The best ice cream in London

Just right when the weather is scorching and maybe even more so on the many, many days it's not - we pick out London's best ice cream and gelato purveyors.



Where: Brook Green

Bears is an Icelandic-inspired soft serve store where you can expect flavours like lemon curd with marshmallows and biscoff crumbs. Seasonal ice-cream flavours include things like basil, white chocolate chip and passionfruit swirl or vegan sorbets like mango and jasmine tea. All the soft serves come with a choice of toppings that are dipped, rolled or smashed into the ice cream and they do ice cream cakes too.

Follow them on Instagram @bearsicecream


Chin ChinChin Chin

Where: Camden and Soho 

When Chin Chin first opened their first place in a former condom shop (yes, really) in Camden their crazy take on making ice cream with liquid nitrogen may have been pre-Instagram but it was still an almost instant sensation. The thing is that it's not just a party trick, the ice cream they make here really does taste smoother because there are no ice crystals. Flavours vary depending on the branch, but the burnt butter caramel is worth seeking out and they always have inventive seasonal specials.

Follow them on Instagram @chinchinicecream


Festok ice cream londonFestok

Where: Covent Garden and Harrods

Looking for Lebanese ice cream? Then Festok's boasts of being the only supplier in London of the ice cream with a particular light texture. They offer classic flavours like pistachio or rose, but have also come up with their own like halva, date and turmeric. Vegan options include coconut and meghli. Must try: their moreish Osmalieh bites.

Follow them on Instagram @festoklondon



Where: Soho

Jacob Kenedy (of Bocca di Lupo) and Victor Hugo (not the author) came up with Gelupo in 2010 and opened it right opposite the restaurant. New flavours from the popular Soho store this summer include figleaf, Pimms & lemonade and wild strawberry sorbet.

Follow them on Instagram  @gelupogelato


best ice cream londonHappy Endings

Where: Summer pop-up at Victoria Park, plus stockists across London

Best known for their amazing ice-cream sandwiches, this London company prides itself on top ingredient sourcing including organic chocolate from Original Beans and Jersey and Guernsey cream from The Estate Dairy. You’ll find Happy Endings ice-cream sandwiches across London at places like Yard Sale pizza and Snackbar in Dalston. Flavours include The Naughty One - Miso salt caramel parfait between squidgy slices of chocolate Guinness cake and soy dulce de leche (our favourite).

Follow them on Instagram  @happyendingsldn


best ice cream londonIce Cream Union

Where: Bermondsey and Chelsea

It’s all about attention to detail from this Bermondsey-based crew who also have a standalone store in Chelsea - so they might spend hours making their own honeycomb to be crushed up to go into a new summer flavour. Their dulce de leche is particularly moreish. 

Follow them on Instagram @icecreamunion


best ice cream londonLe Gelataria

Where: Covent Garden, Oxo Tower, Stratford

La Gelateria co-founder Antonio has ice cream in his blood - his grandfather used to make ice cream in a small village in Calabria. And when Antonio and friend and co-founder Stephane decided to launch their own gelateria then first took a year out to travel around Italy for inspiration. It paid off, as their gelato has won multiple awards since opening. Everything is handmade in small batches, daily, on-site with flavours that you won't find anywhere else, including porcini chocolate cream and Kentish cobnut sorbet. 

Follow them on Instagram  @lagelatiera


best ice cream londonMamasons

Where you’ll find them: Kentish Town, Chinatown, Westfield

So-called 'dirty ice cream' is actually a term of endearment used to describe the homemade ice cream you'll find on the streets of Manila. Expect to find quite different flavours to what you might be used to - their signature is Ube - a purple-hued ice cream made with Filipino purple yam - but they also serve up a salty queso flavour and a vegan guyabano sorbet.

Follow them on Instagram @mamasonsdirtyicecream


Marine IcesMarine Ices

Where: Old Dairy Mews, 61 Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AN

One of London’s oldest ice cream purveyors, Gaetano Mansi brought the joys of Italian gelato to North Londoners when he first opened his ice cream parlour in Camden way back in 1931. There are 24 flavours available at any one time - ranging from amarena cherry to roasted pistachio and the classic rum and raisin. Fancy an old-school Knickerbocker Glory or a Banana Spit? This is the place for that.

Follow them on Instagram @MarineIcesGelato


Milk TrainMilk Train

Where: 12 Tavistock St, London WC2E 7PR

Milk Train shot to fame when it pioneered cloud cones in London - you know the ones, where the ice cream is haloed with candyfloss. Mike and Kylie started out selling shaved Japanese ice and progressed on to these Insta feed delights - they're the millennial pink unicorns of London's ice-cream scene. Oh, and what no-one tells you is they're impossible to eat without getting sticky up to your elbows. There's always a seasonal special on from cherry blossom in the summer, to maple tree in the autumn.

