Next time you dine at local favorite Portumex, turn right on your way out – you’ll be directly in front of one of Richmond’s best-kept secrets.
Should the name of Destenny’s Ice Cream suggest a focus on only one item, the bright window signs advertising mangonadas, fresas congeladas, and tostilocos make it quickly clear that this 23rd Street gem serves up much more than scoops.
Many of the best-sellers at Destenny’s are Mexican street foods that are difficult to find elsewhere. The mangonada consists of shaved ice slathered in chamoy – a sweet, sour, and salty chili sauce that wakes up even the taste buds you didn’t know you had – topped with mango sorbet, fresh mango slices, more chamoy, chili powder, and tamarind candy.
For a savory treat, we recommend the chicharon, which pairs tart, crisp cueritos – pickled pork skins – with hot sauce over fresh lettuce, cucumber, jicama, and avocado.
As exciting as the street food may be, the ice cream is nothing to sneeze at, either. Destenny’s is one of a small handful of shops that is authorized to sell Mitchell’s, the Zagat-rated ice cream company that produces their flavors in small batches in San Francisco. In addition to classics like rocky road, Destenny’s also stocks some of Mitchell’s more rare flavors, including avocado, lucuma (a fruit popular in Peru), and buko (young coconut).
Destenny’s is owned and operated by José Antonio and his wife, who named the shop after their daughter. The couple opened their store in 2009, and although their Yelp page had only two reviews at the time this article was written, Destenny’s boasts consistent foot traffic and a strong customer base.
Antonio credits that customer base to the flyers he puts up around the community, as well as word of mouth. The strong customer service doesn’t hurt, either: he welcomes customers warmly and goes out of his way to offer samples and make suggestions. Serving sizes are also very generous.
More menu highlights:
Mitchell’s coconut pineapple ice cream – this refreshing flavor is perfect for warm summer afternoons, and it is made with fresh coconut and pineapple fruit that Mitchell’s imports from the Philippines.
Tostilocos – as the name indicates, this snack is a little “crazy.” That said, if you’ve ever had the Frito Pie at nearby Assemble, this treat is right up your alley. Antonio busts open a bag of salsa-flavored Tostitos and piles on cueritos, cucumber, jicama, Japanese peanuts, lime juice, chile powder, hot sauce, and chamoy sauce. The result is a mix of flavors and textures that excites the tongue and keeps a curious palate coming back for just one more bite. Make sure to have a cup of water at hand to combat the combination of hot sauce, chile powder, and chamoy – or better yet, order a refreshing milkshake made with any one or two flavors of Mitchell’s ice cream.
- Fresas congeladas – this mix of crema and fresh strawberries lives in the ice cream freezer until it is ordered, ensuring that the strawberries stay icy and the crema is nice and cold. Somehow, this sweet and refreshing dessert has zero grams of fat. We’re not asking questions.
Destenny’s is open daily from 11am to 8:30pm, making it a great stop for dessert, late-night snack, or for a refreshing snack at any time of day. See www.destennysicecream.com for more details and mouth-watering photos.
Visit their Yelp page here.
Destenny’s Ice Cream
Open Mon-Sun, 11am-8:30pm
717 23rd Street
Richmond, CA 94804