The Best Shaved Snow and Ice in Los Angeles

Mango Strawberry Shaved Snow at Class 302 | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Considering the climate in L.A., the idea of seeing snow and ice in our lifetime is laughable. Thankfully, some culinary entrepreneurs have drawn on international traditions (and trends) to deliver a spate of shaved ice and show desserts to our metropolis. Learn about 14 of the best shaveries in time for summer.

Grass jelly ice at BlackBall | Photo by Joshua Lurie

BlackBall



Many times, the term blackball has negative connotations, but not in the case of this Taiwanese import in San Gabriel’s Life Plaza Center that espouses an atypical core belief for a dessert parlor: “Healthy & Natural Food Matters.” Grass jelly, which resembles an oil slick but tastes far better, is available four different ways, including over shaved ice. One especially impactful combo of complementary toppings includes red bean, firm nata coco strands, mini sesame and matcha mochi pieces. Other possible toppings include taro & yam rice balls, aiyu jelly, pudding, organic green bean, and warm, bouncy boba. The small space features exposed grey wood beams, light wood tables, and patio.

Snow cream at Blockheads | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Blockheads Shavery Co.



The hottest strip in West L.A. is undoubtedly along Sawtelle Boulevard, where more than a dozen fashionable Asian concepts seemingly sprouted overnight. Sawtelle Japantown’s go-to dessert option is Blockheads, which Alex Liu, Alex Yu and Evan Leu debuted in 2011 and expanded to Alhambra in 2013. Blockheads "combines the fine texture of Hawaiian shave ice with the creamy goodness of ice cream," and employs colorful parliament of owl mascots that are far from angry birds. Shaved flavors include green tea and strawberry, with seasonal options like avocado, cantaloupe and mango. Toppings and drizzles are customizable. Blockheads also prescribes combos like black sesame with glutinous rice cakes, cookies and cream, and coconut puree.

Mango Strawberry Shaved Snow at Class 302 | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Class 302



This Taiwan-style shaved snow emporium started in a Rowland Heights strip mall and later expanded to Cerritos and Irvine. The snow is actually ribbons of flaky flavored ice, which are extruded and feed a fleet of teenagers. The name is rather elementary (school), but the flavors are full-grown, with snow in flavors like green tea, mango, or condensed milk. Employees are glad to embellish their snow with fresh sliced fruit, cascading pours of sweetened condensed milk, mochi, earthy red bean, creamy pudding, and more.

PassioNut Shaved Ice at Get Shaved | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Get Shaved



This provocatively named Hawaiian shave ice spot from Pat and Kristin Roskowick started with a truck in 2008 and now encompasses a pair of stores in Northridge, a location Torrance's Abalone Point strip mall, and a relatively central store in Sherman Oaks. Ice is available with Cascade Glacier ice cream, and their menu allows for anything goes pairings and toppings, but we’d suggest starting with a Tried & True Combo. PassioNut features lilikoi (orange), coconut (white) and melon (green) shave ice. The website also reveals not so “secret combos” like the Dirty Monkey, crafted with strawberry and banana shave ice, azuki beans and sweetened condensed milk.

Jon Sno-Kone at Good Times at Davey Wayne's | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Good Times at Davey Wayne’s



Enter a time warp to the ’70s after passing through a vintage refrigerator door on a Hollywood side street. The Houston brothers  - Mark and Jonnie – have outdone themselves with this design, which comes complete with a wood deck out back, Bally Monte Carlo pinball machine, and Eagles’ music filling the speakers. Beverage director Joseph Swifka and his crew even serve alcoholic Sno-Kones from a vintage trailer/bar. House-made watermelon, pineapple, raspberry or apple syrups are available with a choice of spirits in hand-held cone cups filled with crushed ice. We’d recommend a proven recipe for the Jon Sno-Kone, which references a popular Game of Thrones character and combines Evan Williams Bourbon, blackberry syrup, ginger and lemon juice.

Blanco Y Negro at LAMILL Coffee | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Lamill Coffee



Craig Min has remained committed to specialty coffee since debuting LAMILL Coffee Boutique in Silver Lake to start 2008. Rubbish Interiors designed the mid-century Colonial space, which includes chandeliers, restored furniture and hand-painted Chinese wallpaper. Specialty beverages in the full-service dining room include Blanco y Negro, featuring coarse granita made with a blend of Black Onyx and Brazilian cold brew that isn't cut with water. The highly concentrated, well-caffeinated base comes topped with creamy house-made Madagascar vanilla ice cream.

