Whether or not it’s summer, Los Angeles is more than ready to chow down on something cold. Over the last few years, ice cream sandwiches have re-emerged as fun ways to experiment with seasonal flavors, new ingredients and occasionally shocking tastes. Regardless, the result is something sweet and chilly to keep you cool. Here are a few of the best places to try ice cream sandwiches.
8588 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
What started as just an LA-based cart selling ice cream sandwiches has expanded into carts in New York, Miami, Austin, and Dallas and finally a brick-and-mortar shop in Culver City. There are a number of sandwich combinations that could be made from the various cookies and ice cream flavors. Try the Peanut Butter Captain Crunch cookie with a fat scoop of Banana Honey Speculoos or two Oatmeal cookies with Sweet Potato and Marshmallow ice cream. The menu changes often, so if you can sample Fried Chicken and Waffle ice cream or the Double Chocolate Sea Salt cookie while they are all over the summer list, make sure to do so. There are also a couple of vegan and gluten-free cookies and ice cream flavors, so everyone can experience the fun.
926 Broxton Avenue
Westwood, CA 90024
The one thing all UCLA students can count on is that they will probably eat too many Diddy Riese ice cream sandwiches over the course of their time on campus. The store is smack dab in the middle of Westwood, and there is often a long line just to get inside. There are 10 classic cookies such as Sugar Cinnamon, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut and Chocolate Chip and 12 Dreyer’s ice cream flavors. The best part is that you can snag a big ice cream sandwich for less than $2. It is hard to get a deal like that in this city, so why not get a few to share with friends too?
The Churro Borough
The Churro Borough made a genius move by using the Mexican version of a fried dessert as the basis for an all-American sweet. It is a pop-up dessert cart offering warm, cinnamon sugary mini churro spirals and pairs them with various ice cream flavors — Vanilla Custard, Horchata Sorbet, Spanish Latte, Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate, Salted Caramel Apple Pie, Bananas Foster, Peaches and Cream. There’s just one catch. The only way to get your mitts on one of these sandwiches is to follow The Churro Borough’s social media trail (follow them on Twitter) as they announce appearances at various food festivals and pop-ups at Mexicali Taco & Company. The Churro Borough will also cater private events if you really need a fix.
Carmela Ice Cream
2495 E Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91104
Carmela Ice Cream has received many mentions and accolades since it first opened, and the ice cream sandwiches are part of the hoopla. The store has five signature ice cream flavors, including Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean and Lavender Honey, and a few rotating seasonal offerings, such as Strawberry Buttermilk, Lemon Verbena Vanilla Bean and Raspberry Rose Sorbet. You will always find the three main pre-packaged varieties in the freezer case –Dark Chocolate with Salted Caramel, Chocolate Chip with Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean and Dark Chocolate with Fresh Mint, along with a couple of surprise seasonal offerings. Of course, you are more than welcome to make your own pair. The location in Mid-City is brand new, but the original store is in Pasadena.
1525 North La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90028
The magic of family-run Mashti Malone’s is the Iranian ice cream and sorbet flavors. Rosewater Saffron, Ginger Rosewater, Turkish Coffee and Orange Blossom area few of the blends that can be ordered between two thin wafers to form a fat ice cream sandwich that will most likely be different than anything you have ever tasted before. If you want to try the dairy-free options, ask for the Pomegranate Sorbet or Rose Sorbet with Sour Cherry.
1209 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Beachy Cream’s modern twist on nostalgic summertime moments is alluring and sweet — just like the ice cream sandwich combinations that have been rockin’ Los Angeles. A few of this summer’s pairing ideas include Key Lime ice cream paired with coconut oatmeal cookie, a swirl of strawberry ice cream and balsamic vinegar on a sugar cookie or spicy and candied ginger with a molasses cookie, to name a few. You can even order a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie with dairy-free vanilla bean ice cream. Of course, you are welcome to mix and match to come up with your own perfect duo, so feel free to experiment with every flavor. If you’re very lucky, maybe you’ll even happen upon the store’s new offering of cronut ice cream sandwiches!
7290 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Milk Shop’s signature ice cream sandwiches feature a twist on the traditional cookie by using a colorful macaron as the base. Try Red Velvet, the Grasshopper, Coffee Toffee, Arroz con Leche or Watermelon. Crunching through the meringue cookies is just as fun as catching any drops of ice cream that may melt down your finger. The coolest thing about this treat is that you can turn the sandwich into a cake if you want something bigger to share with a group. Or, if you are not a fan of sharing, keep it all to yourself.
201 E 4th St
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Chunk-n-Chip is the roving truck popping up at food festivals, fairs and private events all over town. If you want to take an ice cream sandwich to the max, pick one of their pre-designed pairings like Snickerdoodles with Green Tea ice cream, Almond Coconut Lime cookies with Pistachio Truffle ice cream or Peanut Butter cookies with Bananas Foster ice cream and candied bacon. If you like to live by the beat of your own drum, devise a combination that speaks to your heart’s desire. Go all the way by adding toppings such as crushed toffee, Fruity Pebbles cereal, Pop Rocks or white chocolate-covered potato chips. Be sure to check the online calendar or Twitter updates for information on Chunk-n-Chip’s next appearance.
Chrystal Baker is a freelance food, events, culture travel contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Basil Magazine, Frugivore Magazine and Politic365. She is the co-editor of a recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, and manages her own lifestyle and travel blog, Any and Everywhere, as well as the Farm 2 Plate Culinary Club site.