Where to Find the Best Gelato in Los Angeles
The popular Italian dessert is enjoyed all across Los Angeles. But where can you find the best Italian gelato? And who’s still serving while we navigate COVID-19? Let’s take a look.
After a temporary closure last year due to COVID-19, the Gelato Bar and Espresso Caffé in Studio City made a return to serving some of LA's best gelato in January of 2021. And serving some of the most unique, such as a vanilla and chocolate gelato that gets a sweet sprinkling of candied orange peel. Savor some Panna Cotta gelato, Latte Mou, or stracciatella with a mix of chocolate chips. Plus, Gelato Bar has quite a few vegan options.
Open only for take-out through online orders due to the coronavirus, Gelateria Uli remains one of LA's most popular gelato spots for innovative use of locally-inspired flavors that reflect LA's diverse cultural landscape—such as horchata gelato that pays homage to Latino heritage. And Gelateria Uli doesn't limit you to enjoying your gelato in a cup: order up a gelato shake or perhaps a gelato cake that combines two of their different daily flavors.
Trained by a Sicilian gelato maker, husband and wife Leo Bulgarini and Elizabeth Foldi began selling gelato out of carts in Pasadena. Bulgarini Gelato has since grown to a popular shop in Altadena. Made with organic milk and in-season locally sourced fruit, their gourmet gelato also includes ingredients that are imported from around the world. A few of these delicacies include cactus pears and pistachios from Sicily, cocoa from the Dominican Republic, and macadamia nuts from Hawaii.
Artisanal ice cream had yet to go fully mainstream when Scoops first opened its doors in 2005. And while that original East LA location has since closed, their shops in Torrance and Highland Park are still serving awesome gelato along with their signature ice cream. Unfortunately, their Chinatown location was recently shuttered—a temporary closure during COVID-19 with plans to reopen. But at the other two Scoops spots, you can still get some great made-from-scratch gelato.
Ask a Los Angeleno about the best gelato in town and many will answer Angelini Osteria, as the upscale Italian restaurant at Beverly Grove has a well-earned reputation for fine gelato. But did you know it has a sister spot? Nearby Angelini Alimentari is a much more casual all-day eatery with a wonderful outdoor patio. And Angelini Alimentari serves up some of the same amazing gelato, made daily in-house with a continually changing roster of flavors. For a unique gelato experience, you can order a gelato sandwich with the creamy delight served on brioche.
With two locations, in Silver Lake and in Downtown Los Angeles, Pazzo Gelato serves artisanal gelato with ingredients sourced from across the globe: Sicilian pistachios, Madagascar vanilla beans, and Valrhona chocolate from France, to name a few. While most folks opt for pick-up and delivery during coronavirus days, the in-house experience is notable with a rotating roster of works from local artists across the walls. And if you want to try their sorbet you'll be treated to in-season locally sourced fruit and no artificial flavors.
The popular gelato chain that started out in Miami in 2013 came to Los Angeles in 2017 and has been impressing gelato lovers ever since. Gelato-go’s location in Beverly Hills offers more flavors than most other gelato spots, made fresh daily in small batches with no artificial flavors or artificial colors. Savor flavors from coconut and mango to cheesecake and Nutella, along with imported ingredients including pistachios from Sicily, hazelnuts from Northern Italy, and French chocolate.
Photo Credit: Gelato-go / Facebook
To find a head-spinning number of flavors check out Fatamorgana Gelato, the restaurant chain that started off making gelato in Rome before emigrating to the United States. Both the Studio City and Beverly Hills locations each have over 350 recipes for gelato and offer 66 flavors every day. The sheer number of choices can be dizzying, such as selecting from eight or more different types of chocolate: wasabi chocolate, Kentucky tobacco chocolate, and Madagascar chocolate, among others.
Flavor combos are a specialty. Mixes are available like almonds and cardamom; gorgonzola, dates, and walnuts; plus combos such as Panacea with mint, ginseng, and almond milk. And you'll also find more vegan and dairy-free flavors at Fatamorgana than you will at most other gelato places.
So, what are you waiting for? Some of the best Italian gelato is waiting for you right now all across Los Angeles.
Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.