The best ice cream in London

The scoop on the capital's best places for ice creams, sorbets and gelati

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Check out our sticky-fingered guide to the best cold stuff in the capital. Think we've missed a great London ice-cream parlour? Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

Chin Chin Laboratorists

Lab coats, liquid nitrogen and lots of ‘mist’ – not what you’d usually see in an ice cream parlour, but they like to do things a bit differently at this Camden venue. Pick your flavour and watch the theatricals as the staff freeze it to order with the liquefied gas. The four flavours on offer change regularly and include the likes of caramel with cashew brittle, mango brûlée or Corona lager and lime sorbet. There’s also always one vegan option. If you’re after further experimentation, there’s Monmouth coffee and Valhrona hot chocolate to try.

  1. 49-50 Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF
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Bull & Last

  • Critics choice

Since 2010, this gastropub has been selling takeaway ice creams as a sideline, which has proved popular wilth strollers from nearby Hampstead Heath. There are typically five flavours to choose from, which change daily. On one day, for example, there might be Ferrero Rocher, rum and raisin, blueberry marshmallow and millionaire’s shotbread. Nab a few to take on to Parliament Hill.

  1. 168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS
More info

Cremeria Vienna

Blackstock Road, the stretch between Finsbury Park and Highbury, is best-known for its Turkish grocery stores and cafés. Now, an Italian ice cream parlour is throwing some gelato into the mix. Cremeria Vienna, which already has a previous branch in High Barnet, is making a mark with its daily-changing selection of ice creams and sorbets.

  1. 145 Blackstock Rd, N4 2JS
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Paul A Young Fine Chocolates

Some of the best ice creams seem to be made by those who dabble in the cacao, it seems (see ChocStar and William Curley). Paul A Young, the acclaimed chocolatier, is dedicated to all that is delicious – it’s only natural that ice creams would be part of his repertoire. Made each morning with all-natural ingredients (proper double cream and the highest quality chocolate, of course), Young rolls out flavours such as his signature sea-salted caramel as well as a lower-calories dark chocolate sorbet. As if the ice creams weren’t decadent enough, you can also add crunchy cocoa nibs and Valrhona chocolate syrup. The Soho flagship is not currently making ice creams, but both the Islington shop and City branch are. Other branch: 20 Royal Exchange, Threadneedle Street, EC3V 3LP.

  1. 33 Camden Passage, N1 8EA
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Ruby Violet

Wanting to connect more with her community, Tufnell Park local Julie Fisher jacked in her desk job and ploughed her savings into this funky ice cream parlour, named after her granny. It was worth the risk. She makes more than 100 terrific ice creams – with 18 available on rotation – such as a variety using Hampstead Heath honey, or Seville orange and marmalade apple (using marmalade that she makes in January, to last the year). There are unusual flavours such as horseradish too, but the bestseller is the salted caramel with almond nut brittle.

  1. 118 Fortess Road, NW5 2HL (and a roving van, at markets around town).
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Udderlicious

With its pastel tones, bunting and even a swing-chair (which you’ll have to fight for), it’s summer all year at this dinky Islington ice cream parlour. It was launched last October by a husband-and-wife team, and core flavours include chocolate and peanut butter and salted caramel. Each month, they also run a competition for customers to come up with the ‘flavour of the month’ – previous gold medallists have included strawberry and basil (the current bestseller), rhubarb and fig, or chocolate and pretzel. If you win, you get a free scoop, every day, for a whole month.

  1. 187 Upper St, N1 1RQ

Map of ice-cream parlours in London

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Users say

33 comments
paulinewright2
paulinewright2

I'm in the 2014 Eating and Drinking guide in the Ice Cream Parlour section, so can I be added here please. My ice cream comes from the amazing Marine Ices!


Sugar Mountain

Anato C
Anato C

If Gelup and Amorino are among the best ice cream parlours in London...

Sophie C
Sophie C

How is Gelupo not on here? By far the best ice cream in London

Baron S
Baron S

Can't fault La Gelatiera's listing, but you missed out the amazing Lab G in Brixton and Marine Ices in Chalk Farm - two of the best places in London and neither of them part of chains, unlike others on this list.

Aamir
Aamir

I actually read this review on Thursday afternoon, and Friday evening after work, thought I'd give your #1 a go, Amorino...If I'm honest, it was nothing special whatsoever, Yes their presentation is nice, but as far as flavour goes, I didn't find it anything special. It's a shame. The wife and I still do prefer Harrod's ice cream Parlour, and also Odonno's (Selfridges Brankch).

Christina
Christina

You did miss the best Gelato so far in London (and we did try a few). Tesoro on Goodge Street close to the Goodge Street Metro. Displayed in typical Italian Possetti the texture and flavour is outstanding! No surprises but true to the original Italian flavours. Addictive and highly recommended!

Anneka
Anneka

Comboco on D'Arblay Street in soho is the best! Awesome flavours with specials every week - the best thing is the smashing toppings concept - just check it out!

Jeshua Alexandre
Jeshua Alexandre

Marine Ices perhaps? Probably one of the oldest and best ice-cream parlours in London.

MJM
MJM

Only 1 place on the east list!!! Try Gelato Royale - Fieldgate Street, next door to Tayyabs. Home made and made good.

Emily
Emily

Hands down BEST gelato in the world is at Snowflake Gelato on Westbourne Grove. I urge you to review it!

Kate
Kate

How is Gelateria – 3Bis not on this list?! It's been around for 1 summer at Borough Market and will no doubt last many more. They use UK sourced ingredients like milk from Neal's Yard and fruits from Chegworth Valley and have a chocolate fondue fountain that pumps hot nutella into the bottom of your cone before your scoop goes on top. It is to DIE for! My favourite flavour is Eton Mess, and if the queues out the door don't convince you then the ice cream will surely speak for itself.

