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Happy Endings ice cream sandwiches, some of London’s best desserts Happy Endings [Official Photo]

13 Impeccable Ice Cream Shops in London

Here’s where to find the best scoops across the city, right now

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Along with card tricks and inhaling helium from balloons, ice cream is one of the few childhood joys that holds up just as well in adulthood. When the sun’s out there‘s no shortage of places dispensing the frozen stuff, but a couple of tubs of Wall‘s in the chiller do not an ice-cream parlour make. From goat‘s milk ices to the fanciest toppings and superlative sundaes, Eater’s got the scoop on the very best in the city.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Marine Ices

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61 Chalk Farm Rd
London NW1 8AN, UK

Like George Formby eating a stick of rock on a donkey, Marine Ices encapsulates a certain kind of high-summer more-is-moreness. It‘s now operating out of bijou premises on Chalk Farm Road rather than the ocean liner-a-like building on Haverstock Hill it took its name from, but the mid-century Britalian vibe has survived the downsizing. Chocolate fudge brownie, malted milk and tutti frutti are the standout flavours, and the Coppa Stefania — chocolate and hazelnut gelato, hazelnut nibs, amaerna cherris and hot fudge sauce — is a many-splendoured thing. Reopening 31 March 2021.

Marine Ices
Official

2. Nardulli

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29 The Pavement
London SW4 0JE, UK

Summer’s official starting-gun isn’t swallows or the clocks going forward — it’s the first cone of creamy fig gelato from Nardulli, eaten on Clapham Common before the grass gets obliterated by the South West Four stage. The decor at Lorenzo Nardulli’s parlour is definitely no frills, but the ornate tubs of traditional liquorice, Bacio and coffee have a grandeur all of their own. Also available are affogati, ornate ice-cream cakes and waffles. When it‘s sunny the line stretches most of the way back to the tube station; go now while the weather’s still making its mind up.

Nardulli
Official

3. Ruby Violet

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118 Fortess Rd
London NW5 2HL, UK

Apparently, this one is a favourite of James Corden’s. But don’t be deterred — Ruby Violet is a lovely, good-natured little parlour with a mind-boggling selection of modern classic flavours (raspberry, white chocolate and cardamom; matcha green tea; black sesame). Can‘t choose? Get the six-for-£15 “tasting menu”. There‘s a bigger branch in Kings Cross now, but the original continues to attract attention at the highest level.

Ruby Violet
Official

4. Gelupo

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7 Archer St, Soho
London W1D 7AU, UK

For sheer chiller-cabinet chutzpah, nobody does it better. Gelupo, opposite Jacob Kenedy’s Bocca di Lupo on Archer Street, has been shaking things up since it first opened in 2010, and continues to do so, thank to punchy flavour combos and a constantly changing roster of specials. Reopened to reassuring havoc in Soho, the specials include the Italian Easter cake Colomba, and a millefoglie with puff pastry folded into custard base.

Gelupo
Steven Joyce

5. Udderlicious Ice Cream

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187 Upper St
London N1 1RQ, UK

Sure, the Upper Street Ottolenghi is nice, but does it have a swing seat? It does not. Its neighbour Udderlicious does, though — all part of its endearingly jolly, school’s-out feel. There are 20 choices every day, with chocolate-based flavours a speciality: Black Forest gateau, chocolate peanut butter, coconut and chocolate, dark chocolate and sea salt sorbet, espresso and chocolate biscotti... Grassroots input is valued (well, this is Islington), and every four weeks visitors are asked to vote for the flavours they’d like to see on sale the following month. Past victors have included apple crumble and custard and, er, seaweed.

Udderlicious
Official

6. Greedy Goat Ice Cream

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Green Market, Green Dragon Walk, Borough Market, Bedale Street
London SE1 9AL, UK

Grouchy and bitey they may be, but goats make ice cream that’s not only lighter than the traditional kind, but also extremely tasty (not unlike traditional, milk-only gelato). Greedy Goat scoops it in Borough Market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays — flavours are quirky without going the full Heston (gingerbread, raspberry bakewell, Earl Grey), and everything comes in a cone, a cup, in an ice-cream float or on top of a hot waffle. The kids are alright, really.

