SOCAL top 3: Ice cream
Ice cream, you scream - what a pleasant dessert! It’s like sushi - it looks simple, yet deep and complicated. I love ice cream and am super finicky on ice cream - quality of milk, texture, sweetness, flavor combination, taste and overall quality. I’m minimalist when it comes to ice cream - no topping. I care more about the flavors of ingredients and texture. I’m also adventurous - I don’t go vanilla, chocolate nor typical flavors like cookie & cream. I prefer creative and unique flavors. I always look for the best tasty ice cream.
SoCal top 3: Ice cream
1. rori’s Artisanal Creamery
Website: Rori’s Artisanal Creamery
They bring quality and amazing flavor combinations. Not too sweet, great hard consistency (I hate runny melting ice cream!), fun and exciting flavors that explode in your mouth. You do feel the quality with the first bite! Santa Barbara makes some of the best ice creams like Rori’s and McConnell’s. This ice cream definitely deserves to be called SoCal’s top 3 ice cream. I love this place as much as “Bi-Rite” in San Francisco – that good!
My favorite: honey lavender, lemon card, black pepper pistachio, passion fruit and more!
2. Bi-Rite Creamery
Website: Bi-Rite Creamery
Top 2 of SoCal top 3 ice cream. Quality, quality, quality. They got it all. Ice cream competitions in San Francisco are fierce – you could see lots of high-end quality ice cream shops everywhere. But Bi-rite is the number 1 in SF, Top 2 in California, in my book. I get their ice cream every time I go to San Francisco. And I am a person who goes to different places all the time. I even have their book! Unique flavors and solid quality – whatever you try, you won’t be disappointed. You got to try their ice cream. It’s soooooo good. SoCal Top 1 to Top 2 (in my book).
My favorite: Earl gray, honey lavender, brown sugar, roasted banana
Another great ice cream shop from Santa Barbara, CA. You can get their ice cream (pint) at big supermarket chains now. However, you can’t see are the amazing flavors at their shop (unfortunately). If you eat their ice cream at the shop, it’s a totally different creature. Their flavor combinations are unique and creative. Playful and tasty ice cream that makes me excited to come back to the shop!
My favorite: Vanilla grapefruit, blood orange, banana salted caramel, honey & cornbread cookies, eureka lemon & marionberries, Turkish coffee
Conclusion: There are lots of ice cream shops in California. However, there are only a handful of good spots. Maybe “Carmela” is the close call, but these SoCal top 3 are far better than anyone else.
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