With National Ice Cream Day fast approaching – this Sunday, July 16, for you heathens who aren’t on top of it – it’s important to contemplate which (and how many) ice cream places in LA to put on your hit list. With your busy schedule and hectic life in mind, we at UpOut have endeavored to make the process as smooth and sweet as possible, with 15 ready and waiting SoCal creamery gems you may have missed, no matter how long you’ve spent in the City of Angels.
Although not solely an Ice Cream shop, this mom-and-pop shop wins its place on this list through its delicious and simple flavor options. Mother Moo may not do anything exotic or exciting in their lineup of flavors, but what they do offer they make sure to offer spectacularly well. Flavors like Organic Triple Milk and Rum Raisin keep customers coming back time after time, despite being a little on the pricey side ($6 a scoop). The store also offers a wide variety of delicious pies, cakes, and other baked treats available for purchase whole or by the slice. Visitor reviews of the place always leave happy and content, if maybe slightly over-sugared.
Take those thousands you’ve been saving for that trip to Europe this summer and get ready to blow them on a cheaper, quicker, and definitely creamier option. This delicious creamery lures their customers in with palates pulled from all over the world, leading to a guaranteed feeling of global sophistication. Inspired by the many places the two founders have been to (or want to go), this international group of flavor-bursts spans the globe many times over. Tastes inspired by Thailand, Iceland, Great Britain, and even our own Pacific Northwest consistently exist as the signatures of this divine flavor cruise. Seasonal flavors take visitors off the beaten path and into new territory, with this summer season spent in China and The American Heartland. Flavor chemist Adrienne Borlongan perfectly crafts her palettes to fit each theme perfectly, and sometimes her genius isn’t even limited to the real world; the creamery will be offering a whole collection inspired by locations in the popular TV show Game of Thrones throughout July. Visit now and travel by dessert to your favorite places, real or imaginary.
They say that an outfit is only as good as its accessories, and, to be honest, sometimes our ice cream’s not much different. Although there is only one ice cream flavor available at this wonderful Mexican-American fusion, you’ll know by the first bite that it’s well worth the limits. The delicious shop serves baked goods first and foremost, delivering traditional churros (vegan!), drizzled with a sauce of your choice or plain, as well as traditional Mexican conchas. Now, while all of these things alone sound like a perfectly decent after dinner snack, it’s the combination that makes HorchateriaRL an ice cream lovers dream. Churro sundaes made up of Horchata ice cream, whipped cream, and a drizzle of your choice over a bed of warm, freshly made churros could make any visitor swoon, but even that is overshadowed by the venue’s most popular offering: the Concha Ice Cream Sandwich. The delicious shell-shaped sweetbreads are baked daily offsite and delivered to the Horchateria, which offers vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavored conchas. Stuffed with Horchata ice cream, crushed walnuts, and drizzled with cajeta, this dessert is beautiful, delicious, and nearly the size of your hand. You’ll never leave hungry or unhappy from this gorgeous combination of the Mexican-American dream.
Truly Culver City born and raised, this cute little creamery takes many of its flavor inspirations from the diversity and richness of the area it inhabits. The handcrafted small batch ice cream is made entirely from locally sourced dairy, with fruit additives bought solely from the Mar Vista and Santa Monica Farmer’s markets. Drawn in by the cute yellow decoration of the interior and adorable seating options offered outside, visitors are greeted by welcoming servers who are more than happy to allow you to try any number of flavors. Fan favorites like Billionaire Brownie, Key Lime Pie, and Burnt Sugar Vanilla keep customers coming back time and again, despite sometimes being relegated to neighborhood parking. If you’re a fan of The Big Lebowski, we’ve been told “The Dude” White Russian is a mouthful you won’t want to miss. Ginger’s also offers cookies made fresh daily for delicious ice cream sandwiches, as well as their coveted cinnamon sugar waffle cones.
