9 Locally-Owned Shops Serving Up Crazy Good Ice Cream In San Diego

The temps are rising and ice cream season is upon us (when isn’t it ice cream season in SD?)!

Sure, frozen yogurt might be having its moment in the spotlight, but ice cream will always reign supreme in our book.

From ice cream flights to warm waffle cone sandwiches, we’ve rounded up the best locally-owned ice cream shops in San Diego.

So next time you get your cream and sugar kick, stop by one of these places for a scoop, or two (or three).

1. Mariposa

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This Normal Heights staple has been serving up small batch ice cream for 17 years. With staples like Rocky Road to coconut almond fudge, Mariposa has a wide variety of homemade ice cream, sherbet, and sorbet to satisfy any craving. If you can’t make it to their Normal Heights flagship, be sure to stop by their booth on the Oceanside pier or their new location in Temecula.

2. Hammond’s

With over 300 rotating flavors of sweet and savory flavors, Hammond’s started serving their gourmet ice cream in North Park and have since expanded into Pacific Beach and Point Loma.  Stressed about trying every flavor? Order their signature ice cream flight with three, six, or more mini ice cream cones. From honey lavender to Bailey’s cream to white chocolate ginger, there’s no shortage of choices.

3. Neiderfranks

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Founded in 1948, Neiderfrank’s still uses their original 10-gallon batch freezer to turn out their classic butterRum pecan and more unique flavors like Kahlua krunch. While their main location is located in National City, you can find their ice cream all around San Diego including The Daily Scoop and Big Kahuna’s.

4. Oasis Ice Cream Parlor

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For nearly 40 years, this family owned shop has been scooping cones of traditional Mexican-style ice cream in wild flavors that include chili cucumber, rice pudding, and the customer favorite pistachio. With their secret recipe, owners Juan and Juanito Andrade use old-fashioned methods to create their creamy specialties. While a scoop will only set you back $1.90, make sure to bring cash.

5. Moosie’s Ice Cream

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Named after their Grandmother, Moosie’s is the place to go for good, old-fashioned ice cream. With 16 rotating flavors, you can mix two into one scoop or you can treat yourself to two scoops in one of their handmade daily waffle cones. Their tempting flavors of chocolate dipped strawberry, peppermint candy, burgundy cherry, and more are made by the Fosselman family who has been serving Southern California for 91 years.

6. MooTime Creamery

Designed to resemble a 1950’s ice cream parlor, this Coronado shop handcrafts its ice cream daily and offers a variety of mix-ins before being scooped into a freshly baked waffle cone, chocolate dipped cone or the trusty cup. If you’re feeling especially indulgent, order the dessert nachos made from a waffle cone chips and three shops of ice cream or the ice cream tacos. Yes, you read that right.

7. Lighthouse Ice Cream

Famous for their hot waffle ice cream sandwich, this cash-only Ocean Beach may be small but it packs a punch. You can choose between a plain, chocolate, or fruit waffle and pair it with one of the classics such as praline or go the extra mile and order cotton candy. If you aren’t in the mood for a sandwich, you can order your ice cream in a cup, cone, or a waffle cone bowl.

8. Cow-A-Bunga Micro Ice Creamery

This Imperial Beach spot has been owned by French Chef Fabrice Gaunin for 17 years. With prime views of the pier, Cow-A-Bunga serves equally impressive ice cream. Along with his wife, Nelly, each flavor is handmade in the shop one bucket at a time, sourcing farmers markets for local ingredients, like raspberries and strawberries for special batches. Crowd favorites include peanut butter brownie, hazelnut, and spiced chai tea.

9. JoJo’s Creamery 

Ice cream and cookies are the specialties at this mother-daughter owned Encinitas spot. Made from organic dairy from Straus Family Creamery, JoJo’s creates out-of-this-world flavors such as bananas foster, cayenne sea salt, and peanut butter honeycomb. For those with allergies, JoJo’s offers several dairy-free flavors and gluten-free cookies and waffle cones.