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Food

Your Los Angeles area ice cream and gelato map

A waffle cone of Earl Grey and strawberry buttermilk ice cream on Carmela Ice Cream Co.'s old ice cream cart outside the Pasadena shop.
A waffle cone of Earl Grey and strawberry buttermilk ice cream on Carmela Ice Cream Co.'s old ice cream cart outside the Pasadena shop.
(Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)

Because this summer in L.A., we’re either in the middle of a heat wave, or in between them, knowing where this town’s ice cream and gelato shops are located is about as important as having a working AC. So we thought we’d make a map of them for you. Maybe bookmark it (latimes.com/icecream) on your phone now — or even print it out and put it in your car’s glove compartment, under your bottle of Sriracha and your copy of Jonathan Gold’s most recent 101 list. 

A la Minute — More fun with liquid nitrogen ice cream, this time not in the trendy city, but in the relative outlands of Redlands, Claremont and Orange. They freeze organic ice cream in small batches with the stuff, as you watch. Orange-honey, chocolate-lavender, strawberry-balsamic. Also ice cream sandwiches. 19 E. Citrus Ave., Redlands, (909) 307-3751; 536 W. 1st St., Claremont; 117 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 363-3470, alaminuteicecream.com.

Al Gelato — Members of the Lisuzzo family, originally from Calabria, have been making old-school Italian-style gelato here since 1978, as well as pastas and soups, outstanding spaghetti and meatballs, and apple pies the size of hat boxes. Pistachio and chestnut ice cream, also candy cane and passion fruit. 806 S Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 659-8069, algelatobeverlyhills.com.

Amorino — Founded in Paris in 2002 by two gelato-loving childhood friends, Amorino now has shops all over the world, including one in Beverly Hills, where you can find scoops of mango, passion fruit, strawberry and other flavors. Amorino also does more than just scoop your gelato — they make flowers out of the stuff, forming petals with various flavors on top of your waffle cone. 9605 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, (424) 335-0317, amorino.com.

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Bennett’s Ice Cream — Scott Bennett’s family has owned this old-school ice cream shop inside the Original Farmers Market since 1963, when his uncle bought the place. (Bennett’s grandfather was the market manager from the ‘40s to the ‘60s; Bennett inherited the shop in 1992.) The shop has a decidedly retro feel, with folks in old-time uniforms, classic ice cream flavors and banana splits. But look closer and you’ll see some modern touches too — such as the Cabernet Sauvignon sorbet, which is one of 24 rotating flavors made on site.  6333 W. 3rd St., Ste. 548, Los Angeles, (323) 939-6786. 

Big Gay Ice Cream at the Ace Hotel  Until they open their actual space, Big Gay Ice Cream has hooked the Ace Hotel up with a soft-serve machine on the hotel’s rooftop lounge. 929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 623-3233, www.acehotel.com/losangeles   

Bulgarini Gelato — Leo Bulgarini’s gelato shop is way up in the San Gabriel foothills in Altadena, at the back of a giant Rite Aid parking lot. It’s worth the trek for his gelato, and folks have been known to show up with coolers for the pistachio or goat’s milk with cacao nibs. 749 E. Altadena Dr., Altadena 91001
(626) 627-7640, bulgarinigelato.com

Carmela Ice Cream Co. — Jessica Mortarotti started Carmela by selling her ice cream at local farmers markets. She now has two shops in L.A., the original in northern Pasadena and a second near the Grove, both selling her market-driven ice creams and sorbets. 2495 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 797-1405; 7920 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 944-0232 carmelaicecream.com

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Coolhaus — If you prefer your ice cream in sandwich form, Coolhaus — the company formed by Natasha Case and Freya Estreller to get us all to think about architecture while we eat ice cream — is where you want to go. They make all kinds of experimental flavors, including, and this is true, fried chicken and waffle ice cream. 8588 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 838-5559; 59 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena., (310) 424-5559, and trucks too, eatcoolhaus.com.

Cream — Originally a shop in Berkeley operated by the Shamieh family, Cream opened in downtown Los Angeles near USC, where the shop is now a student favorite. Cream has cookie and ice cream sandwiches, waffle cones, sundaes, milkshakes — and an ice cream taco, which is made by forming a waffle cookie into a kind of hard taco shell and loading it with ice cream. Flavors include: chocoholic, banana walnut fudge, soy vanilla and green tea. There are also shops in Irvine, Northridge, Aliso Viejo and San Diego. 3335 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, (213) 742-9090, creamnation.com.

Creamistry — Another liquid-nitrogen ice cream shop, this one in Beverly Hills, Creamistry makes yours to order in flavors such as Nutella, matcha, cotton candy blue raspberry, taro and tiramiso. You can also order your ice cream base made organic and kosher, or non-dairy and vegan. Add candy, nuts, fruit, cookies and cake, whipped cream or more Nutella. With locations also in Mission Viejo and Temecula. 253 S Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (424) 253-1710, creamistry.com.

