It’s so hot right now.
Why? Because, well, it’s so hot right now. So take advantage by taking a flavoursome stroll through the best central London ice cream shops, picking up some of the best, weirdest, coolest, most mind-blowing ice creams known to our species as you go. You may want to skip a step or two, should your blood-sugar levels spike a little too hard, but rest assured, you’ll be having an exceptional day either way (even if you’re a vegan!).
Our journey is going to start in Covent Garden’s south side, at…
Milk Train | 12 Tavistock St, London WC2E 7PH
Choo choo, the first stop is Milk Train. These guys score a solid 9.0 on the Instagram Richter Scale thanks to cones that come with huge collars of candy floss, sat with swirls of soft-serve atop them. Flavours come in interesting, globally inspired varieties (rose, coconut, matcha, etc. – they change with considerable regularity), and you can get all manner of interesting sundaes, milkshakes, and toppings. And if you really want to push the boat out? Seasonal specialities include a cup of ice cream with a flake ‘tree trunk’ planted in it, and its own candy floss ‘foliage’. Whatever you spring for, boastfully post it to social media, then head round the corner to…
Morelli’s | The Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RB
Family run since 1907, Morelli’s renown stretches from Whitstable to Uzbekistan, and the London store happens to be right here in Covent Garden Market. It’s the kind of place a kindly aunt would take the protagonist in a children’s novel; an all-Italian parlour where sundaes are served in cocktail glasses and lavished with every kind of sauce, topping and wafer shape you can imagine. For crawl purposes, however, you’ll probably want to get a cup or cone filled with Alphonso Mango or Kilimanjaro Coffee, and polish it off on the 8 minute walk to…
Anita Gelato | 4 Upper St Martin’s Lane, London WC2H 9NY
All 150 varieties of Anita’s ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt are still made 100% by hand (although no longer in her Mediterranean kitchen where it all started). It’s now a popular gelateria all around the world, and the London branch is a sleekly retro parlour just off Long Acre. Come here for pistachio with white chocolate cream; salted bagel or grapefruit & Campari – or a scoop of sugar-free chocolate, which might be prudent at this point on your ice cream tour. From here, it’s just 2 minutes to…
Udderlicious | 24 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LN
This independent ice-creamery make all their scoops fresh in store, and choose their flavours via an incredibly democratic voting system. Log onto their website, and you’ll get to cast three votes for their next lineup of ice creams. It means that if you head into their stores, you’ll find everything from blueberry mojito sorbet, to malt & crushed Maltesers, to dark chocolate & sea salt sorbet. Grab something interesting, start strolling, and in five minutes you’ll be at Soho’s premier ice cream spot…
Chin Chin Dessert Club | 54 Greek Street, W1D 3DS
This is where things get REALLY interesting. All their ice cream is made using liquid nitrogen, so it’s smooth and crystal free. And the coolness doesn’t stop there; they’re also serving confections like the flame-scorched Lemon Pie Baked Alaska, and the griddled cookie dough sandwich (which, remarkably, is completely vegan). Get something suitably mind-blowing, and take a sunny, 5 minute jaunt to…
Bubblewrap Waffle | 24 Wardour Street, W1D 6QJ
They caused a minor sensation when they launched. Probably because bringing London ice cream wrapped inside bubble waffle is an idea so good, it’s up there with the wheel and the alphabet. You can get flavours like Oreos, berries and Nutella, matcha & red bean, strawberry cheesecake & salted caramel, and loooots more. Take a deep breath, grab a cone, and start your short, 3 minute journey to…
Bake | 9 Wardour Street, W1D 6PF
Almost literally next door you’ll find Bake, who’ve taken the classic fish shape of Japanese taiyaki cakes, recreated them in waffle, and filled them with soft-serve matcha ice cream. Your heart, stomach, and mind may be rebelling at this point, but pay them no heed. They don’t know what’s best for you. Now, fish-cone in hand, start trekking towards…
Gelupo | 7 Archer St, W1D 7AU
Run by the people behind Bocca Di Lupo directly opposite, Gelupo serves up very Italian gelato in very interesting flavours, including the likes of ricotta sour cherry, kiwi, and bitter chocolate. They do normal flavours too, don’t worry. Get a (small) scoop, and take one last 7 minute stroll in the direction of…
BAO | 53 Lexington St, W1F 9AS
At last, we’re at a destination that does takeaway and eat in. You might have to wait in a queue (while finishing your ice cream), but don’t worry. It’s worth it for a seat, and a fried Horlicks ice cream bun. Now sit down, take whatever diabetes medication you pre-packed, relax, and think about what you’ve done.
If you’re after something else while you’re in the neighbourhood… check out our Soho Guide.