Best ice cream in LA: Cool off with LA's best frozen treats

When LA gets hot, reach for local remedies: an ocean breeze, shady trees and, of course, the best ice cream in LA

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Mother Moo Creamery

Mother Moo Creamery Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Endless summers in Los Angeles mean non-stop cravings for the best ice cream in LA. Not key lime pie, not jelly donuts—ice cream. When temperatures climb and the Santa Ana winds roll in, treat yourself to the city's tastiest frozen treats—and there are a lot of options to choose from after a hike or even a sweaty yoga class. After all, what's the point of a great workout sesh if you don't indulge?


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Photograph: Courtesy Ramekin

Ramekin

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This hipster haven creates a sweet experience with a coffee-shop-meets-bakery feel at Ramekin. Named for the ceramic bowls used for baking (think: crème brûlée), every item on the menu is baked to order, so carve out about 20 min for your visit. Order a cup of coffee or tea (all local) while waiting for a cookie, cobblers, cake or pie. If you don’t feel like waiting, get a bowl of freshly made ice cream or sorbet. Stop drooling over your computer and go see what all the hype is about. Your tastebuds will thank you.

  1. Los Feliz
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Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

As one of the best NY imports to arrive in LA recently, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream is taking their beloved dessert to our city streets. The company, founded by Pete and Ben Van Leeuwen and Laura O'Neill, uses the finest ingredients to make star quality ice cream in continually rotating flavors, such as pistachio, earl grey tea, espresso and mint chip. Their latest addition, vegan ice cream, flips the stereotype of lackluster dairy-free ice cream on its head—here, the use of raw cocoa butter makes it creamy and rich (try the chocolate peanut butter!). The Van Leeuwen truck can be found on Abbot Kinney throughout the week, as well as Little Tokyo and in front of the LACMA.

  1. Various locations
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Sweet Rose Creamery

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Santa Monica darling Sweet Rose Creamery has added a third location to its growing franchise, opening a friendly spot on Beverly Boulevard just a couple blocks east of The Grove. Not one to play favorites, Executive Chef Shiho Yoshikawa brings her signature seasonal flavors to this outpost as well, where visitors can choose from farmers' market-inspired flavors such as ginger, licorice, and cognac prune. Classic options are on the menu as well—vanilla, salted caramel, and fresh mint are all staples—but if customization is your thing, try adding one of Sweet Rose Creamery's homemade toppings, like pecan crumble or cacao nibs.

  1. Santa Monica, Brentwood, West Hollywood
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Black sesame shaved ice at Blockheads Shavery Co.

Black sesame shaved ice at Blockheads Shavery Co. Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Blockhead's Shavery Company

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Teenagers, families and sugar hounds alike flock to this perpetually packed emporium for "snow cream"—Hawaiian shaved ice meets ice cream in layers of icy ribbons. Start with a base flavor from original and black sesame to seasonal mango and avocado, then choose your own adventure with toppings from boba to brownie bites and "drizzles” such as condensed milk and chocolate sauce. The blackboard menu guides you through the three-step, build-a-bowl process and lists favorite house combos. We love green tea snow cream with red bean, chewy mocha (rice cakes) and sweet condensed milk.

  1. West LA
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Mother Moo Creamery

Mother Moo Creamery Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Mother Moo

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Sierra Madre locals and families stop in for a root beer float, milkshakes and ice cream in flavors like chocolate made with three types of chocolate and salt and triple milk that combines buttermilk, cream and non-fat milk. Karen Klemens handcrafts her ice cream using local, seasonal produce and Strauss, organic milk.

  1. Sierra Madre
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Users say

5 comments
Cletus P
Cletus P

Whoever made this list knows little about L.A. ice cream. No one who has any knowledge of ice cream would leave Carmela off this list. Ice creams like Coolhaus are sugary crap. Carmela is better than Scoops or Rose Creamery. Few ingredients, fresh, local, organic ingredients. NO extracts. All real flavors. Seriously, if you are going to make a best list, you need to know more about ice cream.

Allison P
Allison P

No Milk?  I die over their Nutella ice cream and Grasshopper macaroon ice cream sandwiches.
Also would have liked some love for the old fashioned ice cream stands at the Farmer's Market/Grove.

Kelly Wine
Kelly Wine

Very surprised that Carmela Ice Cream isn't on your list. They rank right up there with Sweet Rose Creamery and Scoops. They have a location in Pasadena and a newer location near LA Farmer's Market / The Grove. Here's the link. Delicious!!! http://www.carmelaicecream.com/

neil
neil

Fosselman's in Alhambra needs to be on this list. Not only does it preceed any of these ice cream joints historically, they also have incredible ice cream made right on the premises.

sparklepony
sparklepony

I look forward to trying some of these but can't believe Sprinkles didnt make the cut. Their ice cream outranks their cupcakes by miles.

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