For most, nothing screams summer like the sweet aroma of a freshly made waffle cone and a fat scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor. Although the cold weather in Kansas City never stopped me from eating ice cream in the middle of winter, luckily in beautiful LA, everyday feels like summer. For an ice cream fanatic like me, the weather has given me even more of an excuse to make ice cream one of my primary food groups. During my first year at USC, I have been on a quest to eat my way through LA ice cream. We work hard as engineers and deserve to treat ourselves! Nothing cures a stressed mind like a scoop (or two) of ice cream. After hard deliberation and repeated visits (for comparison reasons only), I present to you my top three favorite, MUST GO to ice cream places in LA if you are as much of a fanatic as me.
BAE: Little Tokyo
After scrolling through the countless food instagrams on my explore page, I luckily stumbled upon BAE and was immediately intrigued by its aesthetic soft serve cones. BAE is an ice cream shop located in the heart of Little Tokyo, only a 15-20 minute drive from campus. If you live by the motto “phone eats first” this is definitely the right place for you. BAE caters to the trendy ice cream lover with their pineapple charcoal and matcha flavors and their colored cones. Can’t pick just one flavor? No problem!! Decadent swirls are a must! The ice cream tastes as good as it looks. Who needs a boyfriend when you can have this BAE:)
The Bigg Chill: Beverly Hills
Another target for the trendy ice cream lover, The Bigg Chill’s decadent soft serve begged me to pay a visit for months before I finally made the hike to Beverly Hills for a taste. Although it is far from campus, it is definitely worth a visit. The Bigg Chill has a large selection of tasty soft serve flavors but the real steal is the toppings. I think every topping known to mankind is at your fingertips, including about 8 types of edible cookie dough. One word of caution: from experience, I would try to avoid stacking four flavors of cookie dough on your soft serve if you want to be able to avoid a food coma. Nothing screams chill weekend evening like a trip to the Bigg Chill.
Salt and Straw: Arts District
Although I love all ice cream equally, Salt and Straw reigns supreme as my favorite ice cream of all time, and the best shop to visit in LA. This is one of the places that I feel happiest. Salt and Straw drops my bank account with their homemade and mouth watering waffle cones and their wide variety of fun flavors. Although I love soft serve, nothing beats traditional scoops. Each month, Salt and Straw introduces 6 new flavors that are usually themed. My roommate and I religiously make sure to go at least once a month to try the new flavors, except I will admit that I have gone 3 times in a week before… not super proud of it but it was definitely worth it. Salt and Straw has something for everyone ranging from the bizarre flavors to the classics. My personal favorite is the Sea Salt Caramel Ribbon but you simply can’t go wrong with any choice you make. 10/10 recommend a must for sure.
Whether you are into scoops or softserve, toppings or traditional, trendy or classic, LA has got the ice cream scene covered. Although these are my favorite 3, I still have a huge list of places left to visit in the fall. Amidst the stress of school and studying, it is important to treat yourself for all the hard work. I love getting ice cream because it is a fun way to explore LA and get to hang out with my friends. Let me know your favorite ice cream places; I am always down to explore!!