Greedy Goat Ice Cream
Official

7. Happy Endings Ice Cream

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Arch 437 Burdett Rd, Mile End
London E3 4AT, UK

Happy Endings’ selection of ice cream sandwiches and soft-serve ice cream have long been loved as a dessert option at many of the city’s best restaurants, but Londoners can go a step further and visit the Mile End arch. Click and collect or order for delivery via Slerp, with same-day local delivery within a 3 mile radius and London-wide delivery on Saturdays.

Happy Endings ice cream sandwiches, some of London’s best desserts Happy Endings [Official Photo]

8. Chin Chin Labs (Chin Chin Ice Cream)

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49-50 Camden Lock Pl, Camden Town
London NW1 8AF, UK

The original Camden parlour is now back open for fans of Chin Chin’s famous ice creams (churned with the aid of liquid nitrogen for a rich, dense, almost chewy texture.) They are available by the scoop with toppings, but there are also a dozen or so full-on dishes making use of them, from a tiramisu sundae to nachos with chargrilled pineapple, salted-caramel sauce, dark-chocolate ice cream and blue-corn waffle tacos. Open Friday — Sunday, 12 p.m. — 7 p.m.

A scoop of ice cream dusted with cocoa powder in a plastic tumbler, on top of a pillowy tiramisu base Chin Chin [Official Photo]

9. Diwan Damas, Marble Arch

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121 Edgware Rd, Tyburnia
London W2 2HX, UK

The city’s foremost place for booza-al-haleb, made with milk, salep powder, and mastic gum and pounded — not churned — to a dense, chewy, unrivalled frozen texture before being rolled in pistachio. Formerly known as Damas Rose and still doing the business on Edgware Road.

10. Romeo & Giulietta Artisan Gelateria

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137 Albion Rd, Stoke Newington
London N16 9JU, UK

Stoke Newington’s neighbourhood gelateria is a quiet hit, going about local business through lockdowns and beyond. If anything based on ricotta is on, order it, while the extra dark chocolate sorbet is reminiscent of Florence gelateria Neri’s version (that is to say, it’s outstanding) and the parlour’s speciality, “biscokrok,” is an Italianate riff on cookies and cream that will convert anyone hardened by a bad experience with Ben and Jerry.

Gelateria Romeo and Giulietta [Official Photo]

11. Mamasons Dirty Ice cream (Chinatown London)

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32 Newport Ct, West End
London WC2H 7PQ, UK

Omar Shah and Florence Mae Magnaloc’s Mamasons is packaging up its range of Filipino-influenced ice creams for delivery and is open for takeaways, with ube, milo, and calamansi among the flavours. Expect bilog, the pandesal ice cream sandwich, to go quickly, with the Chinatown branch open from 12 p.m. — 10 p.m.

Chinatown London has reopened after coronavirus lockdown, with schemes like outdoor dining permits from Westminster council and the government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount giving the area an economic boost. Michaël Protin/Eater London

12. Leila's Shop

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Leila's Shop, 17 Calvert Ave
London E2 7JP, UK

A good few of the soft serves available at this sleepy European grocer are recipes from Kitty Travers — London’s fruit ice cream master par excellence, currently on hiatus. But so far it’s hazelnut that steals the show, before summer’s berries take over the script.

A cone of hazelnut soft serve sits in a glass bottle filled with sand, with pastries, a pot plant, and a red rattan fabric in the background George Reynolds

13. The Ealing Grocer

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18 St Mary's Rd
London W5 5ES, UK

Ice cream is cold. Before the Captain Obvious memes roll in, the obviousness is the point: the very best ice cream makers know that temperature is a modulator of flavour, a factor to balance when composing a dish. At the Ealing Grocer, a newish, wondrous food store from Andy Harris and Katie Millard, soft serve summer is just beginning, with freeze adding a jolt to rich vanilla, and apricots and strawberries introduced to pale custards. Right now, it’s saffron.

