Chilling Out at L.A.'s Coolest Artisan Ice Cream Shops

I accidentally ate my weight in ice cream (my sacrifice for the sake of research). If you didn’t already know, July was National Ice Cream Month so it was the perfect time to sample ice cream all over the City of Angels and I did just that. 

Naturally, my 10-year old didn’t mind coming along. She just finished elementary school, forever (cue the tears), and we’re squeezing in as many summer memories as we can before those potentially trying middle school years. What better way than slurping up frozen treats in the land of eternal sunshine?

We started by checking out some of the kooky flavors at local hotspots whose reputations precede them, particularly at Salt & Straw and Sweet Rose Creamery. Then we branched out, to Beverly Hills, DTLA and even the valley, braving many frustrating freeways to visit newer and somewhat lesser-known shops. Guess what? We were disappointed with exactly zero of them. And we were especially crazy about the recently opened Ginger's Divine Ice Cream in Mar Vista. 

But don't take my word for it. Go check out these lip-smacking “artisan” creameries for yourself. YOLO.

Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


Have the camera ready for the cloud of smoke that fills the room when creamologists inject -321 F. liquid nitrogen into a bowl of all-natural, organic ingredients. They say the instant freezing delivers the ultimate creaminess. Having tasted it...  Read More

Smitten Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


This San Francisco-based shop migrated to Los Angeles with its first store at the upscale shopping center, The Point, in El Segundo and a second opening soon on Sunset Boulevard. Another follower of the flash-frozen liquid nitrogen craze,...  Read More

Creams & Dreams
Photo courtesy of Creams & Dreams


Transport your taste buds to Italy and "get woke" by ordering the affogato, ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen and submerged in espresso. Or you can sip on a nitrogen-infused cold brew (not advised to do both for fear of never sleeping...  Read More

Culver City
Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


Culver City-based Coolhaus ice cream rose to fame sandwiched between a couple cookies that were all the rage at the Coachella Music Festival nearly 10 years ago. It's barely slowed down since then. Originally served out of an ice cream truck,...  Read More

Fairfax District
Photo courtesy of Milk


If you're gluten free, like me, the idea of ice cream squished between two light but crispy French macarons is all it takes to whip out the wallet and dole out the cash. Milk makes some of the tastiest and most decadent since you can opt to have...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


While most soft serve is machine-made with a mix, the owners of Magpies, Rose and Warren Schwartz, are among the few (if not only) ice cream makers in Los Angeles who have crafted their own recipe for this nostalgic frozen food. The fact that...  Read More

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream


This Midwest staple has been popping up in various locations throughout the southland, including Venice, Larchmont, Los Feliz and Calabassas, as well as other parts of the country. One of the first ice cream makers to use whole ingredients and...  Read More

Sweet Rose Creamery
Photo courtesy of Erica Allen


Every day but Sunday a mere eight to 10 people whip up some of the best ice cream in southern California. Made and packed by hand in small batches in their kosher kitchen on Pico Boulevard, the folks at Sweet Rose Creamery pasteurize the cream...  Read More

Salt & Straw
Photo courtesy of Salt & Straw


Beets in ice cream? Don't knock it until you try it. The "Top of the Beet" flavor currently being offered by Salt & Straw in their L.A.-area shops, is one of the flavors created with the intention of repurposing food that might otherwise be...  Read More

Ginger's Divine Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Wendy O'Dea


Ginger's is the new kid on the block (they opened in January 2017) but has caught up to its local counterparts by serving up some outrageously tasty treats and quickly building up a following. It's hard to choose between the handmade gourmet...  Read More


Meet Wendy O'Dea

Born and raised in western New York, Wendy O’Dea moved to Los Angeles to attend the USC graduate School of Journalism and stayed for the innovative and creative lifestyle the city offers. Other...  More About Wendy