On a day’s sightseeing in the capital, one of the best ways to cool off from the summer sun has to be with a generous scoop of ice cream. Gelaterias and ice cream shops across the city tempt passers-by, but there are a few local favourites to seek out for truly special handmade serves in a spectrum of inventive flavours. To help you find these standout shops, we’ve come up with our pick of the best places for ice cream in London.
Founded by childhood friends Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi back in 2002 out of their love for gelato, the first Amorino shop was set up in Paris, but now they can be found worldwide. A few of these gelaterias are scattered around London, including one in Soho and another in Covent Garden. The ice cream cones here come in the form of flowers, with petals made from different flavours of ice cream.
It was chef Jacob Kenedy of the critically acclaimed Bocca di Lupo that opened the gelateria and delicatessen Gelupo in Piccadilly Circus. With a focus on making the flavours in the gelato and sorbet sing, the ice cream here is made fresh in-house every day using traditional Italian techniques. Try the ricotta and sour cherry gelato or the Prosecco sorbet.
Now with two shops in London – Stratford and Covent Garden – La Gelateria focuses on making fresh gelato daily with seasonal ingredients and organic dairy produce. Pair your gelato with a coffee, and experiment with the shop’s new flavours, like honey, rosemary and orange zest, or basil and chilli.
Another standout among the Covent Garden offering – with additional shops in Soho and South Kensington – is the natural luxury Gelato parlour, Scoop. Using ingredients sourced from across the world, Scoop creates aromatic flavours like Cannella, using cinnamon from Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and Té Verde, using matcha from Japan.
One of the capital’s most popular independent ice cream shops is Udderlicious in Islington. By taking raw natural ingredients, such as organic milk, fresh fruit and vanilla, ice cream is freshly made each day, with flavours like rhubarb and fig, and wild cherry on offer.
Chin Chin Labs
One of the less traditional places for ice cream in London is Nitro Ice Cream shop Chin Chin Labs in Camden. Watch as your ice cream or sorbet is made in front of you, amidst clouds of liquid nitrogen steam. Flavours change each week, but expect classics like Tonka vanilla bean, alongside more unusual flavours like mango with green tea marshmallow and nigella seed.
Combine a trip to London’s famous Borough Market with a visit to Gelateria 3bis. The true-Italian gelateria uses organic milk, Italian produce like Sicilian pistachios, and fresh British fruit, to make small daily batches of each flavour. Try the classic Italian Stracciatella and Amarena.
Visit any of these ice cream shops while exploring the capital’s must-visit sites. Set out on our new Exclusive Access Walking Tour to Tower of London & St Paul’s Cathedral, go with a classic trip like the Original London Sightseeing Tour, or perhaps join the London in Style tour to take in Borough Market and London Eye, in addition to the historic sites, aboard a vintage red bus.
Image credits: Cover photo © La Gelatiera. Ice cream flavours © iStock / Fotografia Basica. People outside La Gelatiera © La Gelatiera. The Udderlicious shopfront ©Udderlicious, Islington. Ice cream cones © iStock / bhofack2.