27 Of LA's Best Vegan And Dairy-Free Ice Cream Spots
THIS STORY IS PART OF HOW TO L.A., OUR ONGOING SERIES OF PRACTICAL GUIDES FOR DAY-TO-DAY LIVING IN LOS ANGELES.
We all scream for ice cream so why should vegans and the lactose-intolerant be left out? Luckily, Los Angeles has a wealth of dairy-free frozen treats.
Our 2019 list is double the size of our 2016 list and, yes, we know there are plenty more options. Ice cream, sorbet, soft serve, paletas, granita, shaved ice and -- brace yourself -- ice cream pie. Many of these taste as good as or better than their traditional dairy counterparts. Some are even healthy. But sometimes, you just want ice cream. So we've highlighted a bunch of casual spots that will fulfill your frozen fantasies.
This beloved vegan ice cream maker has been around for years, selling pints in stores and dishing out scoops from a truck as well as a few ice cream shops. Last year, owner Diane R. Jacobs opened her own shop, which stocks 15 to 18 flavors at any time. They're made with coconut, almond and cashew milk and sweetened with agave, coconut sugar, maple syrup and dates, depending on the flavor. Her versions of classics like New York Cheesecake and S'more Road shine. Bombay Gold, her take on a golden milk ice cream (turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, with candied ginger bits) has become a new favorite. Up your game with a classic brownie, lemon meringue or caramel apple sundae. Or try an ice cream sandwich made with Jacobs's custom vegan, gluten-free cookies. Despite the awesome taste and texture of this OG vegan ice cream, the shop is struggling to stay open so a customer started a crowdfunding campaign.
601 S. Los Angeles St., downtown LA. 213-265-7785.
Le Cafe de la Plage
Bernard and Sophie Benita A duo from the south of France moved to the U.S. and brought their gastronomic passion to another picturesque locale, Malibu. This cafe's ice cream is made locally, by hand, in small batches, with organic ingredients and sweetened with coconut sugar. Flavors are rotated based on seasonality and the shop typically stocks an equal number of vegan and dairy flavors in the case (usually six to eight of each). Sorbet and fruit-forward options have a water base while the creamier flavors use coconut milk. Some vegan offerings include pineapple basil, lemon ginger mint, chocolate yuzu and choco coco (chocolate coconut date almond). They also serve coffee, sandwiches and baked goods. Practice your best influencer pose in front of their flower wall.
29169 Heathercliff Rd., Ste 112 Malibu. 310-457-3380.
If you want creamy, pure-tasting soft serve that's vegan, organic and probiotic, this is the place. Yoga-urt (a playful combo of yoga and yogurt) swirls five to six rotating flavors like Peanut Butter Prana, Coffee Karma, Peaceful Peach and the date-sweetened Ganesha's Sweet Greens (like a fruity green smoothie in soft serve form). Toppings include fruit, nuts, vegan gluten-free Charlie's Brownies, sprinkles, chocolate shell and more in cups or large housemade waffle cones. Get creative with a soft serve pie, popsicle or cookie ice cream sandwich made with crust and cookies from the almond flour byproduct of their soft serve's daily housemade almond milk. Or get extra probiotics with a kombucha float (their new Echo Park location has Humm kombucha on tap). Check their Facebook or Instagram to see what's on tap each day. If you fancy a flavor they're not swirling, you can get a scoop or frozen pint to-go.
2211 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. 213-318-5500.
1407 W. Kenneth Road, Glendale. 818-545-3880.
Frozen Fruit Co.
The Santa Monica shop slinging healthy, housemade vegan scoops expanded last year with a colorful truck, affectionately called Truckie. Many flavors of their creamy flavors, which use coconut milk and are sweetened with dates or fruit, are made with five or less ingredients. The popular chocolate mint -- just coconut milk, cacao, mint and dates -- is refreshing and decadent. Other options include passionfruit, strawberry and banana bread. They're trying out new flavors like coffee, peanut butter swirl and piña colada. Frozen Fruit Co. has six flavors at any one time. Grab a cone, cup or their version of an acai bowl with granola and toppings. For extra flair, get your scoops garnished with an orchid.
Store: 729 Montana Ave, Ste 2 Santa Monica. 424-744-8860.
