The Best Ice Cream in San Diego
Ice cream has been around for more than a century. It’s simple ingredients, creamy texture, and cold temperature make it a favorite. The endless flavor options and yummy toppings mean that you can enjoy your treat any way you want.
You don’t need to wait until summer begins to enjoy delicious ice cream in San Diego. The great thing about this city by the sea is that there are tasty treats all over the place no matter what time of year it is. Locals fill the doorways of the most amazing local ice cream shops. They cater to the simplest homemade vanilla lovers and also to the people who enjoy a cold cone of corn-flavored treats. So whether you’re looking for ice cream in La Jolla or in Solana Beach, you’re sure to freeze your cravings with this ultimate guide to ice cream in San Diego.
Table of contents
- Delicious Ice Cream in San Diego By Neighborhood
- North County Coastal Ice Cream in San Diego
- North County Inland Ice Cream in San Diego
- Central San Diego Ice Cream
- East County Ice Cream in San Diego
- South Bay Ice Cream in San Diego
Delicious Ice Cream in San Diego By Neighborhood
Finding ice cream in LaJolla, San Diego, and Escondido isn’t difficult. Finding the best ice cream takes a little more finesse. Each neighborhood in San Diego has its own feel and flavor. They are as unique as the ice cream shops that line their roads. Whether you want an Asian inspired creamy treat, or something more traditional, you’ll find what you want at one of these local ice cream places in San Diego.
North County Coastal Ice Cream in San Diego
When you need a break from the beach or rest from a long hike, you’ll find an incredible ice cream treat at one of these North County Coastal ice cream shops.
Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream
A local Carlsbad Village favorite that is known for its real ice cream, generous portions, and long lines. The wait is worth it as the ice cream is one of a kind.
- Address: 2825 State St., Carlsbad, CA 92008
- Phone: (760) 696-3519
- Hours: Mon – Sun 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Jo Jo’s Creamery
There are plenty of places to find ice cream in San Diego, but Jo Jo’s Creamery in Encinitas is one of the best. They are known for serving cookies with their ice cream and even offer vegan ice cream options if you don’t want dairy.
- Address: 937 S. Coast Highway 101, Ste 106, Encinitas, CA 92024
- Phone: (760) 487-5937
- Hours: Tues – Thurs, Sun 12 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Fri – Sat 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Solana Sumptuous Cookies
These are not your typical cookies. Solana prides itself on serving gourmet cookies that anyone can love. They serve ice cream sandwiches made with those cookies and the creamiest homemade ice cream that brings out the best flavors. They also ship cookies almost anywhere.
- Address: 150 Solana Hills Dr, Solana Beach, CA 92075
- Phone: (858) 925-6300
- Hours: Mon 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tues – Fri 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sat 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sun 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
North County Inland Ice Cream in San Diego
Whether you enjoy eating a simple cone, or you want something unique and special, you’ll discover some of the best ice cream and gelato in North County inland.
Located in Escondido, you can enjoy many flavors of freshly made gelato daily. Come in for your favorites or try something new. The creaminess of gelato is smooth and delightful and makes this one of the most unique ice cream places in San Diego.
- Address: 122 South Kalmia, Escondido, CA 92025
- Phone: (760) 745-6500
- Hours: Mon – Sun 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Cold Stone Creamery
People love Cold Stone Creamery. With countless ways to enjoy it with or without mix-ins, it’s the perfect sweet treat and a wonderful place to experience good ice cream in San Diego. It’s conveniently located in the Target shopping center.
- Address: 14797 Pomerado Rd. Bldg. 2-A, Poway, CA 92064
- Phone: (858) 748-9340
- Hours: Mon – Sun noon – 9 p.m.
Brain Freeze, Inc.
Locals come to Brain Freeze to enjoy the froyo, the ice cream, and the delicious pies. With several ice cream flavors and even more topping choices, there are countless ways to relish a tasty treat.
- Address: 5256 S. Mission Rd. Ste 831, Bonsall, CA 92003
- Phone: (760) 305-8335
- Hours: Mon – Sun noon-7:30 p.m.
