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9 Best Ice Cream Shops in Orange County

Sun-kissed beaches, charming towns, and…incredible ice cream? Yep, Orange County delivers on all fronts! Whether you’re a classic vanilla devotee or a adventurous flavor explorer, this SoCal gem has a scoop (or two) waiting for you. So grab your spoon and dig into our guide to the best ice cream shops in OC!

Whether you're a classic vanilla devotee or an adventurous flavor explorer, Orange County has a scoop (or two) waiting for you. So grab your spoon and dig into our guide to the best ice cream shops in the OC!

9 Best Ice Cream Shops in Orange County

For the Artisanal Experience:

  • Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream (Santa Ana, Anaheim and Huntington Beach): A local legend since 1972, Hans’ is all about small-batch, handcrafted goodness. Indulge in timeless flavors like Butter Pecan and Rocky Road, or try their seasonal specials like Lavender Honey or Spiced Pear Crisp. Bonus: their waffle cones are legendary!
  • Bacio di Latte (Newport Beach & Corona del Mar): This Italian gelateria transports you straight to Europe. Their gelato is made fresh daily with real ingredients, boasting intense flavors and a luxuriously smooth texture. Don’t miss their signature pistachio or the decadent Nutella Stracciatella.
  • ChunkNChip (Santa Ana): Calling all cookie dough lovers! ChunkNChip is a haven for mix-in enthusiasts. Choose from their extensive list of bases and mix-ins, or opt for one of their creative concoctions like “S’mores Explosion” or “Cookies & Cream Dream.” Prepare for flavor overload!
Best Ice Cream in Orange County

For the Instagram-Worthy Treat:

  • Cauldron Ice Cream (Santa Ana): Step into a world of whimsical magic at Cauldron. Their ice cream is made with liquid nitrogen,creating a mesmerizing smoke effect as you choose your flavor. Plus, their “puffle cones” (waffle cone meets taiyaki fish cone) and rose-shaped scoops are picture-perfect.
  • Afters Ice Cream (Newport Beach, Fountain Valley, Orange, Fullerton): Get ready for an ice cream adventure at Afters. Their over-the-top creations go beyond scoops, featuring towering sundaes, edible cookie dough cups, and even ice cream “flights.” Be prepared for lines, but the outrageous visuals and decadent flavors are worth the wait.
  • Saffron & Rose Persian Ice Cream (Irvine): Embark on a cultural taste bud journey with Saffron & Rose. Their unique flavors are inspired by Persian traditions, using ingredients like saffron, rosewater, and pistachios. Try their best-selling saffron gelato or the refreshingly floral rosewater sorbet.
Orange County Best Ice Cream Shops

For the Budget-Conscious Craving:

  • Honeymee (Irvine, Buena Park): This soft-serve haven uses California dairy and locally sourced honey for a guilt-free indulgence. Pile on the toppings, or try their signature affogato with a shot of espresso or matcha. Bonus: they offer student discounts!
  • Dear Bella Creamery (Costa Mesa): This charming shop offers classic flavors with a touch of homemade magic. Their scoops are generous, and their prices won’t break the bank. Grab a cone of their Cookies & Cream or indulge in a seasonal special like Pumpkin Spice Latte.
  • Popbar (Anaheim, Huntington Beach): These unique popsicles are dipped in chocolate and rolled in toppings, making them a fun and portable treat. Choose from classic flavors like chocolate and strawberry, or opt for adventurous options like mango chili or s’mores.

Bonus Tip: Be sure to check these shops’ websites and social media for special deals, seasonal flavors, and new creations!

No matter your taste or budget, Orange County has the perfect scoop waiting for you. So grab your friends, explore the vibrant SoCal scene, and indulge in a delicious frozen adventure!