Let’s face it: there are few things better on a hot day than a scoop of ice cream. After all, the phrase “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” exists for a reason! This is particularly true in Los Angeles, where the heat often presents a perfect excuse to go get a few scoops.
L.A. has an incredible food scene that is often inspired by the many strong immigrant communities that make the area so vibrant. This can make it hard to choose a place to get ice cream, with classic American ice cream, Italian gelato, Mexican paletas, and Asian and Persian-influenced ice creams available. That’s why we have put together a list of some of the best places to get ice cream in the region.
At Budget Branders, we are committed to helping small businesses thrive. We offer custom-printed disposables, like ice cream cups, at prices that make sense for independently-owned restaurants, bars, and ice cream shops. If you run an ice cream store or any other kind of food business, contact us to learn more about how we can expand your marketing efforts.
The 25 Best Places to Get Ice Cream in L.A.
It isn’t hard to find ice cream in Los Angeles – but it can be a challenge to find the truly great ice cream. With so many new places to try, we thought that it would be a great idea to make a list of the shops that you just can’t miss. Check it out below – and let us know which ice cream you think is tops!
Bacio di Latte
Located inside of the Century City mall, Bacio di Latte offers some of the best gelato in Los Angeles. They offer a range of classic and unique flavors, all of which are made in-house. Flavors include coffee and caramel, pistachio, 3 chocolate, chocolate hazelnut, lemon sorbet, and the namesake bacio di latte. If you can’t make it to the mall, you can also check out their other locations in Westfield and Fashion Island in Newport Beach.
Based in Gardena, Kansha Creamery offers different flavors of homemade ice cream every day that are inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients like ambrosia melon, Jane’s lemon tart, rhubarb ripple, and I love you, honey corn bear (the ice cream names tend to be a bit…random). The flavors change daily, with about 5 offered each day, so Kansha advises customers to check out its online shop before heading out for a scoop.
Kansha Creamery has fairly limited hours, operating from 12:30 to 6 p.m. (closed Sunday and Wednesday). While it may be hard to get there when it is open, if you do get ice cream there, you can feel good about it – the shop donates a portion of its sales to local charities.
When you head to Big Softee in Monterey Park, you may think that you’re going to get a classic American-style soft serve. But this ice cream shop offers soft serve with a twist: Asian-inspired flavors that change daily. The soft serve flavors may include anything from Tahitian vanilla to salted egg custard to milk tea to ginger-kissed tofu flower. The ice cream cups are very Instagram-worthy – which is also the app that you’ll need to check out to learn the flavors of the day.
Located in Sierra Madre, Mother Moo uses organic dairy and local, seasonal produce for its handcrafted ice cream. They offer root beer floats, milkshakes and ice creams, with flavors that include roasted fig leaf, rhubarb crumble, and triple milk. Homemade pies and cakes are on the menu as well, so there is truly something for everyone here.
Some would say that Pazzo Gelato is the closest you can get to real Italian gelato in America. Pazzo Gelato is a family-owned shop located on Sunset Boulevard and has been serving up delicious gelato for over 15 years. The shop doesn’t buy pre-made gelato to sell. All of the flavors offered in the shop are made by hand each day. Pazzo Gelato also offers vegan and gluten free flavors.
Sweet Rose Creamery
Located in Santa Monica, Sweet Rose Creamery is known for making absolutely everything from scratch – right down to the mini marshmallows and candied nuts. Sweet Rose Creamery also focuses on local, organic ingredients from regenerative farmers.
Sweet Rose offers a rotating array of flavors like salted caramel, passionfruit frozen yogurt, cookies and cream and fig jam with salty crumble. You can get their ice cream in a cone, a cup, or as a sundae. Several dairy-free options are also available.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams was started in Ohio by James Beard award winner Jeni Britton Bauer. Her ice cream empire has since expanded nationwide, with five locations in Los Angeles: Los Feliz, Venice, Larchmont, Playa Vista and Calabasas.
Each shop offers more than 20 flavors that you won’t find anywhere else, like whiskey and pecan, riesling-poached pear sorbet, and brambleberry crisp. Jeni’s has both a signature menu and a limited edition menu, so you’re sure to find something you love.
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams has some of the smoothest, silkiest ice cream around – which may be chalked up to the Central Coast creamery dairy that they use in all of their confections. With locations in Grand Central Market, Studio City and the Palisades, you can choose from great flavors like s’mores, chocolate caramel cookie, piña colada, salted pretzel crunch and churro con leche.
Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bar
If you’re in the mood for a Mexican-inspired, fruit-based dessert, Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bar is the place to go. With four locations across L.A., Mateo’s also offers ice cream carts for catering. They offer traditional paletas (popsicles), nieves (ice cream), sorbet, plus sandwiches, beverages, and other foods – like jello, fruit salad, and malts.
All of the flavors at Mateo’s are inspired by fruit – many of which come from Latin America. You can snack on a soursop sorbet, coconut pineapple ice cream, yellow cherry ice cream, a tamarind paleta, a black sapote paleta or the ever-popular chile mango paleta.
Dear Bella Creamery
Too often, vegans and people with food allergies have limited options for cool treats. At Dear Bella Creamery, however, everything on the menu is plant-based, all natural, and vegan. They also offer a variety of gluten-free and nut-free options.
Founded by two Taiwanese immigrants, many of Dear Bella’s flavors are an ode to AAPI heritage. You can get scoops and pints, soft serve, ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, shakes, floats and cakes. Flavors include black sesame, cookie monsta, Hong Kong milk tea, and Taiwanese pineapple cake. They currently have two locations in Costa Mesa and Hollywood.
Scoops has only been in business since 2005, but it has reached classic status in LA. With locations in Highland Park and Torrance, Scoops is the place to find an ever-changing array of hard-packed ice cream flavors like strawberry balsamic, cookie butter oreo, almond cardamom blackberry jam, and cotton candy sprinkles. Scoops also offers a good selection of non-dairy flavors made with oat milk, so it’s a perfect place to go if you have a dairy allergy or intolerance.
Saffron and Rose
Saffron and Rose is one of two Persian ice cream shops on our list – and you should absolutely try both. Located in Westwood, Saffron and Rose uses khameh (chunks of cream) to create a thicker ice cream than most ice creams and gelatos. There, you can try classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla alongside Persian flavors like saffron pistachio and white rose and orange blossom.
Carmela Ice Cream and Sorbet
In Pasadena, Carmela Ice Cream and Sorbet is a can’t-miss ice cream spot. According to Serious Eats, Carmela makes “hands down” the best ice cream sandwich in Los Angeles. You can’t go wrong with the salted caramel ice cream, but all of the flavors are truly outstanding, from mint cacao nib to matcha green tea to Guinness to blood orange sorbet.
Carmela’s offers ice cream cones and sandwiches plus an array of mouthwatering sorbets. In addition to their main ice cream shop, you can find Carmela’s serving up their sweet treats at the Altadena and South Pasadena farmers’ markets.
Located just a few blocks from SoFi Stadium, Jamz Creamery is a family-owned business that offers “music to your mouth.” Their ice cream is made in-house in Inglewood, with options including single, double, or triple scoops, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, floats, milk shakes, and banana splits. Their flavors range from classics like butter pecan and mint chip to more adventurous choices like chocolate malted crunch and coconut pineapple. They also have vegan flavors available.
Salt and Straw
Salt and Straw started in Portland – but now has several locations in the L.A. region, including Arts District, Larchmont, West Hollywood, Venice, Pasadena, Studio City, Culver City and Anaheim. At Salt and Straw, you don’t have to pick just one flavor from their extensive menu – you can order a “flight” of four different ice creams. They have flavors that you won’t find anywhere else, like Beecher’s Flagship cheese with apple pie cinnamon rolls, spiced goat cheese pumpkin pie, and plum and hazelnut chocolate shortbread.
Wanderlust Creamery is a perennial favorite in L.A. for its inventive flavors based on its owners’ travels throughout the world. They offer both signature flavors – like sticky rice + mango, ube malted crunch and abuelita malted crunch – as well as seasonal flavors such as durian cream puff, tamal de elote and nopal. All ice creams are homemade with organic milk and fresh ingredients. They also have a number of dairy-free and vegan options.
Happy Ice isn’t exactly an ice cream shop – but this Black-owned food truck is still a great option when you want a frozen treat. They offer Philadelphia-style water ice, a dairy-free dessert that is somehow still creamy. Happy Ice has bright flavors like cherry bomb, strawberry lemon lush and blueberry blast that can be served up individually or as fun striped combinations.
ecco un poco
At ecco un poco, you’ll find a range of delicious gelato on the menu – but you won’t find any gluten. Founded by an Italian immigrant, ecco un poco doesn’t use any ready-made mixes. Instead, they rely on fresh ingredients for their house-made gelato like imported hazelnuts, single origin chocolate, and bourbon vanilla beans.
