McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams has been “keeping it real” since 1949

After a beautiful drive up the coast from Ventura, Santa Barbara opens up like an oasis with green palm trees and houses lining the coast. In the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, across the street from the Paseo Nuevo Shops & Restaurants, is McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams on State Street. Founded in 1949, McConnell’s has been an ice cream staple in Santa Barbara. Their ice cream has been made the same way for almost 70 years, from scratch. These small batch ice creams are made with Central Coast, grass-grazed milk and cream. They also pasteurize the raw milk at their own creamery, The Old Dairy (since 1934). The ingredients are sourced from local, sustainable, organic farmers, artisans, and purveyors that they have been working with for decades. Unlike most processed ice creams, McConnell’s does not contain any stabilizers, preservatives, fillers, or additives.

One way to enjoy McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams is in an ice cream sandwich. At the Santa Barbara location (opened in 2013), there is an on-site bakery which makes fresh cookies and other sweets daily. A very popular cookie that locals come in to buy in droves is the Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie. They are buttery and have just the right amount of salt to balance the sweetness of the chocolate. For an ice cream sandwich ($6.95), they are sturdy enough to hold yet give easily when bitten like an ice cream sandwich should. When using these cookies, choose ice creams that have chocolate in them to tie it all together. Rating: 5/5

Here are two ice creams that pair well with the Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Chocolate Covered Strawberries has a richly complex, smooth creaminess of McC’s Sweet Cream and Guittard® bittersweet, melted chocolate, and ripe Santa Barbara strawberries. The base has a creamy strawberry flavor. The melted chocolate forms ribbons in the ice cream and adds a crunchy texture. The chunks of strawberry add a refreshing sweet tangy flavor. Rating: 5/5

Rocky Road is Valrhona® chocolate, salt roasted almonds, plump little marshmallows in a base of Central Coast milk, cream, cage-free organic eggs, and pure cane sugar. The base has a deeply rich chocolate flavor. The marshmallows and nuts add both fluffy and crunchy textures. Rating: 5/5

With sweet tooth satisfied, it was time to head over to Bacara Resort & Spa for the “Cooking Conversation with the New York Times”, part of the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars

For more information:
728 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Winter Hours (October through May): Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Summer Hours (June through September): Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Parking: Free 90-minute parking on street and in parking structures

McConnell's Fine Ice Creams Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato