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Food

15 Spots for the Best Ice Cream in Los Angeles on a Sunny SoCal Day

July 14, 2017 by Nastassia Johnson

In sunny Southern California it’s always ice cream weather, but summer in particular is definitely ice cream season. As temperatures start to rise, nothing helps beat the heat quite like a frozen treat. If you’re going to treat yourself to ice cream, you might as well do it right.

With that in mind, here are the hands-down best spots to enjoy the finest ice cream in Los Angeles. Hopefully it leads you to a cool new adventure!

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NOTE: Ice creameries listed below in no particular order, numbered only for reference.

1. Salt & Straw (Multiple Locations)

This Portland transplant has quickly become an L.A. favorite. Tyler Malek’s “farm-to-cone” menu is replete with unique flavors, along with a monthly rotating lineup of seasonally inspired options. –> More information

2. Fosselman’s (Alhambra)

This family-owned ice cream parlor is an L.A. institution. Churning ice cream from scratch since 1919, Fosselman’s can also be enjoyed at numerous restaurants and cafes across the city. This ice cream is the closest to Thrifty’s (native Angelenos know what we’re talking about) as you can get. Its homemade taste and decadent flavors like Mocha Almond Fudge will compel you to grab a half-gallon for home. –> More information

3. Scoops (Multiple Locations)

Most great food finds in L.A. are found in a strip mall, and this ice cream shop is no exception. Like the original East Hollywood location that pioneered the artisanal ice cream movement in L.A., the Westside, Chinatown and Eagle Rock outposts all offer fun and experimental ice cream flavors, many of which originate from customer suggestions. They also have tried-and-true favorites like their signature Brown Bread. –> More information

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4. Magpies Softserve (Tarzana, Silverlake)

L.A. has an abundance of artisan ice cream and gelato, but Magpies is the first chef-driven soft serve to hit the scene. Husband and wife chef duo Warren and Rose Schwartz have perfected their handmade, nostalgic-yet-modern flavors and developed a cult following. Fan favorites include Toasted Marshmallow, Corn Almond, and Black Sesame. They also make all their toppings in-house — right down to the Chocolate Covered Honeycomb — and also offer soft serve bars and pies.  –> More information

5. Long Beach Creamery (Long Beach)

This super cute and quirky scoop shop in Long Beach offers some of the tastiest, small-batch organic ice creams. They use produce from local Long Beach farmers, ingredients from local artisans like Romeo Chocolates, and organic dairy from Strauss. Their flavors, like Whiskey Vanilla and Midnight Oolong, have garnered a loyal neighborhood following. It’s hard to choose just one flavor to enjoy, so opt for a trio of mini scoops in a homemade waffle cone bowl. –> More information

6. McConnell’s (Multiple Locations)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, which started in Santa Barbara, churns small-batch ice cream in their own dairy, using milk from grass-grazed cows on local farms. The resulting ice cream is rich, creamy, and will leave you wanting a second scoop. –> More information

7. Wanderlust Creamery (Encino, Atwater Village)

This scoop shop takes ice cream beyond classic flavors to a trip around the world. The flavors, inspired by travel, invite you to enjoy global ingredients, like Ube and Japanese Neopolitan, in ice cream form. –> More information

8. Sweet Rose Creamery (Multiple Locations)

Chef and co-owner Shiho Yoshikawa creates farmers market-inspired ice cream at Sweet Rose Creamery locations across the city. You can expect to find everything from Summer Corn to Apricot sorbet using only the finest seasonal produce. In additional to the farmers market-inspired options, they always have classics like Mint Chocolate Chip and Coffee on the menu. –> More information

9. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (Los Feliz, Larchmont)

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, a Midwest sweetheart, has expanded in Los Angeles in the Los Feliz and Larchmont neighborhoods. Families and foodies alike flock to their shops to enjoy flavors like Watermelon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt and Brambleberry Crisp, but the sundaes are the thing to get, with their homemade butterscotch being a go-to topping. Don’t forget that Amarena cherry on top. –> More information

10. Bennett’s (Original Farmer’s Market)

The Original Farmer’s Market’s family-owned old-fashioned ice cream stand, Bennett’s Ice Cream has been serving customers since 1946. Its nostalgic look and taste, with thick and almost chewy ice cream is what keeps customers coming back year after year. While they have some inventive ice cream flavors like Cabernet Sauvignon, they also carry an array of classics like Butter Pecan, Rocky Road, and Rainbow Sherbet. –> More information

11. Mother Moo (Sierra Madre, South Pasadena)

Karen Klemens has been hand-crafting ice cream since 2011. Her Sierra Madre scoop shop is a beloved neighborhood gem, and last year she expanded to a second shop in South Pasadena. She churns ice cream daily using local ingredients and Straus milk and cream into flavors like Salty Chocolate, Organic Vanilla, and Cornflakes. You can also enjoy her ice cream in the form of a root beer float or milkshake. –> More information

Going Beyond the Scoop Shop

12. Angelini Alimentari (Mid-City)

Angelini Alimentari offers some of the best gelato in the city made on site in their state-of-the-art gelato machine imported from Italy. The best way to enjoy it is nestled inside a warm homemade brioche bun as a gelato sandwich. Trust us, you definitely won’t regret it. –> More information

13. Helado’s Pops (San Fernando)

Owner Martin Ken’s grandfather and great-grandfather were ice cream makers in Belize, so its no surprise that he’s carried on the tradition while paying homage to his roots. This ice cream and sorbet shop specializes in “exotic” and “traditional” flavors with a serious focus on tropical and fresh fruits, like lucuma, mamey, and pomegranate. Customers can order scoops in homemade waffle cones, but the real showstoppers are his sundaes, which come decked out within the shells of coconuts or pineapples. –> More information

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Weekend agenda rain or shine 🍦! #goals #idreamoficecream #sprinkles

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14. Afters Ice Cream (Pasadena, Orange County)

We can all agree that ice cream sandwiches are awesome, but a warm donut ice cream sandwich is next level. Afters Ice Cream popularized the milky bun (donut ice cream sandwich), which has been drawing lines ever since. The most popular is their aptly named Cookie Monster: bright-blue ice cream sandwiched inside a warm, milky bun donut and topped with mini chocolate-chip cookies. –> More information

15. Quenelle (Burbank)

Owner John Park has a serious reputation in desserts: he honed his skills as a pastry chef at places like Providence and Lukshon before opening his own shops in Burbank and San Marino. While he offers a rotating selection of innovative, small-batch scoops (Raspberry Merlot ice cream, anyone?), he also has an incredible selection of whimsical bars, popsicles and push-pops that are constantly changing. Some perennial favorites include Red Bull Tang Popsicles, Fruity Pebble Ice Cream Bars, and Mocha Almond Fudge Funnel Cake Sandwiches. –> More information

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