Los Angeles’ beautiful sunny weather means almost every day is a good day for ice cream. But, being in LA means you don’t have to settle for ordinary ice cream. You have access to charcoal black cones, unique flavors, and even international ice cream. Here’s the scoop on the seven best ice cream shops in Los Angeles.
1. Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw has become a West Coast ice cream phenomenon. This shop started off in Portland and now has seven shops in LA. It also has locations in San Diego, the Bay area, Anaheim, Seattle, and Miami. The business started when dream-team cousins Kim and Tyler decided to experiment with ice cream. They had no experience, but they had the passion to start something great.
Each month, Salt & Straw releases new flavors that are unique combinations. This shop is known for creating flavors that, quite frankly, sound bad but somehow taste amazing. For example, some of the recent fun flavors have been: Mushroom Muddy Buddies, Avocado Sherbet, Black Olive Brittle with Goat Cheese, and Huckleberry Cast Iron Cornbread. And vegans, don’t worry – there’s almost always a dairy-free sorbet option!
Come here for weirdly delicious ice cream that will impress you.
2. Wanderlust Creamery
This creamery has done so well that it now has five locations across Los Angeles. The concept behind Wanderlust is lovely. Flavors are inspired by places around the world in the hopes that each lick will transport you somewhere else.
The flavors do change every month, so you can come back again and again and travel somewhere new. Some of the past flavors have been:
- Olive oil and chocolate-dipped baguette (Catalonia)
- Pretzels and rye crumbs (Iceland)
- Ube malted crunch (Philippines)
- Rice milk, coconut cream, and mango (Thailand)
- Ice cream flavored with white rabbit milk candies (China)
- Egg custard ice cream with sprinkles of puff pastry (Portugal)
Not only is the ice cream delicious, but the story is one anyone can enjoy. You get to enjoy some ice cream and go on a mini-trip in your head!
3. Little Damage
Little Damage serves up not only beautiful, Instagram-worthy ice cream, but ice cream that’s delicious too! This Los Angeles soft serve ice cream shop is known for its black cones and high-quality, local ingredients. The flavors change seasonally and the shop always has at least one vegan option. Recently, we’ve been loving the chocolate & coffee flavor, as well as a good old classic – cookies & cream.
4. Mashti Malone Ice Cream
If you have been in Los Angeles for a while, you know about Mashti Malone’s. Mashti Sirvani grew up in Iran, where, as a child, he loved to make ice cream in his uncle’s store. After coming to the US, Mashti used his little bit of savings to open up an ice cream shop in LA. He has been serving up fantastic, Persian-style ice cream for over 40 years now.
Mashti’s serves wonderfully simple, intense flavors. All the ice cream ingredients are without preservatives, eggs, refined sugar, corn syrup, trans fats, or artificial flavoring or coloring. Our favorite flavors are the French Lavender, Creamy Rosewater, Saffron Rosewater, and the Turkish Coffee. This exotic ice cream will leave you dazzled and satisfied.
5. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni Britton Bauer started his ice cream shop in Ohio in 2002. It’s now been a handful of years and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has locations in 14 states, including three locations in Los Angeles. If you’re a picky eater, you’ll love Jeni’s. This ice cream shop has so many flavors that you won’t know where to start! Some honorable mentions are the brambleberry crisp with oat streusel chunks, the gooey butter cake, and the high five candy bar pint.
6. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
The concept for Van Leeuwen started in 2008 with three young founders who had a passion for ice cream. The business started off selling ice cream from a yellow truck in Brooklyn. Today, the brand has over 24 stores and has a strong focus on sticking to a handful of fresh, natural ingredients to make their ice cream. In particular, Los Angeles has fallen for Van Leeuwen’s fantastic vegan options, made out of oats, cashews, and coconut milk.
The shops bring in seasonal flavors, but it’s the classics we fall for every time. We love the Earl Grey, Marionberry Cheesecake, Honeycomb, and the Vegan Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam.
7. Bumsan Organic Milk
Nothing feels quite like Los Angeles as Bumsan Organic Milk. This ice cream shop creates cones so beautiful you almost don’t want to eat them … almost. These beautifully swirled soft-serve cones are made with dairy from the leading organic dairy producer in Korea.
The process at Bumsan is straightforward: you pick your base ice cream flavor, add in a swirl flavor, choose a cup or a cone, and add in a cone topping. While all the flavors are amazing, the Pink Guava and the Taro Milk Tea will leave you coming back for more.
Need something savory to compliment your ice cream? The good news is Los Angeles took a spot on our list of the top seven burgers in the United States. Burger and ice cream in LA, doesn’t that sound perfect?