Studio City, CA 91604
This quaint little creamery seeks to give you the ice cream extravaganza you deserve. Like its name suggests, this sweet franchise gives out only the most delicate of tastes, made GMO free and certified Kosher with only the best locally sourced ingredients. Fans clamor to call this little shop the best in LA, and recommend a hearty scoop of any flavor complimented by a heaping dose of the hot fudge. Exciting seasonal flavors like Licorice and Cognac Prune join classics like Mint and Salted Caramel to ensure that every guest finds exactly what they’re looking for. Further customization is allowed by adding one (or multiple!) of the creamery’s homemade toppings, or by including a hot drink or pastry with your order. Get crazy with brownie bites and toasted marshmallows or stick to a simple cone, Sweet Rose won’t disappoint.
Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream! As complicated in their products as their name isn’t, this iconic LA ice creamery wants to appeal to your sweet tooth, and they’re willing to do anything to get there. Milk offers not only delicious ice cream available in cone or cup form, but also premade macaron ice cream sandwiches, hand packed pints, build your own ice cream sandwiches with various cookie and ice cream options, as well as various baked goods, sundaes, cakes, shakes, malts, and floats. Deep breath. The flavors of ice cream rotate on the daily, so you may not always see your favorites among the options of the day; however, no one ever leaves Milk disappointed, just in a sugar haze, so when in doubt, try something new! Visitors recommend the blue velvet cake and the milk tea to wash it all down, but it’s the macaron ice cream sandwiches that really steal the show at this LA staple. Follow the hype?
Los Angeles, California 90028
The definition of exotic, this Persian must-have features all the delicately perfumed flavors you’ve been waiting for the universe to bring into your life. Visitors will have to deal with the downsides of its location (a small strip mall with minimal parking), but each and every one seems to have come away knowing it was well worth the effort. Feel free to try samples of the many regular and signature flavors, but make sure to branch out beyond fan favorites of Saffron and Rosewater. Although these two are at the top for a reason, lesser known flavors like the Orange Blossom Pistachio and Persian Cucumber are deserving of a shot at your “must try” list. Give this family owned, authentic Persian establishment a chance, you won’t be disappointed.
Although originally a Brooklyn-based company, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream recently felt the need for warmer climes and expanded to the streets of LA. Literally. This ice cream brand has moved into the City of Angels with plans for total food truck domination, taking to Abbot Kinney to peddle their wares from the street. The move to LA has given the mobile brand new opportunities on the West Coast, as they expand to California dairy and produce to make unique, local flavors. Of course, no company’s really gone West Coast until they’ve gone full freegan-vegan (just kidding). Although maybe not that far, Van Leeuwen’s has introduced a slew of new vegan flavors to appeal to LA’s large and in charge health nuts, including Matcha, Banana Nut, and Coconut Brownie. Although on busy days you may run the risk of seeing your favorite flavors sold out, visitors recommend you take the jump and run down to Van Leeuwen’s daytime spot at Abbot Kinney or their nightly stop in Little Tokyo for favorite tastes like Earl Grey and Fluffer Nutter, an ice cream made with peanut butter and marshmallow cream (cheat day dreams).
Defined as “delightfully thick, creamy and vanishingly dense; the magic of ice cream” on their site, the word gresescent suits this delightful creamery just fine. It’s not just the wonderful creaminess of their flavors that puts this shop in our top 15: it’s the gorgeous ways those flavors are delivered to you. The Bouquet in a Cone, the creamery’s most famous option, allows customers to order 10 miniature scoops of 5 different flavors, making an adorable little polka dot appearance in a large waffle cone. This beautiful (and gram-able) display also serves the dual purpose of allowing visitors to experience many more of the gourmet flavors than they probably would be able to originally, leading to a much more varied and satisfying experience. Next time your someone special says they’d love a bouquet, you know exactly where to go.
