There are many great things about the north of England, about Yorkshire, and about York: the strong community and industry; the stunning countryside and coast; and the preserved history and heritage. And there are many great things about its cuisine too: pies and puddings; fish and chips; and… here’s the real scoop… ICE CREAM!
That’s right, this small part of this small island is serving up some of the finest ice cream anywhere. Our stereotypical cold temperatures and wet conditions – it’s grim up north – are either untrue or not enough to put a hardy Yorkshireman off a freezing delicacy. As we move through spring and into summer, and as day trips and staycations open back up to us all, we take a taste tour of the best ice cream out there – from the city of York to its surrounding towns and coastline.
LICC – The cleverly named LICC is exactly what it stands for: Luxury Ice Cream Company. Their attractive exterior on Stonegate is too tempting and the inside is equally sweet, continuing into the main event: 150 flavours of ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yoghurt. From vanilla staples to inventive combinations (including for one day only a fish & chip ice cream!) this team of ‘flavourologists’ have dreamt up flavours so delicious they’re sure to make you melt.
Graham’s Ices – The traditional charm of the ice cream van still takes some beating. Nostalgic adults and excited children can rarely resist the chiming tune rolling into the neighbourhood with Mr Whippy’s and 99s handed out in the hundreds and thousands. Graham’s Ices leads the way in York, having grown from a single van in the seventies to a fleet of five which serve several spots of the city with a smile.
Two Hoots – A twist on the much loved ice cream van, Two Hoots has taken the concept to the water to become the ice cream boat! A hybrid of tug boat and ice cream van, this cheerful sight is almost as cool as the ice cold products it serves. Sitting on the River Ouse by Millennium Bridge, where every day they offer up a surprisingly super choice of ice cream and sorbets that are all the real deal.
The (N)ice Cream Factory – On a street filled with excellent independents, The (N)ice Cream Factory is suitably located on Fossgate. This stylish ice cream bar makes for a delightfully chilled stop off and makes a deliciously chilled ice cream. Their flavours veer between the naughty Oreo and the nice pomegranate, and they cater impressively for everyone, with dairy free vegan options equally tasty.
Roberto Authentic Italian Gelato – In recent years it became rather on trend to rebadge the British ice cream parlour to the Italian gelato bar. Well, this place was ahead of the curb, and is so-called because it is, as its name confirms, authentic. Some of the best gelato outside of Italy, these homemade concoctions are made with passion and taste as fresh as their orange blossom and lemon pie flavours suggest.
Villages and Towns – Outside of York, there are plenty of nearby places to visit which can be topped off with some fine ice cream. The market town of Malton is known as ‘the food capital’ and therefore cannot be without a fabulous ice creamery. The Groovy Moo is it, producing artisan gelato from local ingredients with exceptional results. In picturesque village Thornton-le-Dale lives a favourite for over 25 years, Balderson’s. These award winning makers have more recently opened a family friendly parlour to indulge in even further.
Coast and Seaside – A place more typically associated with ice cream eating is the seaside. Indeed, a trip to the coast, whatever the weather, is not complete without a cone or a tub by the beach. There are many cheap and cheerful choices, but also some high quality offerings. Beacon Farm is one such place, worth heading slightly inland from Whitby to Sneaton for. This family business home-makes proper dairy ice cream which you can eat at their parlour and stay on their campsite. In Scarborough, the place to go for a traditional piece of the town and a triumphant piece of ice cream is Harbour Bar. On the seafront since 1945, they go to show that the original can still the best.
Images: Two Hoots Ice Cream, Luxury Ice Cream Company, The Groovy Moo