McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams in Santa Barbara

Who doesn’t like ice cream? From the store-bought stuff to 31 Flavors, most people can appreciate a good scoop . When you get a hold of an ice cream that is really good though, like McConnell’s it is hard to go back. This was the case for me when I stumbled into the downtown shop on a recent trip to Santa Barbara. It was so good I went back twice in the same weekend and have made it into a staple on my trips up Highway 1. Here is the info so you can check it out.

McConnells Ice Cream 10


  • Hours: Noon to 9:30PM most days, and Noon to 10:30PM on Friday and Saturday
  • Cost: $4-5 per person


McConnells Ice Cream 1

The history page on their site is awesome, you should check that out, but here is the quick written history.

After the war, Mac (the creator) moved with his wife from New Jersey to Santa Barbara where he spent months creating the recipes that would eventually become McConnell’s ice cream. To make the now famous ice cream Mac got rid of the traditional mixers and started using a hybrid french pot to create the amazing ice cream. In December of 1950 Mac opened the shop on State and Mission Street to immediate success as customer come from miles to try the ice cream.

In 1987, after changing owners, the original shop moved to its current location on De La Vina and Mission. Just recently, after switching owners again it now has a location in downtown Santa Barbara as well.

The Shops

Downtown – State St

McConnells Ice Cream 5

Since I have been to both location I will discuss both. The one in downtown is great as it is right along the main walking street and is the perfect stop while wandering the downtown of Santa Barbara.

McConnells Ice Cream 4

It has ample amounts of sitting areas and is very modern with its brick walls. I loved being able to walk in, grab a scoop and continue to shop.

Mission St

McConnells Ice Cream 7

The other location, which is the older one, is more a traditional ice cream shop. Its whitewashed walls remind my of all the times I went to Rite Aid with my parents for a cheap scoop of ice cream growing up. There are a few small seating areas inside and outside, so you can enjoy your ice cream there.

McConnells Ice Cream 8

Parking is a little crazy as there are only a couple spots though. This is a great one to stop at on a road trip and the other is a good one to stop at and relax.

The Ice Cream

McConnells Ice Cream 6

There are a ton of great flavors at McConnell’s and you can see the list here. For me though it did not get better than Churros Con Leche and Salted Caramel Chip though. You can even split your scoop so you can get half of one flavor and half of another!

The ice cream is smooth and flavorful and I highly recommend it. Let me know in the comments what you think.

Interested in supporting this blog?

This blog is simply a hobby and labor of love for me. If you have enjoyed the posts consider sharing it with your friends. I want as many people as possible to explore this state and you can help by letting them know about all of the great spots!

Subscribe to the mailing list for a weekly posts recap!

About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.

  • Claire

    I loved going to McConnell’s when I lived in SB.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • No problem, I love it as well and always stop when I drive up the coast