Ice Cream Hotspots in Pasadena
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.
Perusing the streets in Old Pasadena can be somewhat of a recreational activity, so stop into Hello Gelato for a refreshing treat. The Italian-style gelatos are made in-house with perfectly creamy textures. Beautifully displayed flavors like Strawberry Lemonade, Coconut, and Mango are the perfect summer companions. Sugar-free options are also plentiful.
Carmela Ice Cream
Experience food joy at Carmela Ice Cream in East Pasadena, the perfect fancy treat in this small local shop. Chef Jessica Mortarotti uses garden-inspired herbs and spices and seasonal produce to churn out her artisanal creations. They've built a strong following with flavors such as the Earl Grey Tea, the Fresh Mint with Cacao Nibs, Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean, and more. They also offer seasonal ice cream-making classes in their “micro-creamery.”
Set among the shops in the Burlington Arcade in Pasadena's South Lake Shopping District is Float Pasadena, surrounded by British aesthetics. Here, enjoy DIY floats that blend bubbly beverages with ice cream made by the popular 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 of sandwiches and a full range of coffees and teas.
For a hybrid of frozen yogurt and interactive mix-in concept, look no further for the incredibly interactive froyo experience at 21 Choices in Old Pasadena. Six homemade flavors are made each morning on a rotating basis. Named for the carefully selected 21 ingredients that are involved in making the frozen yogurt, dessert lovers can choose from a variety of toppings like strawberries, bananas, or Reese's peanut butter cups, that are mixed into the froyo.
Tucked inside the Indiana Colony in Old Pasadena, Wanderlust's neon sign is easy to spot from the street. Their unique flavors are inspired by various locations around the world (hence the name) and incorporate ingredients from around the globe. The menu is always changing, allowing your palette to "travel" all year round.
L'moon Creamery offers both gelato and ice cream alongside their selection of boba tea beverages. Their specialty is in Thai Tea, and the Thai Tea soft serve is a delightful treat that can be topped with honey boba.
Dipwell Vegan Ice Cream
Located inside Real Food Daily, a longstanding plant-based restaurant in the South Lake Shopping District, is a selection of delicious vegan ice cream. The house-made coconut milk-based ice cream comes in several flavors such as pistachio, chocolate ganache, and cookies and cream.
Enjoy the high quality, homemade, premium ice cream from this family owned creamery. On the menu, there's also frozen yogurt and edible cookie dough. Enjoy flavors straight out of Michigan such as Michigan Cherry with Chocolate Chips. For those looking for vegan ice cream, Bloomfield offers selections such as Chocolate Honeycomb, Peanut Buttercup, and Birthday Cake made with oat milk. Ice cream chefs Bijan and Leila Sadeghi hail from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where their parents have been in the ice cream industry for over 40 years. Bringing the Midwestern ice cream traditions to Pasadena, the duo opened Bloomfield Creamery in Pasadena's East Washington neighborhood.
Located in the bustling Old Pasadena area, Oakobing offers a unique style of Korean shaved ice that is unmistakably fluffy. You can add fresh fruit, mochi, and other deliciously refreshing toppings, best shared with friends.
After's Ice Cream & Other Cult Followings
We love celebrating Pasadena's independently owned ice cream shops, but there are a couple ice cream brands that have developed a real cult following. Here's where you can get them in Pasadena.
The Afters Ice Cream in Pasadena is located in an old-fashioned gas station with a walk-up stand and bright red vintage gas pumps.
When meandering along Old Pasadena’s bustling Colorado Boulevard, stop by the Salt & Straw located in a fully restored historic building with gorgeous architecture.
In the Hastings Ranch area of East Pasadena, Handels Homemade Ice Cream has a loyal following and plenty of fanfare. Expect lines of ice cream lovers, but don’t fret. It moves fast.