London’s Tastiest Ice Cream Parlours
What better way to celebrate a heatwave than with a cone of the capital’s finest gelato? Tantalise your taste buds with our pick of the tastiest ice creams in London.
It might surprise readers to know that plant-based ice cream is right at the top of our list, but Black Milq’s vegan creations really are that good. Founder Natalie Slack uses homemade cashew nut and coconut milk and bold flavour pairings to create creamy, dreamy iced delights. The five-spice golden milk and miso caramel options are well worth a try, as are Slack’s delicate ice-cream sandwiches.
Grab your cone at: Studio 11, Containerville, E2 9EZ.
Chin Chin Labs
If you’re seeking something cooler than cool, look no further than Chin Chin Labs. Set up by Ahrash and Nyrisha Akbari-Kalhur in 2010, this is still London’s premiere parlour for liquid nitrogen ice cream. Go for the spectacle – your dessert will be frozen to order using a frosty cloud of liquid nitrogen – and stay for the fabulous flavours: the menu changes weekly, and you can top your dessert with an amazing array of extras (from truffle crumble to bee pollen honeycomb).
Self-dubbed ‘wizards of ice cream’, when it comes to Ruby Violet, one thing is certain: the flavours on offer are simply magical!
Ruby Violet’s handmade creations utilise organic milk and free-range eggs. The menu changes weekly at both their Tufnell Park and Kings Cross branches, and encompasses a variety of crowd-pleasers and daring concoctions: from raspberry ripple and salted caramel to rhubarb and verjus, black sesame, and beetroot with horseradish! In addition to their award-winning ice creams, diners can enjoy milk shakes, soda floats, and even alcoholic sorbets and cocktails.
Grab your cone at: 118 Fortress Road (Tufnell Park branch) or 3 Wharf Road (Kings Cross branch).
Soft Serve Society
A staple of Shoreditch’s trendy Boxpark, Soft Serve Society – a fun-loving dessert bar inspired by Asian soft-serve ice cream parlours – now has a permanent home in Victoria’s Market Hall, too. This means that, whichever side of the capital you’re on, a soft-serve sensation is just around the corner!
Choose from three core flavours (vanilla, matcha or charcoal coconut) and then decorate to your heart’s content. The toppings are both inventive and delicious - with honeycomb chunks, berry candyfloss, Oreo crumbs and more on offer – and you can select a cone or a cup, depending on your appetite. If you’d like something heartier, opt for one of Soft Serve’s Sundae Cups or an intriguingly titled ‘Mini Freakshake’.
Grab your cone at: Unit 35 Boxpark, 2 – 10 Bethnal Green Road (Shoreditch branch) or 191 Victoria Street (Victoria branch).
Snowflake Luxury Gelato
The Snowflake Luxury Gelato team are well known for two things: their incredible flavour profiles (for which it has received many awards) and for once marketing the UK’s most expensive ice cream cone. Priced at a whopping £99, the ‘Billionaire’s Soft Serve’ made headlines in 2017 when it went on sale at London’s Selfridges: a 350g cone dipped in dark chocolate, coated in golden pearls, edible diamonds, fruit-filled pipettes, and gold leaf. Wow!
Super-expensive sweet treats aside, there’s plenty to enjoy at one of Snowflake’s many branches. Each gelato flavour is made from organic Jersey milk, ensuring a rich, indulgent taste; though, if you’d prefer a lighter bite, you can also opt for a dollop of fresh sorbetto or an iced latte. Look out for their ‘avolato’, too: an inventive new frozen dessert that melds avocado and ice.
Grab your cone at: 44 Edgware Road (their flagship Marble Arch boutique) and various other London locations.
Most famous for their signature ‘cronut’ and amazing baked goods, Dominique Ansel also serve a number of iced items in the summer months. These seasonal items change regularly, but one thing is certain: they’ll look as good as they taste!
Indeed, in 2018, a Dominique Ansel dish was a prime contender for the ‘most Instagrammable dessert’ award. Their popular ‘what-a-melon soft serve’ ice cream (a watermelon segment filled with homemade watermelon gelato and topped with chocolate chip ‘seeds’) is still on the menu, and well worth a taste – though we also recommend the frozen s’mores (a mouth-watering combination of honey marshmallow, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate wafer crisps, which is served on a smoked willow branch that is ‘torched to order’).
Grab your cone at: 17 – 21 Elizabeth Street, SW1W 9RP.