The scorching temperatures in Los Angeles and much of the country don’t seem to be letting up, so what better time to cool down with some frozen desserts? In L.A., we have not just ice cream and gelato, but also shaved ice, paleta, açai bowls and other frosty treats. The next time you head out for a day out in the sun, take a chill break at one of these ice-cold dessert shops around town.
The Best Frozen Treats to Beat the Heat in Los Angeles
With ice cream flavors inspired by destinations around the world, Wanderlust Creamery is the perfect cold treat for both the heat and yes, your wanderlust. Some of their popular signature flavors include ube malted crunch, sticky rice and mango, but keep an eye out for their monthly rotating flavors.
2. Meet Fresh
Meet Fresh has been serving up authentic Taiwanese desserts since 2007, now with over 30 locations around the U.S.A. Their shaved ice offerings are a great dessert to share with a group in this warm weather, with enough topping options to please a crowd. (They also make excellent Instagram fodder.) Get yours topped with caramel pudding, taro balls, mochi, red bean, and even black sugar boba.
3. Vita Cane
Frozen açai bowls have been popular for a while now, especially in beach cities, and Los Angeles is no exception. There are a lot of places in the city to get one, but the offerings at Vita Cane are one of our favorite spots to indulge in refreshing açai bowls and sweet sugarcane juices. There are lots of options for the base flavor here, from traditional açai to mango and ube, and each bowl comes with unlimited toppings including granola, fresh fruits, mochi and more.
4. Pazzo Gelato
Pazzo Gelato has been Silver Lake’s neighborhood gelateria since 2006, scooping up one of the city’s best creamy gelatos that gained them a loyal following. They frequently change up the flavors of their small batch gelato and sorbetto, from Thai tea mochi, lavender, to seasonal flavors like spiced pumpkin.
3827 Sunset Blvd. #D, Los Angeles, CA 90026
For paletas (aka Mexican-style popsicles made with real fruit), head to one of Mateo’s four locations around town. The late founder, Priciliano Mateo, moved to Los Angeles from Oaxaca and opened the first Mateo’s in 2000, inspired by the traditional paleta shops in Oaxaca. There are over 30 paleta flavors to choose from, but if that’s still not enough choice for you then check out the many ice creams and fresh fruit salads on the menu.
Anko is one of the most popular places in Koreatown for Korean shaved ice, or bingsoo. The portions at Anko are pretty substantial, so you may want to share it with a friend. Get yours topped with fresh fruits like mango or strawberry, or go with something even more decadent like Oreo cheesecake. Either way, you’ll be hard pressed to find a sweeter frozen treat.
400 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020
7. Tea Master
The matcha specialists, Tea Master, only serve one type of frozen dessert on their menu, but it’s a good one. It’s a creamy matcha soft serve that is dusted with matcha powder. The soft serve isn’t too sweet and has a strong matcha flavor that green tea fans are sure to love. Other than the soft serve, Tea Master serves hot or cold green tea and matcha lattes.
450 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Persian ice cream is known to be especially fragrant as it’s traditionally made with saffron and rosewater, so it’s fitting that this spot in Westwood is named after those two prized ingredients. Their bestseller is the saffron pistachio flavor, but there are many others worth sampling, from cucumber to green tea.
1387 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024
This new-ish gelato shop in Tarzana comes by way of an Israel-based shop that has managed to expand globally. There are a lot of fun flavors to choose from that rotate regularly, including mascarpone with mango jam, chocolate pretzel and more. Plus, Anita has a good-sized indoor seating area for you to enjoy your gelato in the air-conditioned store.
18700 Ventura Blvd. #120, Tarzana, CA 91356
The soft serve from Magpies does not disappoint and there are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, though we think it’s their soft serve pies that make them special. The soft serve pies are available by the slice or as whole pies and the flavor options range from birthday cake, pistachio baklava and more.