Do you scream for ice cream? We search for the best in the borough.
“Can I have a taste?” has to be the most asked question in Islington’s ice cream shops. All offer samples but once you’ve picked your flavour – whether it’s refreshing cucumber and ginger sorbet at Ruby Violet or Ferrer Roche ice cream at Bar Papaggone – it’s your companions who may well be unable to resist asking for a little taste. After visiting nine icy dessert specialists on one day here’s some advice: ice cream is better eaten after a sweaty walk to the shop day or night. Many corner shops also sell posh lollies, making most of Islington closer to a fancy ice cream than a Post Office.
Udderlicious – 187 Upper St, N1.
£3.20 for one scoop/cone.
This is a destination stop for London tourists. Some evenings there are queues of ice cream lovers snaking down Upper Street waiting to be served homemade deliciousness at this ice cream parlour. Inside there’s a double swing seat, which will let you prove you’re the oldest swinger in town as you tuck into your ice cream. And what flavours there are – raspberry cheesecake, liquorice and cinnamon bun. udderlicious.co.uk
Tina’s Ices – On Highbury Fields, N5
It’s not officially summer until you’ve spotted Tina’s ice cream van plugged into the electric power socket near Highbury Fields playground. Tina has all the old-fashioned favourites (99 with a flake), doesn’t over-charge and remembers all her customers.
Ruby Violet – 3 Wharf Road, King’s Cross, N1C
£3 a scoop
“Is that horseradish you’re trying?” joked a customer in the beautiful wood and tiled Ruby Violet ice cream parlour off Granary Square. It wasn’t, but the ice cream and sorbets made in Tufnell Park are famous for being sourced from seasonal fruit, often grown on Highgate allotments (think rhubarb, gooseberries and mint). It’s the prettiest of all the ice cream places and even has tables outside with a grassy view over the canal towards St Pancras Hotel. It’s also the only place to offer customers water, including their dogs.
Sweet – 64a Exmouth Market, EC1
£2.50 a scoop
Head to the salted caramel-coloured cart outside the boulangerie as a refreshing treat if you’re exploring Clerkenwell.
Pinkberry – 38 Upper Street, N1
£2.40 a cup
Popular Frae at Camden Passage has closed but there’s a new frozen yoghurt shop near Angel, Pinkberry. This was the most crowded of the ice cream parlours (there were 25 people in the shop) but maybe that’s because they give generous taste tests and frozen yoghurt is a healthier choice. It’s delicious: Get Together is hooked after one blissful mouthful of their best seller, chocolate hazelnut.
La Forchetta – 89 Stroud Green Road, N4
£1.75 a scoop (shuts at 11pm)
Perfect stop on a late night stroll for take-away Italian ice cream.
Amorino – 110 Upper St, N1
£3.70 a scoop
Italian gelato creatively served – ice cream cones topped with ice cream roses and even those tasty macron al gelato (an extra £1.80).
Creams – 14 Wells Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4
£2.45 a scoop
50-seater 1950s retro-look café specialising in ice creams, milkshake, waffles, crepes and coffee.
Bar Pappagone – 131 Stroud Green Road, N4
£1.95 a scoop
Extensive Italian ice cream counter with 20+ flavours – from hazelnut and cherry to straelatella.