San Diego is a city that is known for its beautiful beaches, warm climate, and vibrant culture. But there's one thing that locals and tourists alike can agree on – San Diego has some of the best ice cream shops in the country.
Whether you're looking for traditional flavors or something a bit more adventurous, San Diego's ice cream scene has something for everyone.
From artisanal gelato to classic soft serve, there are dozens of ice cream shops across the city that serve up delicious treats.
Each shop has its own unique flavor and style, making it easy to find something that fits your mood and taste buds. But with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.
That's why we've put together a list of the best ice cream shops in San Diego. We've scoured the city to find the most delicious and innovative ice cream shops, from hidden gems to popular hotspots.
Whether you're a local or just visiting, this guide has everything you need to know to find the perfect scoop. So grab a spoon and get ready to indulge in some of the best ice cream San Diego has to offer.
1. Mr. Frostie
Mr. Frostie is a timeless ice cream shop that has been serving delicious soft-serve since 1949.
They offer a variety of flavors and toppings to choose from, as well as shakes, floats, and sundaes. The portions are generous, and the pricing is excellent.
The staff is friendly and welcoming, making it a great place to take the family. The shop has limited seating, but the picnic benches outside are perfect for enjoying your treat on a sunny day.
If you're in the area, be sure to stop by and try their famous dipped soft serve.
2. An's Dry Cleaning
An's Dry Cleaning is a unique ice cream shop that offers handcrafted gelato in a variety of creative and ever-changing flavors.
The staff is friendly and always willing to let customers sample the flavors before making a purchase.
The shop's dry cleaning theme adds to the fun atmosphere. Prices are reasonable and the portions are generous.
An's Dry Cleaning is a must-visit spot for anyone who loves gelato and wants to try something new and exciting.
3. Mariposa Ice Cream
Mariposa Ice Cream is a local gem that serves up delicious, homemade ice cream in small batches.
The staff is friendly and patient while customers decide on their flavor choices. The waffle cones are fresh and a great deal.
The coffee ice cream has a strong, bold flavor that is a must-try. The shop also offers unique flavors like Mexican Chocolate and Banana Walnut.
Mariposa Ice Cream is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for high-quality ice cream.
4. Pacific Beach Ice Cream Co
Pacific Beach Ice Cream Co is a must-visit for anyone who loves handcrafted, unique ice cream flavors.
The owner takes pride in making real ice cream that's not mass-produced, resulting in a delicious, natural taste. Non-dairy options are also available.
The shop is clean and the friendly staff will make you feel welcome. The homemade waffle cones are a must-try.
With a variety of flavors to choose from, including candy cap mushroom and honey vanilla, this artisan ice cream shop is a neighborhood gem. Highly recommended for anyone in the area.
5. Cali Cream Homemade Ice Cream
Cali Cream Homemade Ice Cream offers a wide variety of flavors and toppings for a reasonable price.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, making the experience enjoyable.
The ice cream is homemade and of high quality, with generous portions.
The Creamsicle and Smores flavors are highly recommended. The shop also offers ice cream cakes to order.
6. Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw is an artisanal ice cream shop that's gained a reputation for its unique flavors and high-quality ingredients.
Customers rave about the sea salt and caramel ice cream, double fold vanilla, and vegan coconut milk and cashew panda brittle.
The waffle cones are also highly praised for their lack of drippage. Although the lines can get long, the staff move quickly and are patient with customers as they sample flavors.
If you're an ice cream lover looking for something out of the ordinary, Salt & Straw is definitely worth a visit.
7. Bobboi Natural Gelato
Bobboi Natural Gelato is a must-visit ice cream shop for anyone in search of delicious and unique flavors.
Their charcoal vanilla is a crowd favorite, but be sure to try their other options like the Argentinian dulce de leche banana and matchatella.
While the texture may not be as creamy as traditional gelato, the light and refreshing taste more than makes up for it.
The staff is friendly and welcoming, making for a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Don't forget to try their Affogato with Moka Gelato – it's beyond amazing!