Gelato is not that different than ice cream as both are delicious treats, especially on a hot day. The biggest difference is that gelato has a lower percentage of fat and less air added, making it even creamier and smoother than ice cream. If you’re on the lookout for great gelato in Orange County, we’ve found the best places to find it.
448 S. Coast Highway, Suite A
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Even if you know the address of this place, it’s easy to walk right by it as it’s located closer to the alley than the sidewalk. Still, when you find it, you’ll find your reward. Paradiso is a great name for this place in Laguna because it offers a little taste of heaven. It is rich in flavor, but somehow lighter than eating the same amount in ice cream. This place offers more than 20 flavors of gelato as well as some flavors that are only available seasonally. Try any flavor you like on your first visit because you’ll go back to try others. Consistently rated as one of OC’s top gelato spots, favorite flavors here include banana, ciccolato (chocolate), dulce de leche, menta (mint chip) and tiramisu. You really can’t go wrong with anything you get here though.
Mangiamo Gelato Caffe
122 Main St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
When you go to Mangiamo, don’t be surprised if it takes you a while to decide what flavor you want. You’ll find some traditional flavors here, like strawberry and chocolate, but you’ll also find some tempting flavors like Beach Fire, which is basically chocolate gelato with s’mores, as well as a chocolate peanut butter. There are also some more unusual flavors like pear and gorgonzola. No matter what you choose, you won’t walk out of here disappointed.
247 Broadway St.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
There’s nothing quite like strolling through Laguna Beach in summer – provided that you can actually get there through the awful traffic. If you’re planning to do that, stop by Dolce Gelato. This place offers some flavors like lime shortbread and lemon shortbread that are particularly refreshing. In addition to chocolate chip and the delicious salted maple caramel, you’ll find a chocolate Guinness flavor that makes you feel like you’re enjoying dessert and a cold pint.
106 N. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866
The Orange Circle is an area with a lot of charming restaurants and shops, including Cafe Lucca. If you get the gelato here, you are in for a real treat. First, it is made in the restaurant every night, which means you’re always getting it as fresh as possible. Secondly, the gelato at Lucca contains only 7 percent butterfat, about half the amount you’ll find in ice cream. Finally, the variety is good. You have 16 delicious flavors to choose from, and you can’t go wrong with any one of them.
3313 Hyland Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Let’s face it: gelato isn’t a health food. However, N’ice Cream proves that you can indulge with local and organic ingredients. The milk and cream used at N’ice Cream is from a California dairy and it is always organic. In addition, the gelato is made in the shop every morning. No matter when you go to this place, you’ll get gelato that was made in the past 12 hours. You’ll find 16 delicious flavors, including the amazing salted caramel, among others. Additionally, N’ice cream offers, of course, ice cream, sorbet and more!