Get the Scoop on These Spots That Are Worth Visiting on National Ice Cream Day
National Ice Cream Day is July 16, and it’s a day worth celebrating! With the sun shining and temperatures soaring, there is perhaps no better time to grab a scoop of one of the world’s most treasured sweets. With so many incredible ice cream shops located all across Orange County, it’s never been easier to find your new favorite spot for treating yourself to some frozen goodness. But for those seeking the absolute best when it comes to all things ice cream, gelato and sorbet, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are seven of the very best ice cream shops in Orange County.
After quickly becoming a staple in the Portland, Oregon, community over a decade ago, it wasn’t long before Salt & Straw made its way to Southern California, where the brand was met with resounding praise. And if you’ve ever tasted one of Salt & Straw’s many unique, handcrafted flavors, you know exactly why. From their decadent Chocolate Gooey Brownie flavor to the iconic and herbaceous Honey Lavender, Salt & Straw’s unparalleled commitment to quality and originality sets them apart from the crowd. With locations in Anaheim and Newport Beach, now is the perfect time to experience the handcrafted, freshly churned goodness that the iconic brand has to offer.
Locations: Anaheim, Newport Beach
From the moment you step inside Stella Jean’s, you’re greeted with a vibrant dose of pastel-colored nostalgia, emanating charm and elegance from every nook and cranny of their darling shops. And while that may be enough to get customers in the door, their handcrafted, small-batch ice cream continues to have them coming back for more and more. With staples like the indulgent Milk and Cookies as well as seasonal favorites, including their Calamansi Creamsicle flavor, Stella Jean’s takes great pride in each batch, seeking to make each flavor combination harmonize.
Location: Costa Mesa
A staple in the Orange County community, Afters Ice Cream took the area by storm when they combined two of America’s favorite sweets to bring their mind-blowing Milky Bun creation to life. The Milky Bun represents the bold yet undeniably delicious marriage of a fresh-baked glazed donut and Afters’ award-winning ice cream. And while this innovative treat is sure to delight, the ice cream all by itself also stands in a league of its own. Equal parts rich, creamy and smooth, Afters’ wide array of flavors all benefit from the same dedicated commitment to creating incredible, classic ice cream, making it well-worth anyone’s consideration on this historic day.
Location: Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Orange, Fullerton, Irvine
Opened in 1972, Han’s Ice Cream is a piece of Orange County history, but that’s not the real reason they made this list. Their true prestige comes from their dense, chewy and delicious ice cream. Refining their process for over half a century, Han’s keeps its recipe true to the classics, vowing to only source ingredients from local vendors, serve ice cream that is always fresh and never pursue aesthetics over flavor and quality. This results in some of the richest and most decadent ice cream around. Be sure to add this historic spot to your National Ice Cream day itinerary.
Location: Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim
Rolled ice cream made a dazzling return to the mainstream a few years ago, putting the fluffy and fun treat on the forefront of everyone’s mind. In 2017, however, Sweet Rolled Tacos took this foodie fad and made it into something extraordinary. Wrapping a full size roll of creamy, handmade ice cream inside of a fresh-baked (and often vibrantly colored) waffle cone taco shell, Sweet Rolled Tacos’ signature creations taste even better than they look. If you’re seeking a fun and beloved ice cream innovation to try this summer, then Sweet Rolled Tacos is the place.
Location: Garden Grove
Cauldron Ice Cream has arguably the most Instagrammable ice cream in the world. From their fluffy and whimsical “puffle” cones to their silky smooth rose-shaped ice cream scoops, their aesthetic is unmatched. But we’d be remiss to not mention that their ice cream tastes even better than it looks. Always whipping up new and exciting flavors, such as their seasonal spiced-chai flavor, Cauldron actually rotates their entire menu four times a year. But as fans of the brand know, they often save their best flavors for summertime, so be sure to check them out before the season ends.
Location: Santa Ana9/10
Undoubtedly one of the most unique and exciting shops on this list, Honeymee is all about two things: incredibly soft, “true-milk” ice cream and fresh, locally sourced organic raw honey. Honeymee is unique in that they specialize in their one and only flavor, meticulously crafting it using farm-fresh California milk to create a soft-serve that is light yet packed with rich and creamy flavor. Combine this with locally sourced honey, matcha, chocolate and caramel, and it’s easy to see why Honeymee is so popular amongst SoCal locals. Be sure to add this one-of-a-kind location to your summer foodie bucket list.