An ice cream cone filled with vanilla soft serve, held upright against a wood background James Hansen/Eater London

1. Marine Ices

61 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AN, UK
Marine Ices
Official

Like George Formby eating a stick of rock on a donkey, Marine Ices encapsulates a certain kind of high-summer more-is-moreness. It‘s now operating out of bijou premises on Chalk Farm Road rather than the ocean liner-a-like building on Haverstock Hill it took its name from, but the mid-century Britalian vibe has survived the downsizing. Chocolate fudge brownie, malted milk and tutti frutti are the standout flavours, and the Coppa Stefania — chocolate and hazelnut gelato, hazelnut nibs, amaerna cherris and hot fudge sauce — is a many-splendoured thing. Reopening 31 March 2021.

61 Chalk Farm Rd
London NW1 8AN, UK

2. Nardulli

29 The Pavement, London SW4 0JE, UK
Nardulli
Official

Summer’s official starting-gun isn’t swallows or the clocks going forward — it’s the first cone of creamy fig gelato from Nardulli, eaten on Clapham Common before the grass gets obliterated by the South West Four stage. The decor at Lorenzo Nardulli’s parlour is definitely no frills, but the ornate tubs of traditional liquorice, Bacio and coffee have a grandeur all of their own. Also available are affogati, ornate ice-cream cakes and waffles. When it‘s sunny the line stretches most of the way back to the tube station; go now while the weather’s still making its mind up.

29 The Pavement
London SW4 0JE, UK

3. Ruby Violet

118 Fortess Rd, London NW5 2HL, UK
Ruby Violet
Official

Apparently, this one is a favourite of James Corden’s. But don’t be deterred — Ruby Violet is a lovely, good-natured little parlour with a mind-boggling selection of modern classic flavours (raspberry, white chocolate and cardamom; matcha green tea; black sesame). Can‘t choose? Get the six-for-£15 “tasting menu”. There‘s a bigger branch in Kings Cross now, but the original continues to attract attention at the highest level.

118 Fortess Rd
London NW5 2HL, UK

4. Gelupo

7 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7AU, UK
Gelupo
Steven Joyce

For sheer chiller-cabinet chutzpah, nobody does it better. Gelupo, opposite Jacob Kenedy’s Bocca di Lupo on Archer Street, has been shaking things up since it first opened in 2010, and continues to do so, thank to punchy flavour combos and a constantly changing roster of specials. Reopened to reassuring havoc in Soho, the specials include the Italian Easter cake Colomba, and a millefoglie with puff pastry folded into custard base.

7 Archer St, Soho
London W1D 7AU, UK

5. Udderlicious Ice Cream

187 Upper St, London N1 1RQ, UK
Udderlicious
Official

Sure, the Upper Street Ottolenghi is nice, but does it have a swing seat? It does not. Its neighbour Udderlicious does, though — all part of its endearingly jolly, school’s-out feel. There are 20 choices every day, with chocolate-based flavours a speciality: Black Forest gateau, chocolate peanut butter, coconut and chocolate, dark chocolate and sea salt sorbet, espresso and chocolate biscotti... Grassroots input is valued (well, this is Islington), and every four weeks visitors are asked to vote for the flavours they’d like to see on sale the following month. Past victors have included apple crumble and custard and, er, seaweed.

187 Upper St
London N1 1RQ, UK

6. Greedy Goat Ice Cream

Green Market, Green Dragon Walk, Borough Market, Bedale Street, London SE1 9AL, UK
Greedy Goat Ice Cream
Official

Grouchy and bitey they may be, but goats make ice cream that’s not only lighter than the traditional kind, but also extremely tasty (not unlike traditional, milk-only gelato). Greedy Goat scoops it in Borough Market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays — flavours are quirky without going the full Heston (gingerbread, raspberry bakewell, Earl Grey), and everything comes in a cone, a cup, in an ice-cream float or on top of a hot waffle. The kids are alright, really.

Green Market, Green Dragon Walk, Borough Market, Bedale Street
London SE1 9AL, UK

7. Happy Endings Ice Cream

Arch 437 Burdett Rd, Mile End, London E3 4AT, UK
Happy Endings ice cream sandwiches, some of London’s best desserts Happy Endings [Official Photo]

Happy Endings’ selection of ice cream sandwiches and soft-serve ice cream have long been loved as a dessert option at many of the city’s best restaurants, but Londoners can go a step further and visit the Mile End arch. Click and collect or order for delivery via Slerp, with same-day local delivery within a 3 mile radius and London-wide delivery on Saturdays.

