I’ve come the conclusion that ice cream is absolutely my favorite food group and I’m not ashamed. Ice cream has held a special place in my heart ever since I was a kid and my mom would treat me to Baskin Robbins on Sundays when I behaved throughout the week. I’d walk up to the counter, where they already knew me, and order my usual: chocolate ice cream with mini M&Ms. Then, we’d go back home, I’d watch Rugrats and go to bed happy.
As an adult, ice cream still brings me the same joy it did as a kid only now, I can eat it whenever I want regardless of my behavior. Typically, I’ll dive into some Caramel Cone Haagen Daz after a long day at work or make a trip to the local shop for a scoop of Honey Lavender topped by a scoop of Creamy Rose Water. As an adult, the world of ice cream is endless, and lucky for me Los Angeles has plenty of shops to satisfy my cravings.
So, here are my favorite ice cream shops in L.A. so far… there’s still plenty to be discovered. I’ve also rated each shop on a scale of 1-10 based off three categories: Flavor Creativity (meaning they offer flavors that are unique to the shop that I’ve never seen before), Overall Taste and Shop Aesthetic/Ambiance.
Salt & Straw. Salt & Straw never disappoints in the innovation category. Every time I’ve been to either the Larchmont or Studio City locations there’s always a new flavor that I’m both intimidated and intrigued by. So, for all of the vanilla lovers out there, I highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and giving a flavor like Bone Marrow and Smoked Cherries a try…or at least taste the Freckled Woodblock Chocolate.
Flavor Creativity: 10… They had a strawberry avocado flavor that was amazing so if they can make that taste good, they can pretty much do anything.
Overall Taste: 8
Shop Aesthetic/ Ambiance: 6… Since all of their shops are relatively small, I knocked a few points off due to the lack of seating.
Jeni’s. With rotating flavors, Jeni’s is always bound to leave you with a new treat each visit. The last time I went, they had a Rosé flavor. YES, ROE-SAY! It was glorious.
In my opinion, Jeni’s falls in between Salt & Straw and McConnell’s as far as artisan ice cream goes. Meaning, instead of finding a Freckled Woodblock Chocolate or Black Olive Brittle & Goat Cheese flavor like you would at Salt & Straw, you’ll find flavors that are a little less aggressive such as the Milkiest Chocolate, Churro, or Strawberry Buttermilk.
Flavor Creativity: 7
Overall Taste: 8
Shop Aesthetic/ Ambiance: 8.5
McConnell’s. Growing up off of classic ice cream parlors like Foster’s Freeze and Baskin Robbins, McConnell’s has found a special place in my heart with it’s modern take on classic flavors. This shop has some of the creamiest and smoothest flavors that force you to savor each drop.
The first time I went to this shop about a year ago, they were featuring the Chocolate Covered Strawberry flavor. What’s that you ask? It’s a little scoop of heaven that weaves bits of strawberry and flakes of dark chocolate into sweet cream ice cream. It’s the best ice cream I’ve ever had, and I do not say this lightly. Even my fiancé, who definitely judges my borderline obsession enjoyed his scoop from McConnell’s.
It’s also perfect for a friend date since their shops are relatively large with ample seating and a cozy setting. With their super cute shops and welcoming staff, you can easily get wrapped up ordering several scoops in one sitting.
Flavor Creativity: 8
Overall Taste: 10
Shop Aesthetic/ Ambiance: 9
*If you’re not in L.A. all of these shops export their ice cream directly to your front door. They also offer a pint of the month club. You’ll thank me later.*
Salt & Straw Pints Classic Pints Pack: https://saltandstraw.com/product/favorites/
Jeni’s Ice Cream Delivery: https://shop.jenis.com/
McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream: https://mcconnells.com/collections/fine-ice-creams