Truckie: (currently focuses on three areas): Studio City (near the Barnes and Noble on Ventura Blvd.), Melrose Ave. (between N. Fairfax and La Brea) and Silverlake (anywhere along Sunset Blvd). Check weekly truck schedule on Instagram or "Find Our Truck" page.
Six vegan flavors like blueberry pie, toasted rice and flourless chocolate cake rotate every couple weeks at this soft serve shop. The unconventional standout flavor, corn almond, is a mainstay. Magpie's soft serve mix and almost all toppings are made in house. As of now, you can choose from 10 vegan toppings including chocolate shell, chocolate-covered honeycomb (a customer favorite), caramel, maple coconut chips, chocolate sprinkles and rainbow sprinkles. Vegan flavors are made with an array of milks -- almond, oat, coconut and rice -- and sweetened with organic cane sugar. If you wanna go big, get a vegan ice cream pie. Their most popular, the vegan Fried Pie, is a greatest hits medley of corn almond soft serve layered with vegan fudge, chocolate-covered honeycomb and vegan whip topped with candied cornflake streusel. Have mercy. A vegan ice cream sandwich is also in the works.
2660 Griffith Park Blvd., Silver Lake. 323-486-7094.
18971 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. 747-254-4235.
This shop's name stands for Cookies Rule Everything Around Me and they mean it. CREAM bakes cookies all day, every day and serves them warm for each customizable ice cream sandwich. Soy blueberry and soy mint chocolate chip are their current vegan ice cream flavors, which you can get sandwiched between three vegan cookie choices: chocolate banana bliss, fudging awesome or maple oatmeal spice. You can also try one of their dairy-free, gluten-free cookies: chocolate chunk, mocha fudge, or snickerdoodle.
11135 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. 818-993-1759.
"As a vegan myself, I was passionate about offering a variety of rich, flavorful vegan options that were just as satisfying as our non-vegan options," Leila Sadeghi, who started Bloomfield Creamery with her brother Bijan, tells LAist. With that in mind, along with their goal to make ice cream with the "traditional Midwestern goodness" of their Michigan hometown, they produce dairy and vegan treats, plus all the mix-ins, from scratch in-house. Bloomfield typically has four vegan ice cream flavors like mint chocolate chip Oreo, birthday cake, chocolate honeycomb (gluten-free) and peanut butter cup, made with cultured cashew milk. If you wanna get that dough, they usually offer cake batter, brownie batter and peanut butter chocolate chip vegan edible cookie dough. Ice cream is in a cup or a vegan sugar cone and the 50/50 (a scoop of ice cream topped with a scoop of cookie dough) is very popular.
1727 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena. 626-714-7750.
1427 Westwood Blvd., Westwood. 424-369-5222.
Real Food Daily
A couple years ago, this vegan restaurant that opened in Santa Monica in 1993 changed ownership. Since then, the menu has been revamped and the locations now feature an ice cream case. Sit-down diners can enjoy desserts like a brownie sundae but you can also get a cup or a cone to-go. They offer about nine rotating flavors that are coconut-based, organic, kosher, agave-sweetened and made in-house. Some favorites include apricot swirl, pistachio, cookies and cream and vanilla, all gluten-free except for cookies and cream. Certain flavors come with toppings like fresh strawberries on strawberry ice cream and caramel on the date and toffee ice cream. Their LAX location also has ice cream so you might actually get a sweet airport experience... until the sugar high ends.
899 E. Del Mar Blvd., Pasadena. 626-844-8900.
414 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood. 310-289-9910.
LAX, Terminal 4, American Airlines. 424-646-5252.
Salt & Straw
In addition to their vegan roasted strawberry coconut flavor, Salt & Straw recently added two more vegan choices to the menus at their Los Angeles and San Diego scoop shops: Freckled Mint TCHO-colate chip (peppermint coconut ice cream with untempered TCHO Chocolate) and Dandelion Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies & Cream (dark chocolate ice cream made with coconut cream and hazelnut milk with stracciatella ribbons from Dandelion Chocolate swirled in with homemade gluten-free vegan oreos). As part of their summer flavor series, they're offering a June vegan special of Berries, Beans & BBQ sauce (all in one flavor, because America) and, for July, a more lowkey but refreshing vegan Meyer lemon with blueberries.
829 E. 3rd St., downtown L.A. 213-988-7070.
240 N. Larchmont Blvd., Larchmont. 323-466-0485.
1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. 310-310-8429.
12180 1/2 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. 818-358-2890.
