Cool Treats in a Hot City
“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” That popular phrase is certainly appropriate for summer, especially since July is National Ice Cream Month.
Whether it’s ice cream, gelato, or another frozen concoction, a cold treat is just the thing on a hot day.
Naturally, Newport Beach has plenty of places that offer a variety of frozen desserts, including the iconic Balboa Bar—a slab of vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and then rolled in your choice of toppings.
On Balboa Island, both Dad’s Donuts and Sugar ‘N Spice (located only a few feet apart) sell Balboa Bars, as well as frozen bananas.
A short ferry ride from Balboa Island to the Balboa Village, Home of the Fun Zone takes visitors to Beach Treats, where some say the Balboa Bar originated. But no matter where you purchase one, the Balboa Bar is a decadent treat and a throwback to another era.
Another homage to days gone by is Ruby’s Shake Shack in Crystal Cove State Park along Pacific Coast Highway. For decades the Shake Shack has been a favorite stopping place for locals and tourists who love the variety of shakes and malts available (more than 20 of each), from the traditional date shake and Monkey Flip to Oreo and mixed berry. You can even get a root beer float! Ruby’s Diner bought the Shake Shack nearly 10 years ago and restored it to its former glory.
And speaking of Ruby’s Diner, Newport Beach native Doug Cavanaugh opened the first Ruby’s Diner on the Balboa Pier more than 30 years ago. That location and the one in Corona del Mar all serve delicious shakes and malts.
For a different type of frozen treat, try some Italian gelato, which is denser and has a more pronounced flavor than ice cream. Franco and Donatella Barone recently opened a new bottega next to their Il Barone restaurant near John Wayne Airport, Orange County and they’re serving a dozen hand-made gelato flavors that will make your taste buds very happy.
Another local favorite is Gelato Paradiso in the Fashion Island Atrium. They offer 20 different flavors of gelato, and through September 20 are celebrating the “Summer of Sorbetto” with more than a dozen flavors of sorbet including mango, watermelon and cantaloupe.
For a traditional ice cream cone, you can’t do much better than either the Sprinkles Ice Cream in Corona del Mar Plaza (next to their equally popular Sprinkles Cupcakes store), or the Haagen Dazs Shop at Fashion Island. The perpetual line of customers out the door at both “cool spots” lets you know this is ice cream worth screaming about.
Balboa Bar Photos by: Jody Tiongco