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THE SCOOP ON THE BEST VEGAN-FRIENDLY ICE CREAM SPOTS IN LA

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MARIKA LILLY

JUL 14, 2020

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IMAGE VIA @SALTANDSTRAW | INSTAGRAM

Those of us with a sweet tooth can get a bad rep. But a love of sugar and a healthy diet can coexist! And let’s be real, there are times when we all could use a little pick-me-up in the form of a creamy, dreamy ice cream cone.

Luckily for the lactose intolerant and health-conscious living in LA, vegan ice cream is everywhere and anywhere — you could practically have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (not saying you should). Whether you’re dairy-averse, vegan, or just want to try something new, here’s the scoop on the best vegan ice cream spots in the City of Angels.

Visit one of Wanderlust's locations in Tarzana, Atwater Village, Venice, or Smorgasburg, and let your sweet tooth influence your next adventure. All the flavors at Wanderlust Creamery are inspired by different vacation destinations. Transport your taste buds to Iceland with the sticky rice + mango, or jet off to Brazil with cocoa butter passionfruit!

Sweet Rose's ice cream parlor has an atmosphere as sweet and relaxing as its name. The “farm to cone” shop takes their vegan desserts seriously. Opt for a fresh scoop of cookie dough, or check out the frozen bananas dipped in chocolate with toasted coconut (it’s not ice cream, but it is delicious). They’re all over LA, with locations from Pacific Palisades to Santa Monica — plus, you can find them in select Mendocino Farms restaurants.

Van Leeuwen has humble beginnings, starting out as an ice cream truck in Brooklyn that quickly turned into a vegan treat treasure. Thankfully, Angelenos didn’t have to admire the creative vegan flavors from afar for too long — you can now find Van Leeuwen on our city streets in Venice, Culver City, Franklin Village, the Arts District, and Silver Lake. Their classic flavors include Cookie Crumble, Strawberry Jam, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.

The line will likely be out the door, but the smell of fresh ice cream wafting outside will remind you that it’s worth it. Salt & Straw is known for its quirky flavors with bold tastes, and they always offer at least one vegan flavor — we’re partial to the roasted strawberry coconut. And when the ice cream is this good, you’ll really only need one option. They’ve got five locations scattered throughout the city in West Hollywood, Studio City, Venice Beach, Larchmont, and the Arts District.

Want a little science lesson with your ice cream? Creamistry is a “build your own” kind of operation that flash freezes your ice cream right in front of you. Just choose a base (the coconut base is vegan), flavors, and toppings, and watch in awe as the the masters freeze it with liquid nitrogen. Experience it for yourself in locations all over LA, including Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Koreatown, Woodland Hills, Torrance, Glendale, Brea, and Huntington Beach.

Living a dairy-free life has never been sweeter, thanks to Cocobella Creamery. This adorable all-vegan Hollywood ice cream shop whips up its base from coconut, cane sugar, and vanilla. But the real magic happens when they add vegan treats to sundaes; they have everything from strawberry shortcake to unicorn magic (pink vanilla with marshmallows, GF animal crackers, and sprinkles… with a childhood bliss twist).

Little Damage is a hip, small soft serve joint on a corner in Downtown LA. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor and sass. They’re always whipping up special vegan recipes, and your cone will be a perfect prop in front of their neon sign reading: “I LICKED IT, SO IT’S MINE!” Fitt Tip: come for the ice cream, stay for the photobooth.

Did someone say vegan sprinkles? Magpies in Silverlake and Tarzana serves up swirl cones covered with sprinkles that make you feel like you’re seven years old again. Vegan options range from apple pie to corn almond (a crowd favorite). And Magpies takes the time to label the vegan toppings, because sometimes we all need a little extra sugar on top.

Kippy’s! organic vegan ice cream is made without soy, gluten, dairy, and nuts. So, what is in it? The base is raw coconut cream that’s sweetened with dates, and there are tons of flavors to choose from, from Cinnamon Date to Kosmic Matcha. Fitt Tip: they’re situated on a popular street in Venice, but they validate parking in the nearby garage for an hour.

Meet the Cold Stone of froyo. At 21 Choices, they don’t just sprinkle toppings on scoops — they mix, chop, and stir them like they mean it. Their vegan flavor "parent trap," made with soy milk, peanut butter, and Oreos, may even blast you back to the ’90s (enter: all the Lindsay Lohan nostalgia feels).

Save room for dessert if you come to Sage Plant Based Bistro. They serve vegan ice cream from KindKreme in tons of different flavors, and all the shakes are made with coconut soft serve + raw coconut milk. Visit one of their locations in Old Pasadena, Downtown, or Culver City.

Like the name suggests, yoga and soft serve go hand in hand at this sweet shop in Glendale. The owner is a dedicated yogi, so Yoga-Urt is all about providing the same feel-good vibes as a yoga studio. Enjoy your cashew-based soft serve in a biodegradable bowl on the plant-filled back patio. Namaste to that!

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