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The ten most lickable ice-creams in London

Cool off and chow down with ten of London's most memorable ice-cream flavours

Are you tired of eating the same old ice-cream, with only the ‘how long to brain-freeze’ game to keep things interesting? What you need is a hand-picked list of the best signature flavours, from the capital’s finest ice-cream makers, so you can spend all summer sampling and judging them for yourself. Now then.... which is your flavourite? (Flavour favourite. Yes, it’s a thing).

1
Bakewell tart at Gelateria Danieli
1/10

Bakewell tart at Gelateria Danieli

£2.25/3.50

Combining scented marzipan gelato with juicy organic cherries and pieces of roasted almonds, this is a delicious bite from the past. For more taste sensations, try the pistachio, fig and mandarin; the banana and salted peanut; or even the new-in mulberry*. (*Bush not included.)

16 Brewers Lane, TW9 1HH

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Richmond
2
Breakfast in Turin at Gelatorino
© Rob Greig
2/10

Breakfast in Turin at Gelatorino

£3/£4/£5

Slick, slender Covent Garden parlour Gelatorino takes its cues from the Italian region of Piedmont, so it’s no surprise that their signature coffee-with-choc-chips is named after its capital. They add cold espresso to still-churning gelato, then drizzle in a jug of 72% Ecuadorian dark chocolate, which instantly sets into tiny shards.

2 Russell Street, WC2B 5JD

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Covent Garden
3
Chocolate, espresso & biscotti at Udderlicious
© Jamie Lau
3/10

Chocolate, espresso & biscotti at Udderlicious

£2.95/£4.50

How's this for democracy? Every month, there’s a competition for customers to suggest a new Udderlicious concoction; February’s was so good, it’s become a keeper. They melt Callebaut Belgian chocolate into a dairy base, chill it, churn it with cold espresso, then sprinkle it liberally with broken amoretti biscotti biscuits. Perfection.

187 Upper Street, N1 1RQ

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Barnsbury
4
‘Ferrero Rocher’ at Bull & Last
© Jamie Lau
4/10

‘Ferrero Rocher’ at Bull & Last

£2.85

There’s blueberry, popcorn, or even ‘Marathon’ flavoured ice cream here (that’s Snickers to you young ‘uns). But the signature is the ‘Ferrero Rocher’. Rich dairy ice cream comes rippled with a praline cream, chocolate and hazelnut paste, candied roasted almonds, and delicate flakes of wafer. All that’s missing now is an ambassador.

168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS

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Dartmouth Park
5
Kentish Town honey & honeycomb at Ruby Violet
© Jamie Lau
5/10

Kentish Town honey & honeycomb at Ruby Violet

£3

Every summer, when the folks at this quirky Tufnell Park parlour mix up their signature flavour, they have to turn the air-con vents off. Why? Because the luscious not-too-sweet ice cream and sticky honeycomb is made from local Kentish Town honey, so as soon as they pour it out, THE BEES TURN UP.

118 Fortess Road, NW5 2HL

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Kentish Town
6
Mascarpone & fig at Gelateria 3bis
© Rob Greig
6/10

Mascarpone & fig at Gelateria 3bis

£3.70/£4.30/£5

This Borough Market gelateria sticks exclusively to premium versions of the Italian classics: stracciatelli, baccio, amarena, chocolate. In fact, its signature mascarpone & fig is about as ‘modern’ as it gets. Rich, creamy, and studded with whole caramelised figs, it’s a little taste of paradise.

4 Park Street, SE1 9AB

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South Bank
7
Popcorn with smoked fudge sauce at Barnyard
© Scott Chasserot
7/10

Popcorn with smoked fudge sauce at Barnyard

£3.50, take-away

Here's the inside scoop: you can order the fabled popcorn ice cream at this farmyard-styled diner to go (£2.50 cheaper than eating in). They infuse milk with toffee popcorn, blend it, then run the final base through a ‘soft serve’ machine before topping with more popcorn and pant-wettingly good hot fudge sauce made with smoked butter.  

18 Charlotte Street, W1T 2LY

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Fitzrovia
8
Ricotta & sour cherry at Gelupo
8/10

Ricotta & sour cherry at Gelupo

£4/£5/£6

The blood orange granita at this Soho gelateria may be pretty special, but try the signature gelato, too – a heavenly combo of sheep’s ricotta, finely ground bitter almonds and plump sour cherries. Though the Amaretti and apricot is good too. Oh and the rhubarb crumble. And the salted almonds.

7 Archer Street, W1D 7AU

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Soho
9
Salep & milk with pistachio brittle at Sorbitium Ices
© Jamie Lau
9/10

Salep & milk with pistachio brittle at Sorbitium Ices

£2.50/£4/£5

Ice cream you can chew? Oh yes. This mobile van’s cardamom-laced, pistachio-brittle studded signature is a type of Syrian ‘booza’ – a fragrant ‘frozen milk’ pudding, thickened with ground orchid root (salep), which makes it stretchy and so solid (no crew) that it can’t go in the mixer, but has to be bashed with a mallet. 

Various locations, including Saturdays at KERB, Lewis Cubbit Square

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King's Cross
10
Strawberry & hay at Chin Chin Laboratorists
© Jamie Lau
10/10

Strawberry & hay at Chin Chin Laboratorists

£3.95, bowls only

For Willie Wonka-esque wizardry in a microscopic space, head to Chin Chin, where this seasonal signature reappears every summer. This year, the lovingly slow-cooked base will feature an infusion of local hay and a heady berry purée. Like every Chin Chin ice, it’s ‘set’ using liquid nitrogen, complete with clouds of billowing ‘steam’.

49-50 Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF

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Camden Town

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Comments

2 comments
elisabeth g
elisabeth g

I think Venchi and Oddono have the best gelato in London.  Both had great half price deals last year with Groupon and I wish they'd run them again now. I like to buy the bricks to take home.  As Oddono says Life's too short to eat bad ice cream!

Of course I haven't tried all the gelateria in London yet (which I'm more than willing to do) but I've tried some other good ones too.  It has to be the real stuff from Italy or from Italian recipes.  No inferior imitations are acceptable.  

elisabeth g
elisabeth g

In my opinion Venchi and Oddono are the best gelato brands in London.  They both had great deals last year with Groupon and I wish they would again this year. 

 Of course I haven't tried all the gelaterias yet (which I'm willing to do) but it has to be real gelato from Italy.