Wednesday, 25 July 2012

London's Best Ice Creams

Summer's here! Well, at least until the end of the week... In celebration, here are our favourite ice creams in central London:

Freggo (@Freggo)
27-29 Swallow Street, W1B 4QR (near Regents Street)

Freggo, owned by neighbouring Gaucho specializes in gelatos with an emphasis on South American flavours. Most typical of these are the dulce de leche flavours (of which there are now three), which are rich and creamy with that characteristic condensed milk-like taste. My favourite, however, has to be the banana split flavour (pictured below), where the taste of the fruit really comes through perfectly amidst the caramel and fine pieces of chocolate-chip. A very faithful translation of the popular dessert into ice cream form. I would love to try the 'Malbec and Cherry' flavour next time... sounds intruiging!

Banana split flavour

Scoop (@ScoopGelato)
40 Short's Gardens, WC2H 9AB (Covent Garden Branch)
53 Brewer Street, W1F 9UJ (Soho Branch)

Choices, choices, choices

Scoop is probably the best known of the bunch, faithfully recreating the true Italian style gelatos. This is your best bet for the more traditional flavours that you would find in Italy, such as nocciola, stracciatella and biscotta. The pistacchio flavour is superb. Using imported pistachios from Bronte in Sicily, the luxurious flavour of the high quality ingredients come through perfectly. Out of the traditional gelato ice cream flavours, this is my personal favourite in London. Also highly recommended is the Biscotta flavour, where the rich, creamy egg yolk base is combined with bittersweet dark chocolate biscuit. I've always been slightly disappointed, however, by the stracciatella at Scoop. In Italy and continental Europe, where this is more commonly found than in London, it's more akin to something like chocolate chip, with really fine chunks of chocolate spread amongst the vanilla. Here, a big chunk of chocolate is broken on top, meaning that either you get big chunks of unbroken dark chocolate, or very little at all.

Pistacchio and biscotto (you didn't think I'd choose between them did you?)

The Icecreamists (@theicecreamists)
23/47 The Market Building, South Piazza, Covent Garden

Whilst Scoop is the probably most famous, this is certainly the most infamous of the bunch for its controversial breast milk flavour. Make no mistake, whilst this is the most well known of the flavours here (and predictably almost always sold out when I've been there) the other choices here are good. Particularly recommended out of them are the Sex, Drugs and Choc N' Roll and Glaston-berry (bear with me here) flavours, although the Chilli/Ginger and Absinthe flavours may make interesting choices for the more adventurous readers out there. Whilst its always going to be a case of love or hate when it comes to their tongue-in-cheek punk decor (God Save the Cream, etc), credit is certainly due for the chic, black wafer cones provided for those who choose to eat in at their boutique in Covent Garden.

Courtesy of

Gelupo (@GelupoGelato)
7 Archer Street, W1D 7AU (Soho)

This is fast becoming one of the most blogged about parlours in London. Opened as a sister gelateria to the more formal Bocca di Lupo across the street, the specialities here are the sorbet-like granitas. These typically Sicilian desserts consist of shaved/crushed ice soaked in rich fruit syrup combined with preserved chunks of fruit. The best of these, for me, is the blood orange flavour. It's possibly the most refreshing dish I've ever come across in the city. Fruity but not too sweet with a beautiful bright red colour, I can't think of anything more perfect on a sunny day in Soho.

Blood orange granita with mandarin flavour in the background

Snog (@ifancyasnog)
Various. Branches visited: 5 Garrick Street, WC2E 9AR (near Covent Garden); 9 Brewer Street, W1F 0RG (Soho)

We all love ice cream, but we can't possibly ignore frogurt, its' trendy, lighter Yoghurt-based sibling. Whilst there seems to be a new frozen yoghurt vendor every day in this city, Snog still remains the best choice of the bunch. There are four base flavours: natural, green tea (my favourite), mango and chocolate. These can then by combined with a range of toppings ranging from the healthy (pistachio, raspberry, pomegranate) to the guilt-inducing (jumbo cookie, chocolate brownie). Personally, I love to have the mochi and red bean paste with the green tea flavour. It's all low in fat and sweetened with agave nectar for the more health conscious of you out there. A great late night option after a heavy dinner in nearby Covent Garden.

Green tea flavour with red bean paste and mochi


  1. I personally love Gelupo, but have you try the one in Store street (Paradiso cafe) I think is called; it is really good. I will try the ones that I have not!!! they sound really good.
    BTW great blog!!!! cannot wait for other stuff.

  2. Ah no, I have walked past it many times. It looks really has loads of Italian delicatessen products as well right? Will have to give that a try! Thanks for the comment! Should be more articles on here soon...


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