Named after the Imperial Seal of the Korean Empire, it’s no surprise that this traditional Korean Ice Cream Shop offers some regal flavors. Famous for their matcha, black sesame, and red bean, this creamery mixes everything on-site, using only organic dairy bases to ensure the highest quality. The servers make sure you never feel overcharged on your visit, as each $4 scoop is served in a heaping portion in a cone or bowl of your choice. Try your scoop of chai latte in a giant seaweed waffle cone for only $1 extra, a fan favorite at this Korean gem.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
This classic, family-owned ice cream store has been in the game for 70 years, keeping standards high and prices low with traditional recipes passed down through generations. What began as a Santa Barbara institution has migrated down to DTLA, where it has achieved similar landmark status among LA natives. The quaint little store offers a wide variety of flavors all created with sustainable tactics- all flavorings and inclusions sourced fairly and humanely from orchards and ranches up and down the coast. The creamery offers many house-made flavors in their ice cream, all served in their freshly-made waffle cones. Customers recommend trying one of their newer flavors, Earl Grey & Shortbread Cookies, but tried and true flavors like Santa Barbara Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Chips & Nibs keep visitors hooked back in again and again.
Taking a break from the traditional ice cream options in the city, this creamery hopes to take visitors back to the good ol’ softserve memories of their childhood. This self described “chef-y Dairy Queen” serves the same textured soft serve you know, with all new flavors you’ll love. Non-Dairy options like Corn Almond and Thai Tea Coconut appeal to LA’s vegan crowd, but founders Rose and Warren make sure that this scrumptious local offers a little something for everybody with flavors like Coffee & Donuts and Birthday Cake. Large portions for small prices make the soft serve shop a delicious day out without breaking the bank (they even throw in the waffle cone for free!). Each additional topping is $0.50, so feel free to go a little crazy with your delicate creations next time you’re needing a cool, flavorful treat.
13. Kiddos Creamery818 North Pacific Ave, Glendale, CA 91203
A cute little family-owned spot run by two cousins, Kiddos Creamery seeks to appeal to every taste bud. The creamery offers classic ice cream flavors year round, and offers limited time seasonal flavors as well. Fans flock all the way to Glendale for a taste of their honey milk ice cream, as well as their sugary sweet vanilla, chocolate, and matcha flavored cones. This must-try creamery also offers their delicious ice cream in sandwich form, in case you need a tighter hold on your new favorite snack.
This cute little brick-and-mortar in DTLA knows that inputting calories only feels as good as the calories you burn off doing it. Put your pedal to the metal and churn your own ice cream via stationary bike in this healthy and wholesome creamery, which serves ice cream, sorbets, and vegan desserts made with locally sourced and organic ingredients. Founder Edward Belden originally began his sustainable creamery service as a mobile feature, which could be set up all over LA. Now, fortunately, the stable service is always at the same address, ready and waiting to replace that trip you had planned to the gym.
Alhambra, CA 91801
So you may have heard of Fosselman’s. Are you surprised they’re on this list?? If you’re like us, and constantly keep your ear to the freezer looking for that perfect scoop, you’ve no doubt seen the internationally famous creamery on many a “best of” list, and deservedly so. Fosselman’s has been in the dairy game for almost 100 years, so when we say aged to perfection, know we’re not talking cheese. This Alhambra classic has served the LA area well for that time, keeping overheating Angelenos in good supply of creamy, hand-churned ice cream in the hippest flavors. Lifelong fans make pilgrimages back to the storied ice cream parlour of their childhoods, only to find that, if anything, its gotten better! Now providing a wide selection of flavors, including seasonal offers, the creamery makes sure to keep up with the newests flavor options, such as lychee and English Toffee. Fans have nothing but praise for each flavor, but it’s the Chocolate Covered Strawberry that keeps visitors begging for more. A scoop in the store will no doubt lead to a pint in your freezer, which can only lead to a full blown addiction. If you’re not feeling the straight ice cream vibe, take a chance on one of their delicious banana splits or try their milkshakes, rated #1 in the world in 2009. Fosselman’s is reasonably priced, but cash only, so make sure to come prepared.