Get your camera ready for these cool treats that are almost too pretty to eat.
By Molly O’Brien
These Newport Beach scoop stands are even tastier than they look—and definitely worthy of an Instagram photo. From flights of unique flavors at Salt & Straw or a signature, over-the-top banana split at Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream to a beautiful portrait of a cone in front of the famed mural at B.Candy in Corona del Mar, these frosty treats make a picture-perfect memory in both taste and appearance.
Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream
There aren’t many more quintessential sundae choices in the ice cream world than the traditional banana split and Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream takes things a step further with a spectacularly modern take on this old-fashioned favorite. “With banana splits, everything will taste great when you start with the best ice cream and [add] loads of toppings,” says Keith Kesler, owner of the Newport Beach location. This shop’s version of the banana split is truly over-the-top, starting with a base of the standard chocolate, strawberry and vanilla scoops that are topped with strawberries, crushed pineapple, a cherry and—of course—slices of banana. It’s finished with large, picturesque gobs of whipped cream and a healthy sprinkle of nuts to pull the masterpiece together. But it won’t last long—better snap a photo of this modern take before it’s been devoured. (949-270-6382; handelsicecream.com)
While diving into a delectable cone or shake at B.Candy, don’t miss the picture-perfect photo opportunity at the Instagrammable mural outside. Order a cone with many different scoops to give your taste buds extra flavor and your Instagram feed a pop of color. The vibrant shop offers flavors ranging from classics with a twist, like strawberry chocolate chip, caramelized banana or coffee Oreo, to unique concoctions such as nutella shortbread, root beer float or chocolate-covered potato chip with caramel. “Our B.Candy customers are guaranteed to be greeted by a smiling face and a store full of color, love and happiness,” says owner Brandy Valdez. “The larger-than-life candy, cupcakes and lollipops outside the store draw people in, but it’s our ever-changing B.Candy mural and our seasonal lawn that bring people back.” Join in the fun by using the hashtag #bcandymural on Instagram. (949-675-3910; bcandy.com)
Salt & Straw
It will be an exceptionally sugar-filled summer with the new Salt & Straw location that recently opened on Westcliff Drive. Those who have a hard time choosing just one flavor will love this shop’s ice cream flight, which cleverly allows guests to try a taste of more than one sweet or savory flavor. Salt & Straw is known for its out-of-the-box selections that change regularly, but the brand’s classic flavors, like Chocolate Gooey Brownie and honey lavender, are always fan favorites, too. Add samples from the special monthly series, which includes Upcycled Food flavors like Day-Old Bread Pudding & Chocolate Ganache during the month of June, to your flight or enjoy other signature options, such as Arbequina olive oil, marionberry coconut sherbet, pear and blue cheese, strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper and Salted, Malted, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. With so many innovative flavors to choose from, four tastes may simply not be enough. (949-826-1233; saltandstraw.com)
Afters Ice Cream
Ice cream sandwiches are taken to a whole new level—one that’s warm, ooey gooey and packed with sugary flavor—at Afters Ice Cream. These revolutionary sandwiches are more than worthy of a permanent photo on your feed. Picture this: The Milky Bun involves a glazed doughnut and some sweet ice cream for the perfect handheld treat. Generous scoops of bright blue Cookie Monster, rich Dark Matter Brownie Batter or creamy Milk and Cereal (or, really, any flavor of your choosing) are layered between the two halves of a fresh bun before they’re rolled in crushed Oreos, rainbow sprinkles, mochi, corn flakes and other toppings that add a punch of pizazz to this already well-dressed dessert. (aftersicecream.com)
Tavern House Kitchen & Bar
It’s no wonder that Tavern House Kitchen & Bar’s menu specifically states that its iconic Bananaggedon dessert serves two or more people. This sundae is admittedly enormous, but there’s no doubt every drop will be gobbled up, so make sure to take a photo quickly. The Bananaggedon is made with a butter pecan ice cream base, then topped with a house-made banana liqueur pastry cream, fresh bananas, candied pecans, crumbled Pecan Sandies cookies with toffee bits, shaved white chocolate and a salty caramel sauce, drizzled to perfection. “Growing up in the Midwest, banana cream pies were a staple dessert that my mom used to make,” says restaurant founder and managing partner David Wilhelm. When he grew up, he started to make his own but after an unfortunate spill incident, he was inspired by the messy pile of ingredients and created a deconstructed version of the dessert. “I thought, why not do something like the old-school ice cream sundaes served in ice cream parlors that could be shared?” Wilhelm notes. Today, it’s made this way on purpose and served in a large, multiperson goblet. Only those who are truly good at sharing should indulge in this favorite local dessert. (949-673-8464; tavernhousekb.com)