Gelato flavors at ecco un poco include custard, espresso coffee, Florentine cream, Piedmont hazelnut, tiramisu, and zabaione. Each menu item is clearly labeled with potential allergens (like milk, egg, and nuts) so that it is easy to find an option that fits your dietary needs.
From their shops in Studio City and Beverly Hills, Fatamorgana Gelato offers Italian gelato with a California twist. In addition to classic Italian flavors like stracciatella and gianduja, you will also find a selection of fruit-based gelatos made from guava and passionfruit. They also offer “sushi” gelato bento boxes and semifreddos, a frozen mousse-like dessert.
In West Hollywood, you can’t go wrong with Awan if you’re in the mood for ice cream. While it can be pricey, Awan serves up high-quality ice cream with a coconut milk base. Awan’s ice cream tends to be more gourmet than the average ice cream shop, with Indonesian inspired recipes and high quality local ingredients.
Mashti Malone Ice Cream
Mashti Malone Ice Cream offers “exotic ice creams” at its Hollywood and Westwood locations. This Persian ice cream shop has been a L.A. staple for decades after Iranian immigrant Mashti Sirvani bought an existing ice cream shop called Mugsy Malone’s.
Mashti Malone’s offers insanely delicious ice cream with flavors that you aren’t likely to find elsewhere – like creamy rosewater, Persian cucumber, orange blossom, and saffron rosewater. They also offer a number of sorbets and dairy-free treats. You can get scoops in a cup, ice cream topped with baklava, a milkshake, or an ice cream special – one scoop of ice cream between two crunchy wafers.
Pops Artisanal Creamery
Formerly known as Helados Pops, Pops Artisanal Creamery is one of the best places to get fruit-based desserts in the San Fernando Valley. They offer an array of bright flavors that regularly change, like spiced cucumber, cashew fruit, young coconut, tamarind, and vegan chocolate. Their recipes are tweaked often to match the ripeness of the fruits that they use – ensuring that you’ll get a delicious cup or cone each and every time.
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
Bruster’s may be a chain – but there is no denying that they put out seriously good American-style ice cream. Founded in Pennsylvania, Bruster’s currently has two shops in the L.A. area. The ice cream is made fresh locally.
At Bruster’s, you can get a sundae, shake, or freeze, a blast (ice cream blended with candy), cakes, pies, and other specialty items like ice cream sandwiches, Italian Ice, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and vegan ice cream made with oat milk. Bruster’s carries classic flavors like chocolate chip, vanilla, and strawberry, as well as more unexpected flavors like butter brickle, cotton candy explosion, and gingerbread man.
At Gelateria Uli (also known as Uli’s Gelato), you can sample a rotating selection of seasonal gelato or Italian-style ice cream. Uli’s prides itself on seasonal flavors inspired by local farmer’s markets. Depending on the time of year that you visit, you may be able to sample pistachio gelato, strawberry balsamic sorbet, baku saffron gelato, or blueberry sorbet.
Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co.
Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co. is one of the oldest and most-established ice cream brands on our list – and for good reason. They offer some of the best ice cream in Los Angeles from their old fashioned shop in Alhambra.
Their retail store offers 48 flavors of hard-packed ice cream, all of which is made on the premises in small batch freezers. Popular flavors include brown butter toffee, cinnamon, coconut, toasted almond, spumoni, and chocolate raspberry mousse. You can get the ice cream in a cone, a waffle cone, or as part of a soda shop speciality like a float, shake, malt, sundae, or freeze. They also offer ice cream cakes and other treats.
Grow Your Business with Budget Branders
It can be hard to succeed in a competitive food market like L.A. When you open up an ice cream shop, there is a strong possibility that you will be one of many options available in the neighborhood. Setting yourself apart with custom-branded disposables can help you expand your marketing efforts for little added cost.
Budget Branders offers a range of high quality, custom printed disposable food products, such as cups, bags, and bowls, to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the United States. We know that it can be hard to compete with the big chains who are able to order their disposables in massive quantities. That is why we offer our products in smaller quantities – and we can even store your excess products for you until you need the,.
To learn more about our custom-branded disposable products or request a quote, reach out today by filling out our online contact form or hitting the live chat button on the bottom right of your screen.