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Best Ice Cream Shops In Orange County


Move over plain vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, there's a renaissance going on in the ice cream world. Blood orange, red velvet and salted caramel flavors routinely show up in custard, gelato and ice cream sandwiches. In Orange County ice cream aficionados have their pick of a cone with a view, a taste of Italy, old fashioned American classics and a newcomer with red velvet cones.

Scoops n Scoops
(credit: Jam Y./yelp)

Scoops N Scoops Creamery
14411 Culver Dr
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 786-0170

Stop by this ultimate creamery serving made to order, custom, liquid nitrogen ice cream and frozen yogurt that O.C. residents just can't get enough of. Described by many as being creamy and fresh, the ice cream here is top of the line and they offer a big selection of flavors to choose from. Bite into a banana split, or a peppermint and warm brownie. Or, how about some ice cream nachos? Flavors include marshmallow cookie butter n macaroons, salted caramel coffee, vanilla n cotton candy and other inventive flavors.

ice cream
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

4523 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 387-9955

The lone California outpost of Akron-based Strickland's Frozen Custard is tucked away in a shopping center frequented by UCI students. Thanks to an industrious milkman, Bill Strickland, who developed a proprietary recipe and a quick-freezing ice cream machine in 1936, Strickland's churns out award-winning custard daily from shiny silver machines. Their "Flavor of the Day" concept ensures you'll always have four fresh flavors to choose from along with other ice cream classics. If you're looking for something lighter, try the Dole Whip which Disneyland visitors might remember from the Tiki Room.

Ice Cream Photo Credit Sprinkles Ice Cream
(credit: Sprinkles Ice Cream)

Sprinkles Ice Cream
952 Avocado Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 718-9400

The cupcake extraordinaire made its ice cream debut quite a while ago with ice cream combinations and it's paid off big. Flavors are continually changing, but some are always a constant like vanilla, chocolate, and other staples. But, if you want to kick it up a notch, Sprinkles serves up flavors like s'mores, pumpkin pie, creme brulee, candy cane and much more. You can build ice cream sandwiches in between freshly baked cookies and cupcake tops as well. Or if you prefer, they'll crown your sundae with a cupcake top. Even the traditional ice cream cone gets a makeover at Sprinkles with red velvet waffle cones.

Afters ice cream - verified
(Credit: Afters Ice Cream)

Afters Ice Cream
2738 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92606

Home to the famed Milky Bun, Afters Ice Cream is famous in Orange County. The Milky Bun, basically an ice cream sandwich, offers some of the tastiest and richest flavors around. Handcrafted ice cream flavors here include Vietnamese coffee, Madagascar vanilla, Strawberry cookie crunch, peanut butter s'mores, mint monster, milk & cereal, jasmine milk tea, cookie monster, churro, almond cookie, acai blueberry and many more. The name of the game here is being inventive, and they do it well with their ice cream flavors and names.


Ruby's Shake Shack
7703 E. Coast Hwy
Newport Coast, CA 92657
(949) 464-0100

Ruby's Shake Shack is a cliff-top fixture on Pacific Coast Highway above Crystal Cove. For over 40 years, beach goers and day trippers have stopped for the panoramic Pacific Ocean views and the milkshakes that come in a variety of flavors like banana, Oreo, strawberry and chocolate chip cookie dough. It's a diner without the red booths and on summer days, you'll wait with a view.

Ice Cream photo credit Hans' Homemade Ice Cream
(credit: Hans' Homemade Ice Cream)

Hans' Homemade Ice Cream
3640 S. Bristol St.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 979-8815

Hans Biermann and his family have been whipping up batches of homemade ice cream since 1972. The unassuming store front in a strip mall near South Coast Plaza attracts ice cream lovers looking for nostalgia and fresh ingredients. Dozens of flavor combinations like coconut pineapple, coffee with Oreos and rocky road chocolate chip have diners debating. Further complicating this sweet decision-making process are visions of drumsticks, chocolate-covered bananas and ice cream sandwiches – all made in-house. Good to know before you go: it's cash only.

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