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Oct 6, 2003 08:16 PM

Where is the best ice cream in San Diego?

  • d

I want to find a great ice cream shop for my husband. Not the gelato type, but good quality, high butter fat content-type. We used to have an ice cream/chocolate shop in Davis called Colleen's Creamery, and hub is the ultimate ice cream snob. I want to knock his socks off with some great ice cream. Any place to go? Thanks so much!

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  1. Well, one of my favorites is Hawthorne's Sundae Saloon, 665 W. Grand, Escondido (760)737-9400. It's done up like an "Old West" saloon, and is totally kitschy, but the ice cream is really good. The butter-pecan and coffee flavors are fantastic!

    I've heard that Big Olaf's at 707 Reed Ave. in San Diego is pretty good, too, but have yet to try them.

    Niederfrank's at 726 A Ave. in National City still makes damn good ice cream...I've enjoyed their frozen delights since I was a kid!

    Enjoy your quest...


    3 Replies
    1. re: Psychocat

      I second the motion for Niederfrank's.

      1. re: Cristina

        I third Niederfrank's, having grown up in Chula Vista. It's been there forever, and still consistently makes excellent ice cream. However, I'm pretty fond of Moo Time Creamery, too. Either one, you can't go wrong!

        1. re: phee

          Thanks everyone, I will be stopping by Moo in Hillcrest this weekend after my market. Bring some home for hubby to turn his nose up at (smile). Well, maybe not. Thanks again.

    2. Moo Time Creamery. There's one in Coronado and another one in Hillcrest, among other locations. Henry's carries a small selection of their ice cream in pints, so you could get a pint to try if you aren't close to one of their shops. Their ice cream has a very high butterfat content. Scoops, cones, mix-ins or sundaes (their hot fudge sundae is better than decent), will satisfy anyone who considers ice cream as a separate food group.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Gayla
        Brian Saunders

        La Jolla: in La Jolla Village Square (south of Nobel, just west of I-5). I live near here; this place is always crowded, even at the same times when the Cold Stone Creamery across Nobel is empty.

        in the Hotel Del (they also have a store on Orange Ave. in Coronado)

        Plaza Bonita (National City -- a mall southeast of the 54-805 interchange)

        I've included a link to their web site.


        1. re: Brian Saunders

          Several months ago I was in the Cold Stone Creamery in LJ Village Square with a bunch of other food professionals. We were supposed to be touring "up and coming" concepts that were supposedly well run and doing interesting things. NOT.

          The ice cream was awful with or without add-ins. The service was even worse. The staff poorly trained and surly. I remember seeing the MooTime store and wishing the organizers had taken us there instead

          1. re: Gayla

            Gayla - Have you tried Maggie Moo in Mission Valley in tha same mall as Hold wife says she likes it better than MooTime - personally I think they taste about the same.

            1. re: KirkK

              Hi Kirk

              I know exactly where Maggie Moo's is. And oddly enough, I was driving through that parking lot last week having a discussion about Moo Time with a chef friend when we drove by it!! We wondered if it was any good. I'm in MV quite a bit, I'll give it a whirls in the near future and see. Thanks for the tip :-)

      2. s
        Stanley Stephan

        I haven't tried them yet, but when I was asking about food writers on the LA Board, someone mentioned the following:

        "McConnell's Ice Cream-Vista Corp Center (Best Ice Cream on West Coast)"

        True or not?

        It might not fulfill the SD request as Vista is about 35 miles north of SD.

        However, if you do get in the area, in Escondido, Tropicana Delite which is on 614 North Escondido Blvd, Escondido, makes their own ice cream in tropical flavors.Psychocat said in a separate post
        that the "mango and rompope flavors are outstanding"

        They also have an amazing selection of paletes (popsicles). They are next to El Tigre market which is worth a visit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Stanley Stephan

          I went to McConnell's home location in Santa Barbara based on a recommendation on this board and found it highly overrated. Their ice cream is good, but it's not much different than what you'll find at Ben & Jerry's or Double Rainbow. By no means is it the best on the west coast (Dr. Bob's in Upland, which I tried long after the McConnell's experience, may deserve that distinction). McConnell's is good if you're in the area but not worth a special trip.

          In the SD area, I'm in agreement with the recommendations for Niederfranks, although it's been 23 years since I've been there.

        2. My neighborhood creamery is Mariposa, located at 3450 Adams Avenue.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jasper

            Yay, Mariposa! They have a pumpkin ice cream now through thanksgiving that tastes pretty close to a slice of pie. Yum!

          2. The original comment has been removed