Sure, anyone can SCOOP ice cream, but it takes real talent to scoop that ice cream and then put it between two cookies. Or churros (!!!). Or funnel cakes (!!!!!!). And it takes in-between talent to eat a whole fugload of ice cream sandwiches and come up with this: a list of the 11 best ones LA has to offer.
LA's 11 Best Ice Cream Sandwiches
Vanilla Custard Churro Sandwich
Churro Borough (address and info)
Get your favorite flavor sandwiched between two house-made churro discs (our rec is the vanilla custard, but let’s be honest, you really can’t go wrong with anything there), and then weep tears of unfathomable joy until you do it again. Tomorrow. Oh, and go early, cause it usually sells out. No surprise there.
Salty Caramel w/ Smoked Almonds Ice Cream Sandwich
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (address and info)
Churro Borough line too long? Walk over to Hillhurst and wait in, uh, the same length of a line for Jeni’s. It's past that whole dumb listeria thing and is back to scooping killer flavors like Wildberry Lavender and Salty Caramel -- best served for extra crunch in a sandwich with smoked almonds.
Fried Chicken & Waffles Sandwich
Coolhaus (address and info)
Nope, you didn’t misread that. It’s a real thing. The brown butter maple ice cream with candied chicken skins and caramelized waffles goes great between two freshly baked maple flapjack cookies. Or its Cocoa Pebbles cookies. Or its classic snickerdoodle. Or...
Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Sandwich
Diddy Riese (address and info)
Diddy Riese’s ice cream sandwiches made our list of 50 LA things to eat before you die, so it should come as no surprise it made this list, too; the Westwood shop’s Sugar Cinnamon cookies beg to sandwich its Peanut Butter Cup ice cream, creating an ultra-refreshing Reese's. But, like, better.
The Cream Taco
Cream (address and info)
Okay, so it’s not EXACTLY a sandwich, but when you have the option to stick your ice cream in a taco, you do it. The fine people at Cream will pack three full flavor scoops into a shell for you, plus a topping. Sprinkles, FTFingW.
Banana Dulce de Leche Sandwich
Milk (address and info)
Milk does pretty much whatever it wants, since, in addition to having an ice cream parlor and bake shop, it also dishes out burgers, hot-pressed sandwiches, and chicken. Thankfully, that whatever-it-wants-ness extends to a sweet and fruity and amazing Banana Dulce de Leche Sandwich -- order it.
Funnel cake ice cream sandwich
Ice Que (address and info)
You’ve been shouting “If only someone would make an ice cream sandwich with funnel cake!!!!” for years now. Well, it’s time to stop, ‘cause that’s super annoying and also the wizards at Ice Que done did it. They’ve stuck vanilla-mascarpone ice cream, strawberry jam, and St. Germain elderflower liqueur (!) between two house-made funnel cakes. Don’t start driving there yet, though -- you can only get one on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, like, tomorrow.
Ice cream sandwich trio
Ace Hotel (address and info)
Because he’s a smartypants, the chef at Ace’s LA chapter decided to recreate the stuff he used to get at ice cream trucks when he was a kid, which means you get a neo-choco taco, a neo-strawberry shortcake, and a straight-up It’s-It. Kind of the best threesome ever. Kind of.
Classic Ice Cream Sandwich
Sweet Rose Creamery (address and info)
So what if it’s just a classic vanilla ice cream sandwich? You wouldn’t catch George Bluth Sr. arguing about that, especially since its vanilla’s got an ultra-bold, beany flavor, and perfect creaminess. It's also got a rotating seasonal flavor for its sammys, as well as ice cream pies (!), and house-made vanilla Bon Bons.
Ice cream sandwich
Night + Market (address and info)
What we’re dealing with at this critically acclaimed Thai street food favorite is house-made coconut ice cream on top of coconut rice, all “sandwiched” in a sweet bun -- a perfect palate cleanser after its unbelievably spicy-but-delicious pork stew.
Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich
7-Eleven (address and info)
It may not be “artisan,” but come on -- don’t even pretend like you’re not about to go get one of these, like, right now.
