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Cold, creamy, sweet, and nice: the love for ice cream is universal. No matter the flavor, it is a blissful treat that always satisfies, especially on a sunny day here in Laguna Beach.
Whether it’s enjoyed as the main attraction or perfect addition to another dessert, we’ve created a special roundup of all our favorite dessert spots in honor of National Ice Cream Day. Consider this list and holiday as your official excuse to skip dinner and go straight to dessert.
Nick’s as a restaurant serves all the classics in an elevated fashion, so it only makes sense to start here with their timeless Hot Fudge Sundae. This dessert comes with vanilla ice cream, a thick yet silky smooth hot fudge, airy homemade whipped cream, toffee, and of course: a quintessential cherry on top. One bite into this iconic dessert, and we were immediately transported to childhood unable to hide the epic smile on our satisfied faces. We know you won’t be able to either.
For those with dietary restrictions, Dolce Gelato has created an exemplary solution for you: vegan flavors made with almond milk and/or coconut milk that genuinely taste so creamy and luscious, you may not even recognize the non-dairy substitution. We recently loved their almond chai vegan gelato and their “fruit of the forest” sorbet with a variety of fresh fruit. For those of you without dietary restrictions, you still need to come into this family-owned shop for their array of amazing flavors, with at least three new selections every Friday. They take pride in their creatively curated and hand crafted batches, and the result is excellent. If you’re feeling extra decadent, they offer Gelato Sandwiches where you can fill your favorite flavor in between their homemade cookies.
We love Chef Azmin Ghahreman’s internationally inspired and exceptionally executed comfort food, but his dessert deserves some equal love. While the menu changes consistently throughout the year, they always have a comforting Warm Seasonal Cobbler with Ice Cream that exudes a cozy feeling of home. They base the fruit on what is in season and create a homemade ice cream flavor to match. We also love the “Bananas Foster” Bread Pudding with Caramel Gelato which happens to be, thankfully, a staple on their rotating menu.
Walking along Peppertree Lane makes you feel transported to a magical, serene secret within the bustling buzz of downtown Laguna Beach. Walk toward the end of this street and be transported again, but this time to Italy at Gelato Paradiso. This spot serves all the Italian classics from milk chocolate hazelnut (gianduja) to pistachio made with pure Sicilian pistachio butter. All their options are delightfully delicious.
Last up, we have South of Nick’s serving indulgent treats with a Mexican flair. You must order their Helado con Churros, which are made to order and come out crispy, slightly cakey but still airy, coated in sugar. Haagen-dazs vanilla ice cream in between the freshly warm churros immediately starts to melt, while drizzled chocolate, cajeta, and candied pecans get placed on top. Also get their Banana Flan. Although this does not have any ice cream to celebrate the holiday, this standalone dessert is a treat in itself. This creamy and exquisite Mexican custard has fresh bananas brûléed with sugar on top and a house made caramel sauce.