The Five Best Ice Cream Shops in Los Angeles

See Hopper's picks for the five best ice cream parlors and gelaterias in Los Angeles. From innovating new shops to mom-and-pop classics, LA has it all.

Hopper Editors - Oct. 26, 2017

Ice cream is a good idea all year round in Los Angeles, where warm weather attracts locals and visitors to the beach almost every weekend. In a city with diverse ethnicities and cultures that shape the numerous choices of food, there’s one treat that continues to be universal: ice cream. A scoop of something flavorful is the perfect addition while walking down the Venice Beach boardwalk, visiting Santa Monica Pier or driving to Malibu. From non-dairy eaters to those that only eat Kosher meals, customers will want to check out these top five ice cream spots that cater to just about anyone’s taste.

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Scoops Westside for every foodie’s taste

The handmade dairy and non-dairy, vegan ice cream flavors at Scoops Westside change daily. Luckily, the store updates its Twitter feed with the new flavors for customers looking to find out if their favorite flavors are available. Non-dairy flavors are just as unique as the ones with dairy, ranging from maple Oreo to blueberry pomegranate to salty avocado honey. A fresh filtered cup of coffee is the perfect balance to a cold scoop of ice cream.

Build your own ice cream treat at the Sweet Rose Creamery

Customers can visit one of three of the Sweet Rose Creamery locations for its farm-fresh, flavor packed ice cream. The stores feature 12 or more flavors daily as well as fruit pops, sundaes, milk shakes and ice cream cakes. They also make all the toppings for the ice cream in-house from scratch. The build-your-own sundae is always a hit with two scoops of any ice cream, hot fudge or butterscotch, another topping and fresh whipped cream on top. An ode to the campfire treat, the s’mores pie is another good choice, with a graham cracker crust filled with chocolate ice cream and topped with homemade, toasted marshmallows.

Mashti Malone's Ice Cream is ice cream that’s more than sweet

To say the ice cream at Mashti Malone’s is sweet is an understatement. The shop’s legendary rosewater ice cream adds an exotic flavor reminiscent of the food from the owner’s home of Iran. Most of the ice cream’s flavor comes from rosewater, which is a special distillation of roses often used in aromatherapy, as well as other exotic ingredients such as saffron and cardamom. The rosewater saffron with pistachios flavor, for instance, has a sweet spicy flavor that could be called therapeutic.

A faster, creamier ice cream at Ice Cream Lab

Best friend owners of Ice Cream Lab serve up extra creamy ice cream by using liquid nitrogen that instantly freezes different natural ingredients into ice cream. This ice cream-making process creates a creamier texture in a faster time as well as a more flavorful taste because there are no artificial preservatives. The blue velvet organic vanilla ice cream, for instance, is mixed with a blue velvet cupcake and cream cheese frosting.

Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck raises the roof

Coolhaus co-founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller both have backgrounds in design and real estate fields. As such, they name their ice cream sandwiches after impressionable architects and architectural movements such as the Frank Berry ice cream. Even the store’s name was influenced by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Started in 2009, Coolhaus now makes up a fleet of 11 mobile ice cream trucks and carts, five of which are in Southern California. It also has two storefronts in Culver City and Pasadena. The all-natural, handmade and organic ice cream comes in an array of treats that range from ice cream sandwiches to hand-dipped ice cream bars. The shops also serve up some revolutionary flavors, one of which was inspired by a sushi dinner: an ice cream sandwich with ginger cookies and chocolate wasabi ice cream.

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