Desserts

Best Ice Cream In London: Comprehensive Guide

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Even if some people think otherwise, London can have a sunny warm summer. It can actually get pretty hot, and on those days, it’s good to know where is your nearest ice cream or gelato shop.

I’ve done reviews of 18 Ice Cream and Gelato shops in London so far. But the summer is short, and I wanted to save you some time. So this is my collection of the 8 best. I recommend each one, and they all have their unique strengths.

Here are the 8 best Ice Cream and Gelato shops in London:

If you prefer to watching over reading, you can also watch my video about London's Best Ice Cream.

When you Google ‘Best Ice Cream in London’, you will find many links from the big online magazines. But when reading those articles, I am not entirely convinced if they actually visited those places and tried their ice cream. It’s not easy. I spent two summers so far, going around London and seeking its best. But there is so much more.

The rest of this article will go more in-depth and explain why I recommend these over other ice cream shops and also answer some common questions about different types of ice cream.

Obviously this is only a start of a long journey. I will be updating this page as I will try more and more ice cream and gelato around London. Hopefully, at some point this will become the place to go for all information about ice cream in London.

Table of contents

Gelupo (Soho)

1 scoop £4 / 2 scoops 5£ / 3 scoops £6

Hidden in a back ally of Soho, Gelupo serves one of the best gelato in London. It has been established in 2010 and make a delicious gelato from the finest ingredients, fresh every day.

What I liked about Gelupo is the nice interior and the menu which is nicely split into great classics and new experimental flavors. This place has a very nice vibe and I’ve been here since many times already.

Pricing is in the higher range but with very generous scoops. Make sure that you’ll come here as early as possible because gelato is being freshly made every morning and if they run out that's it for the day.

Video review of Gelupo gelato

Where: Soho
Website: gelupo.com

La Gelateria (Covent Garden Crouch End East Village (E20))

Baby £1.8 / Small £3.5 / Medium £4.5 / Large £5.5

La Gelateria is a small shop with a big heart. Their gelato is 100% natural and free of any additives or preservatives whatsoever.

People in La Gelateria work on the simple principle that only the freshest fruit and finest ingredients in the world must be used. And we, gelato lovers can only agree with this approach.

And they are doing very well. What La Gelateria really stand out with is how they are not afraid of experimenting with exciting flavor combinations. Honey, Rosemary, and Orange Zest, Basil and Chilli or White Peppermint just to name a few. If you like to experiment never miss La Gelateria! Also, vegans can enjoy a decent selection of sorbets.

This is my wife’s most favorite gelato shop in London and I totally understand why.

Video review of La Gelateria and Udderlicious

Udderlicious (Covent Garden Islington)

1 scoop £2.95 / 2 scoops £4.8 / 3 scoops £6.7

Udderlicous is another gem in covent garden with their home made ice-cream. The ice cream was delicious, creamy, thick and with intense flavors.

Happiness is only real when shared. But in case of ice-cream from uderlicious I advise you to be selfish and buy a few scoops only for yourself. No regrets.

They also sell vegan ice cream made with oat milk.

Video review of Udderlicious and La Gelateria

Gelateria 3Bis (Borough Market Notting Hill)

Small £3.5 / Regular £4 / Large £4.6

Gelateria 3Bis started in Rimini, on Italy’s Adriatic coast, in 1987. Luckily for us they decided to bring their amazing gelato to London as well.

They produce fresh gelato on a daily basis using only the highest quality of raw materials as well as over 30 years of experience and passion.

At Borough Market, especially during the summer, be ready for some long waits for this great gelato.

Video review of Gelateria 3Bis from Portobello Road Market.

Greedy Goat (Borough Market)

1 scoop £3 / 2 scoops £5 / 3 scoops £6

Another amazing ice cream you can get at Borough market is at Greedy Goat.

Greedy Goat’s ice cream is made in Somerset from British GM free goats’ milk, and provide a dandy alternative to cows’ milk ice cream.

Goat’s milk is 85% less allergenic than Cows’ milk, it contains less lactose so it's more suitable for lactose intolerant amongst us.

It’s creamy, tasty and for that reason I never leave Borough Market without a scoop of this delicious ice cream. This ice cream was one of the greatest surprises on my first visit to Borough market.

