We are ice cream aficionados around Los Angeles and Orange County. Maybe it’s our way of embracing the fact that it’s summer 90% of the year? We have sandal temps in January and access to the freshest local produce, so why wouldn’t we take full advantage?
From ice cream handmade in small batches to liquid nitrogen concoctions and Milky Buns, you can find it all within the LA/OC county lines — just be prepared to stand in a line for these hot spots.
There is a reason that salted caramel is listed first on Carmela’s menu — it’s their most popular (and delicious) flavor. Carmela offers handmade ice cream in flavors ranging from Lavender Honey to Brown Butter Sage & seasonal sorbets made with only organic dairy and farmer’s market produce. Carmela prides itself on using the best seasonal ingredients — luckily LA has some pretty great flavors all year round.
Location: 2495 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11am to 10pm; Friday – Saturday: 11am to 11pm
Location: 7920 W. Third Street, Los Angeles
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 12pm to 11pm; Friday – Saturday: 12pm to 12am
The pioneers of the “farm-to-cone” movement, Salt & Straw began as a Portland ice creamery known for specialty flavors and quality ingredients. Salt & Straw is owned by cousins and has been wholeheartedly embraced by the “insta-foodie” scene in Los Angeles. Expect a line because customers can generously sample as many flavors as the wish. You’ll be glad when it’s your turn! Their classic LA flavors include Coconut Marionberry & Pecan Shortbread, Avocado & Strawberry Sherbet, Black Olive Brittle & Goat Cheese and Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons.
Location: 240 N. Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles
Hours: Daily: 10am to 11pm
At A la Minute they use liquid nitrogen to freeze small batches of ice cream right in front of their customers. Fog billows out of the bowl as they pour in the liquid nitrogen revealing your freshly made ice cream. Their ice cream base is 100% organic and they use local ingredients whenever possible. A la Minute teams up with some great local businesses to craft delicious flavors and an even better community. The flavors range from Olive Oil Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Lavender to Strawberry Balsamic.
Location: 117 N. Glassell Street, Orange
Location: Claremont (Packing House), 536 W. 1st Street
AFTERS Ice Cream is a collaboration between clothing industry veterans Andy Nguyen and Scott Nghiem. Their staple menu item is their famous “Milky Bun” featuring a twist on the classic filled doughnut by stuffing your warm doughnut with ice cream and toppings of your choice. The process of making the Milky Bun involves four key steps: choose ice cream, fill, seal, and eat. The shop uses a waffle iron-like press to seal the bun and what you end up getting is a contrast of warm, dense sweetness and cool, creamy flavor. AFTERS’ most popular flavors range from Cookie Monster, Milk and Cereal to Jasmine Milk Tea. Also expect a line–it’s all a part of the charm, we swear.
Location: 18030 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley
Location: 5708 E. 7th St., Long Beach
Location: 13925 City Center Dr. #2060, Chino Hills
Hours: Daily: 12pm to 12am for all locations
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams has been making ice cream from scratch since 1949. They’re famous for using California Central Coast milk and cream and local, sustainable and organic, raw ingredients, sourced from partner farms and artisans. Their ice creams are a perfect balance of flavor, smooth texture and creaminess. Try your favorite flavors with their three-scoop flight or indulge in a Cold Brew Float! Some of our favorite flavors are their Churros con Leche, Sea Salt Cream & Cookies, and Toasted Coconut Almond Chip.
Location: Grand Central Market, 317 South Broadway, Los Angeles
Hours: Sunday- Wednesday: 11am to 6pm; Thursday-Saturday: 11am to 9pm