From fig jam to bacon streusel, here are all the Los Angeles spots to get your ice cream fix.
No, you're not imagining it: you'll actually find bacon streusel on the menu of a Los Angeles ice cream shop. You see, with sunny temps year-round, Angelenos have nixed the traditional grocery store pints from their shopping lists. Instead, they've demanded the unexpected from local ice cream shops when it comes to satisfying their craving for a cold, creamy treat. And thankfully, the city has delivered, as Los Angeles is home to a slew of scoop shops that take standard ice cream flavors up a notch for some unconventional (yet shockingly good) combos that are always elevated — never pretentious. Get ready to relish in the ice cream goodness.
Take a drive down Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and you'll see folks oohing and ahhing at Salt & Straw's menu of unique yet delectable range of ice cream flavors. Everything from their Pear & Blue Cheese to their Maple & Bacon Streusel are memorable (and Insta-worthy — we know, that's so L.A). But if you're not bold enough to try out their Bug Juice Sorbet (yep, we're serious), even their "classic" flavors have a Salt & Straw twist. Think: Chocolate Gooey Brownie, which highlights their house-made marshmallow fluff, and Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, a reimagined take on the salty-sweet classic that uses Guatemalan fleur de sel and hand-burned caramel to satisfy every lick.
New Wave Nostalgia Vibes
You love a bowl of good ol' boxed mac n cheese. You're also an ice cream fiend. Behold: your ooey gooey childhood favorite just got a chilly upgrade. Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is making waves with their Kraft Macaroni & Cheese-flavored French ice cream, which combines Kraft's cheese sauce mix with vanilla ice cream for a union that's as flavorful and magical as it is nostalgic. The ice cream shop is situated across numerous California hot spots, with locations spanning Culver City to downtown L.A.
Farmer's Market Vibes
Farmers markets are to L.A. what cream is to coffee: a no-brainer. Cue Sweet Rose Creamery, a small-batch ice cream shop that takes inspo from whatever is in season at the nearby Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. They pride themselves on making all flavors from scratch, offering variety each month that gives customers something new to look forward to. Think: Summer Corn ice cream with an optional blackberry compote, Fig Jam with a Salty Crumble, and Candied Sweet Potato. Find Sweet Rose Creamery at either of their two shops located in Brentwood Country Mart or Santa Monica's Main Street.
Persian ice cream shop Mashti Malone's in Hollywood and Westwood is likely the tamest on our list, yet it still packs a punch with unique flavor combinations that'll make any non-Iranian a convert. While their rosewater ice cream isn't anything new for the Iranians who frequent the scoop shop, their exotic flavors are enough to make the trek if you're not a local. Persian Cucumber is as refreshing as it sounds while custom creations like Saffron Ice Cream topped with sour cherry syrup and rice noodles will fascinate your senses.