Arch 437 Burdett Rd, Mile End
London E3 4AT, UK

8. Chin Chin Labs (Chin Chin Ice Cream)

49-50 Camden Lock Pl, Camden Town, London NW1 8AF, UK
A scoop of ice cream dusted with cocoa powder in a plastic tumbler, on top of a pillowy tiramisu base Chin Chin [Official Photo]

The original Camden parlour is now back open for fans of Chin Chin’s famous ice creams (churned with the aid of liquid nitrogen for a rich, dense, almost chewy texture.) They are available by the scoop with toppings, but there are also a dozen or so full-on dishes making use of them, from a tiramisu sundae to nachos with chargrilled pineapple, salted-caramel sauce, dark-chocolate ice cream and blue-corn waffle tacos. Open Friday — Sunday, 12 p.m. — 7 p.m.

49-50 Camden Lock Pl, Camden Town
London NW1 8AF, UK

9. Diwan Damas, Marble Arch

121 Edgware Rd, Tyburnia, London W2 2HX, UK

The city’s foremost place for booza-al-haleb, made with milk, salep powder, and mastic gum and pounded — not churned — to a dense, chewy, unrivalled frozen texture before being rolled in pistachio. Formerly known as Damas Rose and still doing the business on Edgware Road.

121 Edgware Rd, Tyburnia
London W2 2HX, UK

10. Romeo & Giulietta Artisan Gelateria

137 Albion Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 9JU, UK
Gelateria Romeo and Giulietta [Official Photo]

Stoke Newington’s neighbourhood gelateria is a quiet hit, going about local business through lockdowns and beyond. If anything based on ricotta is on, order it, while the extra dark chocolate sorbet is reminiscent of Florence gelateria Neri’s version (that is to say, it’s outstanding) and the parlour’s speciality, “biscokrok,” is an Italianate riff on cookies and cream that will convert anyone hardened by a bad experience with Ben and Jerry.

137 Albion Rd, Stoke Newington
London N16 9JU, UK

11. Mamasons Dirty Ice cream (Chinatown London)

32 Newport Ct, West End, London WC2H 7PQ, UK
Chinatown London has reopened after coronavirus lockdown, with schemes like outdoor dining permits from Westminster council and the government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount giving the area an economic boost. Michaël Protin/Eater London

Omar Shah and Florence Mae Magnaloc’s Mamasons is packaging up its range of Filipino-influenced ice creams for delivery and is open for takeaways, with ube, milo, and calamansi among the flavours. Expect bilog, the pandesal ice cream sandwich, to go quickly, with the Chinatown branch open from 12 p.m. — 10 p.m.

32 Newport Ct, West End
London WC2H 7PQ, UK

12. Leila's Shop

Leila's Shop, 17 Calvert Ave, London E2 7JP, UK
A cone of hazelnut soft serve sits in a glass bottle filled with sand, with pastries, a pot plant, and a red rattan fabric in the background George Reynolds

A good few of the soft serves available at this sleepy European grocer are recipes from Kitty Travers — London’s fruit ice cream master par excellence, currently on hiatus. But so far it’s hazelnut that steals the show, before summer’s berries take over the script.

Leila's Shop, 17 Calvert Ave
London E2 7JP, UK

13. The Ealing Grocer

18 St Mary's Rd, London W5 5ES, UK
An ice cream cone filled with vanilla soft serve, held upright against a wood background James Hansen/Eater London

Ice cream is cold. Before the Captain Obvious memes roll in, the obviousness is the point: the very best ice cream makers know that temperature is a modulator of flavour, a factor to balance when composing a dish. At the Ealing Grocer, a newish, wondrous food store from Andy Harris and Katie Millard, soft serve summer is just beginning, with freeze adding a jolt to rich vanilla, and apricots and strawberries introduced to pale custards. Right now, it’s saffron.

18 St Mary's Rd
London W5 5ES, UK

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