Best Ice Cream Parlors in Orange County

March 13, 2014 9:00 AM

(credit: Sprinkles Ice Cream)

orange county ice cream header Best Ice Cream Parlors 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.
the farrells Best Ice Cream Parlors in Orange County


Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant
779A The Shops At Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(949) 364-5411
Additional Locations: Santa Clarita, Rancho Cucamonga, Brea, Buena Park and Riverside

Farrell’s has over 130 locations nationwide and you’ll find the same nostalgic ice cream parlor décor and newspaper menus throughout. Servers wear pin-striped vests, ties and cane hats and deliver American classics like burgers, fries, malts and of course, ice cream sundaes and cones. Farrell’s is a very popular choice for weekend birthday parties and proves that kids really do scream for ice cream.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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.

(credit: Sprinkles Ice Cream)

(credit: Sprinkles Ice Cream)

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

The cupcake extraordinaire is making its ice cream debut with interesting cupcake, cookie and ice cream combinations. Innovative flavors like cap’n crunch and traditional mint chocolate chip get sandwiched in between freshly baked cookies and cupcake tops. 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.

gelato paradiso strawberry Best Ice Cream Parlors in Orange County


Gelato Paradiso
Peppertree Lane
448 S Coast Hwy, Ste A
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 464-9255
Additional Locations: Newport Beach (Fashion Island Atrium)

The location of Gelato Paradiso on Peppertree Lane has more than a hint of Italy in the narrow alleyway.
The smell of freshly-rolled waffled cones hits you before you see the multi-colored gelatos lined up in glass cases. Flip flop wearing surfers mingle with well-heeled shoppers all in search of authentic Italian gelato. If you just can’t decide what tastes best, ask for two flavors in your cup.

chrystal cove 300 Best Ice Cream Parlors in Orange County


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.

(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.

Kristi Marcelle is a travel and lifestyle writer and regular contributor at Ciao Bambino and CBS Los Angeles. She loves planning travel adventures with her family, a good glass of wine at the whining hour and the Green Bay Packers. Follow her on Twitter @kristimarcelle.

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