Claire
Claire

A new gelato shop has just opened in Hammersmith, it's called Zooba and it's on Shepherd's Bush Road..... The milk belgian chocolate flavour is mind-blowing!

Antoine
Antoine

Have you guys ever heard of Gelato Mio? These gelati are just the most delicious evere. back to basics with a homemade Strawberrry ice cream that tastes heavenly. Time to update your listings maybe? :)

andrea giusti
andrea giusti

I can help you. I'm a professional seller of ice cream products and machines. Best,

tanuja nayak
tanuja nayak

Sir, I want to learn some basics receipes of icecream. Will you teach me. I am planning nto open my icecream parlour,

Cemile
Cemile

ZAZA in canary wharf...yum yum!!! loved the kit-kat and the pistacchio...could wolf down several of those cones, one after the other....

linda
linda

ZAZA@ MELODIA DEL GELATO in Canary Wharf! the only place in London where you find ice cream patisserie....great small "finger food" version of ice cream for dinner parties or kids parties....tredy and elegant ...definately not the usual ice cream place.... have you ever tried campari-orange ice cream? or afrodisiac chocolate and orange???? ...or coffe with fresh cream......? the best ice cream ever......

Sofia
Sofia

I adore the mini cones and other patisserie gelato tha zaza' in canary wharf does. I bought lots of different shapes and flavours for my kids bdays and they loved it as well as the parents! Also, their chocolate, pistacchio and hazelnut are deliciussss, not to mention the typical napolitan "pastiera" flavour, they all have that creamy and velvety texture that only real italian gelato has!

mike
mike

honestly is good place to visit is alittle nice shop in golders green road a proper gelATO TO EAT TO SHOP NAME IS BELLA DEL GELATO GOOD PLACE TO VISIT FOR ICE CREAM AND PANCAKES I HAD A SCOOP OF FERERO ROCHER GELATO WAS FANTASTIC

Jim
Jim

I recently the Dairy Cafe in East Sheen. The ice cream tasted fantastic, apparently all made in the shop. Flavours taste really natural, the strawberry seemed to be full of fruit, vanilla tastes fantastic. Prices seem good value, £1.50 for a generous scoop. They also have home made cakes and good soups etc.

danny
danny

wow wow is a good litle place in golders green road ,a proper italian gelato , the display very presented just top quality i had a belgian waffle with ice cream for 3quid honestly is worth it good crepes and waffles at reasonable price the place is bella del gelato

domenico
domenico

bella del gelato golders green , a warm a nice little traditional italian ice cream parlour with authentic italian flavours ,any time i go there i am just confuse to see what dlavour shall i pick honestly is a good gelateria to vist

Nori
Nori

Just recently opened shop, called BELLA DEL GELATO, it is near to golders green station, it is very cute shop, all interior are so cool, and the ice cream are so wonderful i have never seen such a gorgeous display and presentation. it is home made ice cream and also taste is wonderful and always i find new unique flavour like green tea, chestnut, chill chocolate etc.. you must taste it !!

suzanne
suzanne

theres a reasonably new business near bethnal green tube station i pass on the way to work most days, called the Flava Lounge! Prices are good and the decor is really fun, more your retro american diner experience then a swanky outlet in selfridges, but great for a relaxed family treat i'd say!

mark
mark

there is a funny little shop around the corner from queensway station opposite kensington gardens i dont even know the name of it but it has the best ice cream ive ever tasted, i had pistachio but my girlfriend had the ferrero rocher flavour and it was unbelievable, we crossed the park again to buy another one. the one in holland park is also really good 'mio gelato' but a bit pricey.

ib
ib

there's a new sweet tooth in town...ZAZA' italian gelato ice cream in Canary Wharf Cabot Place. original flavours and Patisserie to go: take away mini ice cream in fancy packaging. a must for gelato lovers!

Molly hey
Molly hey

I think the ice cream is going to taste great.

roberto
roberto

that was a 100%italian gelato is in queens way ice skating i had a visit on the 10march2009,with some freind to do ice skating , but i just feel like i go there to eat gelato ,it does remember me when i go with my parents to sicily to enjoy our summer holiday and grab a scoop of gelato , well done queens ice skating gelato team

Paolo
Paolo

Gelato Mio in Holland Park is my favourite. Authentic Italian ice cream and great atmosphere. Worth checking it out (and now open till 11pm every night!)

Neal Hattersley
Neal Hattersley

On your advice we made it to F&M's Parlour. We had a knickerboker glory and a dusty road sundae. Both were very good indeed and of course at £10+ each they need to be. It was the combination of ingredients that made them, the ice cream itself, which turns out to be Minghella from the Isle of Wight, was a good English example, but not a patch on Danielli (see below). The service at the Parlour was also very English, 12.5% and nothing to show for it.

Neal Hattersley
Neal Hattersley

On a recent trip to Rome we visited the ice cream parlour recommended by TOut, as 'best in Rome' near the Trevi fountain. The product was magnificent, (Ok, we really did go back for seconds and sampled 4 flavours!) but it was very rich. Back in London, We just tried 5 flavours in a Sundae at Gelateria Danieli at Bentalls in Kingston. This was heaven and much more paletable and lower fat. Lots of nuts in the nut flavours. We are both ice cream fans and Danieli is seriously good in store, a contender for No1. I've never understood the fuss about Marine Ices, media hype over substance in my view.

ivan
ivan

scoop is my favourite, i met one of the owners, a truly insired genuine italian, that's what makes gelato icecream unbeatable!

aliciablumross
aliciablumross

@Baron S I too was kind of flabbergasted at these two omissions! And the super gorgeous Ruby Violet in Tufnell Park - who delivers too!