CVT — Joe Nicchi and wife Tyler roam the streets of L.A. in their vintage two-tone truck that more or less matches the colors of their soft-serve flavors: chocolate and vanilla. You can get each flavor, or a twist of both, a cake cone. www.cvtsoftserve.com 

Fosselman’s Ice Cream — Family-run in Alhambra since 1919 (yep, they’re almost 100 years old), Fosselman’s makes traditional flavors as well as things like macapuno (young coconut), brown butter, green tea and taro. 1824 W Main St., Alhambra,  (626) 282-6533, fosselmans.com.

Gelateria Uli — A smallish gelato shop in downtown L.A.'s Spring Arcade (next door to Guisados), Ulli is run by Uli Nasibova. They make gelato and sorbetto every day on site, and you can get a waffle cone filled with two or even three scoops, as well as a very good shot of espresso. 541 S. Spring St., #104, Los Angeles, (213) 900 4717, gelateriauli.com.

Gelato Bar — Open since 2010 on Hillhurst Avenue in Silver Lake, the gelato here is made by Allessandro Fontana, a gelato-maker from Venice. Look for classic flavors such as nocciola, straciatella and pistachio, but also less Italian flavors too — English toffee, rocky road. 1936 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 668-0606. gelatobarla.com.

Gelato BarNot to be confused with the above, this is the spot along the cozy stretch of Tujunga Avenue near Aroma Cafe, a mash-up of a gelato bar and a coffee shop. (The two gelaterias were once owned by Gail Silverton and Joel Gutman, but were sold separately.) This one is pretty fun too, with wooden tables, huge windows and outdoor seating with brightly colored umbrellas — and, most importantly, lots of flavors of gelato.  4342 1/2 Tujunga Ave., Studio City; (818) 487-1717.

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Grom — This beloved Italian gelato chain, which arrived in New York City in 2007, now has two shops in L.A., in Hollywood and in Malibu — one of the few gelaterias near the beach.  Look for traditional Italian flavors, tiramisu, salted caramel, Italian yogurt and something called creme di grom — egg cream with corn biscuits and Colombian “Teyuna” chocolate chips. 3886 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu, (310) 456-9797; 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 873-2990, grom.it/en.

Honeymee — This little counter in Koreatown serves “true milk” soft-serve with honey or a nub of honeycomb in clear plastic cups. Just sit down on the steps of Brown Derby Plaza and eat your ice cream while you watch the crowds gathered for Boiling Crab. It’s quite a show.  3377 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown, (213) 267-0020, www.honeymee.com.

ICDC — This is an acronym for “ice cream, doughnuts, coffee” and is the long-awaited project from Neal Fraser (Redbird) and his longtime pastry chef Mariah Swan, who for years hosted the Wednesday night Doughnut Shoppe at Grace and BLD.  7454 1/2 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 746-3346.

Ice Cream Lab — Imagine if Nathan Myhrvold was moonlighting at your local Baskin Robbins, and you’d get something like Ice Cream Lab. The gimmick is they freeze the ice cream with liquid nitrogen, and they do this while you watch. This means the stuff is pricey — but a very fun show. 9461 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 795-6505; 16 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, (626) 808-4874; 369 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles, (424) 270-0009; 2728 Townsgate Road, Thousand Oaks, (805) 380-8823, icecreamlab.com.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams — Jeni Britton Bauer’s Columbus, Ohio-based ice cream company (23 shops, 2 books, lots of supermarkets) opened in Los Feliz in March — the first standalone shop on the West Coast. It’s been swamped (well, except for a few forced closures) pretty much since. 1954 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz (323) 928-2668.

Kansha Creamery — Kansha, which apparently is the Japanese word for gratitude, is run by a brother-and-sister team in Gardena. Their ice cream is made using mostly ingredients from area farmers, and a portion of all sales goes to charities such as Gospel for Asia and Children’s Hunger Fund, which means you can feel good about eating more scoops of matcha, banana-clove, rhubarb ripple, bourbon raisin and orange creamsicle. There are also parfaits and sundaes, and yes, they sometimes make ice cream with bacon. 18515 S. Western Ave., Gardena, (310) 953-7110, kanshacreamery.com.

KindKreme — Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you have to go without ice cream. This ice cream shop was founded by a vegan, for vegans, using a base of raw cashews, fresh almond milk and coconut. KindKreme is also a raw food shop, and they use raw honey in some of the ice creams — which isn’t vegan, true. They also have shakes and floats, including one with kombucha. 1700 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, (213) 989-1718; 319 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, (877) 985-5463, kindkreme.com.

