The Scoop on Pasadena’s Ice Cream Scene

July 01, 2019 | Posted in Food

Ice cream shops thrive in Pasadena. And when the temperatures start to climb, it's prime time to go out in search of a scoop that will hit that icy cold sweet spot.

From the traditional and Instagrammable to the offbeat and internationally inspired, you can't go wrong at these premium purveyors of ice cream in Pasadena.


Set in anold gas station with a small walk-up stand, Afters (1265 E. GreenSt.) has a cult following for their signature hot-glazed, donut-like Milky Bun.Whether you opt for a bun, cone or cup, it will be tough to choose your icecream flavor given how creative and enticing the options are—think Cookie Monster,Milk & Cereal and Jasmine Milk Tea. Once you've gotten your order, settlein at one of the red picnic tables and maximize the many photogenic backdropslike the vintage gas pumps.

Bengees Ice Cream Crafters

Bengees Ice Cream Crafters (901 E. Del Mar Blvd.) in the South Lake Avenue District alsomakes a mean ice cream sandwich. They use cronuts as the "bun" and carry globallyinfused flavors like Churro, Black Sesame and Dutch Chocolate. Bengees also carriesa wide range of vegan flavors made with coconut and nut milks. All the toppingsare gourmet level, with options like graham cracker crumble and toastedmarshmallow, plus traditional rainbow sprinkles and crumbled Oreo.


Gourmet ice cream is also on the menuat Carmela (2495 E.Washington Blvd.) in East Pasadena. Chef Jessica Mortarotti usesgarden-inspired herbs and spices and seasonal produce in her artisanal creations.The Mint Cocoa Nib, Rosemary & Toasted Pine Nuts and Lavender Honey flavorsare to die for, as are the refreshingsorbets like Cucumber, Plum and Carrot, Orange & Ginger. If you want to try your hand in the ice cream making craft, sign upfor one of the seasonal ice cream making classes offered in their"micro-creamery."

Float Pasadena

Float Pasadena (380 S. LakeAve.) specializes in addictive floats that blend bubbly beverages with icecream made by local purveyor, Fosselman's. Classic floats include TheCreamsicle with orange cream soda, French vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.The Cold Brew will cool you off with a caffeinated kick. Seasonal floats andcustomizable combinations add further options. They also offer a menu ofsandwiches and a full range of coffees and teas.

Hello Gelato

If you've been to Italy, you know thatgelato is king of the ice creams. Hello Gelato (20 E. ColoradoBlvd., Suite 101) dishes out perfectly creamy house-made gelato that stays trueto the Italian approach from their small Old Pasadea location. Beautifullydisplayed flavors like Strawberry Lemonade, Coconut and Mango are the perfectsummer companions. Sugar-free options are also plentiful.

Paradis Ice Cream

A Danish export, Paradis IceCream (16 S. Fair Oaks Ave.) is part of a beloved chain in Denmark known forfreshly hand-made ice creams. With an emphasis on fresh and natural, the simplerecipes practically qualify as "healthy." So why not splurge on a Lovebox—aflight of six scoops of your choosing. Vegans go nuts for the variety offlavors catering to them here—you certainly don't have to be a vegan toappreciate the Vegan Banana Sundae, Peanut Butter Coconut Cream and HazelnutCrunch, to name a few.

Swedish Scoops

Swedish Scoops (26 N. Raymond Ave.) is a homemade gelato and coffee bar whereyou can watch the gelato making in action from their Gelato Lab window. Thestaff let you sample to your heart's content in order to land upon thedelectable flavor of your choice. More than 30 options are offered daily,including recipes inspired by Swedish treats and seasonal fruits. Swedishcandy, coffees, pastries and sandwiches also feature on the menu.