With another week of 90-degree-plus days settling into the Southland, we've been on a hunt for chilled treats to ease the burn. One of our favorite comes with a strong cult following and a heaping dose of nostalgia: Dole Whip.
The pineapple soft serve was once available exclusively at the stand in front of the Tiki Room at Disneyland, but Dole Whip is now sold at hundreds of locations throughout the country. In L.A., just across the Orange Curtain from its original homestead, Dole Whip has remained more elusive, coming and going at several ice cream and frozen yogurt stores over the years.
We reached out to Kent Precision Foods Group, which now produces the Dole Whip dry powder (which is vegan!), and they sent us the very small list of retail locations where they sell it. Here's where all us Dole Whip freaks can congregate.
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt
Scroll through the website for Menchie's, a San Fernando Valley–based froyo chain, and buried in the images of house-made tarts and low-fat options is a glowing Dole logo. It's true: Menchie's is the only froyo chain to carry pineapple Dole Whip (take that, Yogurtland!). What started as a one-off promotional offering has ballooned into a full-time deal. You'll have to bring your own juice if you're interested in making a float, but feel free to pile up as much of the soft serve as you want. And if you're feeling fancy, load it up with toppings like fresh fruit, gummies, bursting boba and cheesecake bites. Various locations, menchies.com.
3 Worlds Cafe
A coffee shop, smoothie joint and community hub on the ground floor of an apartment building on Central Avenue, 3 Worlds Cafe is a joint effort between the neighborhood-based Coalition for Responsible Community Development, Dole Packaged Foods and nearby Jefferson High School — with a healthy dose of support from chef Roy Choi. With Dole involved, 3 Worlds is an obvious place to find the Whip, and it serves floats and soft serve along with snacks like baked potato tacos and boba drinks like the Boba Fete. A few months ago, 3 Worlds also launched a food truck to take the smoothies on the road, but it's been a few since we've seen it on the street. 3310 S. Central Ave., South Los Angeles; (323) 235-5494, facebook.com/3worldscafe.
Buried deep in the heart of the East Valley, Slusheeland supplies all kinds of cross-cultural frozen desserts and drinks to one of the most brutally hot parts of L.A. From fruit slushes and milkshakes to boba snow to Hawaiian shaved ice and froyo, Slusheeland does it all. In fact, the place has so many different products that it also doubles as a fruteria, where you can get fresh juice, raspados and bionicos. The owners say the Dole Whip Float is a best-seller, but we can't take our eyes off the Piña Loca, which gives Dole Whip the ultimate Mexican upgrade: an entire pineapple filled with fruit salad, candies, chamoy and Dole Whip topped with Tajin. 6005 Vineland Ave., Ste. 105, North Hollywood; 818-658-5097; slusheeland.com
While we usually think of Dole soft serve for its revered pineapple flavor, the company actually makes an entire line of swirl-able whipped desserts. Whipp'd L.A. is the only place to try them all. From mango and vanilla to strawberry, raspberry and chocolate, Whipp'd L.A.'s West Hollywood location has seven Dole soft-serve flavors, which, unless you're also on the hunt for Carbolite sugar-free yogurt, is probably the only reason to go here. 7901 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 380-7624, whippedla.com.
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The Local Place
Leave it to King's Hawaiian to take the taste of the islands to the next level with seasonal sundae creations, all using Dole Whip. While the bakery famous for its sweet rolls has an old-school sit-down restaurant in Torrance on Sepulveda, the company's fast-casual place right off the 405 freeway is the best spot to get Porky Boy sandwiches, saimin noodles and a rotation of Dole Whip sundaes, from the Lilikoi Crunch Dole Whip with yellow cake and butter-walnut crunch to this summer's Lava Whip, which tops a whole cup of Dole Whip with piña colada and strawberry puree plus coconut macaroon crumbs. 18605 S. Western Ave., Torrance; (310) 523-3233, kingshawaiianrestaurants.com.
When Millions of Milkshakes in West Hollywood becomes too celebrity-addled to bear, you can head to Valencia for this suburban version, which drops the naming convention but keeps most of the in-house combinations. You can make your own milkshakes, but if you're here for the Whip, just get it in a cone, a cup or as a classic float and call it a day. Being so close to the high school means this place gets packed in the afternoon, which may explain why the Dole Whip runs out sometimes. Hang tight, it usually comes back after a few days. 27530 Newhall Ranch Road, Suite 103, Valencia; (661) 607-0690; mymilkshakemania.com
Brian's Shave Ice & Boba
A Hawaiian dessert wonderland, Brian's has three L.A. locations specializing in island-style shaved ice. Here, though, shaved ice also comes with a filling: adzuki beans, mochi, ice cream or, yup, Dole Whip. Mix and match your flavors and fillings to make one of the more creative Dole Whip fixes around. Various locations, shaveicela.com.