What could make my 14 year old nephew more happy than eating ice cream all over the city! We made a list of ice cream stores with the criteria they had to make the ice cream in house. All were independently owned and welcomed customers while attending to guests eager to try lots of flavors.
Heading south on freeway 5, on Coronado Ave in Imperial Beach is Oasis Ice Cream Parlor. A small mom and pop place, Juan and Juanita Andrade have owned the shop for 37 years and been married 44 years, such an inspirational couple. Their son helps scoop up fun flavored ice cream like popular coconut and banana and hand out mango and cookies and cream bars. Mom and dad still work in the kitchen and its been a labor of love all these years.
Next, a short drive north on Freeway 5 to National City on A Avenue is Niederfrank’s Ice Cream, another long time favorite in town. Many flavors to choose from and the chocolate chip was creamy, not overly sweet with just the right sized chips throughout. Waffle cones were made by pouring batter into the hot iron and then forming it around the cone shaped handle which took some muscle. The aroma from the hot waffles was fabulous.
Since there is always room for ice cream, we headed to Mariposa Ice Cream on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights and yes, its another family owned specialty shop. The chocolate peanut butter fudge was delicious and had the right balance of chocolate and peanut butter. Friendly people are behind the counter and the screen door swings open and closed all day with serious eaters of the classics and lively selections.
We will need to revisit the shops again to try new and rotating flavors and enjoy an all American comfort sweet.