Wanderlust Creamery makes the trek to Orange County

Wanderlust Creamery, now open in Irvine, is known for making globally inspired flavors.
(Courtesy of Wanderlust Creamery)

Wanderlust Creamery, a popular Los Angeles ice cream shop known for travel-inspired flavors, is expanding, with its first Orange County location opening in Irvine on May 19.

“This is our first location outside of L.A., so it is very exciting, exploring new territory,” said manager Angelica Reyes. “This will be our seventh location and the first one in O.C.”

Opening in the former Burntzilla space at 14413 Culver Drive in Walnut Village Center, Wanderlust Creamery was founded by chef Adrienne Borlongan and makes globally inspired non-Eurocentric artisanal ice cream. An e-commerce site ships pints nationwide.

“Our brand builders were the Ube Malted Crunch and the Sticky Rice & Mango,” said Reyes. “They really put us on the map.”

Wanderlust Creamery products inside a refrigerator.
Wanderlust Creamery’s first Orange County location in Irvine adds to the brand’s existing shops across Los Angeles and an e-commerce site that ships pints nationwide.
(Courtesy of Wanderlust Creamery)

Sticky Rice & Mango blends house-made rice milk, coconut cream and Alphonso mango for a dairy-free/vegan treat. Notes of toasted rice lend a savoriness to the sweet mango, making for an ice cream that tastes just like the Thai dessert. Ube Malted Crunch is inspired by Borlongan’s Filipino and American upbringing and is made with malted milk sweetened with ube, a sweet purple yam popular in Filipino desserts and studded with crunchy malted milk balls.

Other flavors also reach across the Pacific: “Now our Japanese Neapolitan and Pandan Tres Leches have really kept us going,” Reyes said.

Japanese Neapolitan swaps the western flavor staples of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla for a trio of Japanese classics: matcha, hojicha and black sesame. Pandan Tres Leches is a Southeast Asian-inspired take on tres leches cake. Pandan leaves with a vanilla-esque flavor are used in house-made pandan sponge cake that gets folded into sweet cream ice cream.

Wanderlust’s signature selections stay on the menu while a new seasonal menu of flavors cycles through each month.

“Our signature flavors, we keep those year-round, and then the first of the month we drop a new set of five to six flavors with one vegan flavor included every month,” said Reyes.

Japanese Neapolitan on an ice cream cone, a trio of matcha, hojicha and black sesame.
Japanese Neapolitan is a trio of matcha, hojicha and black sesame and among Wanderlust Creamery’s signature flavors.
(Courtesy of Wanderlust Creamery)

To celebrate AAPI Heritage month, May’s menu features an all-Asian-inspired menu that includes flavors like Black Sesame Cookies & Cream, Yuzu Creamsicle and Jasmine & Sea Salt Cream with Boba.

Giveaways are planned for the grand opening with the first 100 guests on May 19 and 20 getting a free scoop and Wanderlust swag, while the next 100 can enjoy $2 scoops and free small gifts. A raffle offering a free ice cream party in-store for groups of five will be awarded to five winners who share an Instagram story/post and tag @wanderlustcreamery.

Reyes anticipates a busy opening weekend that will be worth the wait.

“You are getting a really dense, really good ice ice cream.”