The 15 Best Places To Eat Ice Cream In London guide image


The 15 Best Places To Eat Ice Cream In London

From soft serve to creamy gelato, here's where to get your ice cream fix.

If it’s above 15 degrees in London and you aren’t holding an ice cream—preferably documented on social media—does your happiness even count? No, probably not. But when you live in one of the wettest cities in the world, you can’t just be messing about with any old pint of frozen dairy. You want the best and we’ve done the, err, cone work to split the bad from the good, the melts from the keepers. Here’s where you should be eating ice cream on London’s annual 10 days of sunshine.

The Spots

Gelupo review image



7 Archer St, London
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This place in Soho is from the team behind Italian restaurant Bocca Di Lupo and everything from their banging sour cherry and ricotta to the rustic deli feel and old-school Italian film posters on the walls, marks this as one of the best places to eat gelato in London. The flavours change regularly but you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something you like, whether it’s a classic like pistachio or something a little different like peanut butter and raspberry. It's also worth knowing that at weekends this place is open until 12am so if you’re looking for an early-in-the-game summer date, head to Gelupo for three scoops. You’re welcome.

This takeaway gelato spot in Soho has a double pistachio flavour that’s so moreish we wouldn’t be surprised if it was laced with something stronger than the layer of pistachio cream. Every cone and cup here is topped with an additional baby cone, filled with melted chocolate—you know, in case double pistachio and white chocolate gelato isn’t indulgent enough. Pop in for a post-dinner dessert and just know that once you get a taste of their exciting flavours, you’ll be finding excuses to come back for more.

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Bake Street is best-known as a brilliant brunch spot between Stoke Newington and Hackney Downs. But during the spring and summer months, alongside its birria tacos and hot chicken sandwiches, you’ll find some inventive soft serve. In classic Bake Street style, flavours change on the regular, but you’ll find combinations like ​​snozzberry and cream, Iranian saffron, and Indian kesar mango sorbet. Our go-to move is getting a tub and heading down to Stoke Newington Common. Although waiting until you’ve found an agreeable patch of grass to sit on before you eat a spoonful is a big challenge.

It’s your classic love story. Cream meets a freezer, they have beautiful gelato babies. The rest, as they say, is history. That’s what Shakespeare was on about right? This artisan gelateria in Stoke Newington serves some wonderfully creamy gelato. There are plenty of options like white chocolate, hazelnut, and ricotta with caramelised figs, but if the biscokrok is on you shouldn’t hesitate to get it. Plus, the black cherry praline is some of the best vegan gelato we’ve tried. Don’t miss the mini ice cream cones that you can use as a spoon, which is basically the single most useful invention since someone came up with big ice cream cones.

The soft serve at Bake is fantastic. This old-school bakery in Chinatown serves a wide range of pastries, and they’re also known for taiyaki—a Japanese fish-shaped waffle situation—which they also happen to use as the cones for their soft serve. You can go for the matcha, vanilla, or a mix of both, but when the cone’s this good, we’d keep it simple with the vanilla. This place has a card minimum of £10 so unless you’re rolling as a group, or prepared to eat three before they melt (good for you), bring cash.

Unico translates to unique, or one of a kind, and that’s exactly how we’d describe the feeling the creamy pistachio gelato at this ice cream shop in St John's Wood gives us. There are a bunch of flavours you won’t find everywhere, like the panna cotta or the rum chocolate, but when at Unico, you shouldn’t miss the classics. Both the pistachio and hazelnut are thick, rich, taste like actual nuts, and are our favourite things to order. You should know that they also deliver tubs of the good stuff so the next time you’re craving some excellent gelato in bed, you know what to do.

In the buzz of Chinatown’s Newport Court, it can be hard to settle on just one ice cream spot. But sadly, one ice cream is the socially acceptable amount, so if you do pick one, pick this one. This little Japanese dessert shop specialises in taiyaki, a fish-shaped cake, which they fill with soft serve. It’s all very Instagram-worthy—think rainbow unicorn and little mermaid fish options. And these desserts actually taste as good as they look. We love their vanilla soft serve with Oreo dust and brown sugar tapioca, but the rose lychee soft serve is a very close second.

Honestly, if National Rail was anything like Milk Train, commuters would be happier people. Sure, this Covent Garden spot has a wall of fake flowers, one too many motivational ice cream catchphrases, and the kind of mad candy floss creations that’ll give a toddler palpitations, but ignore all that. You’re here for their cookies and cream ice cream. This is one of the few places where we’d actually recommend foregoing a cone so you can load up on toppings. Get mini Oreos added to the cookies and cream or live a lesser life.

This family-run gelateria and all-round wholesome cafe/restaurant/hotel in Chiswick has been serving its ice cream since 1978. You can get delicious sorbets, ice creams, and some top-quality banter from owners Maria and Luciano. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also order for collection or delivery to certain postcodes in west London. There are two other stores in Fulham and Kensington.

Oddono’s makes some seriously good gelato. Flavour-wise, you can expect everything from chocolate and coconut to vodka lemon, plus several sorbet options. Their original shop is in Kensington but the Stoke Newington spot has the advantage of lots of indoor seating, which is perfect if you’re looking for more of a sit-down situation. Or if it starts pissing it down the second you’ve ordered, because London. They also deliver locally from most of their stores.

This Boxpark Shoreditch spot has some mildly insane, sugar-loaded candy floss toppings on offer, but we prefer to keep things on the simple—and cheaper—side with the classic cone and matcha soft serve. This place also does freakshakes that, frankly, we’re not sure how you eat without a blowtorch and a machete, but they’re worth keeping in mind if you’re a serious sugar fan.

Much like algebra, quantum physics, and Kevin Federline’s wrestling career, we don’t entirely understand Chin Chin Labs in Camden. More specifically, we don’t know how they make their ice cream. We do know that it involves nitrogen and, you know, science. But however they do it, it’s excellent. It’s super smooth and although they do now serve some classic flavours like vanilla, you're here for the interesting options, from vegan passionfruit kombucha to burnt butter caramel, as well as ice cream sandwiches.

Unlike Chin Chin’s OG joint in Camden, their Soho spot has more of a shiny sit-down feel than a market grab-and-go situation. Their Greek Street outlet also has additional flavours like coffee with olive oil, as well as more ice cream sandwiches and toppings to choose from. We’re big fans of the burnt caramel topped with ‘crack’—a molten chocolate shell—but it’s also worth trying their weekly specials.

A swing. Changing flavours voted for by customers. And some really great ice cream. That’s what you can expect from this Covent Garden spot which has two more locations (in Islington and Wembley) and serves flavours like banana caramel and chocolate peanut butter. Despite the name, they’ve usually got a good selection of vegan options and you can expect anything from bourbon carrot cake to banana caramel and chocolate biscotti from their flavours of the month. We like to come here when we’re in the mood for something chocolatey that isn’t just chocolate.

It’s a fact that anything you put inside a milk bun becomes roughly 10 times more exciting to eat. And the ice cream at this Filipino spot in Kentish Town comes in a number of different flavours like ube (purple yam), milo (chocolate malt), and black buko (black coconut), all of which can be eaten in bilog form. Which is basically a pandesal ice cream sandwich. And we’re into it. They also serve their ice cream in scoops if you’re more into a classic cone situation.

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