Beat the Heat! DTLA’s Best Ice Cream, Soft Serve, and Matcha

What’s better than cooling down on a hot summer day with a refreshing ice cream cone or an indulgent bowl of soft serve? Meet your match with matcha!

Matcha is a high-grade green tea ground into powdered form which originated in China before there were teapots to steep tea leaves. While “beaten tea” was later abandoned by the Chinese in favor of steeped tea leaves, the Japanese went on to popularize the method, and incorporated matcha in their ceremonial tea service, whisking the green tea powder into hot water to form a frothy drink. Today, matcha is widely popular around the world in beverages like tea lattes or boba tea, and as a cooking ingredient in everything from ice cream to salad dressing!

According to WebMD, matcha’s health benefits include lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, better dental health, help with inflammation, and may even defend against cancer.

Midori Matcha Cafe

123 Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka St #101-C,

Los Angeles, CA 90012

This sleek modern Little Tokyo cafe specializes in drinks and desserts made with organic matcha green tea. Midori Matcha uses the highest grade premium Matcha available, grown in specific regions of Japan and only harvested in the month of May. This freshly harvested Matcha is also called “Ceremonial Grade,” which comes from its original use in Japanese tea ceremonies. For over 900 years in Japan, Matcha Green tea was enjoyed in its traditional hot form by monks and warriors to promote concentration and stable energy. Today, Midori Matcha cold brews the Matcha and transforms it into a modern and convenient bottle form to fuel an active lifestyle, along with delicious desserts that nourish the mind and body.

Cafe Dulce

134 Japanese Village Plaza Mall

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Cafe Dulce opened its first location in 2011 in DTLA’s Little Tokyo, with the understanding that the best moments of any day are the positive interactions with friends, community and sometimes even strangers. Their Matcha Bar features an array of refreshing beverages made with organic premium matcha green tea, including iced cha cha matcha, blueberry matcha latte, and even a matcha lemonade. Cafe Dulce offers an extensive bakery and food menu to accompany your drinks.

Tea Master Matcha Cafe & Green Tea Shop

Honda Plaza

450 E 2nd St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tea Master is a Japanese matcha cafe and green tea shop located in Little Tokyo, serving Japanese-style soft-serve matcha ice cream, green teas and smoothies. After selling Japanese tea out of the store for over a decade, the cafe portion opened in 2014. In 2016, Daigoro-san, a Tokyo native and student of the Japanese tea ceremony’s Edosenke school, took over the shop, rebranding it as Tea Master. Tea Master aims to have an integral role in global tea culture, where traditional and modern views meet. The name Tea Master is meant to be open ended – while the company seeks mastery in preparing tea for maximum enjoyment, they also invites their customers to be the Tea Master.

Uji Time Dessert

333 Alameda St. Ste 103

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Uji Time is comprised of a team of four young professionals who are passionate about Japanese fusion style desserts. They love to combine and meld elements from multiple traditional desserts to create affordable treats for everyone. Their goal is simple – think of Uji Time when you crave Japanese fusion style desserts and enjoy the moment eating Matcha soft cream and other treats from the past through the present to the future! ​​

McConnell’s

Grand Central Market

317 S. Broadway

Los Angeles, CA 90013

For 70 years, McConnell’s has been making dense and pure-flavored ice creams, with smooth, consistent texture and a rich, velvety mouth feel – all made from scratch with a few, simple ingredients. McConnell’s mission is to produce the finest ice creams in the world, in the most responsible and sustainable way possible. In the process, they aim to enrich and enliven the communities in which they operate, and leave the world just a little bit “sweeter” than they found it.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

300 S. Santa Fe Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream started in the Spring of 2008 out of a buttery yellow truck on the streets of NYC. The founders set out to revive the classic American ice cream truck and the art of traditional ice cream making, using ingredients perfected by nature, not science. Van Leeuwen Classic and Vegan ice creams are made with just a handful of fresh ingredients. Each flavor is a celebration of some of the world’s best artisan producers and farmers, both local and from around the world. In case you want to try this at home, you can pick up a copy of the “The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Cookbook,” sharing over 100 vegan and classic recipes along with stories from the past decade.

Little Damage

700 S Spring St.

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Billing itself “LA’s finest soft serve ice cream,” Little Damage is a small family owned business that draws its inspiration from the rich cultural fabric that makes Los Angeles special. Rather than offering a conventional selection, Little Damage offers a rotating menu of unique recipes that allow you step outside of your comfort zone and get a little adventurous, such as their famous charcoal cone. At least one vegan option is always be included in the rotation to accommodate those who are dairy free. Guests are invited to capture their best moments in the free photo booth.

Salt & Straw

829 E. 3rd St.

Los Angeles, CA 90013

The bright, spacious Arts District Salt & Straw scoop shop is an outpost of the popular ice cream concept from Oregon, known for inventive flavors and farm-sourced ingredients. The founders chose the name Salt & Straw because the ice cream is handmade, in small batches, the way ice cream was made traditionally. Back in the day, ice cream makers used rock salt to make it freeze, then it was packed in straw to keep it cold. Dairy-free options are available.

Divine Dips Ice Crème

601 S. Los Angeles Street

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Say goodbye to icy, bland, dairy-free ice cream concoctions and say hello to Divine Dips Vegan Ice Crème! After years of hands-on research, Divine Dips Vegan Ice Crème embodies the creamy richness, flavor and texture of traditional ice cream, without the drawbacks of dairy. Divine Dips is skillfully crafted from a blend of organic coconut milk, cashews, nut milks, and other all-natural ingredients, containing no dairy and gluten-free. The product is sweetened with agave nectar, a low glycemic sweetener, providing just the right amount of sweetness without spiking blood sugar. Not just for vegans — anyone who enjoys richly indulgent frozen desserts will crave “a Dip of the Divine.”

Thrifty Ice Cream at RiteAid

Various locations around DTLA

If you’re looking for a quick pick me up on a hot afternoon, slip into the closest RiteAid and grab a tub of their legendary Thrifty Ice Cream. Since 1940, Californians have cherished Thrifty Ice Cream’s quality ingredients, award-winning recipes, and incredible value. Now for the first time ever, eight signature flavors are offered at a location near you.