Where to Find the Best Ice Cream Bars in London

Gelato at Gelupo in Soho
Gelato at Gelupo in Soho | © Andreas Ivarsson/Flickr
Christina Dean

A 99 with a flake from an ice cream van definitely has its place in the world but London is bursting with brilliant ice cream, from traditional Italian gelato and Japanese treats to nitro ice creams and madcap desserts. These are the best places to get a scoop (or two).

1. Little Moons

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

1. Little Moons
Courtesy of Little Moons

Beloved in Japan, mochi – a chewy exterior made from pounded and steamed rice flour with an ice cream centre – is slowly spreading over London, and the capital’s first dedicated mochi bar has recently opened inside Whole Foods Market Kensington. The sweet treats come in a range of flavours, including mango, matcha and toasted sesame, and you can get them in a set of three to eat on the spot or a bigger box to takeaway. If a trip to the Mochi Bar is a little too out-of-the-way at present, Little Moons can be found in the frozen aisle at Waitrose.

2. Gelupo

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

Gelato at Gelupo in Soho
© Andreas Ivarsson/Flickr

Just across the street from Bocca di Lupo, one of the best Italian restaurants in London, and run by the seam team is Gelupo. Classic flavours of Italy are at the heart of this ice cream bar, with ricotta and sour cherry, pistachio, and mint stracciatella all featuring, and even white truffle when it’s in season. Gelupo has done collaborative flavours with other London restaurants in the past, so look out for any special editions if you’re after something more unusual.

3. La Gelatiera

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

This award-winning ice cream shop isn’t afraid to experiment when it comes to their flavours, which range from porcini mushroom and chocolate, to basil and chilli, to watercress and lime, and they also have a range of sorbets, so there’s plenty for vegans to enjoy. Everything is made fresh daily meaning varieties are constantly changing, and you can even watch the gelato churn in their in-house lab. There’s also a branch of La Gelatiera in Stratford’s East Village so East Londoners need not venture too far in search of their fix.

5. Ruby Violet

Cafe, Ice Cream Parlour, British, Ice Cream

Ruby Violet, Fortress Road
© Susanne Nilsson / Flickr
Ruby Violet was inspired by and named after founder Julie Fisher’s grandmother and there’s definitely a traditional feel to this place; you can get the ice cream in a shake or retro soda float as well as regular scoops. Ruby Violet is also a real community operation, growing from a market stall outside the Tufnell Park Tavern to a proper parlour in the same neighbourhood to a second site in King’s Cross. The latter even hosts a pudding club on Friday and Saturday nights where you can indulge in ice cream and desserts with the very welcome addition of booze.

6. Four Winters

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

Four Winters
© Edawrdx/WikiCommons

Liquid nitrogen is the freezing method of choice at South Kensington’s Four Winters; it ensures that every scoop is super smooth and creamy as well as being theatrical. In addition to classic single flavours like strawberry and coconut, Four Winters also creates fusions (strawberry mango, cinnamon crunch) and special seasonal varieties, like autumn’s pumpkin, maple syrup and lotus biscuit concoction.

7. Soft Serve Society

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert Shop, Ice Cream

Unsurprisingly, Soft Serve ice cream is the name of the game at this Shoreditch spot but they don’t just churn out any old cones (although you can go for a simple matcha, coconut or charcoal serve). The sundaes, like the Cloud 9 complete with a halo of candyfloss, and the freakshakes, which come topped with pretzels, muffins, pocorn, cakes and all sorts, just beg to be snapped for Instagram…and then promptly devoured.

8. Chin Chin Dessert Club

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

Chin Chin Labs is the Willy Wonka factory of ice cream parlours in London. Not only do they use liquid nitrogen to freeze their ice cream to order but in their Dessert Club in Soho, they whip up choux bun and brownie cookie ice cream sandwiches, tiramisu sundaes and sweet ice-cream filled tacos made from blue corn waffles. Even if you do go for a regular cone (though why would you with all these mad creations on offer?) the flavours range from burnt butter caramel to avocado to coconut sticky rice.
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article