Kippy’s — This is another shop for ice cream-loving vegans. Vegan and organic, the stuff is made from coconut and sweetened with honey. If this place sounds familiar, it may be because you watch “Good Morning America” — Kippy’s was featured on the show because they have an ice cream cleanse. (3 days, 5 pints per day, $199. Have fun.) 326 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, (310) 399-4871, kippysicecream.com.

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Long Beach Creamery – This brand-new place in North Long Beach is trying out some seriously adventurous ice creams — burnt caramel, Chaco-Cado. But it does the classics well too, including a terrific whiskey-vanilla.  4141 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach (562) 513-3493, longbeachcreamery.com. 

Manhattan Beach Creamery — Every beach town needs a good ice cream place, and Manhattan Beach has this one, a classic creamery with homemade ice cream, cupcakes, candy and ice cream sandwiches. You’ll be fighting crowds to pick from the 28 flavors — which can include cotton candy and Sticky Bun Crunch. 1120 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, (310) 372-1155, mbcreamery.com

Mashti Malone — Tired of chocolate, vanilla and salted caramel? Maybe get rosewater or saffron ice cream next time. Mashti Malone is run by two brothers from Iran, and it’s been serving Hollywood for about three decades now — you can also find the stuff in grocery stores. 1525 North La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (866) 767-3423, mashtimalone.com.

Mateo Ice Cream & Fruit Bars — Mateo’s is a tiny, very brightly colored shop that sells juices, smoothies, sandwiches, fresh fruit, paletas — and lots of ice cream, also brightly colored. Look for Mexican flavors, such as leche quemada (burnt milk), passion fruit, tamarind, gaunabana and mamey. 4929 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 90230. (310) 313-7625; 4234 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 931-5500; 1250 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 738-7288.

McConnell’s Ice Cream — Because for many years, to get some of this ice cream, you had to drive up to Santa Barbara, McConnell’s gave us all a break and opened a stand in downtown’s Grand Central Market a few years ago. Making it that much easier for some of us to get cones of Eureka lemon and marionberry ice cream. (They’re opening a second L.A. shop in the SFV soon.) 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 346-9722, mcconnells.com.

Mikawaya — Founded by the Hashimoto family in 1910, Mikawaya’s flagship store (named after a Japanese province) is conveniently located in the walking mall at the center of Little Tokyo. Tired of your ice cream — or gelato, as they make that too — in a cone? Try it wrapped in sweet rice paste. 118 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Little Tokyo, (213) 624-1681.

Milk — Before chef Bret Thompson opened Milk, he worked for the Patina Group, so his ice creams, brownies and blue velvet cake have some serious technique behind them. You can also get ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, ice cream sundaes, shakes, malts and floats at his two ice cream shops. 7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 939-6455; 1639 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 913-9911, themilkshop.com.

Mother Moo Creamery — Open in Sierra Madre for four years now, Karen Klemens’ ice cream shop is an old-fashioned spot, serving a number of rotating flavors, root beer floats — and lately soft-serve too. 17 Kersting Court, Sierra Madre, (626) 355-9650, mothermoo.com. 

Neveux Artisan Creamery — Open since 2011 on Melrose Avenue and named after its owner, Leo Neveux, this little shop makes over 30 flavors of ice cream. These aren’t your average flavors either — basil-olive oil, blueberry-chevrè, cardamom-creme fraiche, cinnamon-date-tahini, tamarind-peanut butter and toasted marshmallow. 7407 1/2 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 951-1002, neveuxartisancreamery.com.

N’Ice Cream — Open in Venice since 2008 and run by Christian Toxboe and Laura Nielsen, a pair of Danes using family recipes, N’Ice cream is made with milk instead of cream and is actually gelato rather than ice cream. (I guess N’Ice Gelato didn’t really have the same ring to it.) All organic and with many rotating flavors, sometimes including salted caramel, waffle cone crunch and birthday cake. 1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 396-7161; 619 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, (310) 581-0650, ilovenicecream.com.

Paciugo Gelato — This gelato shop has many locations across the country, and one a block from the ocean in Hermosa Beach. The folks there make over 30 rotating flavors (they have over 300 recipes) on-site, including strawberry-rose-chocolate chip, red velvet, chocolate-jalapeño and black pepper-olive oil.  There’s also espresso. 1034 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, (310) 379-2525, paciugo.com.

Pazzo Gelato — Among the many reasons to spend time at Sunset Junction (Intelligentsia, the Cheese Store of Silver Lake), in hot weather Pazzo should be the focal point of your trip. The espresso gelato is made with Intellligentsia and there are many excellent flavors to sample — Peruvian chocolate, maybe, or Guinness mocha chip. If you’re closer to downtown than Silver Lake, there’s a Pazzo outpost at FIGat7th. 3827 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 662-1410; 735 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, (213) 489-9020, pazzogelato.net.

