Nothing screams SUMMER like enjoying homemade ice cold treats! Unfortunately, I have my lazy moments and can't wait around for popsicles to freeze and definitely don't know how to make ice cream, so what's a quick fix? Going to a homemade ice cream, custard, or popsicle shops. Here are my top 5 fave hot, I mean COOL spots around Orange County:

1. Strickland's Ice Cream- IRVINE

4523 Campus Drive
Irvine, California 92612

When I attended UCI, I loved coming here late afternoons after class to indulge in homemade ice cream! Strickland's started in Akron, Ohio by Akron Pure Milk company employee Bill Strickland after creating his original homemade recipe which yielded  (and still does) rich frozen custard, soft serve ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet. The Irvine location serves a mean Dole Whip Float (and the classic Dole Whip in cup/cone); if you can't readily make it to Disneyland, it is comparable to that of the one sold at the Tiki Juice Bar. Strickland's of Irvine won the Orange County Hot List's 2012 BEST Ice Cream Shop Award, and I can see why; the ice cream is made fresh every morning and there is a plethora of unique flavors like green tea, banana, peach, thai iced tea, taro, mud pie served up on certain days (check out the flavor calendar)! Don't forget Milkshake Mondays (1/2 prices small-medium milkshakes 4-8pm every Monday) and students can receive 10% off any ice cream item with a student ID!

*Images via Strickland's & FB Page

2. Han's Homemade Ice Cream & Deli-SANTA ANA

3640 S Bristol St,
Santa Ana, California 92704
(714) 979-8815

Homemade ice cream daily! Every summer, I can't go without the Watermelon Sherbet! I'll take it by the gallon...well, I think pint is the largest that's available. Some of my other must haves are Wild Mountain Blackberry, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Coconut Pineapple, heck, I like them all! There are at least 30 homemade, scrumptious flavors and various chocolate dipped waffle cones to choose from. I also fancy their  BLT sandwich and  a Cherry Coke. Perfect way to cool off and experience a sense of diner nostalgia. Stop in soon!

Before you enjoy some photos for your viewing pleasure, here are some facts about Hans':

1. After 40+ years of being a cash only business, we now accept all forms of credit cards!

2. We source all of our dairy locally, and use the richest cream available (16%). We don't whip any air into our ice cream to fluff up the volume, so our ice cream is very dense and you can really sink your teeth into it!

3. We've been revamping our brand with a new logo, t-shirts, business cards, uniforms, and new menus coming soon.

4. Our loyal customers always look forward to "Fresh Peach" and "Watermelon Sherbet" in the summertime.

5. We've got some new flavors like.. Banana Cabana, Peppermint OREO, Honey Vanilla, and Salted Caramel.




*Images via FB

Not Ice Cream, but still de-lish nonetheless:

3. Confetti Italian Ice & Custard-COSTA MESA

1175 Baker St, Suite E-22
Costa Mesa, California 92626
(714) 545-1175

Come into this Costa Mesa gem and experience sixteen interchangeable Italian Ice Flavors alone or layered with various custard flavors! Yes, you can make your own ice combos! Enjoy unexpected flavors through Confetti Ice's 'Flavor of the Week'; excite your palette with 'Strawberry Lemonade' (Strawberry Lemonade Ice with Lemon Custard), Chocolate Raspberry Truffle (Raspberry Ice, Chocolate Custard, Drizzled in Raspberry Sauce), Blueberry Pancakes (Blueberry Ice, 1/2 Vanilla & 1/2 Cheesecake Custard, topped with Caramel & Cinnamon Sauze), Starburst, Rootbeer Float, 50/50 Ba, Snickers, Taro and Thai Tea to name a delicious few. Confetti Ice also caters events and hosts fundraisers! Enjoy this twist on a classic treat and also receive 5% off when you 'check-in'!

 *Images via FB

4. Front Porch Pops-ORANGE

120 E Chapman Ave
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 614-0857 

*Grand Opening July 11th 2013, with a ribbon cutting, giveaways, and popsicles of course!

Nothing reminds me more of my childhood than popsicles. I was so excited to first stumble upon a Front Porch Pops cart at the Patchwork Show in Long Beach, then again at the SOCO Farmer's Market; then so thrilled to discover that a storefront location will be opening next week, July 11th, in one of my all-time fave OC districts, the Orange Circle in Old Towne OrangeFront Porch Pops was created by proprietor and chef Erin Whitcomb with her very first creation, the Tangy Lemon Cream pop; and has since taken pride in handcrafting gourmet ice pops and ice cream in a wide variety of fun flavors. Front Porch Pops strives to live and offer the following philosophy:

  • We use real fruit and fresh dairy to make our pops.
  • ?Our pops are handcrafted by our staff using our own recipes.
  • ?You'll never find artificial colors, flavors or high-fructose corn syrup in our pops. Ever.
  • We use locally grown, organic produce whenever we can. We sell our pops at farmer's markets and take great pride in saying, "The plums from that farmer over there are in this popsicle right here!"
  • You deserve to know what's in your pops. We'll always be able to tell you exactly what ingredients we used.

Now doesn't that sound just absolutely healthy and divine? It's truly 'Happiness on a Stick!'

Front Porch Pops also bakes pies, caters with their awesome popcarts, and hosts fundraisers...did you know there are mini pops too? 


*Images via Front Porch Pops

5. Joe's Italian Ice-GARDEN GROVE

12302 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92840
(714) 750-1076 



Joe's Italian Ice located in Garden Grove was started by Mike Abeyta, and brings a Philadelphia treat to you. The authentic Philly-style water ice is homemade in over 50 flavors at Joe's with fresh fruit, and soft serve ice cream is shipped from Pennsylvania then cooked at ultra high temperatures from a creamier, sweeter taste. Try a straight up Italian ice, or choose from select Dreyer's Ice Cream flavors, smoothies, shakes, floats, super sundaes, or a signature Joe Latti; that's Italian ice topped with soft ice cream! Yes please!

*Images via Joe's Italian Ice

Happy Summer!

Amanda Nguyen

P.S. Check out other places to dine and dessert in Irvine HERE!