Local Highlights

How Niederfrank’s Ice Cream has been making San Diego sweeter since 1948


Every neighborhood needs a spot for those sweet tooth cravings, and National City has the perfect place. Niederfrank’s Ice Cream opened its doors in 1948 and has been serving tasty ice cream to the National City community ever since. 

This ice cream shop has some of the best flavors, from coffee almond fudge to apple strudel to avocado. Whether you’re planning to move to San Diego or you’re just visiting, stopping by Niederfrank’s Ice Cream and getting a scoop (or two) is a must. 

We spoke to Maryellen, co-owner of Niederfrank’s Ice Cream, who told us about the history, the community, and the flavors!

Can you tell us a little bit about Niederfrank’s Ice Cream?

Niederfrank’s has been in National City since 1948, so around 73 years! There have been three owners the whole time. We’ve used the ice cream machine, which makes it over 100 years old since it was used before the original owner bought it in 1948. We’re the oldest ice cream maker in San Diego and we do it the old-fashioned way. 

How has the business changed since 1948? 

For Niederfrank’s it hasn’t changed. Our ice cream is fresh, double-boiled, or aged and everything is done by hand. We’ve added flavors but we still have all the old ones that have been here from the start. Some additional flavors are chai tea, earl grey and lavender, sweet corn, and a lot more. 

What’s your favorite part about owning a business in National City?

My favorite part is the fact that it’s a small town, we really enjoy getting to know all the people who care about the city.

What is National City’s community like?

National City is very diverse, there are a lot of Mexican and Philipino families and everyone gets along really well, it’s a nice town. I enjoy Brick Row and all the old houses from the founders of National City. The parks are really nice — everything about National City is great. We do a lot of things with kids and seniors, we like to keep giving back to the community.

What are Niederfranks’ most popular ice cream flavors? 

Our best-selling flavors are golden pistachio, papaya pineapple, chocolate Mexicano, and avocado pistachio. Our Philipino and Mexican flavors are the most popular! 

If you could create a new flavor of ice cream to sell today, what would it be?

If we could create a new flavor of ice cream today, I think we would make something with tea. We just did earl grey and lavender which was really popular, as well as green tea and chai tea which people also liked. Since a lot of people are into pumpkin, it would be cool to do a pumpkin latte flavor also. 

Thank you, Maryellen! If you’re looking for something sweet in San Diego, make sure to stop by Niederfrank’s Ice Cream! You can see the full menu of flavors on their website. 

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