8949 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. 424-288-4818.
Choices abound at this whimsical wonderland of vegan treats. Ice cream sandwiches, brownie and cake sundaes, kombucha or soda floats and gluten-free waffle cones. Flavors include Unicorn Magic (pink vanilla ice cream with marshmallows, animal crackers and rainbow sprinkles) and Cookie Monsta (cookie butter ice cream with chocolate chip cookies and chocolate sandwich cookie chunks). All the ice cream is 100% vegan, gluten-free and made from scratch in small batches with a variety of bases, all nut-free. Unrefined cane sugar sweetens things up.
1253 Vine St., #12, Hollywood. 323-848-4672.
Glassmagasinet, a shop on an island off Stockholm that claims to be Sweden's and Europe's largest ice cream parlor in terms of flavors, has brought some of its 300+ flavors to the United States. Swedish Scoops gelato maker and manager Richard Abdalla ( a Swedish citizen and friend of the founder) tells LAist the Pasadena shop currently has 120 rotating flavors and serves 48 at a time, usually with five to 10 non-dairy varieties. A base of spring water and a secret sweetener help make the dairy-free flavors, which are mostly fresh fruit-based. Peach, pear, watermelon and Italian liqueur-inspired Limoncello to name a few. They also offer an extra dark chocolate. Most of their ingredients are imported from Europe, including Swedish chocolate bars, cookies and candy that they mix into some of the flavors.
26 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. 626-365-1565.
Kind Kreme at Sage Vegan Bistro
What started as Kind Kreme, a vegan ice cream shop, has expanded into three full-service Sage Vegan Bistro restaurants and a brewery. At all of these locations, you can still grab organic scoops at the ice cream counter for on-the-go consumption. They offer 12 daily flavors like vanilla, chocolate, mint chip, mocha, acai and coconut raspberry swirl as well as seasonal flavors like peach sorbet. Toppings include hemp seed, cacao nibs, goji berries, salted caramel and coconut flakes. Sandwich your scoop between fresh donuts or housemade gluten-free cookies or get an affogato (ice cream with a shot of espresso). If you prefer to sip your ice cream, try a root beer or kombucha float (they brew their own).
Sage Plant Based Bistro & Brewery: 1700 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. 213-989-1718.
Sage Plant Based Bistro & Beer Garden: 4130 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City. 424-228-5835.
Sage Plant Based Bistro: 41 Hugus Alley, Pasadena. 626-564-8111.
This small, cheery plant-based burger joint opened recently under the glow of the adjacent Los Feliz Theater's marquee. The simple menu focuses on plant-based versions of classics, including their "yella vanilla" soft serve, which is coconut-based, probiotic and in Honeybee's signature yellow. Get it as is, drizzled with Mexican chocolate or dipped in chocolate shell.
1820 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. 323-452-6500.
This Venice favorite makes raw organic ice cream with five ingredients or less. No stabilizers, binders or fillers. The coconut cream base is a luscious canvas for flavors like strawberry cream, chocolate date and Kosmic Matcha. If you want to ice cream and chill, they have a coconut honey flavor infused with CBD oil. Add "superfood toppings" (this is L.A., after all) like cacao nibs, goji berries, bee pollen, hot fudge and honey-based raw salted caramel. All the ice cream is free of dairy, soy, nuts and gluten. The toppings are also dairy-free and gluten-free. Kippy's sweetens its handmade ice cream with honey (not vegan), coconut nectar or dates (vegan). Get a bowl, sundae, banana split or tea float although ice cream in hot tea seems like a culinary race against time.
245 Main St. #3D Venice. 424-387-8765.
This bi-coastal ice cream crafter prides itself on "incredible ice cream that happens to be vegan." Most flavors are made with a base of coconut cream, cocoa butter, cane sugar and housemade cashew milk. They recently debuted cashew-free flavors made with on-trend oat milk. About 10 vegan flavors such as salted caramel, chocolate chip cookie dough and cookie crumble strawberry jam are in stores at all times. They also make seasonal specials. Vegan chocolate sauce and whipped cream are ready for some sundae action.
300 S. Santa Fe Ave. suite R, downtown L.A. 213-625-0705.
8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City. 424-341-0850.
5915 Franklin Ave., East Hollywood. 323-745-0577.
2925 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. 323-522-3456.
The Broad Museum. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown LA. Tues-Sun 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. Fri-Sun 2 p.m.-10 p.m.
