San Diego: A Guide to the Best Ice Cream in Little Italy and Beyond

Ali Sullivan
ITH Photos (2)

Discover a world of frozen delights in San Diego’s vibrant culinary scene. Indulge in our guide to the best ice cream in San Diego! 

Indulging in a scoop of ice cream is not just a culinary delight; it’s an experience that transports us back to simpler times and connects us to the heart of a community. In San Diego, the quest for the perfect scoop takes us through charming neighborhoods and hidden corners, each revealing a unique story through its frozen confections. Get ready to uncover 10 places to visit to get the best ice cream in San Diego!


Among these delightful enclaves, none holds a more enchanting allure than Little Italy—a neighborhood steeped in culture, history, and, of course, the irresistible allure of ice cream.


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From the innovative twists to the classic creations, every scoop is a testament to the creativity, dedication, and passion that San Diego’s ice cream artisans pour into their craft. Take a stroll through the sunlit streets of Little Italy and beyond, savoring the sweetness and discovering the stories behind 10 of the city’s most delightful frozen treasures.

Check out these 10 places to stop for the best ice cream in San Diego!

Salt & Straw

Known for its unique and inventive flavors, Salt & Straw offers a rotating selection of handmade ice creams using local and organic ingredients. Nestled in the heart of Little Italy, Salt & Straw transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, offering a delightful fusion of classic and unexpected flavors. From their signature Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons to innovative creations like Honey Lavender and Roasted Strawberry Coconut, every visit to Salt & Straw promises a delectable adventure in flavor exploration. 

Bobboi Natural Gelato

Bobbi Natural Gelato offers an authentic taste of Italy with its exquisite selection of handcrafted gelato. Located in Little Italy, this parlor uses only the finest and freshest ingredients. This charming gelato shop transports patrons to the cobblestone streets of Italy with every delightful scoop. With a commitment to seasonal flavors and a dedication to the art of gelato-making, Bobboi Natural Gelato creates a symphony of tastes that captivate the senses. From classic flavors like Stracciatella and Pistachio to unique creations such as Rosewater Raspberry and Blood Orange Sorbet, each spoonful is a journey through both tradition and innovation. 


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Mootime Creamery

Situated in the heart of Coronado Island, Mootime Creamery stands as a destination for indulging in the joy of handcrafted ice cream. Whether relishing in timeless classics like Cookies & Cream or embracing the adventurous spirit of flavors like Lavender Honey, Mootime Creamery’s commitment to quality ingredients and creative concoctions is evident in every scoop. Plus, the bustling atmosphere of the Gaslamp Quarter becomes a backdrop to moments of pure delight. 

The Baked Bear

The Baked Bear is a haven for ice cream enthusiasts seeking a unique and customizable treat within Pacific Beach, San Diego. This sweet haven is renowned for its mouthwatering ice cream sandwiches, where guests can choose from a delightful variety of fresh-baked cookies and brownies to create the perfect vessel for their favorite ice cream flavors. The result is a blissful blend of warm, chewy goodness and creamy ice cream that encapsulates the essence of an ice cream sandwich reimagined, making every visit a memorable adventure. 

Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream

Nestled in Ocean Beach, San Diego, Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream offers a delectable escape for ice cream aficionados seeking premium quality and inventive flavors. With a commitment to excellence, this gourmet ice cream parlor crafts each scoop using carefully selected ingredients to ensure an extraordinary taste experience. From the first indulgent bite, visitors are immersed in a world of flavor innovation, from classics like Belgian Chocolate to unique creations such as Sweet Corn and Candied Bacon.


Ice cream san diego

Mariposa Ice Cream

Mariposa Ice Cream offers a captivating journey through a world of artisanal frozen delights. From time-honored classics like Chocolate and Vanilla Bean to imaginative creations such as Lavender Honey and Mexican Hot Chocolate, Mariposa Ice Cream is a celebration of flavor innovation. The inviting ambiance of the parlor provides a backdrop for moments of pure pleasure as patrons savor scoops that seamlessly blend tradition with the thrill of culinary exploration. A visit to Mariposa Ice Cream is an invitation to embrace the magic of frozen confections that embody the spirit of San Diego. 

Mr. Trustee

Mr. Trustee is a charming ice cream destination that celebrates the art of simplicity and nostalgia. With a focus on classic flavors and a welcoming atmosphere, this delightful parlor offers a timeless experience for ice cream enthusiasts. From velvety scoops of Vanilla and Chocolate to the playful allure of childhood favorites like Mint Chip and Butter Pecan, Mr. Trustee encapsulates the joy of savoring familiar tastes. Get ready to be transported to a bygone era where every spoonful evokes memories and moments of sheer delight.

Gelato Paradiso

Smack in the middle of Little Italy, as well as Coronado Island, sits the attractive sweet spot known as Gelato Paradise. With a commitment to tradition and quality, this gelato shop crafts each flavor using time-honored techniques and the finest ingredients, resulting in a rich and velvety texture that captures the essence of Italy. From classic favorites like Stracciatella and Pistachio to indulgent creations such as Tiramisu and Blood Orange Sorbetto, Gelato Paradiso invites patrons to embark on a sensory journey through a palette of flavors. The cozy ambiance of the shop becomes a backdrop to moments of pure pleasure. 

An’s Dry Cleaning

Tucked away in the vibrant neighborhood of Little Italy in San Diego, An’s Dry Cleaning offers a whimsical and innovative take on ice cream. With a playful nod to its name, this unique ice cream parlor surprises and delights patrons with a creative array of flavors inspired by global cuisines. From adventurous concoctions like Vietnamese Coffee and Moroccan Mint to familiar favorites like Chocolate and Vanilla, An’s Dry Cleaning invites visitors to embark on a flavor-packed adventure. The chic and modern ambiance of the shop adds to the experience, making each visit a journey of both taste and aesthetics.



Pop Pie Co

Pop Pie Co brings a delightful twist to the world of frozen treats with its innovative ice cream popsicles. Rooted in a passion for creativity and culinary excellence, this charming shop crafts artisanal popsicles that are a fusion of flavors, textures, and visual delight. From refreshing fruit-infused pops to indulgent combinations featuring decadent ingredients, Pop Pie Co reimagines traditional ice cream with a playful and modern twist. With each lick, prepare to be transported to a realm where imagination meets taste, making every visit a delightful exploration.


As the sun sets over the streets of Little Italy, the journey through San Diego’s finest ice cream parlors comes to a sweet conclusion. It’s evident that these little scoops of delight hold more than just sweetness; they’re a reflection of the city’s vibrant culture and culinary diversity. 


Whether you’re wandering the charming streets of Little Italy or exploring the broader downtown area, these ice cream destinations serve up not only delectable treats but also a taste of the local community.

So, as you ponder the moments of joy and connection that a simple scoop can bring, consider extending your San Diego experience by staying at ITH Adventure Hostel, where the vibrant spirit of the city is seamlessly woven into your stay. Relish in the sweet indulgence as you

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