Two Must-See (and Must-Taste) LA Ice Cream Shops

With summer officially here we thought we should alert you to two Los Angeles ice cream shops that have it all: good ice cream, good cookies, and good looks. Not only do these shops scoop all natural, handcrafted, and highly flavorful ice cream—they are also exemplary in design.

Neatly tucked into a city with a serious sweet (and savory) tooth, these spaces are as equally inventive and alluring as the ice cream.

Recently opened in Beverly Hills is Candace and Charles Nelson’s much-anticipated Sprinkles Ice Cream, designed by architect Andrea Lenardin Madden of LA architecture/branding/packing design firm a l m project. Located next door to the company’s flagship cupcake bakery (complete with a 24-hour Cupcake ATM), Sprinkles Ice Cream is a futuristic take on the old-fashioned scoop shop, while keeping with the brand’s modern aesthetic. The white perforated awning, with its scalloped bottom edge is evocative of an eyelet tablecloth or an abstracted French pastry doily. The interior is blanketed with white Corian and penny tile offset by rich pops of red—including Thomas Jefferson’s ice cream recipe penned onto the overhead rotunda—which echo the gorgeous red velvet waffle cones. And if the old ice cream-in-a-cone isn’t your thing, there’s a Sprinkles Sandwich: ice cream in flavors ranging from vanilla bean to Cap’n Crunch pressed between two cupcake tops.

Another favorite shop with a tried-and-true ice cream sandwich is The Coolhaus Shop in Culver City. After launching a line of wildly popular ice cream trucks, architect Natasha Case and real estate developer Freya Estreller opened this brick-and-mortar location late last year.

The moniker is a triple entendre on the Bauhaus design movement, Dutch architect and theorist Rem Koolhaas, and the phrase “cool house.” “Isn’t that what you’re eating,” the website asks of us, “an ice cream sandwich deconstructed into a cookie roof and a floor slab with ice cream walls?”

The adorable brick storefront, reminiscent of a pink cake box, is emblazoned with the iconic Coolhaus logo, like a badge earned from slinging sammies for four years in four cities. Designed by architects and designers Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph of Design, Bitches, the clean, industrial feel of the white walls (one brick, one tile) and exposed black and metal structural elements are enhanced by a playful black graphic puddle (of ice cream?), a gradient of warm colors on the back wall, and jumbo suspended silver helium letter balloons that spell out COOL. As for the ice cream, it features local and seasonal farmer’s market ingredients, pressed between two cookies and wrapped in an edible packaging. If, after sampling all the flavors with their little silver spoons and you still don’t know what to get, they will not fault you for going classic – “Mies Vanilla Rohe (Vanilla ice cream + Chocolate Chip cookie) or Frank Berry (Strawberry ice cream + Snickerdoodle cookie) are very respectable choices.”

Aside from the fact that their ice cream is delicious and pretty, Sprinkles Ice Cream and The Coolhaus Shop have carved out inspiring architectural spaces in the city that give us something to admire while waiting in line. Needless to say, both of these modern ice cream parlors are worth a visit day or night this weekend, and probably next weekend too.

Sprinkles Ice Cream; 9631 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills

The Coolhaus Shop; 8588 Washington Blvd, Culver City

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