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“Best ice cream in the world”

Lappert's Ice Cream
Ranked #116 of 155 Dessert in San Diego
Restaurant details
Reviewed May 19, 2012

I found out about this company from all of vacations over the years to Hawaii, when I found out they had a location in San Diego, I had to pay a visit when I was in San Diego on vacation. The location is the only Lappert's store not in a tourist market, so it is about a 20 minute drive from down town San Diego or the coastal area of San Diego. This store is one of the largest Lappert's I have visited, and also contained the best and largest selection of favors. The decor is modern and really posh compared to most of there other stores. The service and product awarded the store top 10 ice cream store by USA Today. All of your favorite Lappert's flavors can be found as usual, also there coffee line, And Dole Whip! I never knew you could get the whip outside of Hawaii and Disneyland. Call ahead though to see if your favorite flavor is available, because they rotate flavors everyday and the store gets extremely busy and sells out.

Thank Callmesher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 - 13 of 13 reviews

Reviewed December 5, 2011

I was on a mission to find holiday decorations for the office. It was unseasonably cool for San Diego, despite it being December (upper 50s to low 60s). The sun was setting and I had come up empty-handed decorations-wise. The trip was not for nought, however, as my journey took me on a pleasant, late afternoon roundabout via Espola Drive to Scripps Ranch Parkway, where I knew an ice cream/coffee lounge existed. The general area is a strange mix of business parks clustered with a few large chain stores and gas stations; not exactly where you'd expect to find a good scoop. But finding Lappert's was like running into a best-kept secret. I had never heard of it and it sat between a Mexican and a Thai restaurant near a gas station. Turns out Lappert's began in Hawaii and features several "super premium" ice creams with coconut, macadamia nut, mango, and other tropical flavors. Super-premium means it's got a higher butter fat content with less air whipped into the process, which makes for a creamier, thicker, richer texture and flavor, the guy behind the counter told me. "Been written up in USA Today," he said, ticking off a few numbers. The process actually hails from France. I chose a small cup, which was more than enough when you're on the go, and picked "Cookie for Santa," a decadent peppermint ice cream with mint cookies and chocolate fudge swirled in. The colors are pink and white (not mint green), befitting the season. The taste was crisp and very minty, very authentic, with no aftertaste you sometimes get with other peppermint or mint ice creams. There are more standard flavors (chocolate peanut butter cup, strawberry, vanilla bean, even a few sorbet choices), but next time I'd go for the Kauai Pie, which is kona coffee, macadamia nut, toasted coconut, and chocolate fudge. Speaking of coffee, I was disappointed to see that they did not have any coffee that day. Apparently a function down the street neccessitated using the coffee makers, so no coffee was brewed in the store that day, though you can pick up bags of fresh coffee, ground or bean. As far as I could tell, there were no espresso drinks or coffee/ice cream drinks on the menu, but there were several menu items involving Dole pineapple. Piqued my interest, but not something I'd try until a third or fourth visit, after a few more ice cream tastings. The shop is small and did not have as much of a "lounge" or coffeehouse feel I expected. The lighting was a bit dim and there was a modern water/art sculpture at the store's entrance, which I thought was out of place, perhaps better suited for a restaurant than an ice cream shop. Lappert's definitely has a gourmet streak to its product, so maybe this design flourish fits right in. The price was reasonable. Though a small cup is $2.65, the ice cream is so dense that you fill up quickly. Spend a few more dollars and you have enough to last a few days, for two people, unless you're an ice cream addict, in which case you'll empty your cup in minutes. Size dictates the number of flavors you can choose, up to four our five flavors. Free samples are offered. I would have liked to have more flexibility in choosing flavors in smaller amounts. Overall a great place, if a bit out of the way, to pick up a quick treat while running errands, unless you don't mind hopping in the car for a somehwat longish drive. Beware of showing up between meals...the guy behind the counter will ask you what your plans for dinner are. Pretty hilarious. Customers' answers ranged from "having a late dinner" to "I had a late lunch." No one's willing to say, "Um, I'm having ice cream for my dinner." But if you do want ice cream for dinner, this is the place, bien sur.

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Thank Julia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2011

Everyone knows the man up north summers in Hawaii, where he apparently got bored & used some of his magic to make the world's most amazing ice cream. That's the only way to explain how delicious Lappert's is, words truly can't even begin to explain how good. Amazing, very unique flavors inspired by the islands with lots of Macadamia Nuts, Coconut, Kona Coffee and so many others (don't worry, they have "normal" flavors, too).

Need more proof? They have Dole Whip. You read that right, Dole Whip. What's that you say, you don't know about Dole Whip? Well, it's another slice of pineappley heaven that can otherwise only be found at Disneyland. Who else but Santa could get Disneyland to give up the goods?
(The "inside scoop" is to get a scoop of coconut ice cream with Dole Whip on top).

Another tidbit of proof is the staff, there's only one guy we've ever seen working there! We're pretty sure he's an elf like WIll Ferrell in Elf, serving up the daily food group of ice cream to anyone who happens to walk in.

The only odd thing about this place is it's location. In a random strip mall, next to a couple dentists in Poway? Pretty strange... But if you think about it, the location makes sense. I mean, if Santa had an ice cream store near San Diego, wouldn't he put it off the beaten path? And wouldn't Santa do something like put an ice cream shop right next to a dentist or two?

All in all, we would HIGHLY RECOMMEND going here for, well, any reason at all. Driving home in traffic? Sounds like a good reason to pop off the freeway & get Lappert's. Coming home from the airport? Bad day? Good day? Tax day? Tuesday? They all sound like good reasons to go to Lappert's in my book. If it wasn't way, way, way past their closing time, we'd be in the car, on the way to get some right now!

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Thank sd_foodies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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