Looking for the yummiest and best spots for ice cream in Pasadena, California?
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream in Pasadena.
Ice cream is the gateway to happiness to happiness. Don’t you agree? It’s such a lift me up whether it’s on a hot day or a gloomy one, you can never go wrong with ice cream. And enjoying ice cream in Pasadena is even better.
Reminiscence about your favorite country or city in the world with inspired ice cream from Wanderlust Creamery. The Kinder flavor with the hazelnut chocolate always takes us back to Europe.
Surprise the family with a round of sundaes from Twohey’s soda fountain. Or hit up Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream at Hasting Ranch for a cone, hurricane, or milkshake.
Have the best frozen yogurt in town at 21 Choices. You won’t believe you’re having yogurt.
Drive to Fosselman’s for the old classics. Perhaps, take the kiddos for some old fashion fun at Fair Oaks Pharmacy.
There are over many reasons for spontaneous ice cream trips. Every ice cream spot in Pasadena has its own history, flavor combinations, and sometimes cool locations to go with your ice cream experience.
When I started to put this list together, I hadn’t realized we had so many ice cream spots in Pasadena. All delicious, worth the trip to try what each ice cream location has to offer because they are all different.
When it comes to ice cream in Pasadena, we cover our bases. Each ice cream location has an entirely different menu, flavors, and combinations. Whatever you’re craving, you’ll find. Soft serve, gourmet ice cream, unique flavor combinations, soda fountains, and landmarks that are Pasadena must-visits.
What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?
You may find long lines at some but definitely worth the wait to enjoy some of these cold treats. They go by so fast and by the time you have your first taste, you’ll forget all about the wait.
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Any day and any season living in Pasadena is a good day for ice cream.
Did you know that LA County was once the dairy capital of America?
Ice Cream in Pasadena
1. Twoheys Restaurant
Twoheys is a restaurant but it gets a pass on this post because it has its own soda fountain to prepare its famous sundaes. They’ve been around since 1943 and recently moved to a new location in South Pasadena. Without a doubt, Twoheys has one of the best sundaes in Pasadena. Every single time we are at Twoheys, we order their sundae for dessert.
Part of what makes their sundae so delicious, on top of the ice cream, is their bittersweet hot fudge. It doesn’t taste anything like what you buy at the supermarket. It’s real chocolate and you can tell from the moment it hits your tongue.
The other part of what makes their sundae so amazing is the preparation. It’s an art that goes into layering this amazing sundae. They top it with delicious whip cream, nuts, and a maraschino cherry.
What to get? The sundae, of course. Choose a small or large. You can also try their banana split and milkshakes.
You can also have a freshly made hot waffle with ice cream and fruit for breakfast or dessert. This is also one of my all-time favorite combos.
Seating is available inside or on the patio.
Tip: You can also enjoy their famous sundae at Foothill restaurant.
2. Carmela Ice Cream
Have you ever given something you just finished eating a round of applause? This happens when I have Carmela’s. Their homemade waffle cones topped with any of their ice cream flavors are fantastic. Crunchy. Caramel-y. Sugary. Deliciousness.
We’ve been following and enjoying Carmela Ice Cream for many years even before they landed in Pasadena. So when having them nearby is meant to be.
Their ice cream is amazing and worth waiting in line for. Ultra-rich and creamy flavors that will leave your tastebuds and belly extremely happy. Their sorbets are just as delicious.
What to get? The flavors they offer change, but I LOVE their brown sugar vanilla. Any of their ice cream flavors in one of their delicious and irresistible cones is a must.
One of the best parts of Pasadena is all the delicious places to eat. Check out some of our local favorite spots.
3. Handel’s Homemade Ice cream
Handel’s recently opened a location on East Foothill Blvd in Hastings Village of Pasadena. This franchise that originally started in Ohio in 1945 makes homemade ice cream that is without a doubt one of the best around.
We recently visited the store which had a long line -that went fast- and a menu board of a variety of delicious flavors. You’re going to have a hard time choosing! I suggest pointing your mobile phone to the QR code they have available at the window. Take your time while online to choose the right flavors.
Between the Heavenly Hash and the Buckeye ice cream, we can’t decide what we loved more. I’ll tell you this, the ice cream is high quality and they are not stingy with the toppings that go in them. At every spoonful of my Heavenly Hash. The Buckeye is one of their top favorite desserts and if you are a peanut butter lover, I highly recommend it.
Definitely take a look at all their ice cream flavors. They are so many but they are also fun to go through and then difficult to narrow down what you’ll want. You can choose between different cones, a cup, a hurricane, and even milkshakes.
If you’re looking for a fall treat to commemorate the fall season in Los Angeles, you’ll want to try their Pumpkin Pie ice cream.
They have multiple take-out windows, including an express line just for ice cream cones and cups. There s also plenty of outdoor seating behind the store.
Vegan and sorbets are available.
4. Afters Ice Cream
While Afters has 27 locations in Southern California, this is a popular spot for ice cream in Pasadena and it’s one of the most aesthetically nostalgic and cutest ice cream places near me. Known for their delicious milky bun ice cream sandwiches and unique cereal flavor and combinations.
If you love cereal, and I mean the fun kind of cereal, you’ll love Afters.
What adds to the charm of this ice cream spot is the location. It is set up in an old school gas station that still has the old pumps. Therefore, making a cool classic place to sit and enjoy your milky bun ice cream sandwich.