Bing soo at Mr. Coffee | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Mr. Coffee



This coffeehouse serves the Korean shaved ice specialty, bing soo down the street from the Wiltern Theatre. The glass-fronted space features brick walls, brown banquettes, and grey cushioned chairs. Mr. Bingsoo is available in huge shareable servings and consists of shaved ice topped with sliced bananas and kiwi, whipped cream, red bean, fresh mint leaves, Fruity Pebbles, ice cream and more. Stir and enjoy this slushy pink dessert. If you’d like to pay more, you can douse the bing soo with shakes crafted from ingredients like green tea, strawberry, Oreo cookies, or coffee.

Black snow bowl with red bean at Okrumong | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Okrumong



Okrumong, a modern bingsoo specialist, also has a Torrance branch, but we’d suggest the central location in Koreatown’s Serrano Market Place. The space features wavy white and wood walls, but the real action takes place in the glass-fronted kitchen. Their black snow bowl features fluffy shaved ice with ground black sesame, sweetened condensed milk, and sticky rice cake balls, served with a golden bowl with golden spoons. Okrumong also sells a gold snow bowl with shaved almonds and five-grain powder, a green snow bowl with green tea shaved ice, and OG snow bowl with snow milk.

Ice Teller at Ramayani | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Ramayani



Hertha Tan and husband Tan started Ramayani in 1983, showcasing the cuisine of their Indonesian homeland. The art-lined space with canary yellow and orange walls, glass topped tables, and a steady flow of Indonesian students, continues to stay relevant thanks to a large menu of noodle and rice dishes, soups, satay and colorful iced desserts. Ice Teller involves a cup of ice with hand-mashed avocado, vanilla syrup, slippery white ribbons of young coconut, firm yellow sweet jackfruit, and a topping of sweetened condensed milk.

Rita's Ice | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Former Philadelphia firefighter Bob Tumolo started Rita’s in 1984, naming the Italian style water ice emporium for his wife. In 2013, Hannah and Young Ko franchised the Philly classic on Santa Monica’s Main Street. The space features canary yellow walls, red, white and blue furniture. Their flavorful roster is pretty large, complete with Wild Black Cherry studded with sweet tart fruit and Alex’s Lemonade, flecked with zest and benefiting a Philly-based charity that battles childhood cancer. They also have Custard, which you can combine in cups with ice with Gelati.

Shaved ice at SinBaLa | Photo by Joshua Lurie

SinBaLa



Fujian native Henry Zhao and wife Linda Cheng, who hails from Taiwan, have owned this café in an Arcadia strip mall for over a decade. They named their establishment for a historic Taiwanese dice game where the prize is sausage. They have encased meat in several iterations, and their sweet contribution is shaved ice. Choose five condiments from a pool of 16, including sweetened condensed milk, green bean, red bean, peanut and glutinous taro balls. No matter what you order, the mountain of ice features cascading brown sugar syrup.

Green tea snow at SnowLA Shavery | Photo by Joshua Lurie

David Bang and wife Diana have run their shaved snow destination in Koreatown’s bustling Alexandria Plaza since 2013. The interior sports a colorful cartoon box mural and photo collage of iconic L.A. sites like the Santa Monica Pier and Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation at LACMA. Step up to a speckled grey counter loaded with toppings and order snow. Shaved ribbons come in flavors like original (sweet milk), green tea, coffee toffee, and banana coconut. Opt for pre-made combos or go with unlimited self-serve toppings. Think fresh fruit, red bean, egg pudding cubes and shaved almonds.

Bingsoo at Sul & Beans | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Sul & Beans



Sul & Beans is a buzzing bingsoo shop on the second floor of Koreatown’s Madang Plaza, right near the Wiltern Theatre. Their shaved ice is especially fluffy and smartly layers shaved ice with soybean powder multiple times. Chewy mocha, caramelized shaved almonds, and sweetened condensed milk all help to bolster your bowl. Be sure to add warm, sweet red bean to complement to contrast your cool bingsoo. If soybean powder isn’t your thing, consider black sesame, coffee, mango, or strawberry cheesecake.

Halo-Halo at Tita Celia's | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Tita Celia’s



Tita Celia’s has dispensed Filipino home cooking since 1990 in the Filipino hotbed of Carson, which has more to it than just an IKEA and the Goodyear Blimp. This aqua hut near the 110 freeway features mottled yellow walls with images of the Philippines both painted and photographic. Point and pick savory selections before finishing strong with Halo-Halo, which translates from Tagalog as “mix mix.” The plastic cup holds earthy ube, sweet jackfruit and cubes of young coconut, thick layer of crushed ice and a creamy vanilla ice cream cap.