Follow them on Instagram @milktraincafe


best ice cream londonMorelli’s

Where: 20a The Piazza, The Market, London WC2 8RB

Morelli’s opened a year after Marine Ices - in 1932 - on the Kent coast in Broadstairs and now have their own shop in Covent Garden (as well as branches around the world). Flavours you’ll find here might include cherry meringue or caramel panna cotta. Go all in and get a sundae with a jug of hot chocolate sauce to pour all over your creation.

Follow them on Instagram @morellisgelato



Where: Stoke Newington, South Kensington, Battersea, Hampstead, East Dulwich, Chiswick, Wimbledon

A place for ultra-smooth Italian gelato - the original store opened on Bute Street back in 2004. As the name suggests it’s an Italian family behind it - founder Christian Oddono’s grandmother was the gelato-making inspiration. With over 130 flavours on their books, favourites are still the classics - chocolate, nocciola (hazelnut), bacio (milky chocolate and hazelnut), and pistachio ice cream. They also do a very good banana sorbet for vegans.

Follow them on Instagram @oddonos_gelati


best ice cream londonRomeo and Giuletta

Where: Stoke Newington and Leyton

Inspired by their time living in Verona, the husband and wife team behind this Stoke Newington spot focus on classic, well-made Italian flavours. Think black cherry, hazelnut or supreme pistachio with the odd seasonal special like ricotta with caramelised figs. 

Follow them on Instagram @gelateriarg


best ice cream londonRuby Violet

Where: King's Cross

Aiming for a very small environmental footprint, North London ice cream parlour Ruby Violet make small batches of ice cream and vegan sorbets out in Bedfordshire, and all the packaging is either recyclable or compostable. They use seasonal fresh fruit, locally sourced where possible. Flavours on offer might include blackcurrent ripple or Belgian chocolate.

Follow them on Instagram @rubyvioletices.


best ice cream london


Snowflake Gelato

Where: Westfield, Bayswater, South Kensington, Marble Arch, Soho & The O2

Winner of loads of Good Taste Awards, founder Asad and gelato chef Paolo named their ice-cream company Snowflake because all their ice cream is made by hand, no two batches are the same. Like snowflakes. Raw organic Jersey milk gelato is the order of the day here, served at the perfect no-brain freeze temperature. Flavours include their award-winning blood orange, date and honey and sea salted caramel.

Follow them on Instagram @snowflakegelato


best ice cream londonSoft Serve Society

Where you'll find them: Boxpark Shoreditch, Seven Dials Market

Taking inspiration from Asia, Soft Serve Society broke Insta with its inky charred coconut soft serve when it first launched. Toppings are a big thing here - cover your cone with honeycomb and popcorn or opt for a sundae like the Oh Snap with vanilla soft serve affogato, salted caramel sauce, gingerbread crumbs, salted caramel bits and waffle. They're also big on freak shakes and candyfloss lattes.

Follow them on Instagram @softservesociety.


best ice cream in LondonT's Fried Scoop

Where: Hawley Wharf, 1 Dockray Place, Water Lane, London NW1 8JZ

Do you know what's even better than a regular ice cream scoop? A fried ice cream scoop is what. T's serve up their surprisingly uncalorific (well it's under 400 calories) delights every day from their stall in Camden's Hawley Wharf where they've built up a loyal audience for their desserts. Pick a flavour, it's then coated in either Oreo or Biscoff before being deep fried.

Follow them on Instagram @tsfriedscoop


Snowflake GelatoUdderlicious

Where: Islington, Covent Garden

Raj and Raj opened their Islington store back in 2013 (Mr Raj's family having been in the industry for years) and there are still queues down Upper Street on hot days. Flavours are voted for by customers and current ones include peanut butter with pretzels and biscoff with honeycomb. There's a particularly strong vegan range of options too.

Follow them on Instagram @udderliciousldn



Also see

Bao - their Horlick's ice cream is a thing of wonder

Creme - This dessert spot is mainly all about cookies, but you can swing by to take away their soft serve.

Festok's Lebanese organic ice cream includes a vegan Meghli made with rice milk and Achta ice cream surrounded by Osmalieh, roasted semolina vermicelli.

Fortnum and Mason - The Parlour here features sundaes and also a range of vegan ice creams.

Gelatorino - Watch the ice cream being made in front of you at this Covent Garden shop. New boozy sorbet flavours include beer!

Gelateria 3bis - Rimini gelato company with shops in Notting Hill and Borough Market.

Grom- The slow-food-inspired Italian chain has opened in Piccadilly Circus.

The Ice Cream Project - expect crazy flavours from this summer Anya Hindmarch pop-up including petit pois and Ribena.

Nardulli - There’s always a queue at this Clapham parlour - their cherry gelato and coconut flavours are particularly popular.

Shake Shack - the concretes at Shake Shack are always worth a recommendation, with each location having a unique concoction

Unico - There are vegan options for everything here. Founder Elena has longstanding ties to the Italian ice-cream industry.


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