Cool off this summer with a delicious frozen treat. These local favorites in San Diego offer homemade ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, Hawaiian shave ice, Italian Ice, snowballs—even Hula Pie! Add a trip to these local shops to your summer bucket list.
148 El Norte Pkwy., Escondido
Stop by Baltimore Snowball to try a crunchier version of shaved ice. Visit one of its two San Diego locations and be sure to sample the owners' recommendations: Poor Man's Sundae and Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie.
Boba Bar and Desserts
4619 Convoy St. F., Kearny Mesa
Your one-stop shop for sweet treats! Boba Bar offers ice cream, shaved snow, boba drinks and more. Make sure to try the ice cream puffle, an egg-shaped waffle filled with your choice of soft serve ice cream.
Bobboi Natural Gelato
8008 Girard Ave., La Jolla
Bobbi Natural Gelato was voted #8 in Yelp's 100 Best-Reviewed Places to eat in America for a reason! Hundreds of online reviews don’t lie; Bobboi is top notch for gelato made daily with fresh, organic and local ingredients.
Bestie's Cool Treats
2751 Roosevelt Rd., Liberty Station
Make your own frozen creation at this instagrammable ice cream and frozen yogurt shop that looks like a 50's diner. Kids love the make-your-own hot cocoa bar, self-serve frozen yogurt and hand-scooped ice cream.
Creamistry specializes in made-to-order liquid nitrogen ice cream that's denser and creamier than the traditional variety. Watch the "creamologists" in action as they hand mix each batch to your specifications. Choose from tons of toppings and mixins like fresh fruit, nutella drizzle, Captain Crunch and more.
Duke's La Jolla
1216 Prospect St., La Jolla
Hidden within Duke's delicious menu is a prize in San Diego's dessert world: the Hula Pie, featuring macadamia nut ice cream, cookie crust and hot fudge. Stop by for a slice of this incredible Hawaiian dessert while enjoying views of the ocean and La Jolla Cove. Hula Pie was voted a Top Pick for Best Frozen Treat in San Diego Family's Best of Family Fun 2016 contest!
789 West Harbor Dr., Downtown San Diego
918 Orange Ave., Coronado
Visit one of two locations at the Headquarters in Seaport Village and on Coronado Island. Take a break and indulge in authentic house-made Italian gelato and sorbetto.
Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream
3077 University Ave., North Park
Go to Hammond's for a flight of six mini ice cream cones - perfect for people who can't decide on just one or two flavors (and mini cones are a great size for kids)! Popular flavors include Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nut, Kona Coffee and Pineapple Orange Guava Sorbet.
8945 Mira Mesa Blvd., Mira Mesa
If you've never heard of rolled ice cream, ICMonster is a must. The cheerful dessert shop offers Thai rolled ice cream (think mini ice cream burritos) topped with imaginative treats like Teddy Grahms, corn flakes, mochi and more. Bonus, kids love dreaming up their own creations!
4609 Convoy Ste B., Kearny Mesa
Iceskimo specializes in Taiwanese shaved snow, a tasty hybrid between traditional American ice cream and Hawaiian shaved ice. Each snow is shaved fresh to order.
Lappert’s Ice Cream
12265 Scripps Poway Pkwy., Poway
Lappert's super premium ice cream combines tropical flavors from all over the world like Costa Rican Plantain Cajeta and Philippine Macapuno Peach Sorbet.
Mariposa Ice Cream
3450 Adams Ave., San Diego
With nearly 20 years under their belt, Mariposa knows how to make small-batch ice cream. The mom and pop ice cream shop in Normal Heights prides itself on inexpensive, old-fashioned ice cream served by the people who make it. Plus, if you're a Beatles fan you'll love the eccletic mix of paraphernalia and posters covering the walls from floor to ceiling!
1470 Garnet Ave. Pacific Beach
Mr. Frostie’s is San Diego's gem for incredible soft-serve bliss. Its variety of treat options and reasonable prices make the long summer lines worth the wait.
811 25th St, San Diego
Small batch handcrafted ice cream with unique flavors like Grandpa Badger's Citrus and Coconut Spiced Chai. Can't decide on one flavor? Indulge in a flight of four generous scoops to share with family or friends.
1602 State St., Little Italy
3650 5th Ave., Hillcrest
12925 El Camino Real, Del Mar Highlands
4202 Adams Avenue, San Diego, Kensington
Pappalecco is an Italian eatery that offers more than just delicious dining and great service. Rich with flavor, creamy and dense, Pappalecco's gelato definitely ranks as some of the best in San Diego.
Rita's Italian Ice
10585 Scripps Poway Pkwy., Scripps Ranch
Rockie’s Frozen Yogurt
7612 Linda Vista Rd., Linda Vista
(corner of Mesa College Dr. and Linda Vista Rd.)
Tucked in the corner of a strip mall across the street from Kearny High School is a local treasure: Rockie’s Frozen Yogurt. With its reasonable prices and friendly atmosphere, it’s no wonder that Rockie’s has been a neighborhood favorite for many years.
Salt & Straw
1670 India St., Little Italy
This beloved Portland-based ice cream shop boasts inventive flavors such as Honey Lavender and Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie. San Diego-inspired flavors include James Coffee and Bourbon, Avocado and Oaxacan Chocolate Fudge and more. An extensive vegan menu offers dairy-free customers a range of delicious flavors to choose from. Check back for new and rotating flavors. Plan to wait in line (it's worth the wait!).
4620 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa
This one-of-a-kind soft serve spot offers delectible ice cream creations in a fish shaped waffle cone. The special dessert is popular in both Japan and Korea where it is known as "Taiyaki" and "Ah-Boong" respectively. Choose a unique flavor like ube, black sesame or matcha. Then pick from a variety of toppings like Fruity Pebbles, sprinkles, Oreo crumbs and more.
Wahine Kai Shave Ice
10545 Scripps Poway Pkwy., Scripps Ranch
Locals from Hawaii rave that Wahine Kai is the best and closest thing to authentic Hawaiian shave ice with creations such as The Sandy Jewel and the Kona Luau. You can order one of their suggested combos or create your own.
The Baked Bear
Pacific Beach, Petco Park, La Costa, Carmel Valley, Carmel Mountain
Three words: ice cream sandwiches. OK, five: custom-made ice cream sandwiches. Choose from freshly baked brownies, warm cookies or two delicious waffles for your sandwich (or mix and match). Ask for it "hot pressed" if you like extra gooey goodness. Baked Bear was voted a Top Pick for Best Frozen Treat in San Diego Family's Best of Family Fun 2016 contest!
935 Broadway, El Cajon
The Yogurt Mill has been a local favorite for more than 35 years. Popular flavors include Coconut, Oreo & Cream and Red Velvet. Stop by between 10 a.m.–2 p.m. to avoid the crowd, or make new friends while waiting in the line that forms after 3 p.m.
Updated: July 2019