I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Summer is here, or almost, technically it’s not for another few weeks, but here in the United States, Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of the summer season. For many of us that means vacation time, beach days, and of course that sweet summer staple in a myriad of flavors and colors: ice cream.
This isn’t a best of list, because although some spots do stand out as being exceptional, is there really such a thing as bad ice cream, or for that matter dessert? I’m an equal opportunity dessert eater, so this list won’t just include the cool sweet stuff, but some other fun treats as well. I’ve shared a few of these before, but how nice to have all of these delicious options in one convenient spot.
While not technically in Los Angeles, I am starting with my most recent ice cream discovery, Black Tap, which is located in Downtown Disney in Anaheim, so almost LA. I’d been hearing about and seeing photos of Black Tap’s gigantic milkshake concoctions for years, and as soon as they opened I made a beeline straight for it. There are multiple combinations available, and there were three of us, so we decided to share…
Taiyaki is a fish shaped pastry with a texture somewhere between a waffle cone and a pancake and we do our best to enjoy it whenever possible. Traditionally filled with red bean paste, custard and Nutella are other popular options. Somi Somi in Koreatown is a great place to enjoy Taiyaki.
Stray Cat & Poke
Another great place to enjoy taiyaki is Stray Cat Poke & Dessert, which is located in Old Town Pasadena, a great place to spend an afternoon.
The Milk Shop, located in Silver Lake, is an old fashioned ice cream parlor and bake shop with a modern day twist. Not only were the treats Insta worthy, but they were delicious. Even though I enjoyed my macaron ice cream sandwich immensely I couldn’t resist the cookie dough to go, yes please!
Churned to order and paired with delicious toppings we are smitten with Smitten. You’ll find Southern California’s only Smitten location in El Segundo.
Salt & Straw
Salt and Straw’s ice cream is delicious, but don’t take my word for it, the ever present line around the block should speak for itself. One reason the line is so long… you can sample as many flavors as you want!
Rori’s has multiple locations around town, and lucky for us, one of them is within a mile of our home. If I had to pick a favorite Rori’s would be very near the top.
Sprinkles Cupcake ATM & Ice Cream Shop
Wait, what? A 24 hour ATM that only sells cupcakes and cookies? Where can I find that? Beverly Hills of course! We discovered that Sprinkles also has an ice cream shop, and we couldn’t resist. This was some incredible ice cream, and the red velvet cones were amazing. You’ll find the Sprinkles ice cream shop just next to the Cupcake ATM.
Little Damage is a family owned soft serve ice cream shop in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. With trendy black cones and unique flavor choices, Little Damage, is not your average ice cream… its ice cream with a Goth twist. We sampled Unicorn Tears, a lovely blue color, which actually tasted like vanilla birthday cake. A scoop is $6 and comes with one free topping. The trendy black waffle cone (made from activated charcoal) is $1 extra.
Sidecar Doughnuts is one of our favorite Westside doughnut shops. We aren’t the only ones who love them, so be prepared for a long line. I promise you it’s worth the wait their uniquely original and very delicious flavors are baked fresh all day long.
We love Astro Doughnuts, and their fried chicken is delicious too. They recently opened a new location on Main Street in Santa Monica, so now we can bike there.
Pictured here is a cream cheese champagne glaze 24k gold donut, which if you’re feeling spendy will set you back $100!! Yes, $100 for one donut! At a mere $3.50 the other donuts seemed like real bargains, so we got two… Elliot chose a panda donut, because… panda! The strawberry donut was so delicious we wasted no time on a proper photo.
Offering unique flavors like Habanero PB&J, trendy flavors like maple bacon, and the more traditional like lemon poppyseed you’ll find something for everyone at Blue Star. Elliot loves the Meyer lemon & key lime curd, but the crisp edges of the lemon poppyseed make it my personal favorite. Maybe it reminds me of the crisp edges on beignets?
Canter’s, an LA institution, has been serving up their award winning pastrami sandwiches and other deli fare since 1931. Beyond pastrami, other favorites on my list are the Mish Mash Soup, and the High Hat, which is basically a cupcake married to a ding dong! Delicious!
Would you like a free cupcake? Georgetown Cupcakes is giving you one! All you have to do is check out their online fridge cam for the secret cupcake of the day. Tell them the flavor when you walk in and they’ll give each member of your group a complimentary cupcake!
Whether you like it savory or sweet you’ll be guaranteed a unique and tasty treat at the Pie Hole. With 5+ locations throughout the greater LA area you have no excuses!
Lark Cake Shop
We stopped in Lark Cake Shop at the request of the kids, and thankfully we were in the mood to say yes! The Ice Box Cake was so delightful we considered going back for a second round.
The Milk Tavern is my kind of bar with unicorn crepe cakes, cotton candy burritos, rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches, and ping pong! Video games too, if you fancy them. Not only is it an instagrammers dream, but the food is delicious too.
Bottega Louie is known for it’s colorful and photogenic macarons, but it isn’t just about the sweets and treats, it’s also a full service restaurant, bar and gourmet market. @laweekly listed Bottega Louie on their 10 best macarons in LA list! We enjoyed chocolate mint, raspberry, salted caramel, birthday cake and coconut. My favorite was coconut!
Cheetos flavored cookie anyone? Trust me, it’s delicious. Not your thing? Don’t worry Cookie Good, has “normal” flavors too. The cookies here are so delicious we bought a dozen different flavors and took a bite of every single one
Compartes chocolate bars are literally bursting with deliciousness. An LA institution since the 1950s these fabulous chocolate bars are a mixture of art, style, and design. Often partnering with other iconic LA brands these are some of the most luxurious and fashionable chocolate bars you’ll ever have the occasion to eat.
If you love bubble tea (I do!) and cute things, then you’ll want to stop in at Mini Snow Monster, with locations at Universal City Walk and Koreatown. Their delicious boba is served in your choice of unique and reusable jars in various fun shapes, and if you fancy it a halo of cotton candy and fruity pebbles.
Disneyland and California Adventure
There is no way I can put together a list of Los Angeles area treats without including Disneyland. I love Disneyland, the rides, the cheer, the gorgeous surroundings and most especially the TREATS!
We do our best to limit our treat intake in our everyday lives, but this is most definitely not the case when we visit the Magic Kingdom, where we do our best to cram as many treats into our faces as possible. We especially love the seasonal treats, which often have a fun twist.
Do you have a favorite dessert? Have you been to any of these places? Have I missed any must try dessert spots in the LA area? Let me know in the comments, so I can add them to my list. Happy Summer!
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