Central San Diego Ice Cream
Head downtown for incredible ice cream flavors and combinations. You’ll find amazing desserts in La Jolla and surrounding areas, but none of them are quite like these delicious ice cream places in San Diego.
Iceskimo is a central San Diego favorite. The beautiful creations inspired by Taiwanese shaved ice make this a truly unique dessert experience. With healthy Asian options and delicious bubble tea, it’s among the best ice cream shops in San Diego.
- Address: 4609 Convoy St. Ste. B, San Diego, CA 92111
- Phone: (858) 216-1111
- Hours: Mon – Sun noon-9:30 p.m.
Have you ever eaten ice cream out of a fish-shaped cone? You can do that and more at Somi Somi. Serving some of the best ice cream in San Diego, you can enjoy a Korean style treat that is truly one-of-a-kind.
- Address: 9168 Mira Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92126
- Phone: (213) 568-3284
- Hours: Mon – Sun noon-10:30 p.m.
Cali Cream Homemade Ice Cream
Cali Cream means that summer lasts all year long at this great local ice cream place with locations in San Diego and Encinitas. Enjoy scoops of ice cream in a cup or a cone with colorful, unique, and flavorful options.
- Address: 425 Market St., San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: (619) 450-4078
- Hours: Sun – Thurs 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Fri – Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Mariposa Ice Cream
Enjoy ice cream, sherbet, and sorbet made fresh daily at Mariposa Ice Cream. With seasonal flavors like pumpkin and maple walnut, and traditional flavors, they keep ice cream about the simple, creamy, cold treat we all know and love.
- Address: 3450 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116
- Phone: (619) 284-5197
- Hours: Wed – Sat 1 p.m.-9 p.m.
Sun 2 p.m.-9 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
East County Ice Cream in San Diego
After you’ve enjoyed the great outdoors in East County, kick up your feet and snack on a frozen treat. You can enjoy ice cream and so much more at each of these local shops.
Lisa Lopez Ice Cream
Ice cream and macarons collide at this incredible ice cream shop in San Diego. You’ll find interesting and delicious flavors like lemon passion fruit, peach vanilla, and tiramisu. It’s take-out only, so call to place your order.
- Address: San Miguel, Lemon Grove, CA 91945
- Phone: (619) 528-1515
California Ice Cream
Located in Lakeside, you’ll find the best selection of Blue Bunny ice cream at California ice cream. Mix and match your favorites and top it with sweet candies.
- Address: 9666 Winter Gardens Blvd., Lakeside, CA 92040
- Phone: (619) 390-1125
- Hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat – Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
South Bay Ice Cream in San Diego
You don’t need to go south of the border to enjoy unique flavors. Whether you want Mexican inspired ice cream, or simple homemade ice cream, there is something for you in the South Bay area.
Niederfrank’s Ice Cream
Using old-fashioned processes, they create ice cream the simple way. Fill gigantic fresh-made waffle cones with your favorite flavor or mix and match. Conveniently located in National City, they have everything needed to satisfy a sweet tooth.
- Address: Original Factory, 726 A Ave., National City, CA 91950
- Phone: (619) 477-0828
- Hours: Tues – Sat 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sun noon-5 p.m.
Tocumbo Ice Cream
Located in Chula Vista, the locals have been enjoying Tocumbo Ice Cream since 2004. They are known for their traditional and Mexican-inspired flavors including corn flavored ice cream. If you’re looking for ice cream in San Diego, come to Chula Vista to try something new.
- Address: 1172 3rd Ave., Chula Vista, CA 91911
- Phone: (619) 476-4444
- Hours: Mon – Sun 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Cow-A-Bunga Ice Cream
Grab an espresso and some ice cream at this local shop. You can enjoy everything from a simple scoop to a decadent sundae or banana split. It’s one of the best ice cream places in San Diego.
- Address: 10 Evergreen Ave. Ste E, Imperial Beach, CA 91932
- Phone: (858) 247-2459
- Hours: Mon – Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
From Korean-inspired ice cream with healthier options to traditional homemade icy treats, San Diego is filled with local ice cream shops to suit anyone’s tastes. The blend of flavors and local favorites, mean you can go anywhere in the city to find the best ice cream around.