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Apr 11, 2014 11:49 PM

Real dairy frozen custard in San Diego?

Can anyone help with real frozen custard place in San Diego?

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  1. Nope. No such thing here. You'll have to go to Milwaukee to get the real thing. Airfare varies.

    9 Replies
    1. re: DoctorChow

      As Dr. Chow says you need to go to Milwaukee to get the real thing (are you a Wisconsinite, Dr. Chow?). There have been a few failed independent efforts, both of which ended reverting to Cold Stone-like ice cream joints in their death throes, because for whatever reason frozen custard does not taste (or at least sound) appealing to Californians.

      With that said, there is a chain called Rita's Italian Ice that is expanding into San Diego in a big way, and already has two stores open in east Carlsbad and Bonita:

      I've yet to try them out.

        1. re: DoctorChow

          I should have figured. Milwaukeeans are very particular about their frozen custard, and get into arguments with each other over what is best. They all agree, however, that Milwaukee >>>> anything else.

          I went to graduate school in Madison - it was very amusing to hear the back and forth. Then just to throw gasoline on the fire I'd ask "you mean Culver's isn't the best?" or "what about Michael's"?

          1. re: RB Hound

            I still have family back there, and if I go to visit in the summertime, we invariably go out to get frozen custard. My personal favorite is Kopp's. Yum!

        2. re: RB Hound

          I see that Rita's is opening up in the Bay Park Keil's center tomorrow (Monday). Just in time for the freezing December weather, but...who cares?

          1. re: DoctorChow

            Rita's opened about 6 weeks ago in Del Cerro in the same shopping center as Windmill Farms and KnB.

            Frankly, not impressed...

            1. re: DiningDiva

              Couldn't agree more after visiting today. The texture of the frozen custard (the only thing I was interested in and the only thing I tried) was too heavy and the coffee flavor was weak and bland.

              In fact, "coffee" was the most "interesting" (if you want to call it that) of the four custard flavors they had today. The others were chocolate and two types of vanilla (regular and lite). Boring.

              Kids who live in the area might like it here, but Kopp's it isn't. First and last time for me.

        3. re: DoctorChow

          Or you can go to St. Louis and hit up Ted Drewes. Shorter flight and you can catch a Cards game instead of the Brewers.

          1. re: littlestevie

            Agree, Also St. Louis may have better flight connections.

        4. Head up the 5 fwy to Irvine.

          Makes for a better drive than St. Louis or Milwaukee.

          1. On June 26, 2014 Rita's Frozen Custard will open in Vista, Ca. It is supposed to be as good as Culvers. I am from the Mid-West and yearn for real frozen custard in our area and hope this is finally it. Now if we could get White Castle to come out here.

            13 Replies
            1. re: ChicagoArt


              WIshed they'd open in San Diego.

              1. re: Fake Name

                Rita's is a franchise and will be opening additional stores in the near future. They have over 600 stores nation wide.

                1. re: Fake Name

                  Unless it's a different Rita's, their website shows near-term openings on University Ave and at UTC.

                  1. re: Fake Name

                    Well -- pretty close.

                    Rita's is all around us -- they already have shops open in:

                    -- Carlsbad Premium Outlets (plus another location in Carlsbad)

                    -- Bonita Point Plaza

                    -- Encinitas

                    -- Escondido (El Norte Parkway Plaza)

                    -- Oceanside

                    -- Vista

                  2. re: ChicagoArt

                    Or better yet, Kopp's. (Maybe that's one for the Magical Powers thread...)

                    1. re: DoctorChow

                      I just read about Kopp's in a restaurant magazine and the article said they have the very best frozen custard in the country.

                      1. re: ChicagoArt

                        Well, I haven't had frozen custard in every part of the country, so from personal experience I couldn't say it's the best nationwide. But I'm not surprised.

                        I CAN speak for frozen custard in the Milwaukee area, though, and IMO Kopp's is the best to be had there.

                    2. re: ChicagoArt

                      What is the difference between frozen custard and gelato - both use milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar and have less overrun than ice cream

                      1. re: honkman

                        Gelato has a lighter body and texture, IMO.

                        1. re: honkman

                          It's the amount of ratio of air (or overrun) and liquid.

                          Legally, custard must have a minimum of 1.4% egg yolk by weight (most have more). It usually has a mixture of both heavy cream and milk. The fat percentage is usually 10-18+%.

                          Gelato, on the other hand, is quite a bit lower in fat with a 3-8% fat content. Gelato traditionally is made using only milk and no egg yolks.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I'm surprised (no, maybe not really) to hear that The Law has stepped in to define how much egg yolk there has to be in custard! So...if it has only 1.3% a shop can get busted by the Custard Police?

                            But yes, I think you're right that gelato doesn't have any egg yolk in it. And as RBH said, it has a lighter body/texture relative to custard.

                            1. re: DoctorChow

                              Few things in life surprise anymore.

                              But honestly, as long as it tastes good, they can call it whatever the hell they want.

                            2. re: ipsedixit

                              Gelato (especially from the Northern parts of Italy but also around the world) are traditionally made with egg yolks and cream. So the difference is the higher fat content of frozen custard (I assume due to a higher cream to milk ratio)

                        2. Rita's is opening in Bay Park/Clairemont by Kiel's.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Modz9636

                            The Santee location (opening this week) is in the parking lot shared with Food 4 Less. I've stopped into the Chula Vista location many times and the custards as well as Italian ices are very good.

                            1. re: Modz9636

                              That's great news for those of us in the area! I love frozen custard.

                              Are they taking up the spot that was vacated by the coffee shop?

                                1. re: DoctorChow

                                  I loved that coffee shop. I tried the Rita's in Eastlake/Chula Vista and it was very good. I had a combo of vanilla custard and Lemonade italian ice. I think I'll stick with all custard next time. And yes, there will be a next time. I preferred the taste of the custard to Culver's although, to be fair, I tend to get dip cones from DQ when I am in the midwest over custard.

                                  1. re: Susangria

                                    There is something special and nostalgic about those DQ dip cones.

                                    I see there is a Rita's opening in Mira Mesa (Camino Ruiz Plaza) as well. They seem to be occupying places that are a bit off the beaten path - interesting strategy.

                                    1. re: Susangria

                                      I liked that coffee shop too. Have you tried Caffe Vicino down the hill and turn left on Denver St (2615 Denver St)? They are really good and have Bird Rock Coffee. I go there every week for their "wired Wednesdays" where they give you a free shot of espresso in your drink :)

                                  2. re: Modz9636

                                    I think the one in PQ is open now (not 100% sure, but I drove by and saw the sign).