San Diego’s An’s gelato shop named the No. 2 best ice cream shop in America

Coppola, a Nutella and cookies & cream flavor, at An's Dry Cleaning gelato store.
Coppola, a Nutella and cookies & cream flavor, at An’s Dry Cleaning gelato store. Any’s was named the No. 2 ice cream spot in America in a USA Today poll.
(Courtesy of An’s Dry Cleaning.)

Votes from the public helped earn the North Park-based business the red ribbon in USA Today’s 10best contest


An’s Dry Cleaning, the unusually named gourmet gelato shop that opened in June 2018 in North Park, has been named the No. 2 best ice cream shop in America.

An’s gelateria came in second place behind Virginia’s Island Creamery in USA Today’s 10best competition for the 2023 Best Ice Cream Shop in America.

In early June, USA Today chose its top 10 finalists and the rest was left to the voting public to choose their favorites. An’s was the only California ice cream purveyor to be nominated this year. The public-chosen top 10 was released Tuesday.

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,” Warren said.

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 most-recent fabric-inspired flavors are Shantung, Sbai and Sashiko.

In 2022, Warren opened a second location in Del Mar called An’s Hatmakers, which serves “top hat” frozen desserts. A third location is scheduled to open soon at 1861 Bacon St. in Ocean Beach.

The four co-founders of An's gelato shop behind the counter of their store.
The co-founders of An’s gelato shops in San Diego, from left, David Aguilera, Travis Bailey, Kris Warren, and Jimmy Blalock.
(Courtesy of Kimberly Motos )

“As a small, San Diego-based business, we are thrilled to bring a new concept to the people of Ocean Beach, who we hope will identify with the culture and brand that we’ve built at An’s over the last 5-plus years,” Warren said in a statement. “We’re hopeful that this new concept will continue to develop the already established culinary scene at the corner of Bacon Street and Niagara Avenue.”

As a way of expressing gratitude to the community for their support in the competition, An’s Dry Cleaning and An’s Hatmakers will sell small gelatos for $2 beginning at noon Aug. 22 until they sell out that afternoon or evening.

“We are excited to say thanks to the community with this special offering,” said David Aguilera, an An’s co-founder and co-owner said, in a statement. “We will do our best to stay open as late as possible, but we expect to be very busy and sell out so make sure to come as early as possible.”

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.

The final rankings for USA Today’s 10 best ice creams, in order, are: Island Creamery; An’s Dry Cleaning; Simply Natural Creamery, North Carolina; Andia’s Ice Cream, North Carolina; Coneflower Creamery, Nebraska; Owowcow Creamery, New Jersey & Pennsylvania; Beaufort Creamery, North Carolina; Two Roosters, North Carolina; Sassy Cow Creamery, Wisconsin; Clementine’s Creamery, Missouri.