Peddler’s Creamery — Love ice cream? Love biking? Well, this downtown ice cream shop — take the northbound Main Street bike lane — lets you combine the two. You churn your own dessert on a bike set up for precisely that purpose. After some peddling, you can eat your bicycle-churned Mexican chocolate or pancake batter ice cream, and feel better about it for the exercise. 458 S. Main St., Los Angeles, (213) 537-0257, peddlerscreamery.com

Quenelle — This little Burbank ice cream shop has some serious restaurant cred behind it, as owner John Park was the pastry chef at Providence, Water Grill and Lukshon before he left to open his own place. Look for ice pops and pastries, as well as flavors inspired by his childhood in the San Gabriel Valley. 2214 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, (818) 843-1035.

Saffron and Rose — This Persian ice cream shop in Westwood has the kinds of glorious flavors that you’d expect from a Persian ice cream shop with a name like that: rose and saffron, of course, but also pistachio, orange blossom, pomegranate, jasmine — and chocolate, watermelon, guava, cucumber and espresso. 1387 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 477-5533, golobolbol.org. 

Salt & Straw — The Portland, Ore.-based ice cream shop finally opened in Larchmont Village last summer. Why all the fuss? Try sea salt with caramel ribbons, almond brittle with salted ganache, and chocolate with gooey brownie and double-fold vanilla. Two new outposts are coming in the next few months, in the Arts District and on Abbot Kinney. 240 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, saltandstraw.com.

Scoops — Way before there were so-called artisanal ice cream shops in nearly every neighborhood in L.A., there was the cult favorite ice cream shop founded by Tai Kim on Heliotrope. We’re talking more than 700 flavors, including the brown bread for which the place is justly famous. There are now four shops, each run by different people, all still seriously addictive. 712 N. Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles, (323) 906-2649; 3400 Overland Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 405-7055; 5105 York Blvd., Los Angeles; 727 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, (323) 739-8675. 

Soda Jerks — An old-time soda fountain in the same 1916 building as the Santa Monica Pier carousel, Soda Jerks has ice cream sundaes, Fosselman’s ice cream, historically accurate egg creams — and soda jerks dressed as if they escaped from a 1930s department store, or a Woody Allen movie about one. 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica; (310) 393-7632, sodajerksusa.com.

Sweet Lucie’s — Sweet Lucie’s organic ice cream can be found in both a shop in Mar Vista and an ice cream truck, specifically a 1959 International Harvester Metro that has been a functional ice cream truck for three decades. Named after owner Geri Czako’s daughter Lucie, the business has not only ice cream — butter pecan, blueberry pie, Earl Grey, vanilla bean, black sesame milk tea — but also vegan options, ice cream sandwiches and milkshakes. 12222 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, (310) 245-8242, ilovelucies.com.

Sweet Rose Creamery — Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb (Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry, Milo & Olive, Cassia) opened the first Sweet Rose at the Brentwood Country Mart — now, with ice cream maker Shiho Yoshikawa, they make their small-batch, seasonal ice creams at four locations across town. Look for honey-ginger, salted caramel, fresh mint with homemade chocolate — and ice cream pie. 225 26th St., Santa Monica, (310) 260-2663; 826 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 260-2663; 7565 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 844-0944; 970 Monument St., Los Angeles, sweetrosecreamery.com

Ugo — You can get wine and pasta at this Culver City Italian cafe, but you’re mostly here for the gelato. Made in the Italian style, Ugo’s flavors include creme brulee, tiramiso, stracciatella, cappuccino, hazelnut and something called Italian Love Potion, which is made with cinnamon, mascarpone and sour cherries. 3865 Cardiff Ave., Culver City, (424) 341-2796, cafeugo.com.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream — New York-based Van Leeuwen Ice Cream started as a truck on the streets of New York City in 2008, based out of an apartment in Brooklyn. Since then, they’ve hit the roads in L.A. and are planning shops in both downtown’s Arts District and in Culver City. (They also have a cookbook.) In addition to classic ice cream, Van Leeuwen makes vegan ice cream and sundaes. Flavors include Earl Grey, gianduja, and mint chip, as well as vegan peanut butter-chocolate chunk and Sicilian pistachio. vanleeuwenicecream.com.

Wanderlust Creamery — Open since late August in Tarzana, this ice cream shop is owned by SFV natives who got tired of going over the hill for ice cream. If you’re tired of the same old chocolate and vanilla, Wanderlust excels at interesting, well-crafted flavors, including hojicha-burnt honey, abuelita malted crunch, Thai tea, sticky rice and mango, and fig leaf and pistachio. They also make their own waffle cones, also in unusual flavors — green tea, ube, black sesame, brown butter vanilla, and Speculoos. New October ice cream flavors: blueberry-elderflower and kabocha. 18511 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, (818) 774-9888, wanderlustcreamery.com.

Did we miss your favorite ice cream place? Email us and we’ll add to the list. 

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