Video review of Greedy Goat from the Borough Market desserts video.

Mamasons (Chinatown Camden Town)

1 scoop £3 / 2 scoops £4.5 / 3 scoops £6

Mamasons brand itself as the London's First Filipino Ice Cream Parlor selling the dirty ice cream which is the nickname used to describe the ice-cream sold on the streets of Manila.

I tried the ube bilog which is a Filipino milk bun filled with Ube ice-cream. Ube is a root vegetable know also as purple yam.

I found the ice cream a little bit too sweet, nevertheless I still think Mamasons definitely deserve it’s place between the top ice cream shops in London as it has an excellent atmosphere and a great variety of exotic ice cream desserts.

Video review of Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream from the Camden Town Ice Cream Video.

Marine Ices (Camden Town)

1 scoop £2.4 / 2 scoops £4 / 3 scoops £5.5

Marine ices is providing gelato for Camden from 1931.

An excellent quality of sorbet and gelato with rich natural flavors for one of the best prices in London.

You shouldn't expect any crazy experimental flavors in Marine Ices, but the good old classics with a stamp of authenticity.

Video review of Marine Ices from the Camden Town Ice Cream Video.

Where: Camden Town
Website: marineices.co.uk

Soft Serve Society (BOXPARK Shoreditch Victoria Market Hall)

Cone/Cup £3.5-£3.75 + 50p toppings

Soft Serve Society definitely has one of the most instagramle ice creams from our list. Although, also one of the more expensive ones. However, what you get is not only tasty ice cream (the Coconut Charcoal soft serve is a must try) but also a fashionable one.

So, bring your phone fully charged because it takes time to take that perfect picture.

Complete List - Ice Cream in London

There are literally tons of ice cream shops in London — these is a list of all the ice cream shops I've visited:

  • Yolkin is one of the ice cream shops which I find difficult to resist when I am somewhere close by.

    It has an interesting story behind it. The owner of the shop, Sammie, apparently loves to bake. Especially macarons. Unfortunately, to make macarons, you need only egg whites, which means a lot of wastage. Sammie one day decided to put an end to it and started to use remaining yolks to make an ice-cream. And luckily for us, she connected the two and started to make ice cream sandwiches.

    They make four different flavor combinations every three weeks. You can also create your own sandwich. However, logically you can choose only from the four available macaron flavors.

    Although Yolkin became famous in London mostly because of their Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwiches, I like to visit them just because of their ice cream.

    They have one of the most exotic flavours you find in London. Red bean, Vietnamese coffee, Green Tea Oreo, or my personal favorite, the Black Sesame, just to name a few.

    Yolkin is featured in my Most Instagramable Ice Cream in London video.

    Where: Chinatown
    Website: Facebook
  • Little Moons are great. Soft mochi filled with gelato. Apparently, the owners of Little Moons worked on the flavours with the tops chefs for two years, and I have to say that they did a great job.

    You can buy Little Moons in Waitrose (this is where I first found them), Harrods, Selfridges (where they have a stall), and some online grocery shops. Plus, in a few small stalls like the one in Selfridges.

    The absolutely perfect flavours are the Himalayan Salted Caramel and Alphonso Mango. I believe these are their best sellers, as these are the flavours you can usually buy in supermarkets as well. There are a few more flavours that I enjoyed a lot, but some were more on the average side.

    And that is the only reason why I can’t give Little Moons five hearts, yet.

  • Chin Chin Ice Cream is Europe's First Liquid Nitrogen Ice-Cream Parlour. It is pretty cool. I went to their Camden branch, and although it is tiny, the place looks like a proper lab.

    The ice cream has a unique consistency, and flavours are delicious. However, although the toppings are creative, with good range, and are making for great Instagram photos, they are, in my opinion, just too sweet. I prefer to go for two scoops and skip the toppings.

  • Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. You can buy savoury ones in Yaki Yaki but also filled with Soft Serve Ice Cream.

    And you can top it up with a selection of toppings. Although you can get Taiyaki ice cream in other shops around China Town, the Yaki Yaki concept is pretty unique, and it gets pretty Instagrammable. However, both the flavours of the soft-serve ice cream and the toppings are not outstanding.

