Sweet Sensations: The Haute 5 Ice Cream Shops in Orange County


With the heat index soaring and the coastal breezes offering little relief, its time to bust out the secret summer weapon: ice cream. Nothing satisfies the sweet tooth and helps rid a sweaty brow like a silky, cool scoop of ice cream atop an old-fashioned waffle cone. The following five parlors feature everything from low fat sorbet to hand-whipped gelato, and supply the necessary accoutrements to make this childhood treat a grown-up dessert. 

Hans Homemade Ice Cream

Affectionately known as the “King of Ice Cream,” Hans has used the same recipe for almost 30 years and nothing (including the dated parlor interior) has been modernized. The ice cream is sinfully creamy, surprisingly fresh (very little ice crystals), and served in daily made waffle cones. Typical flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are staple menu items with more inventive dishes (German chocolate cake, raspberry chocolate chip, and cherry Bordeaux) rotating weekly.

Hans Homemade Ice Cream is located at 3460 Bristol St., Santa Ana, Calif., 714. 979.8815

Frostbite Crepes & Frozen Delights

Why ruin a deliciously light and crisp sorbet with the weighted flavors of cream? Though the combination sounds odd, the end result is a tart top note with a surprisingly smooth finish. The sorbet choices are seemingly endless (passion fruit, mango, mint, etc.,) and available toppings include real cream cheese, crushed apple pie pieces, and sliced kiwi. The most popular combination? The orange Italian ice mixed with vanilla cream. Guests swear it tastes like a Dreamsicle.

Frostbite Crepes & Frozen Delights is located at 9111 Valley View St., Cypress, Calif., 714.484.1577

Frati Gelato Café

Frati followers insist it’s the curious flavor combinations that keep them loyal and devoted. For those with a savory palette, try the Modena, a tart mixture of balsamic vinegar with sweet cream. Have a sweet tooth? The Dolce Salato is a delectable paring of coarse sea salt, chocolate chips and sweet cream. The contemporary café also time-freezes every take-away order guaranteeing it won’t be a watery mess when opened at home.

Frati Geleato Café is located at 122 West Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, Calif., 714.871.1413


The Scoop on Cookies

Mix handmade, piping hot cookies with mouthwatering ice cream and what you have is the recipe for success at this quaint Huntington Beach parlor. For a mere $2.50, ice cream fanatics can choose any two cookies to sandwich around their preferred ice cream. Menu items include classic selections such as the Red, White and Blue, which is a mix of strawberry, white chocolate and blueberry ice cream encased by chocolate chip cookies. For those a little more daring try the Rocky, a sugar overload of two S’more cookies with Rocky Road ice cream.

The Scoop on Cookie is located at 126 Main St., Huntington Beach, Calif.,


One bite of Strickland’s ice cream and you’ll swear its frozen custard. However, the owners insist the secret recipe contains no egg yolk erasing any frozen custard labels. It’s just good old fashioned ice cream scooped into a homemade waffle cone with no bells or whistles – just remarkable taste. A superior and friendly staff is on hand to recommend top sellers (pistachio and peanut butter) and create any taste sensation your heart desires. At this ice cream parlor, the best things in life are simple.

Strickland’s is located at 4523 Campus Dr., Irvine, Calif., 949.387.9955