Credited with helping start L.A.'s artisanal ice cream renaissance and bringing funkier flavors to the ice cream case, Scoops doesn't leave out the dairy-free crowd. Their non-dairy flavors have included green tea Oreo, almond fig, coconut pandan chocolate chip, and cinnamon apple hazelnut and are sweetened with organic sugar. They just announced all their non-dairy flavors will now be made with oat milk. Founder Tai Kim talked to LAist about shuttering his East Hollywood location June 25 but his other locations will remain open. All locations serve the same rotating flavors.
5105 York Blvd., Highland Park. 323-906-2649.
727 N. Broadway #125, Chinatown. 323-739-8675.
Scoops Westside 3400 Overland Ave., Palms. 323-405-7055.
Trek up to this acclaimed gem in an Altadena strip mall where Rome native Leo Bulgarini serves up meticulously crafted frozen creations made with fine ingredients sourced from across the globe. Known for his pistachio gelato, Bulgarini's non-dairy sorbets and granitas (a traditional Italian dessert somewhere between a slushie and a snow cone) are equally full of flavor. Bulgarini makes everything from scratch so the seasonal strawberry, pear and stone fruit sorbets taste like a pure piece of fruit at its peak and the chocolate sorbet has a deep richness. Pomegranate and blood orange granitas are also bursting with fruity refreshment.
749 E. Altadena Dr., Altadena. 626-791-6174.
Looking for soft serve? Head to the SGV for Big Softee, which calls itself a "little ice cream shop with big flavors." They use soy milk to make fabulous vegan pandan soft serve, which is a limited time offering. They also have at least three other vegan flavors: watermelon strawberry, mango jasmine tea and matcha almond.
128 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park.
Take cold pressed fruit, veggies and nuts, add dates and a soft serve machine and voila. You have a nutritious dessert. Pressed Juicery currently serves their frosty vegan Freezes in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and seasonal pineapple mango. Timed for summer, they recently debuted ice cream cones and just revamped their toppings bar so you can get old favorites like fruit, chocolate shell and almond butter drizzle plus new kids on the block like vegan marshmallows, peach gummy bears, raspberry puree, Bakeology chocolate chip cookie crumble and Kween Foods granola butter (like the spiced cookie butter flavor, which you'll want to slather on everything). With all these options and more, you'll wish Pressed offered Freeze as a juice cleanse.
Click here to find Pressed Juicery locations that serve Freeze.
No need for Aladdin and his magic carpet. Wanderlust can show you the world through its array of authentic international flavors. Their vegan and dairy-free ice creams aren't just for the sake of it, Wanderlust tells LAist, but because certain flavors taste better and make more sense with a coconut or nut base. Signature flavors always on the menu include vegan Sticky Rice + Mango (with actual rice and mango), Gianduja (Italian-inspired with pure cacao and hazelnut paste blended in) and Passionfruit Cacao (dairy-free Brazilian ice cream of passionfruit, coconut, cocoa butter and raw cacao). They also have seasonal flavors that change monthly, like June's Prickly Pear + Aloe Vera and Lilikoi Li Hing Pineapple Sorbet. Even their housemade vegan cones, made with coconut milk and a hint of pandan (a tropical pine leaf with subtle floral vanilla-like flavor), aren't basic. Don't forget the vegan toppings -- crystallized roses, sprinkles, mochi, coconut milk butterscotch and rose jam. For an exclusive vegan treat, head to Smorgasburg for their Passionfruit Escape Bar, a creamy passionfruit cacao ice cream bar dipped in Valrhona passionfruit white chocolate and covered in cacao nibs.
609 Lincoln Blvd., suite B, Venice. 424-581-6093.
3134 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village. 213-505-3905.
18511 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. 818-774-9888.
An import from Denmark, this ice cream franchise opened its first U.S. location in charming Montrose and has continued expanding in SoCal. They have a long list of classic and European-inspired flavors and anywhere from four to seven vegan choices at any time (usually more during summer when they roll out specials). Some dairy-based favorites have been phased out in favor of plant-based versions since they taste just as good, if not better, than the dairy version, Albert Thomas, their California production manager, tells LAist. Vegan favorites include Double Almond Chip and Peanut Butter Nocciella (with an italian hazelnut chocolate swirl) and water-based peach raspberry and avocado lime sorbets. Recently, they've been working on vegan crème brulée and cookie crumble flavors. Paradis doesn't use mixes, frozen fruit or purees so everything can be made fresh. They have plant-based chocolate sauce and vegan-friendly toppings too.