    Yaki Yaki is featured in my Most Instagrammable Ice Cream in London video.

    Where: Covent Garden
    Website: yakiyaki.co.uk
  • Milk Train is an ice cream shop in Covent Garden. They have a massive presence on Instagram. And by massive, I mean almost 80 thousand followers.

    The big hit is their cloud ice cream, which every Instagram influencer has to have in their feed. So, as a big shot on Instagram, I went there and gave it a go. There are two things that I like about the Milk Train. First: they have a nicely designed interior. Second: the ice cream looks cool.

    It has everything you need for a successful presence on the Instagram Fancy interior. Check. Oreo, marshmallows, and popcorn toppings. Check. Something extra. Sugar cloud. Check. And that earned Milk Train place in my top 5 most Instagramable ice creams in London. Ice cream is ok but not extraordinary.

    Milk Train is featured in my Most Instagrammable Ice Cream in London video.

Complete List - Gelato in London

There are as many gelato shops as ice cream shops in London — this is a list of all the gelato shops I've visited:

  • I’ve heard rumors that there is this small but excellent gelato stall in the Broadway Market in East London. And last summer, I was finally able to try it when I went there to make the ‘Best Desserts in Broadway Market’ video.

    Nonna’s gelato with their cute small popup stall is just amazing.

    Their gelato is an Italian/British fusion, combining the traditional Italian process of making gelato with only the best of British and Italian produce.

    I went for the elderflower sorbet and salted caramel with a hint of coffee. And I am glad that I live further from the Broadway Market because I would definitely come here every day.

  • Snowflake ‘luxury’ gelato started in 2012, and the Snowflake in the name represents the uniqueness of their gelato. Because every snowflake is different. Cute.

    They definitely became quite well-known around London because of their ‘Avolato’.

    Avolato is presented on the internet as a vegan-friendly gelato. However, as it doesn’t contain milk, it’s not really gelato but sorbet. It’s made of 60% of fresh avocado, mixed with some syrup and fresh lemon juice, and served in the skin of the avocado. The core is made of the ‘superfood’, almonds, walnuts, and peanut butter. The price for the avolato is £9.5

    I made a video about Avolato, and it seems to trigger quite a love and hate emotions amongst people. I personally, as a proper hipster 'millennial snowflake’, like avocado and I think it’s a pretty good idea that is also tasty and kind of healthy(-ish).

    I also managed to try their gelato and sorbet. Although I don’t find it 'luxury', it is definitely a very good quality gelato, and I never shy away from having one or two scoops when I see their shop.

    You can watch my video review of Snowflake Luxury Gelato and their avolato.

  • Ruby Violet is a gem of North London. I recommend you to read the story of Ruby Violet as it is an interesting read and shows how much dedication and love is behind their ice cream.

    They offer some unique flavours and an ice cream tea, which I definitely have to try this summer.

  • Dezato is a relatively new kid in the block. I've noticed them because of their gelato sushi, and I had to go and try it myself.

    Although it has excellent reviews on Google and I agree that people working there are amicable, I didn't find their gelato extraordinary.

    Maybe I need one more visit.

    Where: Fitzrovia
    Website: www.dezato.co.uk

Complete List - Vegan Ice Cream in London

If you are vegetarian, vegan, or have some allergies, London is the best place for you — this is a list of all the vegan ice cream shops and ice cream shops that offer at least one vegan option I've visited. Some places, like Yorica, are entirely focusing on alternative ice creams. However, almost all of the others from the lists above and below are offering sorbet.

  • There is nothing on the market at the moment which can compete with Yorica in the full vegan options. And not just that. Yorica’s ice cream is not only fully vegan, but also nut free, diary free, gluten free, egg free and 14 major allergens free.

    That’s not an easy achievement. What, in my opinion, makes Yorica to stand out is that they offer a great variety of flavours, and not just one or two. Or just sorbet. And yes, they have salted caramel as well.

    The ice cream is still nice and creamy with rich flavours.

    I’ve also made a Yorica’s vegan ice cream review video.

    Where: Fitzrovia
    Website: yorica.com

Complete List - Others in London

This is a list of all ice cream shops which focus on other types of ice cream. Soft Serve, Frozen Yogurt, and also some shops which don’t do ice cream as their main thing but are doing great.

