Ten Great Places for Ice Cream in Orange County

Photo by John Gilhooley

You just recovered the mittens you stored away last season from the deepest part of your coat closet. Last night, you wore socks to bed because you didn't want your toes to lose feeling again. The heater's being used for the first time this year, and it still hasn't cooked out that dusty smell. My point: it's finally cold out. So...now's a good a time as any to do list of ice cream shops in OC, don't ya think?

The following is a list of places you can deliciously hasten hypothermia this winter.

10. Farrell's
Photo by John Gilhooley

Farrell's reminds us that this is the living incarnation of and possibly the inspiration for Phineas Q. Butterfat, the fictional ice-cream parlor on The Simpsons at which Homer tried to win back his daughter's love by buying her a mountain of ice cream. And for once, the cartoon will not be an exaggeration. People seem to surrender their sense of restraint at Farrell's. They figure, "Well, as long as we're here, why the hell not?" At the line to enter, an oft overheard lament is that neither the food nor the ice cream is really the reason to be there--it's the experience. Why else would people order the Farrell's Zoo if not for the spectacle? It's a ridiculous serving of ice cream piled into an industrial-sized mixing bowl overflowing with ladles upon ladles of sugary sauces, fistfuls of nuts and whipped cream, all topped with a sparkler and heralded by an employee banging on a bass drum. 779A The Shops at Mission Viejo, Mission Viejo, (949)364-5411. Check http://www.farrellsusa.com/ for other locations.

9. Frostbites Crepes & Frozen Delights

Edwin Goei

Italian ices are what Frostbites makes its name on. Actual pieces of fruit are whirred up into the slurry. There's enough per spoonful that you'll chew the coconut shreds, get the strawberry seeds stuck in between your teeth, and detect the distinct meatiness of mango. But it's all a bit one-note without the soft serve vanilla ice cream that must accompany. They call the mash-up "sorbet cream", and together the ice cream and the Italian ice creates a concoction which is a sunny mix of dairy and fruit...sort of like a deconstructed Creamsicle. 9111 Valley View St. Ste 103, Cypress, (714) 484-1577

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