What should you get? A milky bun sandwich with your choice of ice cream and toppings.
Seating is available outside.
5. Salt and Straw
Right in the center of Old Town Pasadena, you’ll find Salt and Straw on Colorado Blvd. A franchise that first opened at the beginning of lockdown and we are so happy to see them busy up to most recently.
What makes Salt and Straw one of the best ice creams in Pasadena is their unique combinations. Did you ever think of adding goat cheese to your ice cream? Probably not. You may find it in their sweet and savory combos and wonder what it tastes like.
Every month they have new flavors they create with what’s in season. So every time you go to Salt and Straw, you’ll get to try something new. They also have classic flavors that are always available like their Double Fold Vanilla and Chocolate Gooey Brownie.
What to get? Try one of their unique flavors of the month. The combination will surprise your tastebuds. Recently had the Cowboy Coffee Grounds and Bourbon and it was amazing!
Non-dairy and vegan options are available.
6. Wanderlust Creamery
It’s hard to miss Wanderlust Creamery in Old Town with their sign glowing above the structure and in the window on Colorado Blvd.
This artisanal ice cream shop has stolen my wanderluster’s heart. What I love -besides the fact that it’s delicious- is that their flavors are inspired by travel and destinations. If you want to take your tastebuds on a short trip to a new destination or one that you have memories of, definitely check out Wanderlust Creamery.
What to get? The ice cream combinations are unique, so I suggest being adventurous and trying a couple that calls out your name. Perhaps that takes you on a little trip back to somewhere you love.
The ice cream is creamy, not overly sweet and it delivers the intention of those inspired flavors.
Note: Wanderlust Creamery shares space with the Pie Hole. But as soon as you walk in, you’ll find Wanderlust Creamery to your right. Follow the line and it goes fast.
Tip: Want only one scoop but want to try different flavors? Order their split single scoop.
Dairy-free and vegan flavors are available.
7. Bloomfield Creamery
At Bloomfield Creamery you can get ice cream, soft serve, and frozen yogurt in one place. So if you’re looking for a variety for a group, definitely head here. You’ll find a variety of flavors, even the beloved Dole Whip.
What to get? If you like toppings, I suggest additional toppings.
This cute shop has seating inside and outside. Sometimes their vintage ice cream truck is parked outside.
Vegan options are available.
8. Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain
Purely the nostalgia of the Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain can’t be ignored. It is a novelty. This is a great spot for the family to bring the kiddos for some ice cream and old-school retro vibes. It’s been a South Pasadena landmark since 1915.
I adore this place because it transports me back to the past when soda shops were neighborhood staples. Also, to a time that I was not born in and I get to experience a little of what our parents enjoyed during their youth.
Get a spot at the soda fountain counter and feel like a kid again or give your kid that old-school experience.
What to get? You’ll find your basic ice cream menu here scooped cream, milkshakes, and malts. I’m partial to the ice cream floats.
Check out the top things to do and see in the City of Roses. Go shopping in Old Town Pasadena, explore our Botanical gardens, visit a museum, and more.
9. 21 Choices Frozen Yogurt
21 Choices is not ice cream but frozen yogurt. I just had to add it to this list. It is quite possibly the best-frozen yogurt around, especially if you get their French Vanilla flavor. It’s like having ice cream but not. Upon the first spoonful of their French Vanilla yogurt, you won’t even believe you’re having frozen yogurt. Their chocolate is just as good.
You can have the yogurt, plain as-is or you can try one of their mix-ins. It’s one of the things I love about 21 Choices is that you can have them hand mix-in ingredients. Fresh fruit, cookies, chocolate, whatever you like. Create your own or choose a combination from their mix-in menu.
Non-dairy flavors are available.
Expect lines, especially at night. Best to go early in the day or very late at night.
Ice Cream Shops Near Pasadena Worth the Short Drive
10. Fosselman’s Ice Cream Company
While not in Pasadena, most locals know of Fosselman’s and will trek to Alhambra for a scoop of ice cream there. They’ve been around since they first opened in 1924. Still run and operated by the Fosselman family.
Old-fashioned hand-made yummy ice cream and a variety of flavors that you’re going to have a hard time choosing from. We recently were there where we both enjoyed scoops of coffee cookie ice cream and cookie monster. Check out their seasonal monthly flavors available.
Gus’s BBQ in South Pasadena proudly serves Fosselman’s ice cream (a few of the classic flavors). In case, you do not feel like going all the way to Alahambra.
Note: Cash only. There is an ATM next door at Wells Fargo.
11. Mother Moo’s Creamery
We first discovered Mother Moo’s Creamery while looking for a new ice cream spot to take my ice cream-obsessed niece when she was a toddler. We’ve been going back since. It’s one of our favorite places for ice cream right outside of Pasadena.
There hasn’t been an ice cream flavor I have not liked. Their ice cream is creamy yet light and not overly sweet. Personally, I love their triple milk.
One thing I can assure you is that the aroma of freshly made waffle cones and other baked goods like apple pie, brownies, or cookies will lure you in from down the street.
What to get? Just don’t forget a waffle cone.
Have fun visiting all these Pasadena ice cream spots! I will be adding more to this list as I discover new places to eat delicious ice cream in Pasadena. Bookmark this post to return to it later.
How many of these ice cream spots in Pasadena have you tried? What is your favorite place for ice cream in Pasadena? I need to know! What is your favorite flavor?
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