Where to Buy Ice Cream in OC this Summer

Sprinkles, Frozen Cow Creamery and other ice cream places to explore and get headaches at this summer

In my humble opinion, there's still no better deal than Rite Aid for scoops of its Thrifty's brand ice cream. It's $1.79 as of this writing, and after all these years, it's still served with those cylindrical scoops that go ka-chunk. This summer, if I'm not having a single scoop of Chocolate Malted Crunch outside of the Rite Aid in Tustin, then I'm at Strickland's near UC Irvine to see whatever flavor the gleaming steel machines mixed fresh that day. But there's more ice cream where that came from. Herewith are six more places for when you'll allow yourself to be calorically irresponsible and happy this summer.

If there were a cuter, more kawaii dessert boutique than B. Candy, it would have to exist in some sugar-addled teen's Hello Kitty fantasy. On the shelves are gigantic Peeps plush toys, Pucker Powder sold by the spout and pinkness everywhere. The bar stools are fashioned to resemble cupcakes and ice cream cones. And when you finally pull yourself away from browsing the merchandise, you discover the ice cream is made by someone who's obviously very skilled at the art. It's texturally perfect and exists in so many intriguing flavors it's difficult to settle on just one. The Froot Loops tastes exactly like the cereal. And if you decide on the one made with Whoppers, you find the malted essence of the movie-theater candy slyly worked into the ice cream itself. One of the best flavors is the Cookie Monster; named after the Sesame Street monster and colored blue in his honor, it not only has cookie dough pieces, but also probably Oreos and everything else the notoriously ravenous cookie junkie might consume in one of his binges. 3100 Pacific Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, (949) 675-3910; Small cup of ice cream, $3.50.

Are you experimental? A control freak? Confetti is the ice cream parlor for you. On offer here are about 10 frozen custards piped out of machines with the taste and texture of Costco's froyo and about 20 different Italian ice flavors scooped out from bins. What you do with these choices would take some fancy math to figure out the virtually limitless flavor combinations. And that's not even counting the dozen sauces you can drizzle on top. If you're too overwhelmed, you can choose from the recommended formulations of "parfait" (that's what the owners call these Italian-ice-and-frozen-custard combos). The simplest one is "50/50 bar": orange Italian ice plus vanilla custard. It tastes better than the original you had in your youth. 1175 Baker St., Ste. E-22, Costa Mesa, (714) 545-1175. Small cup of custard, $4; small cup of Italian ice, $3.50; small parfait, $3.75.

Tastes Kawaii!
Tastes Kawaii!
This technology can break your hand
This technology can break your hand

Location Info


B. Candy

3100 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Corona del Mar, CA 92625

Category: Restaurant > Ice Cream

Region: Corona Del Mar

Confetti Italian Ice & Custard

1175 Baker St., Ste E-22
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Dessert

Region: Costa Mesa


3972 Barranca Parkway, Ste D
Irvine, CA 92606

Category: Coffee Shops

Region: Irvine

Christopher Michael Chocolates

2346 Newport Blvd., Ste. A3
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Dessert

Region: Costa Mesa

Proof Ice Cream

8300 La Palma Ave., Ste. A2
Buena Park, CA 90620

Category: Restaurant > Ice Cream

Region: Buena Park

Sprinkles Ice Cream & Cookies

952 Avocado Ave.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Category: Restaurant > Ice Cream

Region: Newport Beach

Yes, Creamistry is gimmicky and can be shockingly expensive. Yes, since it's as popular as Afters (which we've already reviewed before), it can often take the patience of a saint to endure a slow-moving line, and then, after that, you still have to wait for your ice cream to be made. Also, it's so noisy in there you're liable to get a real headache before you endure the ice cream one. But the rewards outweigh the inconveniences because Creamistry's ice cream is actually very good. It's velvet-smooth, dense as antimatter and completely devoid of ice crystals. Say what you will about the overuse of liquid nitrogen in restaurants that tout molecular gastronomy; liquid nitrogen is made for making ice cream. Plus, it's wicked cool to witness the waterfall of white fog that cascades out of the modified food processors as if a Rush concert's about to start. And since you waited this long and paid this much, you might as well spring for one of the wonderful waffle bowls. Creamistry makes them fresh, from scratch, right there in front of you, with hints of cinnamon in the batter. 3972 Barranca Pkwy., Ste. D, Irvine, (949) 777-6627; Small cup of ice cream, $4.75.

For such an upmarket brand that touts its credentials as chocolatier for the Academy Awards and Grammys, you'd expect a better location for Christopher Michael Chocolates. It's on the one-way part of Newport Boulevard that parallels the 55, in a strip mall with a liquor store and a massage parlor that advertises "colon hydrotherapy" in neon. On top of that, the hours are inconvenient. It's not open on Sundays, and it closes up shop before 7 p.m. most weekdays and by 5 p.m. on Saturdays. But despite all this, you want to seek out the Frozen Cow Creamery because this specialty chocolate maker also churns a chocolate ice cream that has no equal. It tastes as chocolate ice cream should: deeply resonant of cocoa and completely addicting since it's never, ever cloying. The rest of the flavor selection is small, but will occasionally include the rarely seen but wonderfully complex Lavender Honey. 2346 Newport Blvd., Ste. A3, Costa Mesa, (949) 566-9810; Call for pricing.

By the time Poof Ice Cream opened in sleepy Buena Park Downtown, Creamistry in Irvine proved there was a market for using liquid nitrogen and mixers to turn milk, cream and sugar instantly into what you previously thought was just fine pre-frozen. Poof is a smaller outfit. The prices are scribbled in pen. There's a whiteboard on which someone has drawn a cartoon in marker. And when you order some ice cream, the two gents who work here will sometimes forgo the mixers and just swirl the liquid nitrogen into the milk by hand. The flavors largely start from the jarred powders, stirred into the liquid as though they were making glasses of Ovaltine, but range from the interesting (Mexican cocoa) to the downright weird (habanero, chipotle and chocolate, and curry and chocolate). The texture of Poof's ice cream isn't as smooth as Creamistry's, existing somewhere between a Wendy's Frosty and frozen yogurt, but still, how cool is it that it involves tanks of that chemical that froze the T1000 into a popsicle in Terminator 2? 8300 La Palma Ave., Ste. A2, Buena Park, (714) 323-4215. Small cup of ice cream, $4.

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No Hula Girls Shave Ice in Huntington Beach? They have Dole Whip and ice creams that change monthly! What about Han's ice creams in Costa Mesa? They've been a yelp favorite for years and a staple for decades! After's is hot right now! Did you do any research or is this just for advertisers?

tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

I just go to the store and buy a big tub of it for $5.99 - Saves me money and time.


Also, Front Porch Popsfor those looking for awesome, handmade popsicles. You can find them at the store in Orange next to Watson's or at virtually any farmer's market in OC and LA. Try the Root Beer Float or Cookies & Cream, soooooooo good!


Tillamook ice cream in the 1.75 qt. size has recently been showing up in Ralphs and Albertsons. It sells for $5.99. It is higher in fat than most you find in grocery stores. 1/14 of the carton has 30% of the recommended Daily Value of saturated fat. It is sinfully delicious. Dreyer's tops out at 25% DV.