Paradis has several Southern California locations.
This taco stand's Frozato looks like soft serve but is vegan and gluten-free, made with fresh ingredients like nuts, soy, Japanese sweet potato and organic cane sugar. Go classic with vanilla or chocolate on a vegan cone or spring for the whole enchilada (so to speak) with a side of Hugo's vegan gluten-free churros for dipping. Not a bad follow-up to their tacos, tamales and nachos, all of which can be made vegan. 4749 Coldwater Canyon Blvd., Studio City. 818-762-7771. 3300 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village. 323-664-9400.
If you're willing to search for parking in Koreatown (although rumor has it this place has paid parking in the back), you should treat yo self. Oakobing is one of the more beloved local spots making bingsu, a popular Korean shaved ice dessert usually adorned with sweet toppings like fruit and condensed milk. They also got some celeb love recently when Priyanka Chopra and Awkwafina dined on Oakobing's sweet snowy mountains. The shop prides itself on the soft fluffy texture of its ice flakes, the cut-to-order fruit and the natural ingredients, usually piled high in an easily shareable serving size. They're mum on what sweetener they use. Any of the mango flavors are non-dairy and made from scratch. Mango, mango melon and mango pineapple are currently available anytime and come with cubes or balls of fresh fruit. If you're avoiding dairy, don't get the condensed milk and ask about other toppings.
3300 W. 6th St Suite 2, Koreatown. 213-387-4392.
The über popular ice cream truck launched a brick and mortar chain, a grocery store brand and accolades from Rachael Ray thanks to its unique flavor combos. They also just announced a bunch of new dairy-free flavors and packaged ice cream sandwiches. At their shops, you can get ice cream by the scoop as well as sizeable custom and packaged ice cream sandwiches. Dairy-free choices include Dirty Mint Chip, Mocha Marcona Almond Fudge, Salted Caramel Crunch and Cookie Dough Lyfe and dairy-free sandwiches include Cookies and Cream (chocolate cookie swirl and cookie crumb frozen dessert with double chocolate cookies), Tahitian Vanilla (Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate chip cookies) and horchata (horchata rice milk and cinnamon ice cream with snickerdoodle cookies).
8588 Washington Blvd., Culver City. 310-838-5559.
59 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. 626-486-2700.
Press Brothers Juicery
We've written about Press Brothers' super refreshing cold pressed juice slushies. Now, they also have soft serve. Get original coconut, chocolate or swirl in a cup with assorted toppings, sandwiched between two vegan, gluten-free cookies or as a banana split with spiced walnuts, strawberries and sprinkles. Or blast off with a soft serve affogato that won't melt as quickly thanks to nitro cold brew. For more frozen goodness, they have juice popsicles with or without vegan ganache and toppings. Visit their Grand Central Market stall or Hollywood restaurant for all sorts of healthy and plant-based fare.
5913 Franklin Ave., Hollywood. 323-822-5062.
317 S. Broadway, downtown L.A., Grand Central Market. 213-628-3377.
Next door to Real Food Daily, which also serves vegan ice cream, is this small shop with dairy and vegan creations. Plain white walls with phrases like "ice cream therapy" and "treat yo self" entice you to just give in. Bengees used to serve Divine Dips vegan ice cream but no longer. Now they serve soy-based ice cream made from scratch with organic sugar. Classics like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and mint chip are regularly available, as well as Thai tea, green tea and tiramisu flavors. They offer ume (Japanese plum) seasonally.
901 E. Del Mar Blvd., Pasadena. 626-673-1865.
Co-owned and operated by Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson and her husband, Nick Roberts, Small Batch makes artisanal ice cream in classic and creative flavors. They currently serve vegan Lava Flow (coconut base, strawberry swirl and toasted coconut), chocolate (coconut base) and horchata (rice milk base). For summer, they're making swirled coconut fudge caramel and mango flavors. Their chocolate sorbet is also popular. Small Batch uses only fresh ingredients, some from the local farmers market, and sweetens their ice cream with trimoline, sugar and corn syrup.
12222 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista. 424-289-9552.
Playa Provisions: 119 Culver Blvd., Playa Del Rey. 310-683-5019.