We would like to begin this review with a quote from one of our fathers.
It was proclaimed on a Soho pavement in the middle of one of those summer days when life is a medley of sentimental joy and deodorant, as we introduced another person to the bittersweet beauty of Gelupo’s ricotta and sour cherry gelato. But whether you bring your parents, your beloved, or someone who has the audacity to declare themselves averse to using a branded howling wolf wafer as a spoon, know that they will have a similar wonderstruck reaction. Because Gelupo not only serves the best gelato in central, it serves the best gelato in London.
A haven of stracciatella and blue and white tiles on Archer Street, the setup at Gelupo is simple. It’s one long corridor of a shop that just about provides enough space for the eternal queue of salivating sorbetti enthusiasts and sugar-eyed children who have no idea that we grew up on petty Soleros. There are a few stools at the back, a display table packed with copies of the Gelupo Gelato recipe book, and a single coveted suntrap bench out front where people lean and lick before their scoop of bacio melts. But it’s at the front counter where big decisions must be made. To cone or not to cone. To tub or not to tub. And then, which glorious flavour, that is the question.
The gelato flavours here are less vanilla with sprinkles and more scusi darling, the grown-ups are talking. A fantastic slap of 100% pure dark chocolate, the perfect pastel green of the Sicillian pistachio covered in its toasted brethren, and a blood orange number that is technically a sorbet but somehow manages to encapsulate the joie de sass of Joan Rivers. Everything is freshly-churned daily and packed full of quality seasonal Italian ingredients, and we’ve never met a flavour that we didn’t like. But it’s the ricotta and dark sour cherry that will always be on our table. Well, inside our cone and ideally dripping down our sleeve as we walk through Soho with the supreme confidence of someone in possession of Gelupo’s milky magnum opus at 11pm.
Just come armed with a tenner from lunch until late (they’re open until midnight on the weekend) and let the gelato masters do the rest. All together now: wow.
Ricotta Sour Cherry
Rich ricotta with dark sour cherries. Dark sour cherries with rich ricotta. Bitter red on sweet white. It doesn’t matter how you put it, it’s a must. Best gelato in London, hands down.
Quite the little firecracker. The tang factor of the freshly squeezed blood oranges is off the charts and that’s why it’s our favourite sorbet here. Fully vegan and fully the grown-up slushie we deserve.
Mint with chocolate can be a little bit of a snooze but this is a satisfying exception. The secret weapon? Sweet and dark shavings of the stracciatella. And also the wafer used to bat other people’s hands away from the first scoop.
Baci Perugina is a traditional chocolate and hazelnut confectionary. Bacio translates as kiss. See, the more you know, the more likely you are to make exceptional ordering choices. One for the crunch heads, the rich nuttiness makes this a great shout if you’re stopping by for something particularly indulgent.
This classic is executed to perfection. Neither the nuttiness nor the creaminess win out, so you’re left with a proper pistachio flavour, topped off with even more toasted pistachio.
On the ice cream counter you’ll find a few baked goods and everyone’s favourite Italian cookie makes an appearance. A must-order for scooping purposes if you’re getting involved in the affogato. Proper crunch.