  • Dominique Ansel bakery holds two titles already. They have one of the best Cronut in London and also one of the most Instagramable ice cream in London.

    They got into my video because of their What-A-Melon soft serve. What-A-Melon is a soft-serve made of a fresh watermelon inside two slices of watermelon and with a dark chocolate watermelon seeds. Watermelon…

    It looks good, and it tastes good. Although the quality of soft serve is decent, it was a little bit too sweet for me. Combined with a really nice and fresh watermelon and good quality of chocolate seeds, it makes up for a great summer dessert.

    The price of What-A-Melon is £7.8 eat-in or £6.5 takeaway.

  • I like the idea. I like the enthusiasm and love of the owner for her product. People obviously love it as it has a whopping 4.6 stars on Google. And it makes for nice photos.

    That said, I personally feel that the desserts are a little bit on the sugary side, which can overwhelm other flavours. People who follow me on my YouTube channel may already know that it's something I am not a big fan of. However, as I said above, people seem to love Whipped London, and I definitely saw some thrilled customers there.

    Their main product is cheesecake, and they offer a frozen soft-serve vanilla cheesecake. I included it in my most Instagramable ice cream in London list because it is very photogenic.

    When I visited, I tried the red velvet Soft-Serve Cheesecake. However, I am not sure if they still offer it as on their website I can see only the Cookie Monster which contains their original recipe frozen soft-serve vanilla cheesecake topped with Biscoff crumb, caramel sauce, homemade honeycomb chunks and a slab of our homemade cookie dough and costs £8.

    Where: Holborn

Differene Between Ice Cream And Gelato

I can see a lot of confusion amongst people about what is the difference between ice cream and Gelato. Most of the people don’t distinguish between them, and for a long time, I was confused as well. So, let’s have a proper look and stop this confusion once for all.

Gelato is pretty similar to ice cream. It actually means ‘ice cream’ in Italian. However, there are differences in how it’s made. From the contents of fat, how the mixture is churned, to the temperature of the mixture.

Milk or Cream

Both ice cream and Gelato are made of milk and cream. The difference is in the amount of it. As the name implies, ice cream has more milk than Gelato.

It’s all about the butterfat.

The different measurements mean the various content of fat. The cream contains more fat than milk. For example, light cream has 20% of butterfat while whole milk has 'only' 3.5%. From that, you can see quite a big difference between ice cream and Gelato already.

In general, ice cream has to have a minimum of 10% fat, while Gelato contains only 5-7%.

What is butterfat?

Butterfat or milkfat is the fatty portion of milk. Based on the amount of butterfat, you can distinguish between whole milk, skimmed milk, full cream, light cream, etc. The higher the content of the butterfat also means the lower the content of water. If you keep reducing the water, you will eventually get to the 80% of butterfat, which gets you the butter.

Eggs

Another ingredient that distinguishes the two is eggs; ice cream typically includes egg yolks while Gelato mostly doesn’t.

Air

Gelato is generally denser and richer-tasting than regular ice cream. It's not only because of the ingredients but also because both Ice cream and Gelato are churned at different speeds.

The different speeds of churning result in a different amount of incorporated air. The more air, the more volume, and less creaminess. In general, Gelato contains between 20-30% of air while ice cream goes all the way up to 50%. The cheaper the ice cream you buy, the higher the volume of air you can expect. Industrial ice cream can go all the way up to 100%, which reduces the quality by half. So, as usual, the saying, ‘quality over quantity’ work in this case as well.

Temperature

Gelato is stored and served at a slightly higher temperature, around -11 degrees celsius. In comparison, ice cream is served at temperatures of -18 to -21 degrees Celsius. Therefore, because it is less hardened when frozen, the taste of Gelato is more improved as it melts in the mouth without leaving a feeling of freezing.

Which one is better then?

It really depends on the circumstances and your preferences. Gelato has less fat, so it should be healthier. However, it needs to be made fresh more often because of the storing temperature, and thus Gelato is generally more expensive.

Gelato can be denser and have more intense flavours. Still, I have many friends who prefer creamier and fluffier ice cream consistency.

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