I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream—but what about gelato? This Italian delicacy is generally lower in sugar, fat and calories than our favorite frozen treat—which, to many health-conscious Angelenos—makes it twice as nice. Here are the top spots to find the best gelato in Los Angeles.
Leo Bulgarini and Elizabeth Foldi have completely captured the hearts and mouths of Angelenos with their old-fashioned, flavor-filled, creme de le creme (so to speak) gelato. The husband and wife team use rich, locally sourced milk from Broguiere's Dairy in Montebello, and use only the best fruits and nuts, such as the pistachios they import from the Sicilian town of Bronte, which are found in their to-die-for pistachio gelato. We're also partial to the seasonal Torte di Gelato—a frozen treat featuring several flavors of gelato, of which include chocolate salt and pear, pumpkin pie, chocolate, pistachio and pomegranate.
749 E Altadena Dr, Altadena (626) 627-7640
2 Gelato Bar & Espresso Cafe
Great taste must run in the family as Studio City's Gelato Bar is run by Gail Silverton, the sister of recent James Beard winner and Mozza chief Nancy Silverton. You'll find a plethora of inventive and innovative flavors here along with traditional scoops like coffee and hazelnut, such as olive oil, fruity ricotta cheesecake, lavender and our favorite, the honey fig mascarpone.
4342 Tujunga Ave, Studio City (818) 487-1717
Pazzo is all about "adventurous' taste, and you'll definitely find that here in spades thanks to its extensive, awe-inspiring gelato list. If you're a person who has a problem making a decision, you might just be stuck at this counter for hours. Pazzo offers everything from amaretto gelato actually infused with Disaranno to avocado with cayenne pepper (yes, really), banana fudge with toasted almonds, chevre/goat cheese (available with fig, raspberry, sour cherry or chocolate hazelnut swirl), amazing chocolate confections such as Venezuelan(72%), Madagascar (64%), Peruvian (65%), Hawaiian (56%), and Mexican chocolate with vanilla and cinnamon and peanut butter with sour cherry and fudge swirl. The list is endless. So yes, in effect, you might have 99 problems and a choice IS one.
3827 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles (323) 662-1410
4 Al Gelato
This Beverly Hills institution offers a variety of homemade flavors, a few of which have a slight emphasis on wine, such as the Cabernet Ice and Wine Raisin. We're big fans of the seasonal flavors, such as pumpkin, egg nog and candy cane, but to be honest, our heart is really tied to the gelato drinks. For an end-of-day non-alcoholic buzz, sip up the Gelato Con Espresso, which pairs any flavor with espresso, or, for a less caffeine-fueled libation, try a good, old-fashioned root beer float.
806 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles (310) 659-8069
The relatively new West 3rd St. eatery Pistola may seem like an odd choice to top our list, but then, you clearly haven't had Chef Vic Casanova's Banana Cream Gelato Pie, have you? This sweet treat includes a chocolate cookie crust, caramelized bananas, chocolate fonduta and vanilla bean whipped cream and tastes, no joke, like a party in your mouth. For those who prefer simpler fare, Pistola also offers up delightful gelati flavors such as vanilla bean, strawberry and mint chocolate chip.
8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles (323) 951-9800