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Wilder Shaw is a regular Thrillist contributor who is still amazed that he got paid to do this. Chat with him about what else ice cream can be served between on Twitter at @WilderShaw_ and Instagram at @wildershaw.
1. Churro Borough1726 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
2. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams1954 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles
3. Coolhaus8588 Washington Blvd, Culver City
4. Diddy Riese926 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles
5. CREAM3335 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles
6. Milk7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles
7. Ice Que401 W Main St, Alhambra
8. Upstairs Rooftop Lounge at Ace Hotel933 S Broadway, Los Angeles
9. Sweet Rose Creamery225 26th St, Santa Monica
10. Night + Market9041 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
Churro Borough sandwiches rotating ice cream flavors like bright matcha green tea or brown butter cookie between two housemade churro discs. We recommend getting the vanilla custard, but let’s be honest, you really can’t go wrong with any option. Make sure to get there early since -- to no one's surprise -- it usually sells out. Fast.
When you combine sugar, spice, and everything all natural, you get Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Although the company got its start in Ohio, Jeni’s Los Feliz outpost keeps up with the hype, serving creamy, luscious flavors like brown butter almond brittle and wildberry lavender. It’s worth the wait, but with over twenty different flavors available for sampling, the line can get quite long. When you've had your fill, take a hike up the nearby Griffith Observatory to walk off the calories.
Founded by two ladies with design and realty backgrounds, Coolhaus blends ice cream with architecture and eccentric flavors. Most of the menu offerings here are named after famous architects and combine savory with sweet, like the Louis Ba-Kahn Sammie – a scoop of brown butter-candied bacon ice cream served between two chocolate chip cookies. Even if the puns don’t register, the flavors here are beyond your wildest dreams (Whiskey Lucky Charms, anyone?). Coolhaus also rolls deep with a fleet of ice cream trucks, so you can satiate your sugar cravings on the go.
Choose your own adventure at this magical ice cream sandwich emporium, where you can mix-and-match ANY of the ice cream and cookie varieties for a sweet sandwich. At two bucks a pop, the hearty desserts are certainly affordable.
This counter-service artisan ice cream spot focuses on all home-made ice cream sandwiches. Cookie flavors like red velvet, turtle, and peanut butter can be paired with ice creams ranging from vanilla to rocky road to a soy-based mint chocolate chip. They also serve ice cream tacos (!!!). The shells come in traditional or red velvet flavor, and are stuffed with three whole scoops of ice cream and two toppings, in any combination you want.
This bakeshop and ice cream parlor serves tons of sweet goodness, plus they keep a short menu of hot pressed sandwiches and salads. But really, treats like a banana dulce de leche ice cream sandwich and a Warm Ooey Gooey Chocolate Sundae are what your going to want to order (and what you should).
Ice Que: home of the funnel cake ice cream sandwich. Do not try to discount the importance of this innovation -- you know you want to try one.
The only thing hipper than the Ace Hotel DTLA is its rooftop lounge, aptly named The Upstairs Bar. Though the roof boasts a pool and lounge chairs, the emphasis isn't really on swimming -- probably because the concrete pool is small enough to be a hot tub. But you're not there for poolside cabanas, you're there for the impeccable drinks and daily event lineup, which includes everything from DJ sets and live concerts to book release parties and yoga classes. Add in stunning city views, and you've got an unquestionable classic in the rooftop game.
Sweet Rose concocts a variety of delicious ice cream flavors, and also makes most of their toppings from scratch, including marshmallows to shortbread bits. Known for exotic creations like yam swirl with salty sesame brittle, or cherimoya, this ice cream shop is a homegrown talent (the first of its five LA locations is at the Brentwood Country Mart). But don’t worry: it also has classics like coffee and salted caramel, all of which are made from organic milk, cream, and eggs.
From LA-raised Thai chef Kris Yenbamroong, this critically-acclaimed ode to Thai street food in West Hollywood is doling out a rotating menu of spicy salads, pad thai, curries, and so much more. The far-from-ordinary Northern Thai plates certainly aren't the Americanized cuisine you're used to in LA, so trust your gut and order whatever looks good. By the way, a meal at Night + Market isn't complete without an order of coconut ice cream for dessert.