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How does Hollywood confront the heat? By savoring local, vegan and preservative-free ice creams around town. Though some stars prefer national chains — Angelina Jolie is a Baskin Robbins gal, Heidi Klum likes Pinkberry and Kristin Cavallari goes for Coldstone — here are five artisan ice cream shops and trucks in Los Angeles adored by the industry.
Started as a passion project in 2008, Coolhaus debuted its architectural-themed ice creams at Coachella the next year. Now Cindy Crawford is an investor, and the company is supported by many in the industry who #iBuyWomenOwned (founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller have keynoted the Martha Stewart American Made Summit).
Reese Witherspoon posted a picture of her sons with a Coolhaus ice cream truck after camp on June 28. It’s also big for birthday bashes — Jennifer Love Hewitt booked the truck on June 23 for her son’s birthday, following Hilary Duff, model Irina Shayk and Malin Akerman (The Finals Girls), who each served it at their sons' birthdays as well. Jamie Chung (The Gifted) got the treat for boyfriend Bryan Greenberg’s birthday, too.
It’s also popular for on-set cravings; Coolhaus was on the scene for Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba’s pilot L.A.'s Finest, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson enjoyed an ice cream sandwich on the set of Modern Family. Tiffany Haddish also had Coolhaus on set May 22, but you can visit the shops in Culver City or Pasadena.
@gabunion and I loved teaming up to shoot this pilot for @jerrybruckheimer @sony @nbc and are so obsessed with our crew- we had to treat them to a delish din from our fave local spots. And It’s not LA food unless @daveshotchicken and @coolhaus are involved. Chk out my stories to see the action
A post shared by Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba) on Apr 2, 2018 at 6:32pm PDT
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
McConnell’s started in 1934 as The Old Dairy in Santa Barbara and began crafting the three-ingredient ice cream in the 1970s. It prides itself on being creamy and clean, as the ice cream is made from eggs, cane sugar, milk and cream.
Famed chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo love vanilla and peppermint stick, respectively. Barbra Streisand has touted it on the NPR podcast “Here’s The Thing With Alec Baldwin,” Riverdale star Lili Reinhart keeps a pint on hand and Candace Cameron Bure used the shop for a promo for her daughter’s book, which was released last year. Kirsten Dunst stopped by the Studio City location in February for a waffle cone, while Ellen executive producer Andy Lassner tweeted that it’s “the only line I’ll wait on” (he champions sea salt cream and cookies). “Issues” singer Julia Michaels loves the chocolate covered strawberry flavor.
Tip for summer travelers: McConnell’s has partnered with Delta Air Lines as the exclusive dessert on select first-class flights for sky-high ice cream lovers.
You’d be remiss not to get one of the ice cream macaron sandwiches at Milk, adored by Marvel Comics writer and Say Anything singer Max Bemis, Speechless actress Asia Jackson, model Isis King, Youtuber Kate Clapp (6.2 million followers), UnREAL's Shiri Appleby and beauty queen Michele Gumabao. The Los Angeles shop creates shakes and sundaes, all using local dairy and fruit, along with the colorful sandwiches that taste like fruity pebbles, coconut, red velvet, grasshopper, California strawberry, Thai tea or banana dulce de leche.
King tells THR that she's always been "obsessed" with Thai iced tea at restaurants, and she one day searched the internet for an ice cream version: "I drove over to the Echo Park location and was pleasantly surprised — the flavor tasted exactly like my favorite drinks! I grabbed two scoops, sat in my car and ate it all! It was heavenly."
Milk is not to be confused with Milk Bar, home of the cereal-milk soft serve created by MasterChef's Christina Tosi. She is set to open her first L.A. location this year on Melrose Avenue.
#healthyho™ on temporary hiatus
A post shared by ASIA JACKSON (@aasian) on Feb 4, 2018 at 4:12pm PST
Salt & Straw
The Portland, Oregon-born company now has five locations in L.A. — Venice, West Hollywood, the Arts District, Studio City and Larchmont. Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Selena Gomez, Harry Styles and even Joe Biden have been spotted enjoying their flavors, which range from goat cheese marionberry habanero (yes, that’s one flavor!) to avocado and Oaxacan chocolate fudge.
July's theme is “Berries Invade Our Ice Cream” for the “deliciously interesting” ice cream vendor, which counts Chrissy Teigen among its most devoted fans. She long has been tweeting about loving the coke float caramel volcano, “getting emotional” over the peanut butter brioche french toast and saying she’d “cry” if they developed a Rice Krispie treat flavor.
AHHHH @saltandstraw PLEASE PUT THIS INTO REGULAR ROTATION. THIS IS BETTER THAN A COKE FLOAT AND THAT IS HARD pic.twitter.com/EPq7vnSlry
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) April 20, 2018
When Harry Potter actress Bonnie Wright went to Portland in May, Salt & Straw was at the top of her list. Youtuber Tanya Burr boasts of living three minutes away, and film animator Kevin Parry calls the Salt & Straw Lucky Charms ice cream “breathtaking.” Parry tells THR, "I was living in Portland for the last few years (recently moved) and went to S&S too many times to remember. What kept me coming back was the quality of ice cream (super creamy) and the variety of interesting flavors. Although I would usually default to the coffee and bourbon, it was always fun to sample the monthly flavors."
Brendan Robinson of Pretty Little Liars "indulges" every now and then, while former Saturday Night Live writer Heather Anne Campbell posts flavor updates. Even Teen Wolf actress Holland Roden stopped by to beat the heat with ice cream (and sprinkles) alongside Rules of Attraction actor Joel Michaely.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Did you know you can make many of our house sundaes vegan? We offer coconut whip, vegan chocolate sauce, & 8+ vegan ice cream flavors at all of our shops! // The Brownie Sundae with Vegan Planet Earth + our housemade vegan single origin chocolate brownie
A post shared by Van Leeuwen Ice Cream (@vanleeuwenicecream) on Jun 7, 2018 at 10:28am PDT
Van Leeuwen makes all its ice cream from scratch in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, offering classic and vegan ice creams — with local ingredients — at trucks near The Broad Museum and Abbot Kinney. Housemade cashew milk, organic coconut milk, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic cane sugar, pure cocoa butter and organic carob bean make up their vegan options, which are Gwyneth Paltrow-approved through her lifestyle brand Goop.
Other fans include Natalie Portman, The Deleted actress Amanda Cerny (her fave: vegan chocolate chip cookie dough), Youtuber Kalel, HBO associate producer Janelle Myers, porn star Dani Daniels, The Fault in Our Stars actress Lotte Verbeek and Dear Evan Hansen performer Alex Boniello, who tells THR, "I’m vegan, and it is, without any doubt, the best vegan ice cream I have ever had. All flavors are amazing. Even if I WASN'T vegan, I’d STILL want to eat it over regular ice cream. I literally have a tub of it waiting for me at home." If pressed to choose, his favorite would be the cookie dough.
Verbeek adds that Van Leeuwen’s vegan ice creams "make you forget all about their dairy counterparts. An affogato with vegan caramel ice cream is a scandal of a treat that will have you hooked in one scoop."
President of NBC News International Deborah Turness previously booked their truck for a Today Show celebration. Try the Coachella vendor’s vegan pink lemonade, black sesame ash or “Planet Earth” with a blue vegan base with green matcha cake folded in.
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