With spring about to kick into full swing and summer not long off, The Resident picks out the 10 best spots to get your ice-cream fix in Islington. From Moto Yogo’s organic frozen yoghurt to Amorino’s Sicilian gelato and Paul A Young’s indulgent chocolate ice cream, there is somewhere to cater to everyone’s taste
Words: Rachel Mantock
Owned by an ice-cream obsessed couple with everything handmade in their cheery pastel painted store, this is the most popular spot for ice-cream in Angel. They offer copious wacky flavours, like avocado and stracciatella or chocolate and marmite, along with a range of ice-cream cakes. But what completely sells this colourful parlour is their excessive use of cloud laughter and unicorn tears in their products, as told by the owners themselves.
187 Upper St N1 1RQ; udderlicious.co.uk
2 Ruby Violet
With a new branch just opened in King’s Cross and their original store straddling the border of Islington and Camden in Tufnell Park, this glitzy, bright pink and blue parlour is growing in momentum. Here you can get your hands on artisan, organic ice cream and sorbets that are all made by hand in store. Think spicy lime, salted caramel and purple pomegranate with the smell of whipped sugar and fruits floating about. The Ruby Violet mantra is ‘forget Botox, smiling is a free facial workout,’ and ice-cream is one of the best smile inducers.
118 Fortess Rd NW5 2HL; rubyviolet.co.uk
Gelato al naturale! The menu boasts berry and orange flavours such as amarena and organic Sicilian citrus in the form of dolci, macaroons and sorbet drinks. As wholesome as the parlour itself is the story behind it; founded in 2002 by two childhood friends, Christiano and Paolo, both committed to providing traditional Italian gelato. From humble beginnings in the heart of Paris on Ile St. Louis to a worldwide franchise that eventually touched Islington, Amorino has crowds gathering outside in multiple cities. They promise absolutely no artificial colourings or flavours, just ice cream that’s churned everyday in a typical Italian fashion.
110 Upper St N1 1QN; amorino.com
4 Paul A Young, Camden
Paul A Young has been known to whip up an amazing chocolate ice cream on par with his bespoke chocolates during the summer. The boutique chocolate shop in Camden Passage conjures up thoughts of a time when chocolate was a luxury, afforded only to those with deep pockets. Of course, that’s not the case these days, but it’s nice to pretend you’re landed gentry, about to promenade in the latest designs, while in store. If you’re lucky, you might even find caramel and vanilla ice-cream among the chocolaty delights and truffle treats.
33 Camden Passage N1 8EA; paulayoung.co.uk
5 Sorbitum Ices
A regular at Kerb’s Street Food Festival in King’s Cross, this vintage ice-cream parlour on wheels offers classic favourites with a twist, while also creating sherbets and granitas. They use the best of what’s in season, meaning right now they are creating spring specialities guaranteed to set the mood for sun soaking. It doesn’t get more spring focussed than orange blossom milk, apricot and pine nut praline! Brown butter, toffee and apple notes float in the air around Sorbitum while a tamarind and tequila granita sets the mood for pre-summer.
King’s Boulevard N1C 4AA; @sorbitiumices
6 Piacha Tea Shop
This artisan tea shop serves every exotic flavour imaginable, most importantly; their matcha ice cream is heavenly. Cold frozen green spheres of healthy greatness are served as part of their afternoon tea, along with truffles, cakes, sandwiches and four tropical Piacha teas of your choice. Founded by tea lover and ex-lawyer Pia, a passion for rich flavours is what drove Piacha into being. There is a blend for everyone in this teashop that pushes boundaries with flavour, creating interesting and varied tastes that pair perfectly with their matcha ice cream.
280 Upper St N1 2TZ; piacha.co.uk
7 Moto Yogo
Another Kerb Festival favourite, these fro-yo enthusiasts promise the ‘yummiest organic frozen yoghurt in the spooniverse’. Committed to the correct treatment of animals and sustainability, Moto Yogo are very particular about where they source their dairy from, as well as using 100 per cent electric machines and a milk float to bring their yoghurt to you. Their retro vans covered in shiny turquoises and reds will brighten up anyone’s day, with their staff often dressed as classically as the vans, taking you back to a simpler time.
King’s Boulevard N1C 4AA; motoyogo.com
This gem is hidden away inside Exmouth Market, serving native mini treats from a far away land. As a Japanese café bar, Necco’s menu includes traditional daifuku and mitarashi dango. Their ice cream mochi – green tea ice-cream wrapped in a mochi rice cake sheet – is one of their most delightful summer desserts and is also available gluten free. Their name is Japanese for ‘cat’, the lords of laid back, easy and indulgent, which is the exact experience they want you to have.
52-54 Exmouth Market EC1R 4QE; necco.co.uk
9 Chin Chin Labs, Camden (& Soho)
Situated in the neighbouring borough of Camden, we just couldn’t leave out these creative geniuses! As experimental as it gets when it comes to ice cream, Chin Chin Labs was Europe’s first liquid nitrogen ice-cream parlour, boasting technology that basically turns anything into a frozen ball of glory – the ice creams of the future, if you will. The luminous spheres of rich flavour have a sheen better than a new pair of patent shoes, and the menu is ever-changing as the owners often wake up in the middle of the night with new ice cream-flavour inspiration. They even offer vegan ice-cream, such as their rose, lemon and Persian love cake option.