and some fab vegan options such as Pistachio and Cardamom powder. Yum!
Everything is bright and colourful, and the company’s mission statement is literally to make life more fun. So, if you’re looking for something sweet to put a little smile on your face, be sure to check out Chin Chin Labs on your next summer visit to London.
Marine Ices, Chalk Farm, Camden
Didn’t your mum always say the oldies are the best? This certainly rings true when you visit one of London’s most well-established ice cream shops, Marine Ices.
This ever-popular, retro-style parlour first appeared in 1931 and has been serving the streets of London with their finest fresh ice cream ever since. While it may have moved out of its original premises in 2014, the brand has maintained much of its original character.
As well as being surrounded by retro-style decor, you enjoy some classic flavours, such as chocolate fudge brownie, peanut butter, or dark chocolate. Or, for something with a bit of twist, why not check out their Ferrero Rocher concoction or natural yoghurt gelato for a refreshing treat.
In addition to their wide choice of delicious gelato (more than 24 flavours offered at any one time), Marine Ices also offer some of the best sundaes you have ever tasted. Peach melba, banana split, Belgian waffle. Need we say more?
Nardulli, Clapham Common
It may not be the fanciest or most boundary-pushing ice cream shop out there, but if you’re looking for some of the best tasting gelati that London has to offer, at Nardulli’s you can’t go wrong.
This fine Italian ice cream parlour is a temple of temptation, and the quaint establishment offers an authentic taste of Italy in London.
Some of the Clapham branch’s most popular offerings include the traditional liquorice or macadamia nut ice cream. But, a few modern flavours are quickly rising to Nardulli stardom, including those of the After Eight or Stracciatella varieties. They also offer an old Italian favourite – affogato, a sophisticated mix of ice cream and coffee—a must-have for any Cappuccino lover.
And if that isn’t enough for you, they also have a wide choice of crepes and waffles to devour, as well as 24 different flavours of milkshake. Happy days for the whole family!
Milk Train, Covent Garden
If you’re looking for a genuinely magical ice cream experience, then head on over to the Milk Train Cafe. Lying in the heart of Covent Garden, the Milk Train ice cream parlour is one of a kind, being the first in the UK to offer its patrons (wait for it)…. candy floss ice cream!
There’s nothing quite like this quirky creation. Combining both ice cream with sweet and fluffy candy floss is like a dream come true. Choose your base ice cream, decide whether to eat it from a cup or a cone, add up to 4 delicious toppings, then choose what floss to top it off with. It’s an unforgettable dining experience.
However, this experimental brand offers more than just unique tasting ice creams. At their Covent Garden parlour, you can immerse yourself in the whole Milk Train journey, learning about the entire production process and even creating your very own ice cream and milkshakes.
Mamasons, Camden Town and Chinatown
Mamasons is an ice cream parlour with a Filipino twist. This esteemed establishment offers some of the best dirty ice creams you will ever experience.
The menu is based on the kind of cold treats you’ll find filling the streets of Manila, and their signature ice creams are made using purple yam that’s native to the Philippines.
Mamasons has also been a hit with those following plant-based diets, offering several vegan-friendly options such as calamansi, a kind of lime marmalade that makes for a truly delicious ice cream flavour.
Another cool take on the traditional ice cream experience you’ll find here is that you can choose to eat your ice cream from a black cone made using coconuts and activated charcoal. In addition to your standard cone, diners can opt to have what is known as a bilog, which is essentially a delicious ice cream sandwich that’s lightly toasted and sprinkled with sugar. Phenomenal!
Wherever you are in London, whether it’s strolling past the historical Marble Arch, shopping at the all-famous Selfridges, or weaving through the crowds of Notting Hill, you can be sure there is a fantastic ice cream parlour not too far away.