5 Great Ice Cream Sandwiches to Beat the Heat

Sweet Rose Creamery
Sweet Rose Creamery
Chris Jolly

Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 3), we'll be bringing you periodic lists of some of the best things we've found to eat and drink around town. Ice cream sandwiches and bowls of tsukemen, fish tacos and dan dan mien, cups of boba and glasses of booze. Read on.

There's something so perfectly all-American about the ice cream sandwich. It's nostalgia thickened with sugar and cream. It's childhood, edible and handheld. It conjures up memories of ice cream trucks and baseball games and trips to the lake -- and maybe that genius night you got stoned and creative in the kitchen. It's as patriotic as apple pie and much more appropriate for a mid-summer heat wave.

You could go old school and buy yourself some Hood sandwiches from the Pavilions freezer aisle. You could go light and buy yourself some Skinny Cows. But save up your calories and pennies instead for these five stellar renditions of the ice cream sandwiches you know, love, and remember. They are worth every lick.

5 Great Ice Cream Sandwiches to Beat the Heat
Diddy Riese

5. Diddy Riese

If you've driven through Westwood, you've seen the lines snaking out the front door of Diddy Riese; 30,000 college students can't be wrong, right? This place is an ice cream parlor-slash-cookie shop, and they make the whole process easy -- and cheap. You can design your own ice cream sandwich for just $1.75, choosing your filling from a dozen flavors (including peanut butter cup, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip) and sandwiching it between 10 different possible cookie varieties. Total bonus: the top and bottom cookies don't have to match. Go ahead! Sandwich strawberry cheesecake ice cream between peanut butter and sugar cookies. Go crazy! Diddy Riese opened its doors 30 years ago and with lines like these, it'll be there for 30 more. But don't worry -- the crowds move through the assembly line with surprising speed. 926 Broxton Avenue, Westwood; 310-208-0448.

Blackberry Vanilla Sorbet with Brown Butter Cookies
Blackberry Vanilla Sorbet with Brown Butter Cookies
Erin Lyall

4. Carmela

In storefronts on West 3rd St. and in Pasadena, the creamistas at Carmela are scooping small-batch ice creams and sorbets with flavors like Salted Caramel, Strawberry Buttermilk and Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean. Freezer cases by the door offer pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, but get yours made to order instead. You'll have your choice among brown sugar, chocolate chip and dark chocolate cookies, which are dainty and scalloped along the edges, like buttery wafers. Stuff them with whatever strikes your fancy that day (the Intelligentsia Espresso Chip goes really well with dark chocolate cookies), pull up a café table, and keep the napkins handy -- once the cookie crumbles, it makes a delicious little mess. 495 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena; 626-797-1405 and 7920 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; 323-944-0232.

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