An’s gelato shops nominated by USA Today for ‘Best Ice Cream Shops in America’

A trio of gelato flavors from the newly-opened An’s Hatmakers in Del Mar.
A trio of gelato flavors from the newly-opened An’s Hatmakers in Del Mar.
(Kimberly Motos/An’s Hatmakers

The public can now narrow the list of 20 nominees to the top 10 finalists at the end of June


An’s Dry Cleaning and An’s Hatmakers, the unusually named gourmet gelato shops, have earned national recognition from USA Today. An’s opened in June 2018 in North Park and the second location opened in Del Mar Plaza last year, serving “top hat” frozen desserts.

An’s gelateria was selected by the USA Today staff as one of 20 nominees for the news organization’s list of the 2023 Best Ice Cream Shops in America. From now until June 26, the public is invited to vote for their favorites to make the final top 10 list.

An’s is the only California ice cream purveyor to be nominated this year.

An’s was founded by San Diego entrepreneur Kris Warren, who was looking to start a business with some childhood buddies from Redding when a friend visiting from Spain suggested he consider gelato.

“I wanted something fun, and what’s more fun than gelato,” said Warren, who launched An’s five years ago with several partners.

The shop at 3017 Adams Ave. is named for the shuttered dry cleaners/tailor shop that it replaced, and all of the branding plays on that theme. The stand-up tables are ironing boards, the decor looks like a 1960s vintage “Martinizing” shop, and the all-natural gelatos and sorbettos are named after fabrics. Some of the shop’s latest fabric-inspired flavors are Shantung, Sbai and Sashiko.

“As a local San Diegan and proud steward of the city I love, I’m hoping to bring this award home for us,” Warren said in an email.

Gelato is an Italian style of ice cream. Created in 16th-century Florence, gelato is made with milk, rather than cream, so it’s lower in fat and calories than ice cream. But because it’s made fresh in small batches, is densely structured without added air and served at a less-icy temperature than its American cousin, it’s creamier in texture and more intensely flavored. Gelato arrived in San Diego in the mid-1980s and has built a small but devoted following ever since.

Voting is now underway until June 26 at Winners will be announced at noon July 7.