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.
Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant
779A The Shops At Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
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.
4523 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
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.
Sprinkles Ice Cream
952 Avocado Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92660
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.
448 S Coast Hwy, Ste A
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
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.
Ruby’s Shake Shack
7703 E. Coast Hwy
Newport Coast, CA 92657
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.
Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream
3640 S. Bristol St.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
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.